THE CROWN INN
Tel: 01905 640408
EVEN though the Crown Inn is a five-minute drive from the office, it is not somewhere I have stopped for a bite to eat or even a drink, preferring to head into the city centre.
So I was looking forward to my first trip on a blustery Saturday “spring” evening with a couple of friends.
Nestled near the river Severn, the Crown Inn certainly seemed a popular choice as the car park was packed.
As we entered, we were greeted by a traditional English pub scene, low ceilings and exposed beams (mind your head) with lots of intimate nooks and crannies.
Our friendly waitress showed us to our seats which were situated quite near the bar but affording us the opportunity for quiet conversation without interference.
It was cosy enough with its gilt framed mirrors and candles on the tables. There was a convivial atmosphere with lots of chatter – families, groups of friends and couples all enjoying a Saturday night’s dining.
The menu looked a cut above standard pub grub with more of a gastro feel.
For starters, I opted for the smoked haddock and spring onion fishcake, accompanied by salad (£5.50). It was both crunchy, tender and tasty. However, I did covet my friends’ antipasti starter for two (£10.95) which had cured meats, buffalo mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, mixed olives and ciabatta bread, served on two elongated wooden platters.
I had to sample the artichokes and tomatoes and they tasted great, with not too much of a kick. My friends confirmed it was a pleasant enough appetiser.
For mains, I opted for shoulder of lamb in lemon and rosemary sauce with house greens and mashed potato (£12.95). I was impressed. It was well presented, as were all the mains, and the lamb was tender to taste, melding well with the sauce and creamy mash. Greens were crisp and fresh.
One of my friends opted for fish pie from the specials board (£7.95).
The pie came in a crock bowl and was a delicious mix of haddock, prawn, mussels and other fish with potato embedded within a rich cheese sauce.
She declared it tasty and filling without being too heavy.
Her husband opted for steak and real ale pie with mashed potato and peas (£9.95).
This came as a “proper pie” to quote my friend, encased in satisfying pastry, not a puff pastry lid.
He said it was full of meat chunks in a thick gravy sauce and very satisfying. The seasoned mash was good and the peas were zingy.
If they were spring peas, they were well and truly ‘sprung’.
We had just about enough room for dessert.
The pie-man opted out but the other friend chose cheesecake – a generous slab nicely presented with a dollop of fluffy and light melt-in-your-mouth cream.
My chocolate fudge brownie with vanilla ice cream (£4.95) was again substantial, well presented with drizzled sauce and very filling.
All in all, it was a good night out – good food, friendly service and not too pricey.
The only slight let-down on the night was the men’s toilets could have benefitted from a more regular inspection. Other than that, it was a very pleasant dining experience all round.
HOW IT RATED
Value for Money 3