Life has never been busier. You know what it’s like, just catching up with all those things you never get round to doing. I guess its called a New Year clearout. Besides that I’ve had a fantastic ‘Foodie Lads Day Out in London’ (blog to follow).
The Jockey Inn
I wanted here though to tell you about a recent ‘gastro pub’ discovery. I really don’t like that title as it gives the opportunity to many establishments to overstate their identity and to me it’s meaningless.
The Jockey Inn is not a new place. I’ve had so many friend recommendations but haven’t gotten round to visiting until last week. It has been closed down for 3 years and reopened during last year. It’s a bit of a schlep to get to from Broadway, on the Pershore to Upton on Severn road in a village called Baughton. The village, from what I’ve seen of it, isn’t a place on the tourist map but the local populus must, surely, be happy to have this great new dining venue in their midst.
The minute you park up, its obvious that a considerable amount of thought has gone into its design. Stepping inside gives you a real feeling of comfort with a very special eye for design.
There are lots of different aspects to the design from the slightly passé rustic, natural look to an element of sophistication. In essence, it’s been designed well. The Inn is made up of lots of different rooms, some of which are additional restaurant areas and some form comfy ‘pub’ areas. I was quite surprised at its vast space.
Personally, this was a very special little lunch for me, my wife and son, Ed. Son is a student at The University of Texas in Austin, and sadly, this was our last lunch together before he returns to his Texan lifestyle of barbeques. Austin is recognised as a key food city and is renowned for its food trucks and barbeque restaurants, as well as a venue for the music and tech festival, South By Southwest. Hopefully yo’all will be getting a post or two from Texas later this year.
Ok, now back to The Jockey Inn. It was relatively quiet, but then it was the first week of January.
We were seated in the main restaurant area, served promptly with drinks and water.
Apparently it has a bit of a reputation for its cocktails which, sadly, we had to miss out on.
We were only having a main course in the restaurant (there is a bar menu as well) and it was slightly off putting to see the classic excuse sign something like ‘all our food is cooked fresh to order and may take a little while’. Why is that necessary? Especially as our food was served reasonably promptly.
Food was good. In fact, it was very, very good and hard to find to fault with any of it. Ed had the classic British Fish and Chips, the wife had a Jockey Burger and I had a dreamy dish of linguine with white truffle oil and wild mushrooms. Mrs H had sweet potato fries with her burger which were a truly over indulgent bliss.
After we had finished, there was a slight lapse in service. It was noticeable because apart from a member of staff behind the bar, there was a considerable time lapse with no visible service staff whatsoever. Just a minor point.
We left, overall, very happy and content. Atmosphere is an important aspect to me and I would definitely return here in the evening, hopefully, to experience a little more conviviality.
Well worth a visit
Pershore Road, Baughton, Earls Croome, Worcestershire, WR8 9DQ
Tel: 01684 592 153
I was finally persuaded to pay a visit to Gloucester Services on the M5. Unless you are looking for a rest break on a long journey, you might well think it’s utter madness visiting a service station – but this place is really a bit special. I understand its very similar both south and northbound.
The buildings have been superbly integrated within the landscape. Internally, its a vast space which consists of a superb farmshop, selling clothes, pottery, dinnerware, kitchen gadgets. There is a patisserie, fresh meat counter, fresh fish counter, bakery selling locally made bread, a delicatessen and lots of lovely fresh fruit and vegetables and jars and bottles of locally sourced jams etc. Its all very reasonably priced and in a stunning setting.
We didn’t have time to eat but there are two self service dining areas, one which is more for fast food to go and the other one substantial and relaxed with a beautiful view of a lake and not a road in sight. Food selection was interesting and up to date with items such as filled flatbreads, pulled pork or lamb rolls and frittata. They have a kiddies play area and private dining booths.
It really is very special indeed.M5
(between junc. 12 & 11a)
- 01452 813254
Wayside Farm Shop
We are somewhat sad to see Elspeth Robertson move on from The Wayside Farmshop, although we understand she will be giving some direction for the next few months and we look forward to seeing her around. She has achieved great things at the farm shop but now its been taken over by another family member. Tom Cumberland and his wife Becky took over the running last week. Tom is a local chap and has a sense of development for the business. He is starting a Sunday roast lunch immediately, has plans for a smoker for home produced smoked meat and fish, a pizza oven and lots of home produced food. Tom is already known known as Tom Sausage for his Chilli Sausages which are delish.
Great to see the lovely Sadie with samples of her prizewinning pork pies and scotch eggs from The Outdoor Pig Company.