Taste Test: The Celtic Arms, Northop Country Park

Reporter:

Jamie Bowman

During my previous and only visit to the now Celtic Arms in Northop Country Park, which was then a golf clubhouse, gym and bar, I had just competed in a junior golf tournament and was too muddy to enter the building.

Ten years on and almost four years after the restaurant opened, I was pleased we chose this Flintshire gem as a high-quality, yet pleasantly simple, family Sunday dinner venue.

We were guided to our table in the large, oak restaurant adorned with old paintings in regal frames - it’s a true sign of the stage one is at in life when the first thing noted is envy for interior design.

I was impressed at the extensive choice on the menu and was torn between ordering an entire seafood platter for myself, and the full
mixed grill.

My commitment to Sunday tradition resulted in me opting for the half roast chicken, which promised to be served with “roast potatoes, new potatoes, vegetables and gravy”.

My parents ordered the special roast of the day, beef and pork mix, while my sister went completely out of character and ordered medium-rare rump steak with chunky chips and fresh tomato - in hindsight, envious of wall décor and sister’s choice of dish.

I asked for no potatoes, and instead for extra veggies, and the waitress replied a bowl would be served additionally in the middle to be shared between the three roast dinners. But if I wanted, she said, she would bring another portion.

We waited for an average amount of time for our food to arrive, given that it was lunch time on a Sunday, and enjoyed conversation over the delicious non-alcoholic ginger beer.
I was very excited for my large portion of protein and veg.

When my chicken arrived I was initially pleased at the sight of it. Half a chicken all to myself made me happy, so at that, I cannot complain.

It was just a shame the vegetables intended to be shared between three adults consisted of about five parsnips, two carrots and some green beans which had not been ‘topped and tailed’.

We asked for more and it seemed to the waitress as though this was an inconvenience. She arrived shortly after with a disappointingly small bowl of parsnips and a

strand of cabbage.

The same applied to our request for more gravy, which came back scarce in a tiny jug, again between three.

Nonetheless, the meat was plentiful and my sister’s steak especially was cooked beautifully. It saved buying, cooking, and washing up after a Sunday roast at home.

And their gravy was to die for.

I understand it was a busy Sunday afternoon, and having worked in hospitality on many day of rest myself, I know the struggle is real.

But if I were to return, I would hope for more attentiveness from the waiting on staff, and not to be made to feel cheeky asking for a hearty bowl of carrots and broccoli. And not to be rushed out after finishing our mains.

I suppose the mains did in fact serve their purpose as none of us could handle pudding, as lovely as I assume they are.

Thumbs up to the chef - just more of it next time please!

How it rated:

The Celtic Arms, Northop Country Park, Northop. Tel: 01352 840423

Ambience – 8/10

Service – 7/10

Food quality – 8/10

Children welcome – no

Disabled access – no

Email:

jamie.bowman@nwn.co.uk

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