Wrekin View, Dawley Bank
Reviewer's rating *** James Shaw discovered a mixed grill at this renovated pub was well worth the wait.
discovered a mixed grill at this renovated pub was well worth the wait.
Some things are worth waiting for. Take our recent visit to the Wrekin View in Telford, for example.
Claire and I had been hoping to eat there for some time, but on each occasion, we were thwarted by the renovations.
Although the pub has been reopened for some time, the kitchens and dining areas were still undergoing work. As I said just a few sentences ago, it was certainly worth the wait.
The pub has been known by a number of titles over recent years, Poachers Pocket being one example, but it has now gone back to basics.
That philosophy has been extended throughout, with the dining area being an airy, uncluttered place. It is an escape from the cramped (or 'intimate') eating areas that many pubs boast about these days.
We visited on a quiet Monday lunchtime, but could see how on a busy Friday night, the layout would be a definite bonus.
Of course, these things can go either way and it could be total chaos during the busy periods, but we were willing to bet that families would love it.
The dining room is totally separate from what could be called the drinking area, and I suspect the TV blaring away in the corner will tempt many a father on Saturday afternoons.
Young Louis was at the childminder's, and with Luca, the latest addition to our family, snoozing away happily in his chair, Claire and I had chance to enjoy some peace.
The view is perhaps given away by the pub's name - its lofty position at the top of Dawley Bank means you can see the Wrekin sitting gloriously in the background.
But what of the food? All my previous praise would have meant nothing if the food had failed to come up to muster.
Thankfully, the menu pointed the way to two straightforward dishes that would satisfying the appetite of most customers.
I allowed my stomach to rule my head and chose the mixed grill, while Claire asked for a combination of gammon and rump steak.
I have rarely seen this option on a pub menu - a range of dishes that can be mixed and matched for just £6.95. Excellent value, we thought.
My mixed grill came with the usual side-attractions of chips, onion rings and peas, but interestingly, it was of a perfectly manageable size.
I have often found that a mixed grill can be an excuse for the chef to pile as much food as he can onto a plate, usually with gruesome words such as 'gut-buster' draped across the menu. Not here.
The portions of sausage, steak, gammon and chicken were not miserly by any means, but by the same token, they were not overbearing. The steak, for example, was cooked just as I had asked.
Claire was having an equally enjoyable time with her combination dish. Again, both pieces of meat were a fair size, but didn't kill off any enthusiasm to finish the meal.
The gammon had very little fat on it, while the steak was overdone, although I should point out that this was Claire's requirement. She likes her steaks well-done, to say the least.
The subsequent break in our meal gave us chance to take a further look at the menu.
Typically, we found all the usual favourites that feature at countless other family pubs around Telford and beyond.
Sometimes, however, that familiarity can be comforting.
Like lots of other families, we were looking for something quick, easy and above all, affordable.
Indeed, most dishes sat comfortably below the £8 barrier.
So to our desserts. I went for the chocolate jaffa cheesecake, while Claire had a Belgian waffle with ice cream. Both dishes were perfectly acceptable, but I wouldn't say they were memorable. My cheesecake had lots of tasty orange pieces, and was sat upon a moist biscuit base.
Claire's waffle was equally likeable.
It came with ice cream, toffee sauce and all sorts of other lovely little accompaniments.
Like our main courses, both desserts were nicely sized - not too large, while also filling a gap in our appetites.
So, a lovely meal with some great scenery and very few disturbances - so why just three stars?
It could have been four and indeed, a little more variance in the menu and it would have been with very few doubts.
But my lingering thought is that although we visited on a quiet Monday lunchtime, how would it fare on a busy evening, with countless children roaming the dining room?
The answer, I suspect, is very well,
The pub now has five Scores on the Doors stars.
Wrekin View, Milner's Lane, Dawley Bank TF4 2JH
Tel: 01952 371351
Taco boats £2.95; Mushrooms in garlic sauce £2.95
Chicken Wensleydale £5.10; Brocollli and cauliflower suet pudding £5.25
Fruits of the forest crumble £2.40; Chocolate jaffa cheesecake £2.50
Very efficient and cannot be faulted. The waitress on duty was friendly and happy to tell stories about her work
Quiet and calm, although with a few more children, the atmosphere can always change very quickly
Much of the pub is on one level, although there is a step to part of the dining area. A level entrance leads to this section.
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