NESTLED away in the Buckinghamshire countryside sits the charming Crown Pub, offering a hearty winter menu as the nights draw in.
The former coaching inn is set in a beautiful location in the village of Granborough, just a few miles from Milton Keynes.
The pub and restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of little nooks and crannies to enjoy a glass from their impressive wine menu or selection of local ales before or after dinner.
The bar requires a bit of ducking due to the low-beamed ceilings – all part of the charm of this beautiful building. But stepping into the restaurant is a different affair, high ceilings with an impressive fireplace and windows giving space and light to the main room.
After settling down with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc we had a look at the menu and varied specials board.
I plumped for the sardines on sourdough with a delicious homemade onion and raisin style chutney. The fish was perfectly cooked and complemented well by the rest of the plate. It was so tasty I could easily have had another portion for my main.
My other half chose potato croquettes with tomato chutney and rocket. His starter was equally as delicious with homemade crispy croquettes a fond reminder of childhood teatimes, but unfortunately the potato was very cold.
For main I chose prawns with chilli and garlic spaghetti. The spaghetti was lovely and separate with a good mix of spice and creamy sauce. The chef did not skimp on the amount of huge prawns in the dish although they could have done with a little less cooking to stay crisp and juicy. This did not however detract from a delicious meal.
My partner opted for the fillet steak, which was cooked to perfection and also included a side of crunchy homemade chips.
For pudding we were torn on what to have so we chose to share a warm chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream and a sticky toffee pudding.
The toffee was a triumph, topped with a thick sauce and a soft sponge. The brownie was equally as delicious, although we both agreed it wasn’t our favourite of the two.
Service throughout was wonderful. The waiters were attentive without being intrusive and never left us with an empty glass or plate for more than a minute.
The Crown is a beautiful venue for a night out with an impressive menu which could do with a little finesse – but nothing which would stop me returning when I visit the beautiful part of the country which is Buckinghamshire.
We stopped in the nearby Bell Inn in Winslow, also a former coaching inn, which really is a old fashioned, homely hotel.
Our room was beautiful with a four-poster bed and lovely big bathroom.
When I go back to the area I will be sure to pay both the Bell and the Crown a visit.
Visit www.thecrowngranborough.co.uk to book or find out more.