Refurbished in recent years, The Cross Keys is a cosy country pub/restaurant, owned and ran by the Licciardi family and located in Wood End, Kempston just outside Bedford. They also have a beautiful events, catering and functions venue, Tre Fratelli.
The Licciardi family have over 30 years catering experience, Nick Licciardi is head chef so you can be confident the food is top quality. Simone Licciardi is in charge of front of house, making sure everything's running smoothly, everyone is happy and he will have you laughing within 5 minutes.
Fresh lobster night is held at The Cross Keys Country Pub & Kitchen on the first Wednesday of every month. It's under £30 for a glass of prosecco, starter and whole lobster. The Lobster is sourced from Billingsgate, London the same morning, ensuring it is as fresh as it can be so I was really excited when I was invited to come and try it!
As soon as I arrived I was greeted, seated and brought a glass of prosecco. Christmas music was playing in the background and candles were burning which created a festive, cosy atmosphere.
The starter was brought over within no time at all, it looked delicious, and it was! Crushed minted peas, mixed fishcake made with fresh mussels, crab and lobster with a watercress and pomegranate salad. The taste of the crushed minted peas complimented the taste of the seafood really well and the pomegranate seeds gave a fruity pop to the dish which was refreshing.
I was excited when my main arrived as it looked absolutely amazing and I'm a huge fan of lobster, there aren't many restaurants in Bedfordshire that serve it so it was a treat! The lobster was a good size, vibrantly red and I couldn’t wait to crack into one. It was meaty, perfectly cooked and tasted sweet and fresh. The rich, creamy butter sauce is made with the lobster roe and I cannot express how good it is, I definitely recommend giving it a try! The chips were crunchy and beans cooked al dente which made me happy as there is nothing worse than soggy vegetables, served with olive oil, red onion and red peppers gave them a pleasant, fragrant, Mediterranean taste.
After the incredible lobster main I didn't think it could get much better then I was brought out a peach panna cotta which was a lovely end to the meal, creamy and sweet.
They have such an extensive range of Gin they have a 'Gindex' and host Bedford Gin Fest each summer. I tried the Malfy Blood Orange Infused Gin which had a sharp, refreshing citrus taste and was a perfect after dessert drink.
Thank you to all at The Cross Keys, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and will be back soon to try a few other dishes from the menu.