This excellent free house opposite the village green has upped its gastropub game under well-travelled chef James MIddleton-Burn. His wife Penny’s grandparents owned the pub in the Sixties and early Seventies, and today her sister Jo and partner Spike at Clayfield Farm, Barns Green rear the pigs and lambs supplied to the Crown’s kitchens. There is a choice of four dining areas – each with a different feel: in the conservatory, the bar, the restaurant and the snug. The cask ale is well-kept and the food is often outstanding.
Try, say, a Smoked Fish Board starter – eel, halibut, mackerel and salmon with soused onions, beets and pea shoots, seeded sour dough (£7) or a main of S.K.Hutchings chicken breast, butterflied and soaked in Kaffir lime, coriander, black pepper, yoghurt and served with tomato, rocket and red onion salad, fried potatoes (£12) Vegetarians are treated to a warm super food salad with Quinoa, nuts, seeds, beans, sun-blushed tomato, beets apricots, lentils, artichokes, parsley and avocado (£11). To finish go fo the Assiette of puddings for two to share at just £12.50. The pub has accommodation, too.