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“Hidden gem” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Old Volunteer

The Old Volunteer
61, Caythorpe Road | Caythorpe, Nottingham NG147EB, England
+44 115 966 5822
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Ranked #126 of 1,153 Restaurants in Nottingham
Price range: $9 - $28
Cuisines: Dessert, English, Italian, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Nick and Annie Santarpia moved to the UK where Nick managed a top London hotel before the irresistible opportunity to take over the The Old Volunteer presented itself. The Old Volunteer is to be found in Caythorpe, a beautiful rural village in Nottinghamshire. Annie's excellent "front of house" skills provide the warm welcome to the Volunteer's chicly appointed restaurant and its comfortable and well-stocked bar whilst the restaurant food is the product of Nick's talent as a formally and professionally trained chef who studied under Professor Zotti at the college of Pellegrino Artusi, a foundation figure of Italian cuisine, in Riolo Terme near Imola. Such outstanding training, qualifications and background complemented by Nick's experience provide the inspiration for the wonderful dishes presented to those discerning diners fortunate enough to visit the Volunteer to sample the delights which taste every bit as sumptuous as they appear.
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

We opted to do a 'last' minute' sunday lunch for 11 of us, and not being able to get in anywhere else, we were surprised at having no problems here - it was very quiet and so we wondered whether this was a bad sign. We were however pleasantly surprised, the food was lovely and despite a slight lack of vegetarian options they were very accommodating and came up with some alternatives. There is a Italian theme to the pub food, but they do a traditional sunday lunch as well and catered well for children. The Fish Stew from the specials board was very tasty. The service was a little slow despite us being only one of two/three parties in the place, but very polite and pleasant.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    57
    23
    5
    7
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
“Great Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

Great bar, good drinks by range and quality, fantastic restaurant, superb choice and standard of food, perfect atmosphere, staff brilliant, great theme nights and right on my doorstep - BENISSIMO!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“An absolute delight"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

Extremely friendly, relaxing, enjoyable ambience which is down to the chic and tasteful decor, friendly and attentive staff, appropriate background music and the food not only looks outstanding and beautifully presented it also tastes out of this world. The chef's specials board is imaginative and adventurous offering a wide range of tastes. There's a wide range of drinks available, fine tasting wines and good beers which are well kept and nicely served. I return again and again for either their fine cuisine or a drink in the very welcoming bar and drinking area. They clearly try and work extremely hard at providing such a fine, reasonably priced and thoroughly enjoyable dining experience which I really greatly appreciate in the area which sets this establishment apart from what else is available locally.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Good food, Bad Beer, Ugly Prices (for what it is).”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

This is a restaurant pub. One is permitted to sit anywhere whether eating or not but there should be no doubt that the people who own this pub have no interest in going after the wet trade. The pub has that generic trendy country pub feel and is clearly the project of people who know how to make money but not how to make a great pub. The selection of beer is appalling for an independent country pub (Harvest pale and Hobgoblin, not very well kept), and expensive to boot at £3.20 for ale or £4.80 for Peroni!
The food is expensive. Mains range from £10 - £22 and if you plan to have just one course you will leave hungry. I had the venison ravioli which was nice (pasta a touch thick) but very small in portion for £13. Also I had quite a few broken ravioli which I find annoying and lazy. My girlfriend had the scallop pasta which was lovely, with perfectly cooked scallops.
We both had the pannacotta for desert and although I enjoyed it it didn't have any wobble. It was topped with a red wine caramel which was delicious but in no way taste of red wine, begging the question: why bother with the wine?
As someone that has worked in the industry I get annoyed by people charging too much for their food and this place is certainly doing that. An hour after I spent £50 on lunch my girlfriend and I had to eat again. I can assure you that these people are operating on a 90% gross profit model which is, quite frankly, taking the Michael.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicola S, Manager at The Old Volunteer, responded to this review, October 28, 2013
Thank you for your review on our business, we appreciate all feedback from our customers and where possible we will always strive to respond to any issues that have been brought to light.
We are a restaurant pub, something we are proud of. The Old Volunteer has had numerous management changes through recent years due to the harsh conditions faced by pubs and food plays an important part in keeping many establishments open. We are still a pub though so we take on board your comments regarding our limited range of ales and their prices.
We recently held a successful Beer festival as we wanted to test numerous ales on our customers to see what we should then serve. This is an area we are determined to get right.
We are pleased you enjoyed many aspects of the food that was served to you and your constructive comments have been raised to our chef Nick.
If you return to us in the future then please do raise any previous concerns and we will do our best to ensure that you leave completely satisfied with your experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrogate, United Kingdom
1 review
“Great place for lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

We've eaten here twice in the last couple of months at lunchtime. Great food each time and the staff can't do enough for you. A couple of items weren't available but the chef came out and suggested alternatives and we weren't disappointed. You can tell it's all home made. Even our fussy eater thought it was good. Would definitely recommend it, we'll go back again.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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