Brum and Beyond has pretty much focused solely on food and fun times in Brum, so we thought it was about time we ventured further afield. Our choice? The Crown Inn, who invited us to a cosy, indulgent lunch in front of an open fire. It was always going to be pretty special.
Based in Worcestershire, The Crown Inn has been refurbished, re-branded and has recruited new Head Chef, Chris Monk who formerly worked at the two-Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham.
Cosy and comfortable, The Crown Inn is one of those rare havens you can easily lose track of time in, which is exactly what happens. Busy, yet relaxed, friendly and oh so cute, think nooks and crannies to cosy up in, old wooden floors, wooden beams, exposed brickwork, open fires and a splash of colour and copper, alongside quirky quotes throughout. ‘Age and glasses of wine should never be counted’ being a quote everyone should live their life by. Because, why wouldn’t you? I’m a big fan of this aesthetic.
In the garden, there is a beautiful tipi that holds a number of events from cookery and bakery to wine tasting. Remind me to book onto one of these. When it comes to the food, there is SO much choice; a set lunch and early evening menu (£10.95-£14.95, dependent on number of courses), a main menu and a vegetarian one, as well as daily specials, boasting seasonal surprises. We opt for a combination of dishes across the set and main menu because everything sounds so good that we struggle to streamline our decisions. I would recommend you do the same.
We start with warm, bite-sized, Rosemary & Sea Salt Focaccia Bread, fluffy and soft, it sets the tone of things to come.
Next, a beautifully presented, well seasoned Crispy Breaded Lamb Shoulder, encased in a crispy croquette that comes packed with flavour, alongside a salsa verde & red currant vinaigrette that adds a lovely freshness with the tomatoes and feta. This is a delicious starter, that’s light, fresh and leaves room for more.
Scorched Orkney Scallops are new to the menu and I imagine they’ll stay as they arrive perfectly cooked, not too much, not too little. Seasoned in a delicate sauce, they melt in the mouth. It’s the first time I’ve tried scallops and I’m still wondering why.
On to the mains and we’re told that the Cured & Roasted Fillet of Old Spot Pork is a popular dish and you can see why. It’s a generous portion of tender and well seasoned pork alongside creamy, slightly textured celeriac mash which is a nice alternative to potatoes.
We also order, 6oz Beef Fillet that comes tender, juicy and slightly pink, just as I like it, with a generous portion of chargrilled lettuce, pickled wild mushrooms, tomatoes and a portion of chips. My ideal combination all on one plate, ticks all the boxes for me.
We’re surprised with a pre dessert Pot de crème of intense chocolate and orange that is seriously luxe and dreamy.
We opt to share a dessert but are encouraged to have one each by the lovely Elliott, so we take his advice and indulge. We’re glad we do.
The Soufflé. Wow. Light and airy, it stands tall, alongside a divine salted vanilla ice cream that disappears as fast as it arrives.
The Crème Brulee has that perfect caramel crack as we dive in to scoop up the rich, creamy filling. The shortbread on the side is a nice touch but I wouldn’t miss it if it wasn’t there, I’m far to happy with the brulee.
As we start to leave, we’re presented with a slate of delicious petits fours including lemon and white chocolate and the very lovely, humble (and handsome, according to my mum) Chris Monk who tells us a bit about The Crown Inn which is a lovely end to lunch.
The Crown Inn leaves me feeling happy that I’ve found such a hidden gem that is knocking out big portions and big flavours with a few surprises thrown in. The friendliness and attentiveness is what will make me return as we’re made to feel at home and comfortable, the cosy vibe definitely helps. This isn’t your standard country pub- the quality and quantity in tastes and portions, elevates it beyond that. I’ll definitely be returning for more- the events have my name on them.
If you’re looking for a change from eating in Brum and want to go further afield, then cancel your uber to Brum town and redirect it here, it’s definitely worth the trip.