Ladies who lunch – The Worlds End, Mulbarton

I have driven past this pub on and off for 45 years but have never been inside it, so seeing it in last issue’s Village People magazine prompted me to go and check it out.

My companion this time was a dear friend; 88 years of age, a pillar of the community, and a staunch Methodist (this matters – later).

The World’s End was warm and welcoming; a log fire crackled and a cheery lady showed us to a table and provided menus. And what extensive menus they were: we had a choice of light lunches, specials, an OAP selection and a classic menu.

We both decided to go with the latter menu as we were both ready for a good-sized meal. I chose the chicken forestiére, which is a pan-fried chicken breast in a wild mushroom sauce, accompanied by seasonal vegetables. My companion chose the traditional homemade fish pie, which promised chunks of cod, prawns and leeks in a creamy white sauce, topped with cheesy mashed potato and vegetables.

I like to arrive early for lunch and this often means places appear to be sparsely occupied, but it filled up in no time at all.

I ordered a small glass of white wine and my companion had orange juice and, meanwhile, I noticed that a gentleman nearby received his chips served in a (clean) plant pot! I was worried the fish pie might come likewise so I asked if it could be decanted onto the plate for my friend, which they kindly did.

The service was just a tiny bit slow, but our having arrived on the dot of 12 noon probably accounted for that. When the food arrived, I was stunned to see so many vegetables – peas, carrots, mange tout and new potatoes – and lots of them. I can’t abide meals that are all protein and sauce, so five stars for that!

My chicken was deliciously enhanced by the sauce, which was composed of bacon, shallots, mushrooms and all sorts of delicious subtle flavours. The fish pie was stuffed to the gunnels with big chunks of fish, and all the other promised ingredients. Not surprisingly, my friend had to admit defeat by leaving a little of it. Being 88 allows all sorts of license!

Even so, we both found space for pud. I had almost chosen the raspberry roulade but my friend beat me to it, and she finished it off, despite being a good-sized portion. Mine was a vanilla and toffee cheesecake with ice cream (or cream), and what a fabulous treat it was.

Suitably replete (after coffee and mints, of course) we wished them farewell and drove off – WITHOUT PAYING!

Halfway home the cold realisation dawned on me and we returned post-haste; the reputation of my staunch Methodist friend and my reputation as Village People magazine’s restaurant writer intact.

Yes I certainly would go again! In the summer, to sit in the extensive outside area, maybe on Curry night (Wednesday) or Steak night (Thursday) or even the take-out fish and chip night (all week).

Bottom Line:
Wine, and Orange Juice – £5.95
Fish Pie – £11.50
Chicken Forestiere – £11.75
Two puds – £10.50
2 coffees – £4.40
TOTAL £44.10

The Worlds End, Mulbarton
Norwich Road
NR14 8JT
01508 570205