The Barley Bar & Restaurant, Thorpe Hesley

The Barley, formerly The Travellers Inn near Thorpe Hesley just off junction 35 on the M1, is a pub/bar & restaurant serving value for money, great quality fresh food and is a great stop off for people living/working close-by or travelling past the junction to grab some refreshments and homemade food. The Barley also has a large marquee & beer garden and provides weekly and monthly entertainment as well as having various weekly / seasonal food offers on, one of which was Curry Night on Mondays which we have had the chance to try, please see my full review below.

New Menu Announced March 2023!

I have visited The Barley a couple of occasions now, firstly to experience their curry night, and then a couple of times since to try out some delights from their new menu that was announced in March 2023, offering a wide range of high quality meals from fish, grill, burgers, sandwiches, kebabs and so on. There is something for everyone here and The Barley Head Chef is definitely thinking outside of the usual “pub classics” box with the variety of fish seafood on offer.

Out of choice I don’t eat fish, but it is nice to see something different on a menu which is fresh, cooked well and presented beautifully for diners to enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with a good old lasagne and chilli con carne sometimes (if done well), but in a crowded market, giving diners that something different will hopefully pay off, as it seemed to be doing from how busy the restaurant was whenever I have visited.

If you order small plates and mains, the restaurant should ask if you wish the small plates to be served as a starter or together with your mains. We just let everything come together and just look at how good everything looked, and it tasted amazing as well. Small plates by the way are definitely not small!

So far I have enjoyed;

  • Grilled Scallops (£7.95) – served in shells, with a herb crumb, on a bed of salad leaves with black artisan bread. Ben ordered these but told me that they were delicious and cooked perfectly. I dipped some bread into the sauce/herb crumb and it was mouthwatering!
  • Korean BBQ Pork (£8.25) – served with artisan bread. To say this was a small plate, you get your money’s worth in the portion on this dish. The sticky BBQ pork is very tangy, and the pork literally melts in the mouth and is so tender
  • Lamb Shish Kebab (£16.50) – served with a mixed salad, house salsa, alioli, chips and pita bread. This was divine. The lamb was marinated and cooked to be tender and fall apart (bar the usual bit of fat you get from lamb), with a slight kick to it. Chips are decent too and aplenty, in fact all accompaniments were great and more than enough, the alioli being very garlicky (warning for those on a first date haha!). I thoroughly enjoyed this and ate every last bit.
  • Texan Style Brisket Burger (£12.00) – sliced brisket with melted blue cheese, lettuce tomatoes, house burger sauce, gherkins, in a brioche bun with side salad and chips. This burger was delicious, and for the price I think it’s stunning! The cheese wasn’t over-powering to the delicious brisket, but gave enough flavour to pair with it well. Chips were aplenty again! Another great dish.
  • Barley Burger (£10.00) – beef patty with melted cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, house burger sauce and gherkins in a brioche bun and served with chips and a side salad. The burger was super tasty, and very messy but a good burger always is. This meal is really good value for money.

The Barley also have a dessert offering of freshly in-house made (what does this chef NOT do?) cakes, cheesecakes and they also have brownies available on the bar too. The flavours and variety of cake/cheesecakes will change from time to time, but I tried the Reece’s Chocolate cake which was yummy, indulgent and very moist. My colleagues advised that the Lemon Cheesecake, and Biscoff Cake were also very good.

I really hope that every dish on their menu gets to be enjoyed by someone, and I have to say we were really impressed with the presentation, taste, quality and amount of food. The service here was great too and it’s so nice to see a local venue busy with customers.

Monday Night Curry Night (Not on their Spring menu but watch this space for it’s return!)

During their Autumn/Winter menu offering last year, The Barley offered a Monday Night Curry Night, from 4pm this was £20 for 2 people and amazing value as you get a each received a curry accompanied by rice, naan and poppadoms with dips as well as a bottle of cobra or soft drink. This really was a good offer (hope they do this again in the future) and the choices of curry were; Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Bhuna, Beef Madras or Vegan Curry. The curries were all freshly homemade too which was great to see as I was conscious we would be getting microwaved, bought in curries but they seemed fresh to us. Portion sizes were aplenty as well.

I tried the Lamb Bhuna which was lovely and saucy and the meat was tender – really tasty. Ben chose the Beef Madras which had plenty of meat in and although not the standard madras spiciness he is used to, still had a really sharp kick to it which was perfect. The food was really tasty and we were absolutely stuffed from the amount too. Hope to see the Curry Night come back onto the menu!

We couldn’t fault the service, staff were really friendly and inviting. I would definitely recommend The Barley’s Curry Night and we are hoping to return time and time again for more food from here, maybe their Tuesday Steak Nights or a Sunday Roast!

For more information, check out their Facebook Page here.

I hope that you enjoyed my review and it has inspired you to give this pub a visit. Please check out my other reviews, and my recipes too! If you have any restaurant/pub/café suggestions for me to try, please leave a comment below. If you are a restaurant/food vendor and would like to collaborate with me in any way, please just email me at!

Happy munching!


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