City Walls Road, Worcester.
Tel: 01905 613151

FOWNES Hotel is not the first place that springs to mind when it comes to deciding on a restaurant in Worcester.

Slightly hidden off City Walls Road, the former glove factory is more of a wedding venue and business stop-over.

By its own admission, it does not attract enough passing trade and, consequently since Christmas, it has relocated its casual dining area to the cocktail bar.

So, essentially, it’s pub grub served in a hotel. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, just so long as you don’t expect too much.

As it happens, my partner and I were pleasantly surprised with the menu selection, which was reasonably priced, and by the quality of the food.

It has to be said that the decor had seen better days but the staff were friendly and helpful and, with no background music to assault the ears, it was quite relaxing.

The quiet atmosphere, which possibly lends itself more to a lunch venue or business meeting, was also helped by the fact there is only space for a handful of tables, giving it more of an intimate feel.

With a choice of four starters I opted for breaded mushrooms with garlic mayonnaise (£2.25) while my partner went for vegetable pakora with mint yoghurt (£2.50).

My first impression of the mushrooms was the heat as the steam literally rose from the centre when I sliced them open.

The portion was generous, tasty and served with a side salad. The mayonnaise was not too strong.

Unfortunately, the pakora came up short, mainly because my partner was actually served a samosa – and there is a distinct difference.

Although there was nothing wrong with the dish, which was again piping hot, some customers might not have been so tolerant.

My partner stayed with the spicy theme for her main course, deciding to go for chicken curry with rice and popadom (£8.95).

By contrast, I chose home-made beef and Guinness pie with chips and vegetables (£8.25), which is a favourite pub meal of mine.

It didn’t disappoint. Although the pastry was slightly too soft for my liking, the beef was plentiful and tender and the sauce rich.

The curry, I was told, was flavoursome and not too hot, the meat succulent and the rice was fluffy.

However, we were both satisfied with our main courses and still had space left for dessert.

At £3.95 each, my Black Forest gateaux was adequate and my partner’s crème brûlée proved the better choice.

In total, the bill came in at £30, without drinks.


Food: 3
Service: 3
Ambience: 3
Value for money: 3