The county of Rutland is steeped in history, with many a spire rising from the countryside and many a traditional British tavern hunkered down in the dells. In the town centre of Oakham, up on the High Street, The Admiral Hornblower is one such pub flying the flag for real British cuisine, and alehouse worthy of Horatio himself. Less than an hour’s drive from Nottingham, Oakham is a destination, especially on the Wednesday and Saturday market days, if you’re looking for some properly charming English scenery. When you visit, make sure you’ve reserved some elbow space at The Admiral Hornblower.
Historically, what is now The Admiral Hornblower was a 17th-century farmhouse. Even as Oakham, the market town and seat of England’s smallest county, Rutland, began to develop and encroach upon the surrounding countryside, the new owners of this High Street site have managed to preserve the original’s charm even as they open up the space to accommodate ten en suite rooms as well as a traditional British pub and restaurant. Whether you’re staying the night or simply booking a table for a meal, this central Oakham location is ideally suited for sightseers and locals alike.
Making the most of the spacious cellar, The Admiral Hornblower invariably has at least three hand-pulled, traditional English ales on tap in the bar area. Meanwhile, the restaurant makes the most of Rutland’s bucolic farmland to source fresh produce in order to create a menu studded with classic British pub dishes and a few modern flourishes. If you’re down in Oakham on a Sunday – it is after all a popular Sunday drive destination – you’ll also have the privilege of taking in the Admiral’s renowned Sunday roast and carvery – book a spot at the captain’s table now!
The restaurant has various seating areas, and I was pleased that we were sat in a cozy room with a log fire, this meant the few diners that had ventured our mid week in January enjoyed an excellent ambience. The food was good quality and the service a very high standard. I was treating my husband for his birthday so we were also staying the night, cant fault anything. We will definitely return and I will recommend to frinds.
a lovely meal and the ambiance was great. we were looked after very well without being intrusive . the menu had plenty of choice. the prices were about right. we were seated straightaway and orders and food delivered quite quickly. It was a busy evening as it was Christmas but did not interfere with the restaurant.
Excellent food in lovely surroundings. Not been since new owners took over but are booked in agaiin in two weeks time. Very friendly staff as well.
We had a really good experience when we recently went to the Hornblower for Sunday lunch; we got a warm welcome and was seated promptly. The service was excellent, attentive without being intrusive and the food was well presented and well tasty. Nice one!
The starters were excellent, main course feedback form our party of 6 was mixed. (3 of our party had the duck - which was somewhat disappointing for all 3). The fish courses were excellent though. Our waiter at the start of the evening advised us of the specials - but got confused between prawns & langoustines - his colleague corrected that though before we ordered. One of my friends asked for 'Monkey 47' gin, to be told "we don't have it, it's not a very good gin". Despite being friendly & keen to build rapport; if the waiter doesn't know about a product simply ask a colleague - don't give the wrong information to 'save face'. (It turned out the bar did stock Monkey 47 after all, but by that time my friend had ordered a glass of wine). Venue was good (the lack of soft furnishings did affect the acoustics - but only for me), wine selection was menu appropriate, service got better after a ropey start.
The food was really good. The spoiler was a large family party and the kids were running around and making a lot of noise letting off balloons, shouting etc. . We and the table next us had to shout over it. I know it is difficult to stop this and daresay their bill was quite large and you wouldn’t want to put them off coming again! - especially as at least two of the adults were using party horns as well - but is there no way a polite request could be made for at least children to keep their seats and keep,the noise down. ?
The personnel and the ambience of the premises were most acceptable. The starter, parsnip soup, was rather bland. The bellied pork was disappointing -- only 1 of 3 people liked it. The fish/ cheese in a pot was acceptable to the 3 people who ordered it, although it could have benefitted from something on the side. One person had spaghetti bolognaise, which looked rather strange, but may have been enjoyed. The 2 mixed fruit crumble/ice cream were excellent. It is unlikely that we would return to this restaurant and, if asked , we would not recommend it. Maybe it was just the Monday menu.
A lovely family-friendly restaurant, with excellent facilities and delicious food. There is a good choice of meals, ranging from the usual Sunday carvery to fish and vegetarian. Children are catered for with the minimum of fuss and there is plenty of space between the tables. The service is efficient and unobtrusive and you can take as much time as you like. All in all, a very pleasant Sunday lunch.
My wife and I called in for a drink at the hornblower last year whilst on a short break in the area. First impressions were very good especially the dining area so this year we decided to give it a try. We went for Sunday lunch the meet and greet was ok the eating area is very nice and spacious but the service was quite slow we both had pea and ham soup for starters the soup was nice but the bread that came with it was a let down as for the mains the Yorkshire puddings were cold and the roast potatoes were hard the deserts did look nice but we didn't want to risk them as the mains were a little disappointing
Whilst the food and atmosphere were reasonable we were upset by the bill. Firstly, although we only had one bottle of wine we were charged for three! Whilst we accept this was a bona fide mistake and after getting and paying a corrected bill we noticed that we were charged for two bottles of sparkling water when we only had one. To be charitable, at the very least the management should be less hasty with bill preparation. There was total confusion between the servers. It is always strange that the mistake is always upward and never downward. The moral is check your bills very carefully at this establishment!