Elegantly redesigned pub with a fine choice of drinks, rewarding food, courteous staff and seats outside
The good pub guide review
A smart extended dining pub close to Croome (National Trust). The contemporary open-plan areas work well together and the smart dining rooms have high-backed upholstered chairs, long button-back wall seats, a mix of stylish tables, oak and flagstone flooring and décor that takes in an unusual woven hazel hurdle wall, deer antler chandeliers, oil portraits, horse-racing photographs, bookshelves, stubby candles in glass lanterns and old jockey saddles. Stools on flagstones line the counter in the beamed bar, where friendly, attentive staff serve Timothy Taylors and Wye Valley Butty Bach and HPA on handpump, and plenty of wines by the glass (including champagne and sweet wines) from the large glass walk-in wine cellar on display behind the bar; also, extensive cocktails and a large number of gins. Big studded leather armchairs, sofas and pouffes are grouped together and there's a ceiling-high stack of logs beside a welcoming two-way woodburning stove; background music. Outside, the attractive paved courtyard has glass-topped tables, dark wicker chairs and large heated parasols surrounded by bamboo and wild herbs in planters.
The good pub guide food review
Highly enjoyable food, showcasing the best local produce, includes goats cheese bonbons with sun-dried tomato and red pepper chutney, smoked duck salad with burnt coconut, orange, watercress and cashew nuts, porcini mushroom ravioli with wild mushrooms, white truffle cream and parmesan, dill and lemon-marinated salmon with asparagus, leeks and lemon beurre blanc, roast breast of guinea fowl with black truffle gnocchi, baby leeks, chestnut mushrooms and chive cream, rib-eye steak with a choice of sauce and triple-cooked chips, plus gourmet burgers, stone-baked pizzas and sharing platters. Puddings include chocolate and banana strudel with chocolate sauce and banana fudge ice-cream and strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake with strawberry compote; they also offer a two- and three-course set lunch.