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5.4 /6 Excellent 152 Reviews

The Old Volunteer

Caythorpe European, British £££ +100
1 person
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About The Old Volunteer

It’s not like we’re going to pressgang you into pulling up a stool and ordering a pint, but we do aver that if you’re a fan of real ale and real British pub food, plus an unbeatably friendly and inclusive atmosphere, booking a table or simply some elbow space at this Nottinghamshire pub is mandatory. Located along Caythorpe Road in the hamlet of Caythorpe itself, about 10 miles northeast of Nottingham city along the River Trent, The Old Volunteer is one pub that deserves the hike.

Opening Hours

  • Monday 12:00 - 21:00
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 21:00
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 21:00
  • Thursday 12:00 - 21:00
  • Friday 12:00 - 21:00
  • Saturday 12:00 - 21:00
  • Sunday 12:00 - 21:00
The Old Volunteer, 61 Caythorpe Road, Caythorpe, NG14 7EB Nottingham

Further Information

The Old Volunteer serves a wide range of drinks, robust meals, and – perhaps more importantly – a great atmosphere in which to relax and enjoy. That it sits up in picturesque Caythorpe, a small hamlet typical of the many that dot the banks of the River Trent as you drive northeast from Nottingham, makes for an even more authentic, British country pub experience. Locals know it as their default, but The Old Vol (as it’s fondly known), welcomes newcomers with open arms and knows a number of out-of-towners who come here for the quality on offer.

In fact, The Old Volunteer is only a few minutes walk up Caythorpe Road from Lowdham station, meaning this is an excellent stop off if you’re out on a crawl of Nottinghamshire’s best pubs. Set in a handsome building on the edge of Caythorpe that has been sensitively renovated, and with plenty of outdoor seating the venue is a joy to behold in clement weather. Sit up in the beer garden with a hand-pulled pint and some quality British fare to feed you up.

View Example Evening Menu

View Example Lunch Menu

View Example Sunday Lunch Menu

152 Reviews

5.4 /6 Excellent 152 Reviews
Atmosphere: excellent
Quality/Price: great value
Food: heavenly
Waiting Time: no waiting time
Service: extraordinary
Noise: quiet
88 6
44 5
12 4
5 3
3 2
0 1
1 review so far 6
19.08.2017 23:08

Excellent food and service. Izzy and Molly the waitresses looked after us very well. A very enjoyable evening and would recommend to anyone. Will visit again. Thank you

1 review so far 6
15.08.2017 07:15

Great food, excellent staff, perfect night. Would highly recommend this restaurant / bar. Had a very good night if a restaurant that was good value for money.

1 review so far 6
12.08.2017 23:08

Lovely evening...great food and service. The children loved the prosecco and the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed. We'll be back and highly recommend to everyone x

1 review so far 6
03.08.2017 22:58

Lovely atmosphere with lovely staff. Made to feel as part of the family, and like you have know everyone for years. Great food. Will be visiting again. ❤️

1 review so far 4
26.04.2017 17:25

This was our first visit to The Old Volunteer. My husband had mussels for a starter and they were good, then he had boeuf bourginon which would have been good but it was much too salty; bread and butter pudding was good although not the classic version. I had fish, asparagus, and new potatoes; came with a little saucepan of good sauce and the whole meal was enjoyable. I had some kind of poached plum (three small segments only) interestingly flavoured - could have eaten more of the plums. Mid-meal my wine glass mysteriously disappeared. There is a good atmosphere and we will probably eat here again. Price about right on a Saturday evening for the quality of the food but apparently you can have a 3-course midweek lunch for £15 - worth checking out!

1 review so far 6
09.02.2017 20:41

We had a great meal at The Volunteer this evening the food was delicious-I had Belly Pork with Scallops-the Belly Pork was soft and tasted of Pork ,.the Scallops plump and sweet.So often food in so called restaurants is bland and not cooked as it should be---not so at The Volunteer.My husband and I both had Bread and Butter pudding -light and fluffy with a vanilla custard and a tart quince jam that cut through the richness of the pudding and creme anglaise. I chose- on Jo's recommendation -a Romanian Pinot Noir which was just as she described.Jo is a great host friendly ,vivacious and knowledgeable about her menu and her wine list.Over last year and so far this year we have never had a bad meal at ''The Old Vol'' and we will definitely be returning.Pam P.

1 review so far 6
27.02.2017 17:22

We pre booked. The four of us had a great evening. Just after we ordered the electric went out in the whole street. the staff were quick to bring candles to the table and take drinks orders. The manager kept all tables updated that they had contacted the power supplier and it could be up to an 1 hour to come back on again. The chef had fired up a bar-b q ready just in case to keep cooking and as it happend the electric was on again after half an hour and I got my steak! Hurrahhhh! The staff all coped very well...well done. Oh, and great choice of red wine by the manageress.

1 review so far 4
03.08.2017 09:10

Lovely welcome, efficient bar staff, really impressed by the ambiance of the bar and seating areas. The Old Vol has a lovely atmosphere. Our table (for 4) was fine, menu quite interesting. We did feel there was quite a price jump between the main menus and the steaks. Also some rather odd combinations (pork and king prawns, anyone?) and pie with chips was drowned in gravy (how about offering the gravy in a jug?) That said, one of our party did have an 'odd' combination and he said it was OK. My biggest disappointment, not confined to the Old Vol, was the NOISE LEVEL!! We were 4 and there was an adjacent party of 8. We honestly couldn't hear ourselves think. They weren't actually over-boisterous but the lack of any soft furnishings in the dining area made it quite torturous and, at one point, stopped our conversation. Curtains...blinds...cushions...the odd rug...?

1 review so far 6
20.06.2016 10:24

I have been to The Old Volunteer twice now and the food is amazing, excellent value for money, the staff are lovely and the Landlady is very helpful and chats amongst guests and nothing it too much of an ask. Highly recommend this place. :-)

2 reviews so far 6
25.10.2016 13:14

Attended the Old Vol' prior to it's refurb so was nice to see what had happened. Had the Sunday Roast and the Beef (pink and succulent) and vegetables (firm but not crunchy) were cooked just as I like it, so very pleased. The wife and I managed to share a desert between us, which was a crumble I believe. Nice to see fresh herbs being grown on the balcony outside. Overall, a very enjoyable meal and I would certainly go back again

1 review so far 6
15.05.2017 14:27

A pleasant experience from start to finish. A shining example of how a gastropub should be. Personal involvement from the landlady ready to help us with our request to delay our meal a few minutes from the booked time... to courteous, friendly and willing serving staff. Really good food was excellent value. Some might think it took 'longer than it should', but food this fresh and well prepared is not going to be 'quick' and it was absolutely fine time-wise.

1 review so far 3
09.05.2017 07:58

Average. I had high hopes given the location but it didn't meet expectation. We were 40 mins late being shown to our table but in the defence of the staff they did take our order whilst we were waiting and keep us informed. I had Caesar salad, which part way through I realised there was no pancetta, which was clearly stated on the menu. I questioned it with staff to be told that the kitchen had run out but not informed the waiters. Maybe most people wouldn't notice or question, but there aren't many ingredients in a Caesar salad so it's pretty obvious when a key ingredient is missing!!! No apology, no reduced price, no offer of an alternative. The staff weren't particularly attentive and stomp around the place with their ear pieces in. Maybe the kitchen should use this technology tell them what they have run out of?!

1 review so far 6
18.06.2017 14:08

I booked this for Father's Day as we have been before for an evening meal and had a great experience. Sunday lunch did not disappoint! Great food! Great service, I would recommend The Old Volunteer to anyone.

1 review so far 5
13.08.2016 10:01

Fabulous food, lovely setting and great staff. My husband had the salt and pepper squid and he was impressed by the quality of the food. Then he had the chicken and mushroom pie with chips and I had the chicken Caesar. They were both quite small but very tasty. I wondered why some people were getting bread and butter but not us or others and then my husband pointed out that you have to pay extra, which I was surprised at but I suppose it reduces waste.

2 reviews so far 6
07.02.2017 17:41

Booked table for 12.45. Seated and order taken promptly. Food very good - service was very friendly and efficient. The atmosphere was very pleasant as was the decor. I have dined in the restaurant several times now - food and service has always been very good and staff always friendly. My colleague had not been before but she was imressed and would certainly visit again. A very enjoyable all round experience.

1 review so far 6
27.07.2017 08:59

I met with two friends who had not been to the Old Volunteer before and they were both very impressed and would visit again. We had a lovely relaxed meal. The food was excellent and we were not rushed. We spent a lot of time talking but did not feel we had to hurry at all. I would recommend this pub to anyone for the food, the atmosphere and the surroundings.

1 review so far 6
22.05.2016 17:59

Lovely attentive staff, scrumptious food, excellent beer, top venue. We had a lovely time and will return soon. I would recommend The Old Volunteer to anyone looking for great service, food and drink.

1 review so far 6
03.07.2016 20:27

Well received upon entering and shown to our seats in a friendly manner. The service was excellent and the drinks arrived with only a small wait. The menu was adventurous and very reasonable price wise. The food was just superb ,cooked to perfection, and the vegetables were varied and al dente. Thoroughly enjoyed the food and experience and will visit again

1 review so far 5
15.02.2017 14:34

Lovely meal .. fitted us in last minute for a Valentine's meal. Prosseco with an oyster (first ever!) and well planned 3 course menu with good choices. Food arrived promptly, service was excellent and the atmosphere was good, though not in main part of pub which I prefer (not grumbling though as pleased we got a table!). Got a rose (well two actually) when I left. Would recommend.

1 review so far 6
13.03.2017 11:29

The Old Volunteer is a great pub / resturant, the food was fantastic and the staff were very friendly and accomodating, we will definitly be going back.

3 reviews so far 6
13.10.2016 17:56

Had a delicious lunch today with a friend. We ate three courses and everything was cooked to absolute perfection. Service was quick and friendly. My friend was very impressed and will certainly go again. Compliments to the chef and serving staff. The background music wasn't to our taste but you can't please everyone!

1 review so far 6
11.09.2016 21:20

Great food and atmosphere. Will definitely be coming back. Our daughter was due to land in Australia, we were desperate to hear she'd landed safe but we couldn't get a phone signal so they allowed us to log into their personal wifi. If that's not great customer service I don't know what is.

2 reviews so far 6
19.03.2017 17:17

Great Sunday lunch today, I had pork, my friend had beef and my partner had Wellington, all very impressed. Huge portions and all really good quality. Set menu is great value for the quality of food. Gent that took our payment was great: chatty, friendly and genuine. Top marks to him.

1 review so far 6
29.05.2016 19:52

What a great setting!! Lovely views and great interior throughout. Sat upstairs and lovely ambience. Food was spectacular and all homemade and it shows in the tastings!! Staff great, attentive but not intrusive. Lovely outdoor space too with heaters, lanterned candles and all year round green grass!! Will be back.

1 review so far 6
13.10.2016 17:17

We have been to the Old Volunteer twice now and we have had a lovely time on both accasions, the food and service are excellent and the value is good. The first time we went we sat upstairs and the views across the fields are lovely. We would highly recommend.

3 reviews so far 5
06.08.2017 13:46

Really good food and attentive service, not cheap but happy to pay for good quality food. Bar area a bit noisy but we asked for a table away from the bar and that was fine. The sweet I had was really delicious. We would certainly go back, but I think the bar area and outside is a bit intimidating.

1 review so far 5
21.04.2016 13:28

The environment, staff and overall experience was very good. Great venue and Jo has done a wonderful job of the place. The food was also of a good quality, though sometimes lacked seasoning, nothing major. Where we sat was unfortunately adjacent to two family parties tables, so they were rather overpowering, but one cannot control the clients.

2 reviews so far 6
02.04.2017 17:49

Really enjoyed our first visit the staff are really welcoming and the food was excellent the only disappointment was that we didn't realise you had to give 24 hours notice to have the Beef Wellington but we shall try it on our next visit if still available.

1 review so far 6
26.03.2017 09:56

Excellent meal, Pigs trotter to die for!! Also mussels were as they should be big and juicy in a lovely sauce. Staff and chef were super which was apparent when we arrived as the place was very busy. However we were taken care of very well.

1 review so far 5
29.10.2016 16:49

On arrival our table was not available due to a large party that was occupying the area. We were nevertheless welcomed and waited at the bar. The food and service was very good as was the atmosphere. An attractive restaurant and good value fixed price menu. Recommended to others.

1 review so far 5
29.01.2017 10:32

Lovely food- very loud- possibly lack of soft furnishings- lots of hard surfaces for noise to bounce off of but after the initial bit of shouting across the table to each other it got a bit quieter. Staff were lovely and we shall go back for the beef wellington

1 review so far 6
08.06.2017 20:35

Fabulous location, food was delicious, will visit again soon. Food is good value for the money, very reasonable price for the excellent quality of the food. The service was prompt and you didn't have to wait long to be served

2 reviews so far 6
30.10.2016 11:03

Fantastic food once again at the old vol. The service was great and the new refurbishment means we could enjoy the lovely upstairs dining area whilst the Halloween party was getting under way downstairs. Will be back again soon :)

2 reviews so far 5
15.05.2017 16:34

We went for Sunday lunch (5pm) and the pub was very busy, as we had expected. The food was very good and so was the service. But we did feel a little rushed. Both courses arrived very quickly, but this would not put us off going again.

1 review so far 6
31.07.2017 21:02

I booked a table for four and we all enjoyed the food. The service was faultless and I would certainly recommend the Old Volunteer to others. I'm sure we will return in the near future for another meal.

1 review so far 6
06.10.2016 18:41

Visited last Saturday for a meal at 5pm. All of the food we had was excellent, the pork pie starter sharing platter as a starter was different and tasty. Service also very good. Will definitely visit again

1 review so far 6
28.07.2016 19:13

Lovely lunch. Sat outside and service was great! Plenty of space and you don't feel like your sat on top of other people. Sat with a glass of wine over looking the fields in the sunshine

1 review so far 4
01.12.2016 11:43

Sunday dinner nice - but expensive- -a good option when you don't want to cook -it's a shame they don't have a bottle of Cava - or a reasonably priced bottle of house champagne -as an alternative to the current trend for Prosseco- £22 for a single serve bottle of Moët a bit much.

2 reviews so far 5
15.07.2016 15:05

Lovely venue. Food really good. Service a bit slow - took a while for someone to take order for drinks even though restaurant empty when we arrived. The waiter didn't get food order quite right but it was really good and would recommend.

1 review so far 4
30.08.2016 09:25

The overall experience was nice. The only issue was the menu was no as advertised on the website and it was the website menu which prompted our visit. We probably wouldn't visit again for food maybe just a quick drink but the atmosphere was pleasant and the staff were lovely and very helpful.

2 reviews so far 5
04.03.2017 17:41

Myself and 5 members of my family went for lunch here the welcome was excellent, the service and food was excellent, I just felt the portion sizes should have been just slightly bigger. Will be going back again and recommending to friends.

4 reviews so far 5
13.09.2016 14:37

Enjoyable Sunday lunch, as ever. We did feel the staff were not as 'on the ball' as usual, and didn't see any familiar faces (apart from Jo, who always makes everyone feel welcome) so perhaps they were trainees. Would still recommend, though.

1 review so far 5
01.09.2016 18:40

good food & service. pleasant atmosphere . a little noisy : so somewhat difficult to have a relaxed conversation. on the whole , if you can find a quiet spot , a good place for an outing with friends & family .

1 review so far 5
10.07.2016 18:03

Could not fault service in lovely surroundings, good food, might have been a higher mark if my main course choice had been different from pie, but quite expensive. Would have liked steak but not prepared to pay in excess of £20

2 reviews so far 6
09.05.2016 11:10

This was my second time at the Old Vol and again, could not fault it. Excellent meal and the service was great. Make sure you try the steak and ale pie - DELICIOUS!

1 review so far 6
21.04.2016 09:35

Excellent food and very friendly staff. Thank you for making my birthday meal one to remember :) My family will definitely be returning and we will certainly inform our friends of our experience.

1 review so far 6
28.05.2017 08:36

We had a great evening. The food was excellent and freshly cooked. The service was very welcoming. I would definitely recommend. Lovely modern restaurant with plenty of seating area inside and outside.

1 review so far 6
02.12.2016 10:23

First of three Xmas meals booked at the Vol this festive season and, if last night's meal was anything to go by, I won't be disappointed! Fab service as always too.

1 review so far 2
29.09.2016 08:06

Went for Sunday lunch. My juice had floating pieces of mold and the mash had a 2" hair in it. Both were replaced and no gesture of good will discount was offered. The meat was nice and the portions were good but would not go again. We sat upstairs where there was pieces of broken glass on the laminate floors and had to get staff to clean it. The doors were very annoying every time the staff went in and out the door sounded like loud Velcro and slammed on closing. Very disappointed.

2 reviews so far 6
08.07.2016 18:12

the food was good, the staff really nice & friendly ,the restaurant nicely decorated & good atmosphere. beautiful setting . would recommend a visit, be it for lunch or evening meal.