The Rectory, Chesterfield review
I had quite high hopes for The Rectory which opened in Chesterfield a couple of months ago as I’d heard good things from a few people. Chesterfield’s food and drink scene is actually pretty good right now and The Rectory bills itself as “Chesterfield’s most cutting edge food and drink offer”. We visited with some friends on Friday evening and I would describe the experience as a mixed bag. Read on for my thoughts of where they got it so right and where it went a little bit wrong…
Ok so the decor felt like it just missed the mark ever so slightly. It was very much trying to be hipster and vintage but it did feel a little like a cross between the old man’s pub that it used to be and a grandma’s living room from the 90s.
The toilets however, were amazing! I’ve got a real thing about toilets and love checking them our wherever I am and these ones were great! There were shiny red brick tiles halfway up the walls and then floral wall paper on the top half and it looked really classy. The only thing that let it down was that there were a couple of baskets hung up with extra toilet rolls in (no problem with that, of course – it’s always best to have extras!) that had (fake) Chanel and Dior stickers on them which made it feel a little bit tacky.
However, there were other quirky things that really worked. The bill (more on this later!) arrived in a hollow book and I love the design of their artwork and website. Plus, I really like the ethos of the place and what they’re trying to do.
The menu is so hipster and cool, with things like cow pie and chip shop style halloumi on it – I was super excited when I had a sneaky peek at work! I went for the hanging lamb kofta kebab which came with pearl cous cous, cucumber yogurt and baba ganoush filled pide bread but I was really torn between several things on the menu and especially liked the look of the Exeter smoked pork and beef board and the Brixed Grill.
The food was really tasty and I really enjoyed it, which was the general consensus of the table. A little bit of feedback was that the fries with the halloumi were a little too thin and crispy but other than that there were no complaints and we were quiet for all of 10 minutes as we demolished our meals.
The prices were pretty reasonable – it was an average of £13ish for a main course and a pint was £4. My boyf had a pint of Warsteiner, a craft lager, and really enjoyed it.
Our waitress was beyond rude, so much so in fact that instead of being insulting, it was actually funny – we were all in stitches! A couple of gems for you – she was beyond efficient, literally clearning every glass from the table as soon as you’d had your last sip and put it down, and when we’d finished our mains and refused the dessert menu from another waitress, instead of asking if we’d like any coffees or more drinks she said: “Have you paid or do you want the bill?” When we asked for the bill she slammed it down on the table really hard and bluntly said: “It’s in there”.
I wasn’t sure if maybe they were going for the Hans Brinker style of staff? If you haven’t heard about this, you need to Google it – it’s so bad it’s good!
Another good thing about The Rectory is that they allow dogs so I’m thinking of taking Alfie on my next dog friendly pub trip. I also really want to try their BBQ Smokehouse Wednesdays which has a Memphis-inspired menu full of things like ribs, cheesy corn on the cob and grits. They also have an awesome lunch menu with £5, £6 or £7 dishes so it could become a good spot for brunch.
Find out more about The Rectory here.