The Holly Bush at Marehay has always been a favourite haunt for good pub food. David and Lorraine Hilton, veterans in the ‘pub running’ industry, have, since buying the Holly Bush in 2009, continued in their tradition of providing honest to goodness food and drink at very reasonable prices in a very friendly and homely atmosphere.
Most months I meet up with a friend, and we, being ‘stick in the muds,’ enjoy a fine pint of beer, steak and onion pie, chips and mushy peas. Why deviate when you know that you are going to get a hearty meal and what finer way to enjoy a lunch whilst sorting out the world’s problems.
Of course there is a lot more on the menu to tempt you as my dining partners attested to. The menu boasts all the traditional pub food that you would expect from a chef who has been with Dave and Lorraine for many years.
We were there to try the food so we had to have starters! I knew that we were going to end up leaving totally full, but then, when you know that, you just have to go for it and leave the diet to another day. So, battered mushrooms with a garlic dip was our choice. There’s an art to spearing these crispy critters as Scott found out when one escaped his lunging fork! The nicely deep fried large mushrooms were succulent inside and, with plenty of dip, we were off to a good start.
Dave took the order for our main courses whilst explaining that he had set up a microbrewery at The Holly Bush, and it would have been rude to refuse the offer to try some. He’s chosen some interesting names for his beers. Whilst Doombar was on tap I plumped for that first and then sampled Dave’s ‘Broke Even’. I expect ‘Profit’ to appear very soon!
Everyone is really friendly at The Holly Bush – no airs or graces, just honest to goodness friendly banter with the odd insult thrown in. It’s a true ‘local family pub’.
The main course order made Dave smile (and probably wince) as Alistair ordered ‘Large Yorkshire pudding with beef’. “Can I have it without peas but with beans” he asked.
“Do you want gravy then?” asked Dave. “Yes please,” said Ali. You could see Dave calculating the look of the dish and announced “Would you like the beans and gravy in separate pots?” Sorted!
Scott plumped for the fish and chips which was a whole plate full by anyone’s standards. The fish, fresh from Grimsby, was white and soft with a beautiful golden batter coating. He was fighting to finish it.
My choice was – yep you guessed – steak and onion pie, chips and mushy peas, well why not? I like it and it’s consistently good.
The large and varied menu includes light snacks, if your fancy is a little light lunch. For the traditionalist the Sunday roast is an ever-popular classic at The Holly Bush.
The childrens menu is full of the regulars that kids love so much – chicken nuggets, sausages, fish fingers and for the child with a larger appetite – lasagne, burger, and scampi with a ‘little treat’ of ice cream to finish.
The Holly Bush is an open and roomy pub making it a great destination for family get togethers with a menu that won’t break the bank – and, with Dave’s new ales to sample you wouldn’t notice if it did!
Our visits to The Holly Bush are always ones of fun and good food. Thanks Dave and Lorraine for giving us another lunchtime treat.
To contact The Holly Bush, 51 Brook Lane, Marehay. 01773 570 830