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Is The Crown a regal experience?
The Crown (Wolverhampton, West Midlands)
Member Name: Anti
The Crown (Wolverhampton, West Midlands)
Advantages: Food of good quality, great service and staff, lovely interior
Disadvantages: Location not central, quite expensive.
Now that I'm at university I hardly ever see or speak to my friends from school, especially as we live across the region of the West Midlands and beyond (and no, I didn't go to a boarding school!) However when a meetup is organized it is generally held at The Crown Pub in my home city of Wolverhampton. Now that I've been there quite a few times I feel I should write a review with my opinions about this pub and restaurant.
The Crown is a pub and "eating house" (i.e. nice-looking restaurant) located on Wergs Road (A41), which isn't a central location but about an 8 minute drive from Wolverhampton city centre. They serve a variety of dishes that sometimes change depending on the season, serving not only traditional English fare such as fish and chips but also pizzas and pastas- foods that suit everyone, really.
There are two sets of menus at the Crown: for lunchtime there is the 'Prix Fixe' menu (available Mon-Fri from 12 noon-7pm), where you can get two courses for £12.50. What dishes are available changes weekly but I've found the choice of meals to be quite limited, so I tend to go for the main menu whatever the time of day. The prices on the main menus vary depending on the dish, but a main course will set you upwards of £8 which I feel is quite expensive as a student though not too surprising given the area where the pub is located.
On the outside The Crown looks like a rather large pub, with traditional brickwork and outside seating. However its interior carries the atmosphere of a restaurant. The bar is located near the entrance but the rest of the building is taken up by chairs and tables. It's very darkly lit with candles lighting up the larger tables. Generally the decor is great because it gives the impression of being a very high-end, classy establishment and is extremely spacious.
The last time I went to the Crown was about a fortnight prior to this write-up. I was part of a party of 12 people who had pre-booked by phone. We went on Sunday evening and the restaurant wasn't too busy despite it coming close to Christmas- there were a lot of people eating but nobody waiting to be seated at the door.
As my sister and I were the last people to get to the pub from our party we didn't need to be led to our seat, but obviously the staff had got our party a large enough table. There was one less seat for my sister but as one edge of our table was a bench she was able to squeeze in and be provided with the necessary cutlery without being too squashed. Furthermore the waiter did offer her a chair before she decided to take the bench seat.
We soon got our orders for drinks taken. As this is a pub there is obviously a range of drinks on offer but I only ordered lemonade, which came with ice and a lemon wedge. They also provided us with two free jugs of water which were refilled on request.
To save money we tend to forego starters and head straight into a main course, but after ordering our waiter gave us all complimentary bread and warmed oil to tide us over, which was very nice. Our waiting time was about 30-40 minutes which isn't bad at all because all 12 dishes came out at the same time. For my main, I chose the Battered Haddock and Chips which also comes with tartare sauce (didn't touch this) and mushy peas, costing £11.95. Overall I enjoyed the meal. The fish was as long as the plate so you definitely got your money's worth. It was tender, tasted fresh and not as if recently warmed up in the microwave whilst the batter, although sagging in the middle wasn't overly greasy but very crispy. The chips were also well-cooked, not soggy or greasy. My sister opted for the Cannelloni Al Forno, a pasta dish that cost £10.45. The portions for this (as many other friends also ordered cannelloni) were quite small compared to everyone else's dishes, but she said it was nicely-presented and very tasty. I found it weird that her portion size was comparatively small- many of us couldn't finish our mains because they were so big!
After mains many of us went for dessert. My sister and I decided to share a warm brownie with vanilla cream and chocolate sauce, which cost £5.75. One friend wanted banoffee pie only to be initially told it wasn't available, but then our waiter went to speak with the head chef and came back saying he managed to get one made for her, which I was thought was nice of them! Anyway, our warm brownie came 5-10 minutes later and it was soft, not too moist and very delicious- a perfect warming treat for the cold evening.
So, as you can see our food and service at the Crown was great. The staff were very attentive, periodically asking us how our meals were going, if we wanted another drink etc, even engaging in some banter! The dishes are a bit pricy for me but there is a wide range available and it matches the quality of the food presented, so the occasional visit for me makes it a worthwhile dining experience.
To find out more visit: http://www.thecrownwergs.co.uk/
Summary: A pricy but enjoyable restaurant in Wolverhampton.