Deliver me heat any day, that feeling of being wrapped up in a comfy blanket, armed with a sizzling water bottle and a sizzling chocolate.
As we made our approach to Ye Olde Dun Cow in Colton, close to Rugeley, on a chilly, autumnal night, I hoped that such a go to would go away me with a heat glow inside.
The inside was definitely homely with beams on the ceiling, previous brickwork, conventional photos on the wall and a heat bar space.
Workers had been additionally courteous, providing a heat welcome as we had been taken to our seats.
Having ordered drinks, we appeared inquisitively on the menu which affords one course for £14, two for £20 and three for £25. There are extra dietary supplements on sure dishes.
For starters, I used to be each tempted and intrigued by ‘Dun Cow Smokies’ which had been flaked smoked haddock in a creamy cheese sauce, topped with mashed potato.
However ultimately, I used to be swayed by the specials board, which had king prawns in a garlic and parsley butter sauce.
The prawns had been superbly cooked, wealthy in flavour with moist, medium-firm flesh.
They had been completely complemented by the buttery sauce and, to high issues off, the dish got here with three items of bread which meant I used to be in a position to mop up a number of the remaining scrumptious flavours on the plate.
My eating associate, Amy, determined to decide on a seasonal particular and plumped for the pear and parsnip soup, which was served with a hearty piece of contemporary bread. It could sound like an odd mixture, nevertheless it’s engaged on the precept that if it grows collectively, it goes collectively.
The parsnip makes for a lovely creamy texture and the flavour tempers the sweetness of the pear completely to cease it ending up too saccharine – even for those who don’t assume you want parsnips, it’s value attempting this for those who discover it on the specials board as I believe you’d be shocked how good it may be.
The mains supplied quite a lot of choices however I used to be eager to get pleasure from a warming dish which mirrored the time of 12 months.
I opted for an ‘open’ hen, smoked bacon and mushroom pie, which was topped with puff pastry.
This ‘deconstructed’ pie was an actual crowd pleaser as a result of, the place pies are involved, I’m not an enormous pastry fan and am all concerning the filling.
I used to be not dissatisfied as I loved massive chunks of hen in a creamy sauce the place the smokiness of the bacon actually got here by way of.
The pastry on high was excellent and my meal was complimented by scrumptious chips and a properly introduced dressed home salad.
Regardless of being a meat eater, and despite the regular stream of beer battered fish being swept previous our desk, my associate wished to strive the roasted butternut squash for the principle.
This was a hearty meal, with half a butternut squash filled with spinach and roasted greens, topped with a tomato and chilli sauce. That added kick of chilli meant this dish was warming on a darkish autumn night time. The sauce complemented the butternut squash so properly that you just definitely didn’t miss the meat.
The meal got here with a aspect of salad or greens (she selected a salad considering it will be lighter however ended up with an especially beneficiant portion that would nearly have been a meal in itself), and a alternative of buttered new potatoes or chips (she opted for comforting buttered new potatoes).
This was a wonderful and filling vegan meal, and Ye Olde Dun Cow does have some good vegetarian and vegan choices on the menu.
Different choices embody home made broccoli and stilton tart served with a cheese sauce, whereas you can too order butternut squash, spinach, chick pea and coconut curry, served with boiled rice.
By this stage, I felt greater than glad with my night’s meal however, properly, it’s a must to make room for a pudding don’t you?
Choices included glazed lemon tart, served with a combined berry compote and Baileys crème brulee, served with shortbread biscuits.
I might need resisted temptation had I not seen a combined berry cheesecake delivered to a different desk within the room.
This was off the specials board and it got here neatly introduced, together with a small jug of cream and sugary coating.
The cheesecake was mild and fluffy, melting within the mouth and the biscuit base added to the great textures on the plate. Though I used to be already feeling full previous to consuming dessert, the cheesecake didn’t stay on my plate for too lengthy.
Everybody loves a crumble, and Amy isn’t any exception. There’s debate concerning the texture although – ought to it’s all crumbly and crunchy, or ought to there be a bit that soaks up the juices and goes a bit soggy too?
When you’re on group crunchy, Ye Previous Dun Cow will get your vote.
To spherical off the seasonal theme, she opted to have the apple and plum crumble, which was served with a vanilla ice cream made down the street in Barton. The fruit was piled excessive and retained its texture whereas nonetheless being immersed in a jammy compote.
There was a slight seasonal spice to the fruit – she mentioned it was ‘like consuming autumn’.
That summed up the night for me – meals that was heat, homely and hearty, excellent for the season, nevertheless it additionally had a contact of class about it and dishes had been introduced properly.
What was additionally attention-grabbing about our go to was that, spurred on by the recognition of a brief store over the lockdown of 2020, the resort now has The Cowshed – a totally functioning village nation store – adjoining to their premises.
That is stocked with on a regular basis necessities together with contemporary bread, fruit and veg in addition to retailer cabinet staples and people additional particular treats similar to chutneys, biscuits, beer, wine and chocolate.
It means Ye Olde Dun Cow is an actual teaser – attractive you inside with scrumptious, healthful meals after which exhibiting much more tantalizing choices on the surface – the proper approach to refill for the winter.