Following the disappointment at the Sutton Arms (which, I neglected to mention was a meal out for my birthday) it was Mrs B’s birthday and as such, her choice of eatery. Mum & Dad were coming too so there would be 6 of us and, to avoid the England match coverage (which, I assured Mrs B, would only disrupt any chance of enjoying a peaceful meal – nothing to do with me wanting to watch it at home later) we popped up to The Gretna Green on the A167 at Newton Aycliffe - 4 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.
Right from walking in I was struck by the number of members of staff on duty, cleaning tables, serving, taking extra orders – the place wasn’t busy, but it looked like there were at least 2 members of staff for each serve area – impressive indeed when a lot of places are looking to cut costs.
The menu at The Gretna is a Fayre & Square – similar in style to Brewsters, Wacky Warehouse, Hungry Horse etc but, with an extensive choice available on ’2 for £10′ and some very tempting starters it really stood out as offering something for everyone.
We plumped for a large bowl of Nachos to share, some garlic bruschetta and a round of drinks. All were served quickly, piping hot and in great volume. The nachos in particular were smothered in Sour Cream, Guacamole, Salsa and big pieces of flame grilled chicken. Our server kept an unobtrusive eye on the table and only when it was obvious we had licked the plates clean did she enquire whether we would be ready for our main courses or did we want a little longer to let the starters settle- a very pleasant and friendly way to check on progress and none of the usual assumption that as soon as one course is finished the next must be served.
In danger of boring you too much, I shall quickly list the main courses;
1/2 Roast chicken, chips & salad
A full all day English Breakfast (which was huge)
2 x 10oz Gammon steaks (which were thick, succulent and perfectly cooked)
Chicken nuggets and chips
Lasagna with Garlic Bread
All of these meals were perfectly served; big on volume and huge on flavour and our servers were full of fun and energy as they took an almost personal pleasure in what we had chosen to eat.
There are those in the family whose sweet tooth must be quietened and the menu at The Gretna rises to that challenge with aplomb. A triple scoop ice cream sundae, a raspberry and white chocolate gateau and a fabulously named “Tuck Shop Ice Cream Cake” kept the dessert monsters busy for another 20 minutes
All in all the 6 of us had a wonderful meal, felt very well looked after by the staff, never rushed or made to feel we were taking up space and, after a full round of drinks as well, there was still change from £50
I whole-heartily recommend giving this a try, you won’t be disappointed !