The unseasonal summery weather wasn’t the only treat at the weekend - thanks to a visit to The Square pub in Market Deeping... and some rather good tapas.
The Market Place venue is under relatively new ownership (I remember it as the Stone Loach) and the tapas is on offer lunchtime downstairs in the pub and upstairs (after 6pm) in the Circles Wine Bar.
A scorching Saturday morning checking out and making a few purchases at the new market right on its doorstep made The Square (cool with comfortable booth seating) an ideal refuge from the sun. And in the circumstances tapas with a chilled white wine couldn’t have been more appropriate or appreciated - by me and my wife.
There were some alternative options on the menu (jacket potatoes etc) but we went for the four-for-£20 tapas deal from a choice of eight, and ordered a pleasant, refreshing bottle of pinot grigio for the price of two large glasses.
Add a mixed platter and two kids’ meals with drinks and the table was suddenly under siege.
Not for long.
The star of the show (for me) was undoubtedly the warm chunks of chorizo in a thick red wine and garlic sauce - which was replicated on the mixed platter.
The fish tikka was more subtle in flavour, and the fish was flaky and soft, although the mango chutney packed a moreish punch.
The marinated sirloin steak strips were nicely cooked and the breaded asparagus, with a hollandaise dip, were delightful; firm and flavoursome.
Little salad bowls with fresh peppery rocket, soft juicy cherry tomatoes and sharp red onion were a welcome addition.
I enjoyed the cured meats (if a little overpowered by the double helping of chorizo) and cheeses from the platter - although there never are enough crackers!
The girls enjoyed a packed fish finger sandwich and a tasty burger in a super brioche bun from the good value children’s menu, bringing the bill to a reasonable £54.
Then, with the sun still shining, it was home for a siesta.
Brad Barnes enjoys tapas at The Square Pub and Circles Wine Bar in Market Deeping (www.thesquarepub.co.uk).
Brad’s rating: 8