“ Address: Holyhead Road / Boningale / Albrighton / WV7 3DA / Tel: 01902 372347 „
Having not been to this pub for a number of years and having read a recent review we went along with an open mind and were very pleasantly surprised. We were greeted by very friendly bar staff and after drinks at the bar we were taken to our table in the restaurant. The menu was to our taste and we were not disappointed with the quality, presentation or the flavour of our food. We were waited on by two very charming and attentive young ladies who were discreet when needed and attentive when required. Both my husband and myself were at a loss to match the review that we had read the the pub we had visited as we found the Horns to be a warm and inviting place with great food, fantastic staff and certainly very good value for money. This is certainly a place that we will be returning to again and again!!
We visited this pub which serves food on Saturday night to celebrate my father in law's birthday. Arriving at 7.30pm we were surprised to note that the restaurant itself (a seperate room from the bar area) was half empty, especially considering it was a bank holiday and around payday for most people.
Anyway, we had booked a table for five and were shown to a large, circular table situated in one of the large bay windows. The room is very old fashioned feeling, dark carpets, lots of wood and traditional feeling furniture. It was very quiet due to the fact not many people were here and we found ourselves talking very quietly as a result.
The food menu, in my opinion, sounded more promising than it actually turned out to be. For starters I had the soup of the day which was a pea, ham and mint, with warm ciabatta, two of our party went for the salmon and dill fishcakes and the other two had the button mushrooms in a port and stilton sauce.
Our starters came quite quickly and I have to say my soup was very nice and tasted freshly made, I could definitely taste the mint in it and it worked as a nice flavour. Unfortunately it seemed I was the only one particularly pleased with my starter, the fishcakes, said both recipients, were a bit bland and nothing special, while my in laws were slightly puzzled as to where the stilton was in the sauce over their mushrooms, it was nice, they said, but not really what they were expecting.
On to mains then and my brother in law and myself both went for a chicken breast roasted with sun dried tomatoes and olives with a garlic butter, my other half had sea bass with meditteranean vegetables, my in laws had the chicken a la creme with linguine and a mixed grill.
Whilst I was the one in five pretty impressed with my starter, it was my father in law's turn to be the one in five impressed with the main. His mixed grill was very nice apparently. My mother in laws chicken a la creme I have to say did not look particularly appetizing when it arrived but she said it tasted 'ok'.
My brother in law and I were a bit mystified about our chicken dish. Firstly I could not find any trace of the promised tomatoes, then I realised that there was a very tiny amount of a very dry tomatoey paste stuffed inside the breast. The chicken itself was very dry and if there was any garlic butter I did not find it.
The weirdest bit, however, was the olives. I was expecting some olives to have been cooked with the chicken but what we got was a scattering of very briny (ie straight from a jar?) green olives which tasted very salty and odd with the chicken. This came with a small scoop of very dry mashed potato and some undercooked vegetables. Underwhelmed is probably the best word for it.
My other half said his sea bass was ok but somewhat overcooked and he also had the very dry mash with his. His vegetables looked and apparently tasted better than ours did however.
So, to desserts and at last we seemed to find something that they do pretty well. My husband and I both went for the belgian waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce and it was very tasty indeed, the other three all had profiteroles with baileys cream and whilst they seemed in dispute about the presence of anything tasting of baileys they all agreed the profiteroles themselves were pretty good.
Prices are pretty standard for pub grub, starters around £4-5, mains from £8-16.50 (for steak) and desserts all £4.25. The wine list has plenty of options and we had a decent bottle of pinot grigio for around £14. Plenty of beer's and soft drinks to choose from also.
I feel I have to say something about the service here which bordered on the strange. All the waitresses seemed very young but were very pleasant, when you could find them. They seemed to always be together, i.e. all of them in the restaurant doing their job or all three completely missing in action for long periods of time.
When we had all finished our mains we sat for no less than 15 minutes with the empty plates in front of us as there were no staff to be seen anywhere. Also, when they did reappear one of the waitresses then dropped dirty cutlery on the floor next to our table and left it there. Despite returning to take dessert orders and bring more drinks the cutlery was still on the floor when we left.
So, pretty mediocre food at best, the odd bits of quality (I liked my starter and dessert but the main was just weird and not very nice) but no consistency and service which could really do with improving.
We came away feeling that we really wished we had chosen somewhere else for a birthday meal, it is a real shame as this place is sort of out of the way and so we had made an effort to get there, in my opinion it was not really worth it.
Plenty of parking is available outside and there is disabled access.