The Blue Lion
Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
When we arrived at the 17th-century Blue Lion in Hardwick, the welcome from waitress Nicola was as warm as the pub’s roaring log fire. Co-owners Stuart Tuck
(who is also the head chef) and Luke Edwards, and their team, go out of their way to ensure guests enjoy their visit to the full. You can choose to dine in the conservatory, the oak-beamed dining room or the beautifully refurbished area next to the bar. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the bar too.
Chef Stuart was runner up Chef of the Year 2017. He uses mainly local produce to create classic dishes with a unique twist – try the corned beef hash and you’ll see what I mean. The imaginative menu offers everything from light bites to the full three courses, and diners after vegetarian or gluten-free meals will be spoilt for choice. I started with rich wood pigeon Kiev accompanied by vegetable succotash, while my partner plumped for chicken gumbo with chorizo, crayfish and Cajun spices. Next, I tucked into beetroot Bourguignon with wild mushrooms, beetroot mash, black cabbage and a horseradish dumpling – without doubt the best vegetarian dish I have ever tasted. My partner’s confit pork belly was velvety smooth and came served with black pudding mash, sticky red cabbage and smoked apple. I finished up with a delightful ginger beer panna cotta, while my companion eagerly devoured his lemon and date treacle tart. With food like this on offer, it’s easy to see why The Blue Lion has been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since 2013 and was crowned Pub of the Year 2017 at the Cambridge Food & Drink Awards.