The Crealock Arms, is tucked away down a narrow lane and could easily be missed except for the sign on the road pointing you in the right direction. As you drive through into the generous car park, the views on the left of the hills are really lovely. Due to the time of year we visited, the fields were filled with sweetcorn. Originally the pub was a farmhouse and was changed into a public house in 1977. The decor inside is more like a social club than a village pub, but that doesn’t detract at all from the friendly welcome we received.
I have heard many good stories about the food in The Crealock Arms and just have never seemed to have paid it a visit. I’d had a bad day and if they struggled with a gluten free meal, I think I would have burst into tears! My fears were totally unfounded. The very amicable server at the bar must have thought I was mad, when this hungry, or more definitely hangry!, deranged woman’s first question wasn’t asking for a drink, but was “Can you cater for a gluten free diet?” “Of course” said the lovely lady. She showed us a blackboard with four or five meals on it as a special (£9.95 for a two course meal). “The turkey roast can be made gluten free, as can the cod mornay because chef will use cornflour for the cheese sauce.” I could have kissed her – you have no idea of the sheer joy of hearing the knowledge and understanding in her voice and moreover the choice I had for lunch – real food and not salad!
Main course at The Crealock Arms, Littleham
I chose the roast and hubby ordered the cod (so we could try both). The pub was relatively busy for a Thursday lunchtime with generally elderly people. This is a good sign – old people in my experience are very canny when it comes to choosing places to eat! We sat down and had a drink whilst waiting for our food, which was just long enough to know that it has been freshly prepared, but not so long that we were wondering when we would be fed.
The cod mornay was nice. I’m not really a fish person, so wasn’t bowled over, but the cheese sauce had just the right amount of cheese. As to my roast, there were nice cuts of meat, a good choice of veg and a good gravy. It was all piping hot and well cooked. All in all it was very good hearty food and now I totally understand why people rate this pub so highly.
Dessert at The Crealock Arms, Littleham
So the fundamental question then, was, what was for dessert? Hubby popped outside to take some pics whilst I looked at the board to see what options there were. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be a lot of choice for me. However, when the waitress came over to take the dessert order, I asked what was gluten free, she replied by saying I could have the ice cream or they have a gluten free syrup sponge pudding! Now after a full on fat roast, you would have thought that I would have baulked at eating a sponge pudding – especially at lunchtime – but I am made of stronger stuff than that! “With custard?” she asked. Of course – is there any other way to have syrup sponge?
Hubby by this time had returned and totally got my over-excitement about having a sponge pudding in a pub at lunchtime! He asked what was the most popular pudding on the board and the waitress said “definitely the lemon meringue pie”, so he ordered that.
The sponge was something else. I’m not sure if it was home made or bought in, but it was light, syrupy and all in all a taste sensation and greedy thing that I am I ate all of it! The lemon meringue pie was home made and hubby said it was delish. The coffee was good too, filter so not my usual caffeine shot of double espresso, but still nice and strong and obviously a fresh pot.
So we effectively rolled out of there with distended stomachs – think of those fat lions after a kill and the imagery wouldn’t be far off! The food was excellent – pub grub at its finest and very reasonably priced. I will return there with the kids during half term I think as they would also love the hearty food and the price was very reasonable.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30-3:30, 6:00-11:30, Sun 12:00-3:30, 6:00-11:30.
Gluten free friendly: Lots of gluten free options and both the front of house and kitchen are very gluten aware.
Child friendly: Children and babies are welcome.
Disabled access: There is a ramp for wheelchair access and a disabled toilet.
Dog friendly: No dogs allowed.