Express & Star

Food review: The Crown Inn, Sedgley

With roasted meats and a whopping selection of veggies, carvery fans need to head to The Crown Inn. James Driver-Fisher enjoys a family feast. . .

Meat and two veg – the carvery was the highlight of the meal and featured piles of freshly-cooked vegetables Pictures by John Sambrooks

Superbly home-cooked food at extremely good prices – and an all-day carvery, every day of the week, for good measure.

The Crown Inn, in Sedgley, is a lovely little venue that provides top-notch grub at affordable prices.

Welcoming, busy and homely, it’s the perfect place to take a family for an afternoon lunch, which is exactly what we did for my wife Kelly’s birthday.

We were pretty early for some pub food, or so we thought, arriving at almost noon on the dot.

Crowning glory – if you’re after a tasty carvery then The Crown Inn is a place to consider

Having decided to skip breakfast to make sure we were hungry for our early lunch, the tummies were already rumbling when we arrived at the pub.

Our three-year-old daughter, Annabelle, was also with us (she’d had breakfast – we’re not that mean) and we chose a table to sit at in the middle of the dining area.

First impressions were, as already mentioned, very homely. With scenic pictures on the wall, 1970s rock music playing quietly in the background and a bar, it resembled what I’d class as the perfect front room – although my wife may beg to differ on that one.

We asked for a menu, which would have been provided, but we were advised that most people went for the carvery.

And as we couldn’t remember the last time we’d had one, we took on their wise words.

It’s what the pub prides itself on and we soon discovered why – because it was delicious and there was plenty of food on the plate too.

The deal is simple. For £6.50 you get a starter of either home-made soup or a salad bowl, and your carvery.

The child’s version is exactly the same only the price is reduced to £5.30.

Annabelle and I went for the cream of tomato and vegetable soup while Kelly fancied the salad.

The soup was very nice and had an extra thickness to it. Rather than just being creamy, it had some other veggies that had been blitzed into the mixture, which made it even more wholesome.

We just ladled in the soup ourselves – and for Annabelle I added at bit of pasta into the equation too, as she is a bit of pasta fiend, which she really enjoyed. Pasta and soup, what’s not to love?

Meat and two veg – the carvery was the highlight of the meal and featured piles of freshly-cooked vegetables Pictures by John Sambrooks

My only criticism was there was no butter served with my roll but it was only a minor detail and the bread was lovely.

The salad bar was also quite extensive and included the staple favourites such as a potato salad, coleslaw, pasta salad, tomatoes and cucumbers, but there were also some items I hadn’t come across before, such as bacon and cooked mushrooms; each to their own I suppose, plus everything mentioned above was once again homemade.

Kelly really enjoyed it and it set us up nicely for the main event – the carvery.

Now you pretty much know what you’re going to get with a carvery before you even begin, but the standard and quality can differ hugely depending on where you go. It’s safe to say you won’t be disappointed by The Crown Inn’s offering.

There was a choice of four meats – turkey, gammon, pork and beef – plus a few additional extras, again some of which I hadn’t come across before.

Starting orders – the soup and bread roll

As well as choosing two meats (at least that’s what I choose, which was gammon and beef – it’s always got to be gammon and beef), there was the added extra of a sausage or two, and a hash brown.

I didn’t feel ready for a hash brown with my carvery, I’m crazy but not that crazy, but went for the sausage, as well as the extra stuffing ball and Yorkshire pudding.

I didn’t realise at the time but just the two slices of meat served were deceptively large.

Finally, it was help yourself to potatoes – roasted, mashed and boiled – and veg, which included carrots, peas, swede, cabbage, broccoli and probably more, which may have slipped my memory.

After adding lashings of the onion gravy and some horseradish sauce, I returned to my table to tuck in.

Easy like sundae morning – the delicious dessert

Kelly had pretty much the same, only a slighter smaller portion, while Annabelle had sausage and mash in the end, but with peas, carrots and broccoli.

It was all beautiful. The meat was tender, easy to cut and almost melted in the mouth.

The knife glided through the beef, which in other venues can sometimes be quite tough, and the gammon had nice hint of salt, which was far from overbearing. Again, something that can be a problem.

All the vegetables were also well cooked. None of it was a failed attempt at al dente, when you feel like you’re eating raw food, and they hadn’t been boiled within an inch of their lives, which can turn them into nothing more than mush.

It was a hearty meal too. I thought I’d been reasonably disciplined with the self-service, which can sometimes get out of hand, but the plate was still clean at the end, which tells you all you need to know.

As it was Kelly’s birthday, we felt obliged to order a dessert so we all decided to share two. The choices were the usual pub classics: deep-filled apple pie; sticky toffee pudding; chocolate fudge cake; Dutch apple crumble, and a few more.

Home comforts – the interior of the Crown Inn

Kelly went for the apple crumble with pouring cream and Annabelle fancied the chocolate brownie sundae.

Once again, the portions were very ample but most importantly both desserts were very nice.

The apples in crumble looked like they had been stewed and were tender with a very slightly sour taste, the crumble was sweet and crunchy.

The sundae was also served in a very tall glass and there was plenty for both Annabelle and I to get stuck into. Big chunks of the brownie were crammed into the ice cream, which also had some whipping cream served on top.

If you’re calorie counting, probably one to avoid, but if you’re after a dessert to pick at slowly over a chat to round off a lovely afternoon meal, it’s one to try.

With two pints, three wines and a child’s drink, the entire meal still came in at well under £50, so it was certainly good value for money.

And the fact the pub continued to get even more busy on a Tuesday afternoon (not during the school holidays), probably tells you all you need to know.

Proper pub food, served at a decent price in a nice surroundings.

The Crown Inn also has themed-nights, such a psychic evenings, as well as live entertainment, breakfasts served from 8am to 11.30am, and Fish Fridays.

Definitely a pub worth popping into either in the morning, afternoon or evening.