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The line between café and restaurant are very blurred, but rather than make this too lengthy a list of places to eat in Oakham, I’ll focus this summary on restaurants where you’d go out for an evening meal, as well as for a lunch-time gossip with a girlfriend. Oakham has a reasonable mix of restaurant styles, but it certainly lacks a ‘fine dining’ option.

Bakers Yard: There’s morning coffee, lunchtime snacks and evening menu including some good tapas served in Bakers Yard, at one time the town’s bakery, hence the name. The tapas bar is the latest element in this cheerful mix, and in the summer, this courtyard feels positively continental. There are even a couple of rooms upstairs, should you stay too late and over-indulge. Church Street 01572 755484

The Barn: Neil (the chef/proprietor)and Karen Hornsby have been running The Barn for a couple of years now and according to those who post on Tripadvisor, it’s Oakham’s number 1 rated restaurant, though I haven’t yet eaten here. Lunchtime seems to be its forte, open every day, but in the evenings only on Thu/Fri/Sat nights. Current Lunch menu of £16.95 for three courses looks hearty fare and good value with starters like warm brie and caramelised onion tartlet, mains such as slow braised beef in red wine with a cheese scone (?) and fresh veg, or Mediterranean vegetable and roasted butternut squash risotto. Puddings look good and the upstairs gossiping area looks fun, especially the stiletto chairs. Burley Road 01572 722255

The George at the Whipper Inn: This is tucked away in the corner of Oakham Market Place, so it has a great location in the heart of the town. The café-style layout and furniture says one thing; the expensive (IMHO) evening menu says something else, so I’d be interested to see what other people say about The George. Market Place 01572 756971

Red India: Has a big fan club in Rutland for its consistently good food and attentive, professional service. This is a BYO restaurant, ie unlicensed so take your own alcohol, or buy soft drinks there. Wide choice, freshly cooked. Always good. 26 Melton Road 01572 724999

San Giorgio: This is a proper Italian restaurant with a pleasingly limited menu, which means freshly-prepared dishes. Antipasti list includes Bocconcini di Pollo and Melanzana all Parmiggiano. While there’s a couple of pizzas on the ‘mains’ list, there’s also Gnocchi alla Sorrentina and Branzino (sea bass) dello Chef. Open from 12-3 and 6 till late six days a week. Closed Sundays except for pre-booked parties. Church Street 01572 759656

Voujon: This is a bit hard to spot at street-level in the corner between Oakham Wines and Furleys, and the restaurant proper is on the first floor with glass walls looking down onto the High Street. The décor is contemporary and the long-established owners seem to have the mix right, tailoring their offers to suit lunch-time and mid-week diners. Now licensed for alcohol. Burley Corner off the High Street 01572 723043

Wildwood Kitchen: This small chain (about a dozen locations when I wrote this) of casual Italian-style restaurants opened here in spring 2014 and has plenty of low-price deals to keep it busy at lunchtimes – it’s open lunch till late 7 days a week, so is bound to have the odd bad review, but feedback is generally good (not tried it yet myself). High Street 01572 869146

 
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