Dining Out - page 16

The Colliers Arms, Bewdley

When I was a child there was this one place I really wanted to visit. Monte Carlo, Florida and the Seychelles all had their place, but they held little appeal to the young Insider. No, the place I really wanted to go to was Towyn.

The Vine, West Bromwich

Not for the first time, I found myself going round in circles looking for this week's chosen spot, writes our mystery meal reviewer The Insider.

Chandlers, Lichfield

Sophisticated is one word I would use to describe Chandlers bar and restaurant in Lichfield city centre, writes Laura Blyth.

The Hollybush, Trysull

It could have been a metaphor for the times we live in. Desolate, dishevelled, with its shabby cream paintwork and forbidding grey sheeting screwed over the windows, The Hollybush, stood like a bleak monument to our times.

Casa Italia, Bearwood

A gentleman lit the candle on our table, and as we settled into our chrome-framed, high-backed black chairs, my eyes were drawn to a small sign on the wall. "Life is too short for cheap wine" it declared.

Basils, Kinver

BASIIIILLL! It takes a brave man to call a restaurant Basils. First, there are all the Fawlty Towers connotations, the inevitable jokes about rats in the kitchen or staff being rude to foreigners.

The Cock & Magpies, Smethwick

Eating out . . . I should know better than most, that it can sometimes be a bit of a lottery, writes 'The Insider'.

The Royal Oak, Wolverhampton

  Needless to say, as the recession bites, everybody is looking to cut back on how much they spend on food. The Royal Oak may be the place to go.

The Rag at Rawnsley, Cannock

Is it me, or aren't you sick of those television advertisements telling us that Norwich Union is to change its name to Aviva?

The Bentlands, Codsall

This week, we are having a taste of Mexico, writes our dining reviewer, 'The Insider'. A fortnight ago such a statement would probably have caused mild panic among some.

The Wheatsheaf, Walsall

Credit crunch, economic slump, housing crisis – aren’t you just more than fed up of hearing about it all? writes our man 'The Insider'.

Miller & Carter, Penn

Just where did Miller & Carter get it name from? Our meal reviewer, 'The Insider' mulls over this burning question as he visits a steakhouse in Penn, Wolverhampton.

Cafe Casita Trattoria, Upper Gornal

Who put the pig on the wall to see the band go by? Was it Billy the Boy, Jimmy the Go, Clockweight, Billy on Tho'b, The Pokey Mon or Jacko?

Ridgacre, West Bromwich

Our meal reviewer The Insider follows up a reader's recommendation and finds a most unlikely link with Ol' Blue Eyes . . .

The Swan With Two Necks, Longdon

The Swan With Two Necks does not take its name from unusual bird-breeding activities in the area, but from Good Queen Bess's love of ale.

Woodman Inn, Claverley

Our meal reviewer, 'The Insider', takes the advice of Express & Star readers and finds a gem of a pub in Claverley run by a brother and sister.