Friday, 22 July 2016

THE CROWN INN - Old Christchurch Road, New Forest

This pub had been recommended to me some time ago, and finally I had the chance to try it out whilst visiting with family.

The Crown is everything you'd expect from a traditional New Forest country pub. The wood floor, oak beams and general ambiance certainly leans more towards the rustic than the contemporary. As you'd expect with a country pub, there is also a garden out the back to play host to those long Summer pub lunches.

There were six of us in total, one being very small and still learning to talk. That being the case, she had no say in what she would be eating. Luckily for her, the friendly staff approached immediately upon seeing a small child and explained that they offer a special little, chopped up roast dinner for small people. This may also be open to those of you with no teeth. The menu read as though written by a pub that knows there food, but being a Sunday, I could look no further than a roast chicken dinner, taking care to check that this would still include a Yorkshire pudding. Other options taken up on the table were Pork belly with apple mash, and steak and kidney pudding.

The small chopped up roast arrived almost immediately, the rest took a little longer, but certainly not too long. Besides, we had some garlic bread to munch on while we waited. When the food did come out, it looked pretty good. One of the most remarkable things was our vegetables. Each of us hadd a vegetable pastle, the outer surface of cabbage leaves enveloping the other vegetables within, ingenious and tasty. If I'm being super critical though, and I suppose that is my job, I longed for roast parsnips, mashed Swede, red cabbage and dare I say cauliflower cheese. Having said that, the food was all very good. The potatoes were crisp and tasty and the Yorkshire pudding was fresh, as in not frozen or cooked several hours in advance. I think the highlight of the meals was the pork belly. The apple mash is a stroke of genius, unless you don't like apples, and the crackling was truly explosive, every chew sending shockwaves across the pub.

This is a lovely pub, with friendly and helpful staff. It's certainly worth a visit, especially if you're looking for a child friendly pub. The food is also very good, so if you find yourself in Everton (New Forest, not Liverpool), why not pop in and give it a go?

Atmosphere          8
Service                 9
Food                    9
Value                   7
Verdict                 5*


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