Reviewer’s rating *** Lisa Bailey visits a friendly, welcoming village pub that brightened up a dismal evening.
My friend Tracy and I don’t get together on our own very often, but we managed to agree a date and decided to meet up on a Monday night for a bite to eat and a chat, writes Lisa Bailey.
Tracy actually suggested the Four Alls at Woodseaves, Market Drayton, and I have to say the pub had never crossed my radar.
The weather was dismal that night with the rain pouring down and as we pulled up on the car park I was a little concerned as there were very few cars. But, hey ho what do you expect on a Monday night?
Once inside we were greeted enthusiastically by the barmaid, who took our drinks order and pointed out the menus and the specials board. There only seemed to be one other couple sitting eating a meal and a few people just drinking.
We made a beeline for the table with a huge radiator next to it and plonked ourselves down.
We started to look through the menu and were startled about how much choice there was. The only thing was that the dessert menu wasn’t with the main menu – yes, I’m one of those people who likes to decide whether I like the dessert before I order because generally I can’t manage starter and dessert.
But, it didn’t matter as the starters were so inviting I didn’t need to look any further. I chose smoked haddock and spring onion fishcake served on a bed of mixed leaves and tartare sauce (£3.50) and Tracy went for grilled goats cheese served on mixed leaves (£3.95).
They seemed to arrive very quickly and we both eagerly tucked in. The fishcake was tasty with a little kick from the spring onion. Tracy’s starter looked delicious and served on a potato rosti – she enjoyed every mouthful . There were clean plates all round.
Again it only seemed a few minutes from when the starter plates were removed that the main course arrived. Or perhaps it seemed so quick because we had not paused for breath since we had walked into the pub.
Our conversation came to an abrupt end when my main course was put on the table. It’s not normally a favourite of mine, but I had chosen gammon steak served with tomatoes, mushrooms and egg (£9.50) – I could have chosen pineapple instead of egg or had both.
But, the proof is in the pudding they say and what did it taste like? It was wonderful – not too salty or fatty andamean feast. You had the choice of chips, new potatoes or jacket potato to accompany it and a choice of vegetables or salad. I went for the chips and vegetables and I have to say the chips were
the only downside. They looked a little battered and bruised, but I still managed a few.
The vegetables were broccoli, sweet potato and carrot. Again, I managed a few. But, after fighting with my gammon steak, which I was determined was not going to beat me there was little room for anything else.
I had not even looked across at Tracy’s meal as we were both a little goggle-eyed at the gammon. Tracy had chosen the lamb kleftico (£8.95) – tender lamb chunks in a rich sauce of tomatoes, onions and tarragon.
She had picked new potatoes and vegetables. Tracy said the lamb was tender, but the sauce should have been tomato and tasted more like gravy.
She managed more of her potatoes than I had the chips, but the vegetables were virtually untouched because of the meal sizes. I did really well with the gammon, but had to give up in the end with just a couple more mouthfuls left as I could no longer move.
The waitress who had been polite and charming offered us the dessert menu. Of course we had to have a look. Again there was plenty of choice– it was all home cooked and included chocolate fudge cake, jam sponge, caramel apple pie. Desserts were served with custard, cream or ice cream.
But, the more I looked the more I thought I can’t possibly eat any more. Tracy was of the same mind so we declined dessert. I then had a cup of tea and Tracy had a glass of white wine.
The Four Alls is open seven days a week and also serves real ales – its resident ales are Shropshire Lad, Bombardier and Timothy Taylor .
There is also a children’s menu, which is £3.50 for a main course and ice cream. A lunchtime carvery is served Tuesday to Sunday.
It also has its own function room for parties, seminars and weddings, as well as chalet style accommodation. After our most enjoyable visit I’m sure we
will head off in that direction another time.
The Four Alls, Newport Road, Woodseaves, Market Drayton TF9 2AG
Tel: 01630 652995
Prawn cocktail (£3.95); Greek meze tzatziki houmous, taramasalata kalamato olives, crudites and pitta bread (£4.45); panfried garlic king prawns (£4.25)
Rumpelstiltskin 8oz rump steak cooked to your liking, topped with fried onions, mushrooms and melted cheddar or stilton cheese (£10.95); Shrewsbury breast of chicken stuffed with cheese and ham served with a white wine, bacon sauce, mushroom and onion (£8.95); Sweet potato, parsnip and chestnut bake (£7.50)
Profiteroles (£3.75); Apple pie (£3.75)
Quiet, but friendly
Wheelchair access and disabled toilet