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From Crisps to Cuisine

When the New Inn at St Owens Cross relaunched in 2020, with new ownership, a complete refurbishment and whole new team, they must have been particularly devastated when the pandemic hit.

But they embraced this chance to get everything on point; refine the menus, polish up the team and reconfigure the layout to navigate any opportunity to be open to their waiting public. So when Team ESL went for Sunday Lunch recently, the New Inn’s fine reputation was already circulating and anticipation was high.

Meet the Team
Now owned by the Green family (who also own Gun Dog Gin and are partners in Two Farmers Crisps), they have achieved their vision of country pub chic. The location is rural, the building picturesquely medieval and everything else is of hand picked quality to enhance your dining experience; the china (a beautifully simple yet stylish piece is selected for each dish), quality comfortable seating to ensure you want to stay, a varied drinks menu where even the soft drinks are a not ‘standard’, and the menu … well.

The Food
We knew the cuisine was going to be excellent, having experienced chef Michael Fowler’s skillful creations for years during his tenures at Forde Abbey in Pudleston, and various other quality regional establishments. Once again he was clearly taking ownership of the sometimes daily changing menu, to take advantage of not just seasonal, local, and foraged produce, but whatever speciality came his way that day that deserved to be on the list.

Ranging from lighter lunch choices, a casual bar menu, to a la carte and tasting menus, The New Inn has something for anyone any time.

The menu on Sunday included starters from ham hock terrine to scallops and of course seasonal asparagus, mains purveyed roasts and all the trimmings but also excellent fish and casual burgers (chargrilled), salads and veggie options. Desserts were delectable, but when we craved something chocolatey and ‘Quelle Horreur!’ couldn’t see anything, our waitress, Danielle, helpfully suggested petit fours, which completely satisfied the craving over a retro Irish coffee.

And this brings us to the service; the garden was packed with families, all dining, all being looked after by a team of knowledgable experienced staff ‘Michael likes us to try all the dishes so that we can explain them to the customers and so we know what’s in them‘ said Danielle. Spot on… and lucky staff.

With luxury rooms for overnight breaks in Herefordshire adding to the mix, we can only imagine what breakfast would be like.

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