Ladies Who used to Lunch
Penny's Review of the Punchbowl Inn at Bridgnorth
Having been disrupted by the dreaded Covid 19, our forays out to lunch, as with everything else that we normally do, have been scuppered for a while.
The Government scheme to 'Eat Out to Help Out' however, has been very successful in getting the pubs and restaurants back into business.
Unfortunately, as our friend Carol Winterbottom has had to be kept safe with shielding measures, I have had to dine out without her for the time being.
Travelling out to Bridgnorth, I met my sister for another delightful lunch at The Punch Bowl Inn on the Ludlow Road. I have dined there many times over the past few years and they never disappoint.
You will always need to book a table here as it is extremely popular. August was no exception of course, with so many taking advantage of the half price food offer! We could not get a table till after 2 pm. However, precautionary measures were in place and diners were well spaced in order to keep social distancing.
We decided not to sit outside as the sun was beating down and we preferred a cooler place to eat. A nice table for two by the window fitted the bill. After ordering drinks we went over to choose our carvery meal. We always have the carvery, with a choice of beef, turkey, gammon and pork and a plethora of vegetables, all cooked to perfection on their Aga.
The meat was freshly carved onto our plates and then, with disposable gloves on hands, we helped ourselves to the rest! I particularly like the potatoes in garlic sauce and the cauliflower cheese which is always on offer, together with boiled and roast potatoes, carrots, peas, cabbage, parsnips and other seasonal veg, along with the essential Yorkshire pudding, the various accompanying sauces and the tastiest gravy ever! Is your mouth watering yet?
We enjoyed another satisfying meal, unhurried and left alone, we gladly paid the £14 - £7 each including drinks!
The temptation is to go again tomorrow...
If you like a nice ride out to Bridgnorth ... (I always go the scenic route through Sherrifhales and onto Shifnal, then through the lanes to Sutton Maddock and onto Bridgnorth). I would thoroughly recommend The Punch Bowl. In my experience, you will not get a better carvery and it is the standard I always go by when I dine anywhere else.
I just wish it was on my doorstep!
Till next time ..... whenever that may be ....?
A late September and the sun was shining with the last of the summer warmth. 'Eat Out to Help Out' is over and the pubs and restaurants must now go it alone. I met up with a friend who I haven't seen since well before lockdown; as she lives in Cannock, we always meet at the halfway point - The Spread Eagle.
Usually a hive of activity, the effects of Covid 19 were evident. Entering the foyer wearing the dreaded masks it was obvious that there were far less diners now.
We had booked a table as social distancing is enforced, but were pleased to see our usual table was vacant. On such a lovely day it would have been nice to sit outside, but the reduction in staff numbers made it unviable.
The Menu offered all the usual, and some unusual, pub classics - Beef & Ale Pie, Hunter's Chicken, Fish, Scampi, Chicken Tikka Masala, Beef Lasagne, Aubergine Bake, Chicken & Bacon Salad or Spicy Cauliflower Wing Salad all at under £10. Burgers and Grills, with an 8oz Sirloin at just £12.79 and a Kid's Combo Menu for £3.99. Five Starters all under a fiver.
The midweek Carvery is good value. A small plate is offered at £5.49, medium at £6.99 and a large for £8.99. Pigs in blankets are an extra £1.25, but having had them once, wouldn't bother again.
We ordered drinks and opted for the medium plate Carvery.
The drinks were a long time coming, but we didn't mind as we had a lot of catching up to do.
When we went over for our Carvery we were served by a pleasant young man who had apparently had to prepare everything himself. A choice of Turkey, Beef or Gammon were on display, and I must say that they all looked most appealing.
As you were not able to serve yourself, you just had to choose what you wanted and it was all plated up for you. The man before us had opted for a large plate and we could not believe our eyes at the quantity of food they managed to get on his plate. Meat, roasties, vegetables, stuffing and two of the largest Yorkshire puddings imaginable.
Anyway, we were more than happy with our portions. The beef and gammon were lovely and lean, not a trace of fat, and although the vegetable choice was a bit limited we said it was probably the best Carvery we had had there. My friend finished with a Melt in the Middle Chocolate Pudding at £4.19, served with ice cream, absolutely yummy ... I had a coffee.
The Spread Eagle has been running a successful business for as long as I can remember. Time will tell whether it will survive in these difficult times. With Christmas round the corner they would usually be well booked up with diners for the next couple of months. I guess Covid will dictate whether it's a Boom or Bust Christmas. Roll on 2021
Till next time, eat well and stay healthy! Penny Shakespear