Loyal customers come from far and wide for the pleasure of dining at Stanley and Maria Matthews’ restaurant on the handsome, wide main street of this attractive town. And no wonder, as Stanley is a fine chef and Maria a welcoming and solicitous hostess.
Ingredients are carefully sourced, many of them local; menus are generous, with a classical base that Stanley works on to give popular dishes a new twist.
Specialities include their own home-made wheaten bread, which is the perfect accompaniment for a chowder of Atlantic fish & local potatoes, while main course favourites include Sperrin lamb (with classic onion white sauce) fillet or sirloin steak (from the award-winning local butcher, Hunters) and seafood thermidor (Stanley’s selection of fresh fish with a mild cheese & brandy sauce).
Menus are not over-extensive, but change frequently to suit different occasions - there’s an attractive early dinner menu which is exceptional value, followed by a dressier (and more adventurous) à la carte for the main evening menu; “Our version of Osso Bucco”, a dish of slow cooked shin of Sperrin lamb cooked on the bone with wine and fresh herbs, is now a big hit with diners and modestly priced at £15.50.
Stanley’s cooking is refreshingly down-to-earth - new dishes are often introduced, but if it’s on the menu it’s because it works: there are no gimmicks.
Good cooking and good value go hand in hand with warm hospitality here, and it is always a pleasure to visit The Lime Tree - indeed, many discerning guests enjoy it so much that they plan journeys around a meal here.
A concise, interesting wine list also offers predictably good value.