Restaurant Review – Castle Inn, Caldecott, Leics


One Friday evening a short while ago, just before my son left home to start his studies at the University of Nottingham, we, as a family, went to a pub/restaurant that my husband and I have been frequenting since we first met in 1984.  Since then it’s changed hands several times and the restaurant has gone through a whole range of food styles over the 30 years we’ve been going there.  Actually – typing that last sentence has just made me feel incredibly old!  Did I really meet my husband 30 years ago?! WOW!!!!

Anyway, back to the restaurant review.  We went to the Castle Inn in Caldecott set in the heart of the country in the beautiful Welland Valley on the borders of Northamptonshire/Rutland/Leicestershire where the restaurant can be found in the shadow of Rockingham Castle and serves food in an Italian theme.  You walk in the door to find the old fashioned flagstone tiles on the floor, the oak beamed ceilings and a friendly smile from the staff.  To the right you’ll see the impressive stone baked pizza oven.  The smells that welcome you are evocative of any Italian Trattoria – garlic, tomatoes and stone baked pizza dough; truly delightful!

There’s nothing nicer than a crusty based pizza, stone baked to perfection and topped with tomatoes, cheese and herbs.  My daughter chose a Margarita pizza, whilst my son went for a Hawaiian.  These both came in immense portions – a whole dinner plate full and I did wonder if my daughter would be able to eat more than half.  Her brother, on the other hand, was more likely to eat his and then devour the remainder on her plate!

I went for the beef Lasagne and salad, whilst my husband chose the Pollo Alla Castle; chicken wrapped in parma ham and stuffed with mozzarella, garlic and tomato sauce served with gratin potatoes.  Both of these meals were very generous in portion size and tasted delicious.

How any of us had room for dessert, I really don’t know, but the kids and my husband did!  I had to settle for a coffee as there’s no way I could have moved if I’d had dessert too. My daughter enjoyed the chocolate brownie and ice cream, my son had tiramisu and my husband the creamy pannacotta. Again these came in generous portion sizes and were tasty (yes, I did have a little taste of each of them – purely for review purposes, you understand!)

With drinks, our meal came to £81.20.  None of us were disappointed with our meals or the service we received or the atmosphere. We’ll certainly be back again!

The meal was paid for personally by ourselves.  We were not invited to dine at the restaurant nor did we receive any compensation for our visit.  All views are personal to myself and my family.

Tomato Sauce Pizza Tipping

It’s incredibly easy to make your own tomato sauce pizza topping and then, using any leftover, stir it into your pasta or spruce it up with mince to made a base for your bolognese sauce to go with your spaghetti.  This is how easy it is:

45ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1.25ml (¼tsp) Chilli flakes
2 x400g tins of chopped Tomatoes
2.5ml (½tsp) Sugar
Splash red wine (if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it!)
Basil stalks, chopped

1. In a large saucepan, heat your oil and cook your onions for 10 minutes until transparent and soft.
2. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until cooked, but not brown.
3. Add the chilli flakes, chopped tomatoes, sugar and wine.
4. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer then taste and season as required.
5. Add the basil stalks.
6. Cover and simmer for 1 hour until thick.
7. Blitz until smooth.

*Use to top your pizza dough, or transfer into a clean Kilner jar and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
*To make your bolognese sauce, brown mince, and onion and garlic then stir through the sauce and heat until piping hot.