Nigel's Cook-ing up something tasty at The Ruddy Duck

Good old local pubs, remember them? Sadly, they’re something of a dying breed at the moment with the financial squeeze facing the hospitality industry.

​The sort of ‘local’ where you can sit at the bar with a drink and if you fancy it, grab a bite to eat prepared and cooked by the landlord.

And none of that fancy gastro stuff either.

Well that’s what’s in store if you chance upon The Ruddy Duck at Peakirk.

And that is just the way landlord Nigel Cook, who runs the business with his wife Melanie, likes it. Part of the community.

It closed briefly last year before reopening and has been in the safe hands of Nigel – who people might have met down the years behind the bar at Peterborough Rugby Club or The Burghley Club – for just a couple of months.

But he has wasted no time making his mark on what is a charming Grade 2 Listed village pub. Stools at the bar and small, round copper-topped tables, where we parked ourselves for a spot of lunch on Saturday afternoon (there is a smart little dining area and a sun room too, opening onto a patio).

Unsurprisingly there is a good selection of beer – premium lagers, cider, Guinness and pale ale plus four real ales on tap (two local and two national).

The lunchtime food offering ranges from paninis and jacket potatoes through burgers, scampi, fish and chips, sausages and mash, and ham egg and chips.

I asked myself one simple question before choosing: “when was the last time you had gammon steak, egg, chips and peas?”

And my £14.99 choice was very nice too. A big thick slice of salty gammon that was mouth-watering – I couldn’t even turn down the fatty edge. The chips were chunky, and my two fried eggs had runny yokes. Perfect. Oh, and I forgot the pineapple ring!

There is a child’s menu – or you can ask for a smaller portion – but Jasmine honed in on the gourmet beef burger (£12.95).

A lovely soft bun hide what was a meaty, juicy burger topped with bacon, chees, lettuce and tomatoes all socking into the bun. The chips were thick – none of those skinny French fries thank you very much – the salad was fresh and the slaw a welcome addition.All in all, two very satisfying lunches.

And if you fancy trying it later in the day, starters include whitebait, tempura prawns and spicy chicken wings, while added to the main courses is a pan fried ribeye steak, selection of handmade pies, mac and cheese and a steak and kidney pudding – not to mention an ever-changing specials board.