Expect the unexpected when you visit the Ferry Boat at Washingborough for the first time. A trip to the High Street pub is highly recommended and we believe you will be impressed by its combination of vintage village charm and city chic.

Arriving in its spacious car park the Ferry Boat looks like a thriving, well-maintained village pub complete with beautiful hanging baskets, so there is an expectation of a cosy, rustic interior.

But forget the chintz and nooks and crannies you might associate with a pub that dates back to 1625, instead, as you walk in the back entrance, the Ferry Boat has an opulent open space that would not be out of place on a trendy street in York or Leeds. The bar and decoration have a modern feel, despite the traditional style. Indian oak tables, floral patterns and leather all reinforce this impression.

Manager Rosie Webster (no relation!) explained the extension had been built in the 1980s and was completely refurbished before being taken over by the Ever So Sensible Group who also own the Horse and Groom, Royal William IV and The Duke William in Bailgate which benefited from a £350,000 refurbishment in 2015.

After arriving at the spacious bar area and being welcomed by our server, Julia, we were promptly shown to our table, where a drinks order was taken and we were handed the menu for the day.

As tempting as the excellent selection of beers and lagers including Birra Moretti, Guinness Extra Cold, Staropramen, Doom Bar and Harry Sparrow, Aspall Cyder (to name but a few) all were, we opted for a bottle of Neptune Point Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a lovely fruity and aromatic wine, ideally served with chicken or pork, which would compliment our dinner choices to come.

The pub’s menu regularly changes and the management’s ethos is to eat the seasons by producing menus that make the most of produce when it’s at its very best. They always source local produce wherever possible.

I chose salmon and dill fishcake for starters, which was delicious, served with a horseradish crème fraîche and fresh green salad and my dining partner was equally pleased with her choice of classic duck and orange pâté, served with crunchy griddled toast and salad with a balsamic glaze.

Our main courses were just as nice. We both opted for a traditional Sunday lunch. I chose lemon and thyme chicken which comprised of a succulent whole chicken breast cooked on the bone with skin left on. My wife ordered slow roasted pork, which had been sliced into two thick portions and was served with delicious pork crackling.

Both roasts were served with generous portions of roast potatoes, creamy mash, stuffing, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower cheese, cabbage, baby carrots and Yorkshire pudding. Both colourful food mountains were a visual delight and were thankfully served on warm plates with piping hot thick gravy. So often, eateries serve their meals directly on cold plates, which ruins the overall result, but nothing was going to ruin this meal.

Despite the ‘Man versus Food’ sized portions, we both managed to clear our plates but our food babies prevented us from ordering pud which was a shame as there are few classics on the dessert list that were crying out to me including New York cheese cake, sticky toffee pudding and lemon meringue pie… maybe next time.

The Ferry Boat menu provides plenty of choice and a more than average range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. It is supplemented by special Sunday lunches, light bites and themed nights throughout the week, such as an extremely popular Burger Night. This had definitely caught my attention, but so did Pie and Pint Night.

Whatever the reason, we will definitely be heading out to the Ferry Boat again and wish the team continued success.