The Queen’s Head at Little Eaton is a pub first and last. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else and to that end the beers on tap are a great selection from the Derby Brewing Company who have been in residence for the last three years. The menu is traditional pub food which is pleasantly presented, served with a smile and comes out of the kitchen pretty quickly. In August this year the Queen’s Head underwent a refurbishment to add a more cosy feel with new furniture, lighting, décor and little touches resulting in a comfy but modern feel to this listed stone building.
We were booked in to dine on a Tuesday evening and were surprised to see how busy the Queen’s Head was. The barman directed us to table six and Tom the manager quickly came to introduce himself. You can choose from the menu or order from the blackboard, which changes regularly to carry dishes from the local butcher and their own fresh fishmonger, then order from the bar. There was a buzz of conversation permeating the air (I like that phrase), and friendly warmth typical of a good local and popular meeting place.
Hop Till You Drop was my choice of beer for the evening, a nice fruity, light ale just 3.9% and £2.80 a pint. A selection of Derby Brewing Co beers is on offer, along with guest beers including one from Everards. The extensive wine list and beers from around the world complete the scene from a well stocked bar. The choice was quite overwhelming and I could have spent ages deciding what to drink. But, Hop Till You Drop won the day.
My starter of homemade, lightly fried smoked haddock, salmon and polenta fishcakes was served with an oil and basil dressing and a seasonal salad of green leaves, nicely executed and well presented. This was true also of my companion’s generous portion of mixed wild mushrooms in lovely creamy Stilton sauce, topped with a runny egg with a deep yellow yolk. It was served on a slice of toasted ciabatta and was apparently absolutely delicious.
The meat is from Barry Fitch so it travels about twenty yards from butcher to plate. My main course was a tasty rump steak, Huge homemade onion rings, hand cut chunky chips and a plum tomato made this a hearty meal, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The fresh fish dish was a lighter meal for my companion. The pan-fried sea bream and braised fennel in cream was an excellent combination and the little roasted new potatoes kept the dish light, it would have been perfect for either lunch or supper.
Sharing a dessert, it was refreshing to find one that was homemade and our chocolate cheesecake was served in its own little dish with creamy vanilla ice cream, it was just enough to finish on a sweet note.
The Queen’s Head manages to stay true to its roots providing a great environment to meet up with friends for a drink and chat at lunch or after work. At the same time this is not your frozen, microwaved, mass produced pub food; the Queen’s Head offers exceptional, real pub meals which are freshly cooked from quality ingredients prepared by Head Chef Dan and his assistants the ‘two Petes’ and we hope they will long continue with this philosophy.
The Queen’s Head serves a selection of light meals throughout the day and a very popular roast on Sundays between12-8. You need to book, it’s popular!