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The Crown, Clunton

South Shropshire | | Published:

Reviewer's rating **** Sharon Walters enjoys a visit to a country pub which is owned by a collective of villagers.

Reviewer's rating **** Sharon Walters enjoys a visit to a country pub which is owned by a collective of villagers.

It has to be said that we are still suffering from the recession. Things have improved but there are still shakes and trembles financially around the world.

And, thank heavens, those of us who used to spend willy-nilly are being more cautious now - thinking of the next hard time.

When we consider going out to eat we are more choosey and looking out for bargains. There are plenty of establishments around offering deals (especially during the week) with two meals for the price of one a popular offer along with price deals.

One of the best I have tried lately is the two courses for £10 on Thursdays offer at the Crown in Clunton. And you can tell how popular it is by the number of diners packing the pub and the fact I have taken up the offer twice.

You can have either a starter and a main, a main and a pudding or a starter and a pudding if you want to!

On one visit I had the most delicious homemade ravioli served on a crisp green salad followed by a shank of lamb in rich gravy - not the biggest shank but more than enough and perfectly melting off the bone.

On another I had an 8oz rump steak and chips - meat that was so tender I didn't need a steak knife - and a light creme brulee.

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Partner Neil also enjoyed a steak and he opted for a rich toffee pudding. On another visit he raved about a bowl of soup. An ideal midweek meal.

The dishes don't come with dishes of vegetables but garnish is good and the chips are properly homemade. This is real value and good quality for £10.

Andy is the chef and Della his wife does front of house in the pub which is actually owned by a collective of villagers who bought it some years ago to save it being lost to the community.

Life has been mixed since those first days but since Andy and Della took over two years ago the Crown has blossomed.

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The pub is clean and warm and the welcome is just as it should be - not an "I suppose I will have to serve you" look but a genuine smile and "do please enjoy yourself" invitation.

That is a simple recipe for success and not difficult to attain.

Sadly too many pubs (and restaurants) fail this meet and greet test. And no wonder they are not faring well. Who wants to sit down for a drink or a meal, no matter what the quality is, when the staff can barely smile and often look on you as an inconvenience?

I first visited the Crown after this couple took over 18 months ago and commented at the time what a jewel it was in the Clun valley and the warmth of the welcome. Things haven't changed at all since then - except to improve.

Two courses for £10 continues to the end of November and will re-start in the new year.

ADDRESSS

Crown Inn, Clunton, Craven Arms SY7 0HU

Tel:01588 660265

Web: www.crowninnclunton.co.uk

MENU SAMPLE

STARTERS

Fishcake with a sweet chilli dip; Duck and orange pate with Melba toast

MAIN COURSES

Vegetable lasagne; Salmon steak with prawn cream on a bed of mustard mash; Chicken supreme with spinach and smoky bacon sauce

DESSERTS

Bread and butter pudding with custard; Chocolate torte; Apple pie and custard

ATMOSPHERE

Cosy and welcoming

SERVICE

Friendly and efficient

DISABLED FACILITIES

No disabled facilities

If you know of anywhere that does a great deal, let us know.

Email swalters@shropshirestar.co.uk or write to Sharon Walters, Supplements Editor, Shropshire Star, Waterloo Road, Ketley, Telford TF1 5HU.

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