A few weeks ago, while scanning through my inbox, one email jumped out at me. As someone who hates public events (I know, I’m a great blogger), preferring my home comforts, I went to dismiss the email until I got tangled up in the headline – Premium Country Pubs… 1-0 Mitchells & Butlers, you’ve piqued my interest!
I had been invited to the grand reopening of the Nags Head pub in Brentwood, and in a bid to start doing more “bloggy” things and my love for a good Gastropub I decided to tag along. Now, I had already heard fantastic things from people who had previously visited the Nags Head before it’s makeover, so was naturally ecstatic to sample the new menu and host of cocktails.
Upon entry to the pub from the snowstorm brewing outside, we were warmly greeted and directed to the bar where we were met with the most fantastic DIY gin area – From classic lemon to rum spiced asian pear infusions, the choices were aplenty. And the buck didn’t stop there (as you would expect from a pub), there were craft beers, wine, champagne, virgin cocktails, really, I could go on, but I’ll move onto the food because I know that’s really what you came for!
Once we had been given our drinks, we retired to plush velvet seats in the bar area, ready to enjoy some canapes before the main event. Whilst all of these were delicious, my personal favourite had to be the Pork Belly topped with apple & a slither of crackling, so much so, I made Matt surrender his own portion to me.
We then collected more cocktails and went to the main dining area. I must say, I absolutely loved the aesthetic of the Nags Head! It was the perfect combination of chic country pub and modern dining, making our experience there even more enjoyable. Being the planner that I am, I had already looked at the new menu weeks prior, so it didn’t take me long to decide what to have for my starter – Scallops of the day. We decided as a group to go for a real mix of everything though, to get a feel for the entire menu. So went for:
- Scallops of the Day – Served with a (I wanna say parsnip?) puree and crispy bacon. Absolutely delish, I could have easily had a few entire plates to myself.
- Lobster and King Prawn Pot – Served with toasted ciabatta bread, again very tasty – I imagine in the height of summer this would be what I’d order again.
- Sweet Chilli King Prawn Roll – None of us were expecting this to be the way it was! It was absolutely huge, but a great option if you’re looking for a lighter/fresh starter to share.
- Crispy Karaage Chicken – Oh man, these were wonderful. Like a grown up chicken nugget (and I mean that in the absolute best way)
- Salt & Szechuan Pepper Squid – Again, I’m a sucker for seafood and you can never go wrong with deep fried squid, my friends. Served with a delightful aioli and a very generous portion.
Everything was fantastic, in particular, the Scallops were a huge hit and the Crispy Chicken was incredibly moreish.
Then we moved onto the mains, once again, I’d downloaded the PDF, so I knew 100% I was going for the Seared Salmon Filet! As a group, we went for:
- Seared Salmon Fillet – This was my choice and what a great one it was. I am a firm believer of mash > any other potato. And this chorizo mash was no exception. It was also served covered in the most delicious bouillabaisse sauce and crunchy broccoli on the side, that even writing it down is making me want to run to my car and dash to the Nags Head for seconds.
- 9oz Rib-Eye Steak – Matt decided to go for this and praised how delicious it was. He said the steak had been cooked to absolute perfection and his twice-cooked chips barely lasted long enough to register a review!
- Spit-roasted Chicken – Matt’s brother Andrew decided to have this for his choice, the chicken looked incredibly juicy and was served with a side of fries (you can swap this out to a kale & cauliflower salad if you were on a health kick) and a jus on the side.
- King Prawn, Crab & Chorizo Linguini – Finally, Nadia (Andrew’s wife) decided to go for the seafood linguini. This was going to be my choice and I’ll be honest, I did have major food envy when they brought hers out. It looked amazing and I’ll definitely be having it the next time I’m in Brentwood.
Finally, almost full to burst, we chose our desserts. So glad that little reserve stomach exists when it comes to sweets because there was so much amazing choice on the menu. We decided that as we were all so full that we would just order a selection and share amongst us, so had the Warm Belgian Chocolate Brownie, Mango, Berry & Coconut Meringue Mess and finally the show stopping Melting Chocolate & Peanut Bomb. Everything tasted amazing and it was lovely being able to have a small piece of each persons dessert, but if I had to choose just one, you have to go for the Chocolate & Peanut Bomb! I had always seen people getting these types of desserts on Instagram, but to experience it in person was magical (just take a look at the video at the end of this post yourself!).
All in all, we had such a fabulous night at The Nags Head, and cannot wait to return. I love that they have different menus for occasions and even a fully vegan menu, that as a meat eater, could have turned my head the choice looked so lovely!
So make sure you get yourself to Brentwood and sample the incredible food youself – Oh, and make sure you grab yourself some of those scallops! You won’t regret it.
* This meal was gifted to me by The Nags Head Brentwood, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.