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Three Crowns – 1 Rosette, numerous accreditations, and a shaggy dog!

Three Crowns Ullingswick

Three Crowns Ullingswick

It was a sunny day, a rare break from the wet English Summer, when we took a drive out to The 3 Crowns at Ullingswick Country Pub. A drive from Worcestershire, through the stunningly picturesque Teme Valley, did remind us how lucky we were, to live on the borders of this unspoilt county.  Set in the heart of Herefordshire, nestled between rolling Herefordshire farmland, the 3 Crowns isn’t the easiest of establishments to find, although I have been there once before, rural lanes, and overgrown hedgerows obscure the mind.  On first impressions, this is the sort of place that if you did stubble upon by accident you would probably drive right past. The outside is fairly non – descript and a very friendly Terrier dog running around with children’s toys ( or are they dogs toys?) and a few tables dotted about outside on which to enjoy an al fresco drink or two (if you were in Southern Europe perhaps!). 

The front door is littered with awards and accreditation stickers, from the likes of Hardens Guide, Square Meal, Top Table, Egon Ronay, Michelin 2009, and Gourmet-life Dining Club member guide (always nice to see when you are a card carrier – giving us 20% off our bill!) with internal re-assurance of an AA Rosette place, and an all important warm welcome from an attractive member of staff, and a knowledgeable nod towards the wine list.  However on entering the pub you are transported back in time, stone floors and heavily timbered low ceilings hung with dried hops and real ales on draft. Always a re-assuring sign in such venues is the quality of crockery and cutlery dotted about the place – it is clear from the moment of entry, that this place is focused on food. Though part of the building dates back to the 13th century and there are local tales of past murder and intrigue on the walls which add to the atmosphere, there are also modern touches to the décor with an attractive range of contemporary china dining plates depicted with fish and seafood images. On admiring these, our thoughts automatically turned to food and the menu!

The menu comprises of a good selection of starters, mains and desserts all with set prices so you can decide on whether to just have just a main or opt for all 3 courses.
After much deliberation I decided on a starter of “Little Hereford” Cheddar and Spinach Soufflé and my partner chose the Fish Soup with Croutons and Aioli. Whilst we enjoyed a glass of crisp dry Sauvignon Blanc a basket of warm home baked bread arrived with fresh butter.

After a short wait our starters arrived, my soufflé was presented on a puddle of chive butter sauce and was so light it appeared to be floating on air with a soft melting centre. The cheddar was sharp and contrasted the rich sauce beautifully. My partner’s soup was a rich saffron colour and came with crispy croutons, more of that sharp Hereford cheddar and a very garlicky Aioli to top as you wished. The flavour was intense without being overly fishy and the consistency was smooth.

As we are both seafood lovers we both chose the same main course – Moules Mariniere with home cooked fries. I have enjoyed this dish many a time whilst on holiday in France, and considering we were in rural Herefordshire, miles from the nearest coastline this time did certainly not disappoint! The Mussels were large and plump with that fresh ocean taste complimented by just the right amount of white wine and garlic. The fries were thinly sliced and crisp and perfect for dunking in all those delicious juices and the all important finger bowls with lemon were on standby to clean and freshen up with!

Although there was a decadent choice of desserts on offer, from Chocolate Torte with Mint Orange Ice Cream to Pear and Almond Tart both of us were suitably stuffed so we settled on a healthy peppermint tea instead to help aid our digestion!

This country pub is well worth the drive, especially as it is a particularly scenic one through the winding countryside with views of the Malvern Hills close by. Looks can be deceiving, so venture in and see for yourself why this gem of a place has been awarded  AA Rosettes and is Michelin recommended.  Great wine list

Hosts; Brent & Racheal.
Dog: Very friendly
Style: Relaxed & Welcoming.
Price range. 2 courses + wine & soft drink £40
Awards: Afore-mentioned, plus AA Strawberry Award, Bib Gourmond - read more HERE

How do you rate the Three Crowns? Here
Tel: 01432 820279
Address: Three Crowns Inn
Ullingswick
Herefordshire
HR1 3JQ
Email: info@threecrownsinn.com

Review posted by eat-the-midlands.co.uk blogger S.Ness of Worcestershire. August 2009

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