The Woodman's Stroke
Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
1 Church Street, Rothley, LE7 7PD
The Woodman's Stroke is tucked away in the old part of Rothley, a pretty Leicestershire village. Lift the latch to open the front door and you'll find yourself in a pub that dates all the way back to the 17th Century. The Woodies (as it is locally known) is a traditional free house with a thatched roof, stone floors and heavily beamed ceilings. Where better to settle with a pint of beer or a glass of wine as you choose from a menu full of good-value homemade snacks and hearty meals' I opted for the steak and kidney pie: giant chunks of tender beef and moist kidney in a rich gravy, topped with melt-in-the-mouth shortcrust pastry and accompanied by fresh vegetables and real chips. Yet I could have chosen from other dishes including chilli con carni, lasagne or curry, and for a lighter alternative, a selection of fresh-cut sandwiches or toasties with various fillings.
This is a quintessential English country village pub in every way. The Wa rner family have owned it for 18 years and their enthusiasm for sport is reflected in the memorabilia decorating the walls - signed rugby shirts, cricket bats and team photographs, as well as newspaper cuttings and pictures of the pub and village through the ages. Outside is a limestone terrace full of climbing shrubs and flowers, and tables with heated parasols; beyond, a beautiful large landscaped garden rolls down to the Rothley brook. There are plenty of picnic tables, a dovecote with resident doves, a lily-clad pond and an aviary full of chirping budgies and cockatiels. Food is served only at lunchtimes from Monday to Friday, and at all other times it remains a proper pub, with traditional ales, a changing guest beer and a varied wine list. As the pub buzzes with friendly conversation, I guarantee you'll hear something about the Leicester Tigers or the cricketing exploits of the Leicestershire team in this refreshingly music-free ambience. Join in - you'll be more than welcome. What a stroke of luck discovering The Woodie's.