by guest reviewer Nick (@nmyers89)
Formerly The Tom Locke Harvester, The Vineyard in Peterborough reopened it’s doors to the general public back in April following a £250,000 refurbishment – and boy did it need it. The outdated decor and cheap food made the venue less desirable for those who wanted to wine and dine in style.
Now though, the spacious setting is fitted with glass and steel, soft lighting and modern decor. The restaurant and wine bar certainly look the part. Conveniently located near the city centre on Lincoln Road, it now seats around 70 people and serves a mixture of traditional English dishes as well as some continental/exotic alternatives. The wine bar boasts a wide selection of wine from the cheap to the very pricey.
Visiting on Father’s Day, as I did, I wasn’t expecting great things – during these busy periods staff are often under pressure and the quality of both the service and the food can suffer. Upon entering the restaurant though, I was greeted by a cheerful and happy waitress who was only to keen to take us to our reserved table and fetch us drinks. The same waitress screwed up one of the drinks and didn’t really know what to do. Fortunately we worked it out – but others may not have been so understanding.
Upon ordering our food, we were in for quite a wait for the starters to arrive and an even longer one for the mains. We were a party of 16 and it was busy but we did note that people who came in after did get their meals quicker. I would have got annoyed had it not been for the relaxing music from the live band which set the atmosphere beautifully and set a rather calming mood.
The food itself was exquisite. I’m a fussy eater but the staff were more than happy to cater for my needs – giving me the half roast chicken with steak cut chips. Whilst perhaps a little pricey, you could tell why – the chicken was well cooked, a decent size and tasted delicious. My relatives who went for either the Lamb Shank, the 8oz Sirloin Steak or the traditional Sunday Roast all found their meals to be above satisfactory.
The desserts range from Creme Brulee, to Rhubarb Cheesecake, Tiramisu to a selection of cheeses. None appealed to my taste buds and at nearly £5 a dessert, it was perhaps a little too pricey to try one. Those relatives who did take up the offer of dessert, found them to be of high quality, which is to be expected given that for the same price elsewhere you could buy yourself a main meal.
Overall I found the modern setting appealing, the staff friendly and the food tasty, albeit a little pricey. I did find that the food and atmosphere didn’t really cater for young children – but then again, it is a wine bar. The difference between The Tom Lock and The Vineyard is astounding and I would most certainly eat there again.
You can check out the full menu, a list of wines and more information about The Vineyard on it’s official website. (http://www.vineyardrestaurant.net/Intro.html). According to the site, if you book now you can receive a complimentary bottle of house wine – well worth it if you ask me.
My rating: 4/5