“ Address: Hindford / Whittington / Oswestry / Shropshire SY11 4NL / Tel: 01691 679861 „
Recently it was my sister's birthday. My sister decided that she would like to celebrate her birthday by going for a family meal. My sister does eat out quite a bit and so knows 'all the best places to go'. This time, she wanted to go to a 'good place' that she had been to before. Although my sister had been, my parents, auntie and uncle and I hadn't been there before, and so we decided that we would go there.
The Jack Mytton Inn is situated in a quiet hamlet in Shropshire called 'Hindford' which is a couple of minutes away from Whittington (not far from the town of Oswestry). The Inn is now what was once an old Victorian farmhouse and is located right by the Llangollen Canal.
~* History *~
Despite being a pub, I feel that I have to mention something about the history of this little inn as I think that it is a very interesting one. According to the information on their website, the inn is named after a man called Jack Mytton who lived between the years of 1796 and 1838. The old farmhouse (which is now the inn) was his home). Jack Mytton was quite famous in the area and was nicknamed 'Mad Jack'. He was indeed mad! Some of the things that he did or tried to do were a bit crazy. According to history, he had 2000 dogs (!!! I know, I couldn't believe that either!) and 60 cats. He was a bit of a daredevil: He rode a bear through his dining room (!!), set fire to his shirt to try and cure his hiccups and tried to go over a field gate with his horse and cart! He also drank up to six bottles of port a day! And so it is this inn that used to be his home.
We didn't know exactly where the pub was (we were going a different time and in a different car to my siste who had been before - so we didn't know where we were going), and so followed the instructions which were on the website. The place is quite out of the way as you have to go down a country lane to find it. Luckily, it is quite a 'wide' country lane, and so you can easily pass other cars, although having said that we didn't meet many cars.
We spotted a sign which said 'Jack Mytton' on the side of the road, and there was a junction ( I say junction...it was more like an entrance)shortly after. However, when we got to the place, we thought 'this looks like someone's house', although the big wooden bear sculptures outside assured us that we had got the right place.
There was a medium sized car park with plenty of place to park which was good as there is nothing worse than been unable to find a parking space or having to 'squeeze' in somewhere.
Upon arrival, we opened the door and were greeted by a very cosy looking entrance. It was really welcoming. It felt as though we had gone to someone's home; it was that welcoming. The lights were low and it just looked so cosy. Sitting in this small part of the inn, I couldn't help think of the man living in this house; with his 2000 dogs and 60 cats......riding a bear through his living room (as you do!). It certainly made me think!
We weren't sure whether to stand by the entrance and wait for someone to acknowledge us, or to sit at a table. There is a small bar area although this was quite full. We weren't waiting long when a waitress came over and told us to take a seat on the sofas which were around the corner. She gave us some menus to study while we waited for the rest of our party to arrive.
The little area where we sat down on the sofas was exactly like someone's living room; it had a flat screen television, and ornaments; it just felt really homely.
~* Menus *~
We had a look at the menus: I had already done my researched and had had a 'sneaky peak' as to what the food would be like, by looking at their menu on their website, and so I had a fairly good idea what I was going to
have. Being a vegetarian I was glad to see that there were a few vegetarian options and not just the one that you usually get in restaurants.
Such dishes on the menu included:
~* Starters *~
Smoked chicken salad with croutons & a herb scented dressing
Seafood timbale wrapped in smoked salmon with a lemon & dill mayo
Mozzarella salad with tomato, roasted pepper & olives
Field mushroom topped with a Shropshire blue rarebit
~* Mains *~
Whole seabass stuffed with a salmon & prawn mousse
Monkfish & king prawn kebabs with a ginger, chilli & honey dressing
Goats cheese,red onion & asparagus wrapped in filo pastry
Chick pea & vegetable pasta with a corriander & pesto sauce
So as you can see from the above; there is something to suit all tastes.
~* Dining Room *~
The dining room was very modern looking, with wooden floors. It looked very clean and tidy; very smart looking. We sat in the inside bit, although there was a conservertory part as well.The restaurant wasn't that particularly busy on the night we went (it was a bank holiday Sunday evening too!), and so we were made to feel right at home.
~* The Bar *~
Halfway through our meal, we heard some music; live music consisting of fiddles and other kinds of instruments. Once we had finished our meal, we went through to the bar (which was full of people...although it is quite small) and saw that there was a band playing live music which I thought was very nice and added some entertainment. Apparently, they are a local band who regularly play at the inn. What I liked about this live music was it was all natural and so old fashioned. By natural, I mean that there wasn't any microphones or speakers or electric guitars; just great old fashioned music.
~* The Food *~
First of all, lets begin my saying that I am a very fussy eater....and vegetarian. I love pasta and anything cheesy...although only some cheeses (I love cheddar, Mozzarella and smoked cheese, don't mind some goats cheese, and hate blue cheese and brie). I decided to have a goats cheese tartlet for starters, which was a large tart and was served with a large rocket salad. This was great; I loved how the slightly sour cheese was complimented by the bitter taste of the rocket salad leaves.
Now I have a large appetite; I am the kind of person who will pick at chocolate after having a large meal. However, I was really full after the starter.
When my starter of vegetable lasagne arrived; it looked so appetising, and was a massive portion! I really enjoyed this and loved the different tastes and textures of the vegetables in this lasagne. However, I could not finish it as I was so full.
Despite being absolutely stuffed, I still had to have the desert (you can't not have desert no matter how full you are!!) For desert, I had a large portion of sticky toffee pudding (my favourite). I loved it; it was perfectly cooked; soft and squigy and the toffee sauce smothering it was the best toffee sauce I have ever tasted! So big compliments to the chef from me.
Whilst I really enjoyed my meal, other members of the party had mixed reviews. Firstly my dad will eat anything and isn't fussy at all. Usually when we hate the taste of something, he will think it's 'nice', so I was suprised when he said that the food was 'ok - but have had better'. He said that the soup didn't have much taste (which I thought was odd for him.). My mum had profiteroles for pudding; she was expecting lots of chocolate and lovely fluffy cream inside. Although when they arrived (I thought that they looked a bit...unappetising), they looked like 'homemade buns you get from the bakery...you know the ones which look kinda burnt on the top and are really hard? Well they looked like those, with a light brown sauce scattered over the top of them. I didn't try them as I didn't like the look of them, although those who did try them said that they were horrible. Although, everyone else enjoyed their bananna splits, cheese cakes and ice cream, so it wasn't all bad! :)
When I go to a restaurant I hate slating the food, because as I work in a restaurant myself, I know how much time and effort and stress goes in to preparing meals. Although I felt that I should mention the bad experience above to compare against my 'good experience' so that it shows that this place does do good food! :)
~* The Staff *~
The staff were brilliant. Having worked at a top restaurant for over five years, I know good service when I see it, and the service we had here was great. Although we dealt with around four members of staff in total, we mainly dealt with two waitresses. They were lovely; very friendly and professional and you could tell that they cared about us; they would ask us if everything was ok, ask us if we wanted anything else etc and nothing was too much trouble. So a big thank you to the staff! :)
~* Price *~
The total price came to just under £140 for six of us which works out at about £23 each per person which I think is good value for money. The portions were large and I enjoyed all of my three courses and I was so full after! I was really satisfied with the food and so would say that you get fantastic value for money.
~* Extra Information *~
The place is quite classy and there were lots of 'classy' people there. So I would recommend you follow a smart/casual dress code (there isn't a dress code...although I wouldn't want to feel underdressed if I went there!).
Dogs are welcome.
There is also an outdoor bar (although when we went there was no one sitting out there...I don't think it was open either). This would be very nice in the summer.
~* My final thoughts... *~
I really enjoyed my experience at this little inn. I loved the atmosphere: very cosy and welcoming. The staff were brilliant and the food was lovely. I would definetely recommend this place and cannot wait to visit again! It is a fantastic little secret hideaway. Now that I have been in summer, I would like to go in Winter next time to experience the cosyness once again (by the log fire!).
My ideal day out would be going on the canal and then going for a late lunch to this little inn.
Thanks for reading!
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted under xdonzx on ciao)