The Sutherland Arms is a traditional family run pub situated in the heart of the village of Tibberton, 4 miles west of Newport. The Newman family took over the pub in 2013 and have since overseen it’s transformation; in November last year the pub was extensively renovated and extended, providing a smart new dining area with seating for approximately 60 diners, large bar area and a bright and airy conservatory. In addition to the new layout and décor there is also a brand new menu, packed with great value pub classics made with fresh, quality ingredients.
On arrival we were welcomed by owners Ruth and Andy and shown to a cosy table in the new extension, the new décor is fresh and modern, yet still retains it’s country pub charm, I particularly liked the historic photographs of the local area hanging on the walls.
We ordered some drinks to start, I had a very nice glass of Shiraz and as the designated driver my husband Aaron had a soft drink, although I noted there was a wide selection of traditional cask ales on offer for those who enjoy traditional beers and a range of wines available by the bottle and glass.
The new menu offers plenty of choice, with an extensive specials board adding even more variety. There is a separate children’s menu and Sunday lunches are apparently very popular, it is also well worth checking out the numerous special offers available on the website (www.thesutherlandarms.co.uk), such as kids eat free on Tuesdays and curry night on Wednesdays to name but a few!
To start Aaron ordered Spicy Thai Parcels (£4.50) from the specials board and I went for Butlers Nachos (£4.45) from the nibbles section of the menu.
My nachos consisted a portion of crunchy corn tortilla chips, topped with melted Butlers mature cheddar, guacamole, tomato salsa, soured cream and sliced jalapeño peppers, again the portion size was just right to whet my appetite and I really enjoyed having nachos as an alternative to a more traditional starter.
Aaron’s starter comprised of four appetising looking Thai parcels, which were served with a fresh side salad and sweet red onion chutney. He described the parcels as a Thai version of a samosa or spring roll, he commented that the vegetable filling had a delicious spicy kick and the batter was crisp, he said they were very tasty indeed and the ideal amount for a starter.
After a short wait our main courses were served by our friendly waitress, I opted for the BBQ Ranch Burger (6.95) and Aaron had the Sizzling Chicken Skillet (£7.55). My burger arrived well presented on an oblong patter complete with an American style burger wrapper with a generous helping of golden chips and two crisp battered onion rings. The burger was absolutely delicious, the prime steak patty was juicy and well cooked, it was topped with a slice of crispy bacon, melted cheddar cheese and smoky BBQ Sauce, all nestled inside a soft cracked wheat bun. This was a very enjoyable burger and I would definitely order it again in the future.
Aarons dish arrived sizzling away in a traditional cast skillet, it consisted of strips of Cajun spiced chicken breast with a medley of julienne carrots, peppers and onions. It was accompanied with a soft flour tortilla, side salad, mature cheddar and soured cream dip. Aaron set about creating his own Cajun chicken wrap… like any big kid he still enjoys playing with his food, so this concept was a big hit with him.
Finally it was time to peruse the dessert menu, there is a wide selection available on the standard menu in addition to several options on the ever changing specials board. After much deliberation and recommendations from our waitress/owner Ruth, Aaron opted for a classic Rhubarb Crumble with custard (£3.75) and I plumped for the Exotic Fruit Eton Mess (£2.50) from the specials board.
My Eton mess arrived served piled high in a traditional Sundae glass, there were generous pieces of exotic fruit, mixed with crisp and chewy chunks of meringue smothered with fresh cream, it was certainly an exotic twist on the traditional Eton Mess but just as enjoyable, it was like a summer holiday in a tall glass!
The serving of crumble was very generous and once the custard was added the bowl was almost full to the brim, Aaron commented that the rhubarb was tender and sweet and the crumble was buttery with a satisfying crunch.
We both had a really enjoyable evening out, the pub has a friendly and welcoming feel in a fabulous traditional village setting. The Sutherland Arms makes a welcome change from the run of the mill chain pubs, despite offering similar value for money, better quality food and lots of variety to suit everyone in the family, so is definitely well worth a visit!
Reviewed by Charlie & Aaron Scott