The Marquess of Exeter is a Grade II listed building which dates to the early 17th century. This thatched roof beauty sits in the historic village of Lyddington in Rutland.
Krishnapal Negi and his business partner recently took ownership of this pretty country pub and introduced “Krishna’s at the Marquess” a modern Indian restaurant.
Krishnapal has had an exciting career and until early 2022 was executive chef at London Fitzrovia’s “1947”.
So, when the opportunity arose to sample the food of this acclaimed Michelin trained chef, I was excited to make the journey and enjoy a night’s stay there with some delicious food.
I was greeted by the charming and professional Gaurav Sindhwani who showed me to one of the 17 ensuite rooms set behind the pub across the car park.
The rooms are immaculately clean and equipped with a hospitality tray, hairdryer, white fluffy towels and toiletries. The bed was inviting with crisp linen and glowing side lamps.
The views were lovely over the attached meadow, and I understand in the summer this is a good spot to enjoy pre-dinner drinks while watching the sun go down.
I was in a dog friendly room and, on a side note, dogs are welcome everywhere except the restaurant.
After jumping on the free Wi-Fi (which was very fast) we went to explore and chat with Gaurav about the history of the pub.
My first impression was ‘wow this is a very special property’ with its polished flagstone floors, wooden beamed ceilings and roaring inglenook fireplaces.
This place would suit everyone’s needs, from a romantic couple’s getaway to a family gathering.
It was a real treat on a winter’s evening to enjoy a glass of red wine in front of the crackling fire knowing I had just a short walk after dinner to one of the comfortable guest rooms.
I began to feel amazingly relaxed whilst perusing the menu, dogs enjoying the warmth of the snug, our noses tickled by the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen.
The feast started with Paneer Pakora, an Indian cheese with spices, batter fried and served with a fresh coriander chutney. We also enjoyed Fish Amritsari, a popular dish in India, mixed with garam flour, ginger and carom seed.
Both were extremely moreish and certainly did whet the appetite for what was to come.
What followed was Lamb Saag Wala, which was melt in the mouth, cooked with spinach and perfectly balanced spices.
The star of the show for me was the Chicken Dum Biryani which was served in a pastry sealed pot. As the waitress cut open the pie, the fragrance released was incredible; a truly mouth-watering experience.
A side dish of baby corn and palak masala was a great accompaniment to this fresh and vibrant meal.
Also interestingly on the menu was truffle flavoured naan bread which I used to scoop up the Pindi Chloe (chickpeas cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes) and, yes, when something is this delicious it becomes a hands-on situation!
Am I making you hungry yet? To finish there was a traditional sugar-soaked sponge served with vanilla ice cream: a perfect way to round off the meal.
Afterwards I went into the kitchen to see the master at work. You can certainly see that Krishnapal is living his dream and cooks with such love.
He smiled when I told him this was the best Indian food I had ever tasted and would be sleeping like a happy baby with a full belly that night.
Grounds and Walks
The next morning, I woke refreshed to a full English breakfast of poached eggs, bacon, sausage and mushrooms.
Every element was cooked to perfection and washed down with hot, strong coffee – such a delightful way to start the day.
There is so much to see and do in the local area and I enjoyed simply wandering around the chocolate box village, taking photographs of the cutest iron stone cottages.
I was also particularly interested to visit the English Heritage site Bede House. Though further afield is the dramatic Rockingham Castle.
This area of England is steeped in culture, heritage and history. Hikers, cyclists, antique and art lovers are all drawn to visit, so google places of interest and set yourself a fun itinerary.
I loved my visit to the Marquess of Exeter, and I suggest you book soon before word gets out about this secret foodie heaven.
I can honestly say it was a perfect evening, full of great hospitality and delicious food all wrapped up in the warm embrace of a cosy country pub.
Go and enjoy!