We love Birmingham, but there are times when we want to escape the city and go for something all together more country. You know the vibe, crackling log fire, rolling views featuring sheep or similar livestock, delicious wholesome grub and a well-stocked bar.
The Chequers at Crowle is all of that and a bit more. It would probably be insulting to call it a country pub as it’s pretty swish and the food is definitely above grub level, but it’s got the warm cosy vibe we were after.
A well-stocked bar was a given – these guys know what they’re doing. A super wine list, lots of gin and some cracking beer made it a bit of a crowd-pleaser. The menu had seen some changes since the last time we fancied a dose of country air, but the old favourites were still winking away – like smoked haddock fishcakes and top notch bangers and mash.
A starter of crab and lime tagliatelle from the specials menu could have done with being halved, however it hit the spot with its zingy freshness and perfect pasta. The friend went classic and ploughed into a really delicious chicken liver parfait served with a brilliant chutney, sharp cornichons and fantastic bread. No complaints.
The friend stuck with the classics and tucked into an Aubrey Allen rump steak, cooked perfectly, served with a generous helping of moreish garlic and crayfish butter. (There’s a choice of flavoured butter and sauces if crayfish isn’t your thing.) Chips were old school fat fellas with plenty of crunch on the outside and a fluffy middle. A classic’s a classic for a reason.
A flavour-packed herby ballotine of guinea fowl came served with a buttery fondant potato, spinach and a sweet piperade which we enjoyed hugely. Then came another classic in the form of an apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream. Crisp pastry, sticky sweet soft apples and perfect vanilla ice cream. Beautiful. The only thing missing was a bed. If they had rooms we’d have stayed all night.