As I pulled up the drive to the Bedford Lodge, I took a look at the nearly 300 hundred year old converted hunting lodge and thought to myself that I hadn’t been to many restaurants like this. Then I remembered I hadn’t even been to many restaurants which had a drive.
Squires is the restaurant for the Bedford Lodge hotel, and a firm family favourite of a friend of mine. It is quite old fashioned in style, with a strong focus on customer service, which was pretty good. There is a light dining room as pictured above, and a slightly darker purple room with a bizarre reflective skylight. We sat in the purple room, and I actually used the skylight to take bad pictures of the food we chose. The restaurant sources nearly all of its produce in the East of England, and the menu changes weekly (though there is some overlap from week to week).
One companion and I started with garlic mushroom soup, which was served with a breaded garlic mushroom stick. The latter was a lot stronger in garlic flavour than the soup, which was a little disappointing. Fruit bread also wasn’t the best accompaniment, but that was our own fault.
Other starters we had included chipolatas with honey and mustard (highly recommended by the eater), mozzarella and tomato with balsamic vinegar pearls (large portion), and mini-oxtail pie (apparently very meaty and delicious).
My main was angel hair pasta with artichoke, squash, spinach, mushroom, rocket and a smear of red pesto. Artichoke provided a sharp tinge to a few mouthfuls, but I would have preferred a bit more, and fewer mushrooms. Overall it was ok, but a bit too leafy for my taste.
My fellow diners had lemon chicken with fat chips and rocket (nice but not special), pork belly (with mashed potato and sage, fatty and crispy), seared bream with mash and seafood sauce (good), and smoked salmon (good taste and a huge portion).
Coffee afterwards came with petit fours of chocolate spoons with bubblegum ice cream (lovely look, dubious flavour), peanut butter parfait cups (nice enough) and raspberry pates de fruit (delicious and very strong).
It’s a little bit expensive, and the vegetarian options I chose were not too inspiring, but there were others available and the meat and fish eaters were broadly quite happy. Overall, I think I’d recommend it as a good place to go if you want a traditional British dining experience in a classic setting.
We returned here a few weeks later for a light meal. The blue cheese soufflé with pear and walnut sauce was simply delicious. Truffle fries were heavily flavoured with truffle oil, which I liked but my friend found overpowering. He thought his sandwich and chips plus onion rings were good but didn’t stand out.
Address: Bury Rd, Newmarket CB8 7BX