Wednesday, 1st October 2014

Lea Cross Tavern, Lea Cross

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The old-fashioned black and white inn sits on a bend on the main road between Hanwood and Pontesbury and is full of character.

There is ample parking and a pleasant rear entrance through the garden, an important feature for those with safety in mind such as the elderly or parents of small children.

We chose a table in the conservatory dining area, a bright and spacious room with an interesting courtyard garden to one side.

The pub serves food every day and has an extensive selection of lunch menus. As we were visiting during the daytime, these were presented for our perusal. After ordering a round of drinks, we set about choosing our meals.

I decided to try the two-course lunch special, priced £5.95, which lists five main courses and four desserts. The chef’s homemade chicken and mushroom pie caught my eye and I asked for it to be served with chips and seasonal vegetables. It sounded like great comfort food for a chilly winter day and arrived piping hot.

However, I was surprised to find the ‘pie’ consisted of the filling in a dish with a large piece of puff pastry on top and I felt a little cheated. But the serving was plentiful, the meat was succulent, there were plenty of mushrooms and the sauce surrounding it all was delicious. The puff pastry lid was also cooked just right. The chips were tasty and there were just enough, but I could have eaten a few more vegetables.

Meanwhile, my husband Antony had begun his 11oz rib-eye steak, cooked medium to well done, which he had selected from the special steak menu. It came with onion rings, a jacket potato and a portion of dressed salad. These, Antony said, were perfectly enjoyable but he had reason to complain about his steak and actually sent it back to the kitchen. To their credit, the staff were fully apologetic and offered to replace his meal immediately. 

But by that time I had already finished my meal and Antony did not want to chance a second disappointment. We settled for a refund and went straight for the pudding instead – both ordering apple pie, one with ice cream and one with custard.

This, we both agreed, was delicious. The filling was quite tangy while the pastry was just sweet enough to set it off, and we contemplated ordering seconds – not just because Antony was still hungry!

Although the pub was very quiet on the Friday lunchtime we visited, a variety of events was advertised for the locals, such a race night and a special Mother’s Day menu.

For more details contact the Lea Cross Tavern on 01743 860382.