Newest Review: ... afternoon, I was a little concerned at first as the car park was full, but we did manage to find a couple of spaces and went inside. T... more
The Meadow Inn
The Meadow Inn (Ironbridge, Telford)
Member Name: arnoldhenryrufus
The Meadow Inn (Ironbridge, Telford)
Advantages: It is local to use and the lunches aren't bad
Disadvantages: Poor service and touch and go with quality on the food
Over the years I have eaten at the Meadow Inn on many occasions; it all started with a day out with my husband and he took me there and I enjoyed a ploughman's lunch. We enjoyed our meal so much we tried the evening menu and visited on several occasions with family and friends that came over to visit us, we even celebrated my daughters 18th birthday there five years ago now. Since then I started going there for lunch with my darling mother who passed away October 2008; this became a monthly visit, and even weekly at times after my father passed away four years previously. My mom loved to have a steak, onion and mushroom baguette, with chips and side salad; she used to phone me up and ask if we could go, she never managed to eat it all up, and would take some home for her tea in a doggy bag.
It was during these visits that the Meadow went under a transformation from a rustic feel to a very contemporary design; sadly with this the menu had a face lift too and the prices went up and the portion sized appear to have gone 'designer' and down in size. I actually hadn't been since mom had passed away, but during our time off work when we looked at the local attractions I took my hubby with me for lunch and had a little drink to my moms' memory. Although they don't do the meals the same as before you can now get steak in either fresh brown or crusty white bread, or on an open ciabatta served with chips and side salad; you now only get approx 8 chips but they are cut big and chunky. Although it wasn't the same as before, it was really lovely; hubby on this occasion loved his prawn sandwich which was quite heavily filled with prawns, in a marie rose sauce. Before the prices went up mom and I could get our baguettes for less that £5.00 each, the prices are now around £6.25 per sandwich.
Still impressed by the food though I wanted to come back and try the new evening meal. I had read an article in our local Shropshire Star which raved about how good the food was, so when my sister and her husband came over for a visit, we decided it would be nice to take them there for a meal. It had been a long day for our husbands as my brother-in-law had built us an arbour, which he and my husband had to carry to the top of the garden and put back together again. My sister and I got equally tired after some serious retail therapy so a lovely meal out seemed a great way to relax and say thank you for the work my brother-in-law had done. It became a bit of a special event for me as well as my lovely daughter took a few hours from her studies and joined us for the shopping and the meal.
We arrived at the Inn around 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, I was a little concerned at first as the car park was full, but we did manage to find a couple of spaces and went inside. The car park is very steep and does have room for quite a lot of cars with a couple of disabled parking spaces by the main door, which also has a slope going into the lobby where the toilets are.
On entering the building you have the toilets to your right, which incidentally are very spacious, contemporary in design, clean and fresh looking. On your left are two rooms and the stairs leading to the function room and straight ahead is the bar and further eating areas. On previous occasions we have eaten in the restaurant part to the left of the entrance, which is very cosy, but has more subdued lighting and few windows as well as its own bar. Today we headed for the much lighter and cooler area straight ahead. This is the area I used to use with my mom as she used to like looking out of the patio door towards the gardens and the trees, Ironbridge gorge is very pretty to look at even with the couple of cooling towers from the power station near by.
We found a large rustic looking wooden table against the back wall, where the five of us would fit quite comfortably. The women sat on the bench against the wall and the men sat opposite on high backed very modern leather chairs.
After we had settled ourselves down we paused to take a look at the menu, which like most menus is split into little dishes (starters), main courses, and steak dishes. We didn't go for a little dish, but they had a choice of 9 dishes ranging from £3.95 for the soup of the day with crusty bread to £5.95 for Moules mariniere - which is mussels cooked in white wine, garlic butter and lemon, served with chunky bread.
For the main courses you could choose from the menu or some specials off the black boards dotted around the restaurant. If these are not for you then you can opt for a larger portion on two items from the 'little dishes' menu, the mussels or the barbecue chicken wings with the meadows own dipping sauce; or you could take a look at their sandwich menu. As a family of five we choose 2 dishes from the main menu, 2 form the blackboards and 1 from the sandwich section.
My sister and I both went for the Barnsley Lamb off the blackboard, these worked out at £11.75 each, we choose this as my sister had recently had Barnsley lamb at a restaurant near her so our expectations were quite high. The meal arrived on a large white plate with a large lamb chop sitting on a bed of mashed potato, some diced carrots and diced courgettes on the side, and mint gravy. My sisters first reaction was disappointment as the lamb looked very fatty and it was smaller than the lamb she had eaten on the previous occasion in her home town the week before; the second disappointment was no mint sauce; apart from this the lamb tasted lovely apart from the large amount of fat on it and so did the mash and gravy. The vegetables were slightly al dente which is good; but I'm not a fan of the veg they choose to put with it. Our final disappointment with the meal was the size of it as it wasn't that big and wasn't very filling.
My brother-in-law was very tempted by the steak selection and went for a 'flintstone' rib of beef for £11.50; this is a whole rib of beef which is slow roasted and served with horseradish and mustard mash potato, red wine beef gravy and vegetables. This was a massive piece of meat, it was about one inch thick and very tender, there was so much of it, he gave us all a chunk of it to try, reluctantly I think as he really was enjoying it, his only gripe was the mash as he didn't like it; I did try this myself to get an idea of what it was like and although it was a little spicy from the horseradish and mustard it wasn't over powering.
My hubby decided to play safe and went for the gourmet beef burger (he has problems with his tummy at the moment), this was homemade and served with melted cheese and chunky chips. He tells me that he was a little disappointed in this, saying that the pimento tomato had a stronger taste than the beef and it completely overpowered the flavours; this was one of the cheaper meals on the menu at £7.95.
My daughters' sandwich was the biggest disaster of the day, she ordered a bacon, lettuce and tomato on ciabatta; when this came the bacon had gone past being well done it was actually black, and so burnt in places that the black bits just crumbled away; this sat proud on the top of a bed of lettuce and tomato, even the ciabatta was too burnt to eat, my poor daughter didn't want to complain as it upsets her, so she just ate the chips, her meal was totally inedible if I am to be honest.
When a waitress finally came to our table I did complain about the meal being inedible and they offered us one of our deserts free of charge, but at no time did they say that they would not charge us for the meal my daughter could not eat.
Being girlies and abandoned by our hubbies as they went outside for their cigarettes, we had a dessert each at £4.50 per head. The dessert menu was on a board by the bar and my hubby hat to fetch it as there was no one around to ask. My sister had the cheese cake with cream, I had an upside down pineapple sponge with custard and my daughter went for chocolate fudge cake with strawberry ice-cream. My sister and I both enjoyed ours, even through it was a very small portion, (please note size does matter, especially when it comes to puddings). My daughter was sadly disappointing as the chocolate fudge cake was cold and is usually served hot.
So did we think that the meal and drinks were worth the £72.85 we paid, well to be honest no we didn't, even the service from the staff was a little hap-hazard and not up to the standard I would expect from an establishment such as this; we had high expectations as we had been coming here for years, so we had hoped it would be really good, I feel that this only made our disappointment harder to swallow.
Being the forever optimist that I am, I even talked my hubby around to trying again in the future, but I have changed my mind after discussing this with my work colleagues who have had similar complaints about the service. So if anyone from the Meadow Inn reads this review please, please take note.
The meadow is also a guest house and you can stay overnight, you will find a list of rooms they have as well as pictures on their website www.meadowinn.net. The rooms are located in the Georgian House right next door to the Inn; they advertise that the rooms have flat screen TV's and DVD players with a small library of DVD's to choose from and a machine to make freshly brewed coffee. I can't comment on the rooms as I only live a couple of minutes away so not had a reason to use one.
~~How to get there~~
For your Sat Nav -
Phone - 01952 433193
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
From M54 leave at Junction 4 and head for the A442 towards Madeley and Ironbridge (follow the brown tourist signs for Ironbridge)
As you drive through Ironbridge past the teddy bear factory on your left, go over the mini roundabout and follow the Buildwas Road and the Meadow Inn is about 200yrds on your left.
I am left with mixed feelings about the Meadow Inn as I have enjoyed many lovely lunches here with my mother, but this last occasion where we went to enjoy a family meal was extremely disappointing. I may give it a go one day, but not for a long while as I have other places to visit that offer better quality of food and service. At this time I cannot really recommend this restaurant for an evening out, but I can recommend it for a cream tea or light lunch, the décor is very clean and pleasant to look at, the ambiance is very relaxing with lighting that is really modern and in places a little funky but not intrusive.
Thanks for reading
Summary: It is local to use and the lunches aren't bad, but it is touch and go with the quality of the food.