“ Wenlock Edge / Near Much Wenlock / Shropshire TF13 6DJ / United Kingdom / Tel: 01746 785678 „
I'd got the day off work, and with Dad retired we fancied going out for lunch and a bit of a drive, but to somewhere different rather than to my usual haunts. I did a bit of research online and came up with the Wenlock Edge Inn, over the border in Shropshire and about an hour's drive from home. It had good reviews and Dad had been there before, many, many years ago. Wenlock Edge Inn sits atop the Wenlock Edge (funnily enough!), a limestone escarpment with beautiful views, near the small, picturesque town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire. It's a traditional Shropshire pub providing good food, drink and accommodation. The pub can be found on the B4371 road between Church Stretton and Much Wenlock. Set in the countryside, there is very little near the pub, so you'll find it easy to spot. The pub has it's own car park situated across the road and there's plenty of space so you shouldn't have any trouble parking. Wenlock Edge Inn is open daily from 11am, however when we arrived at midday on a Friday they'd only just unlocked the door. However, it was early March so there wasn't a great rush of people waiting to get in. In fact, we were the only people there. There are a couple of doors in to the front of the pub - the one on the left leads into the bar, while the one on the right leads to the dining room and toilets. There is some seating/tables available outside, but this was March and a little on the cold side for sitting outside, however it would be recommended on a Summers day or evening. Inside, the bar is quite small, yet they've managed to fit so many different drinks behind the bar! They seem to have everything from real ales and Belgian beers to popular lagers and a variety of ciders, there's also a range of wines (by the bottle and the glass), spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. Think of a drink and they've probably got it. Dad decided on a real ale, while I went with a J2O as I was the one driving. The barmaid served us our drinks and chatted with us for a bit while getting on with some work. I'm guessing the barmaid was a bit of a Bon Jovi fan because Bon Jovi songs played quietly in the background (she has good taste!) for a while before other music played. Dad had remembered the pub as being slightly different, but the barmaid informed us that the pub has been restored in Spring 2008, so that might have something to do with it. The pub certainly looks traditional Armed with a menu, we went through to the dining room and sat at one of the tables. I decided on the beer battered haddock, minted mushy peas & chips (£10.95), while Dad was torn between the Castlemoor farm faggots served with mash & red wine gravy (£7.95) and the steak & Guiness pie, red wine gravy & chips (£10.05). In the end, he decided on the pie. The barmaid informed me they hadn't got the minted mushy peas and would garden peas be fine (which they were). Other items on the menu included light bites & starters such as wild mushroom & smoked garlic risotto (£4.75), and Arbroath smokie fishcake with homemade tartare sauce. Other main courses included classic spaghetti carbonara with smoked bacon & garden peas (£9.95) and roasted vegetable Thai red curry with chips (£9.95), among others. A range of baguettes and sides were also available. The pub makes use of local and regional produce (which is always a good sign of decent pub food). I believe the menu changes regularly as there is a sample winter menu on their website which includes even more delicious sounding meals. They also have a Sunday lunch menu and the barmaid kindly gave us one from the previous Sunday - 1 course is £9.95, 2 courses £13.25 and 3 courses £15.95. Wenlock Edge Inn also cater for special dietry needs (which is good to know!). They also do an offer which is "2 dine for £24.99 including a FREE bottle of wine" - though you may need a taxi if you take them on for that offer! The food is cooked to order, so while we waited Dad picked up a newspaper from the sideboard to read, while I browsed the leaflets they'd got advertising local attractions etc. However, we didn't have to wait too long for our food. The one thing that struck me when our food arrived was the home-made, hand-cut fat chips. They were somewhere between a chip and a roast potato, and they were delicious! Dad's gravy arrived in a little jug, ready to be poured over his steak & Guinness pie... this is handy because different people like different amounts of gravy (Dad likes just a little dribble of gravy, where as I usually have my meal swimming in it!). My beer battered haddock was delicious. The batter was lovely and crispy, but not overly so, it was just right. It also came with a small bowl of homemade tartare sauce, again this was lovely. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals. Before we'd finished we were already discussing taking one or two family friends there for a meal sometime! The barmaid made sure we'd enjoyed our meals and offered us a choice of desserts, but we were both suitably satisfied. We asked her to give our compliments to the chef before we left. Wenlock Edge Inn also provide bed & breakfast accommodation and, although I've not had need to try it, they have great reviews and the rooms look comfortable from the photos on the website. the accommodation is available from £50 per night. Wenlock Edge is a popular walking area in Shropshire, with the Long Mynd and Cardingmill Valley just the other side of Church Stretton. The market towns of Much Wenlock, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton and Ludlow are short distances away, as are attractions such as Ironbridge, the Severn Valley Railway and Stokesay Castle. Thankfully, all this is just an hour's drive from where I live. Also, Gourmetlife.co.uk members get 20% of dining here. Dad & I certainly enjoyed our meals at the Wenlock Edge Inn and the service was faultless with the barmaid being friendly and attentive but not overly so. I found the prices to be average for this area and the food was top-notch. While the pub has been quite quiet while we were there (between midday and 1pm or so on a Friday in March 2010), we'd headed to Much Wenlock afterwards and on our way back we'd noticed the car park was a lot busier later on. We'll certainly be visiting again!