The Fox Inn, Stourton - food review
I first discovered The Fox Inn on a Bank Holiday Monday, when my friends and I were in search of a good beer garden to take advantage of the sun actually being out.
It turned out to be one of the best Bank Holidays we’ve had. The Fox’s outdoor pizza oven was all fired up; the Thatchers cider kept us all refreshed and there was a band and a DJ, with an amazing chilled out, background music record collection. It was more like a corner of Glastonbury than a beer garden in Stourton. So we have wanted to return to check out the restaurant.
The Fox is situated on the Bridgnorth Road, only a few minutes from the Stewponey site. My wife Emma and I had booked a table for 8pm on a Tuesday night and took my mum along too for a midweek meal.
It’s an eye-catching 18th century building which has been painted white, with stylish grey typography and the Fox logo on the side.
We arrived to a busy car park and, as we opened the main door, we were greeted by a packed bar. As you walk through the arched door, you’re hit by the cosy scent of a wood fire.
A waitress welcomed us and took us to our table in the conservatory, left of the main entrance, where there are seats for around 18 diners. When we arrived, there were two other parties of four, and looked like others eating in the other room. The busy bar, looked to be made up of people enjoying drinks after they had eaten and a handful of locals out for a few jars. It has the feel of a local pub, with people chatting and laughing. However, where we were seated was more out of the way and quiet.
The walls are painted in heritage dark green, with a display of vintage mirrors on one wall, and nick-nacks such as old codd-neck bottles and a retro soda siphon dotted about. There is another room, which looks more restauranty, with around 30 covers, near to where the toilets are. And I’m told they have a function room with a capacity of 150 for weddings and other occasions, plus recently they have opened four luxury ensuite bedrooms.
We ordered our drinks before browsing the menu. I chose a pint of Bathams, a lovely drop of Black Country ale – great to see they have it on tap.
The menu featured all the pub classics such as beef and ale pie, beef burger and chilli con carne, along with a large fish section including Cajun loin of cod, lemon sole and pan-fried scallops. The starters were slightly more suited to a restaurant-style menu with crispy duck salad, chargrilled halloumi and a sharer of whole baked Camembert.
We opted to share a couple of starters between the three of us, and opted for the lamb lollipops and chilli garlic prawns.
For her main course, Emma chose the healthier option of chicken breast, while mum and I couldn’t resist the steaks.
The starters arrived and the prawns were presented in a cast iron sizzler tray. Four whole prawns, along with shells and legs were swimming in an glistening oily dressing laced with chilli and garlic. Don’t be put off by the shells, the fact you have to get your fingers in there means there is more sauce to be licked off; once you start, you won’t want to stop. This dish also came with some crusty white bread, and a finger bowl, suggesting that the chef really does want you to get messy!
The chargrilled lamb lollipops arrived next, served in a tagine, with a mild, almost nutty curry sauce. Then came the conundrum of which sauce to dip your bread in. The curry one was great, but the prawn dish was something else. It was the type of sauce you know you shouldn’t really be having too much of, as it is so oily, but you can’t stop dipping into – it was delicious.
After some chat and a bottle of merlot for £17 our mains were delivered by a very pleasant waitress.
I chose the ribeye steak, cooked blue, and it was done so to perfection. The meat melted in the mouth, and the disc of fat in the middle tasted amazing. The marbling was just right, enough for flavour but not tough or chewy. I have to say, it was absolutely spot on. It came with on-the-vine cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, with a basket of fries each, and a huge bowl of peas to share.
Emma’s chicken was served with sautéed new potatoes, asparagus and a bed of roasted carrot purée, with a bit of gravy over the top, lovely!
As always we were too full for a dessert, so we shared instead. Emma chose the raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake and I chose sticky toffee pudding with custard. The cheesecake was really thick and creamy with a good base, not too crumbly and the sticky toffee was luxuriously rich with custard that was full of vanilla flavour.
We’ll definitely be returning to The Fox, hopefully on another sunny Bank Holiday if we ever have such a thing!