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The Comedy of Errors

The Sir John Borlase Warren

1 October 10 words: Ash Dilks
Named after an admiral and MP of Nottingham who helped give the French a right panning back in the 18th Century
The Sir John Borlase Warren

The Sir John Borlase Warren - named after an admiral and MP of Nottingham who helped give the French a right panning back in the 18th Century, war fans - stands proudly at the top of Canning Circus.

It’s a part of the city that has a huge rep for superior eating and drinking, and from the moment you step through the doors and are hit by the unmistakably warm vibe that only a traditional English pub can offer, it’s obvious that this place is one of the main reasons why.

We immediately took advantage of one of JBW’s main selling points; its real ales. There’s always four regulars on the go with two extra guest ales in constant rotation. We went for a pint of Bountiful (£2.80) - a chestnut ale packing rich fruity flavours but still light and refreshing with a sweet, slightly malty taste.

As you’d expect, quintessentially British dishes such as lamb shank and fish pie are in full effect on the menu, but Mediterranean influences abound, with chorizo mashed potato here and smoked haddock gnocchi there. For starters, I chose the Delilah charcuterie board (£7) - a delightful selection of cured meats supplied by the aforementioned, award-winning deli on Lower Pavement, while my partner went for the sun blushed tomato and mozzarella melts with smoked paprika aioli (£5), which turned out to be perfectly formed pillows of Italian flavour laced with fresh herbs. Both were subtly appetising primers for the main event.

As the weather was particularly Goose Fair, I plumped for the pork belly with black pudding, sweet heart cabbage, potato and parsnip crisps and apple and elderflower puree (£10), a tower of well spiced heartiness that was topped off with a perfect square of crackling. My fellow diner went for another British staple that traditionally separates the wheat from the chaff - fish and chips (£8). We were not disappointed, as it was executed to perfection, with thick, crisp batter, moist, yielding flesh, beer-infused chips and a soupçon of mushy garden peas.

We were already won over, but our desserts (citrus cheesecake and crème brûlée, £3.50 each) and a couple of amaretto liqueur coffees (£3.70) set the seal on it; the Sir John Borlase Warren more than holds its own in a very competitive dining quarter as it effortlessly combines Brit-pub traditional values with a tinge of nouvelle decadence. At just over £20 a head for a three-course blowout, JBW is a highly recommended venue for a casual meal with friends, not to mention a suitably impressive first date venue.

1 Ilkeston Road, Canning Circus, NG7 3GD. Tel: 0115 947 4247
Sir John Borlase Warren website

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