After a 14-week refurbishment, the Henry Tudor Inn on Shrewsbury’s Wyle Cop has reopened. You know that I can’t resist a nosey around a newly refreshed pub. So I took myself in for lunch, didn’t I?
It was a beautiful pub before, and it is arguably an even more beautiful pub now. I must confess I’d only visited on a handful of occasions previously, so I think many of the changes are lost on me. Although the restaurant area now feels a lot more in keeping with the low light and oak feel of the rest of the pub. It’s still a really atmospheric venue, with carefully curated lighting throughout.
Everyone loves the artworks, of various performers in a historic portrait style. They have been retained, happily! I sat myself next to David Bowie for my meal. You are really spoiled for choice in this pub though, it is full of rooms upon rooms, cubbies and nooks. Plenty of scope for hiding away from the world or bringing a massive group together. I especially liked ‘The Hold’ – prisoners were held here before trial when the building was the Court House. Each small booth has its cell door intact (but presumably not lockable, unless you try to skip the bill.)
Commit no nuisance
I also enjoyed the ‘commit no nuisance’ sign outside the lavs. Locals will recognise this as the same message on the Welsh Bridge. That sign is intended to warn you off urinating in public, so it’s very fitting to put it by the loo!
I warmed up with one of owner Joules Brewery’s seasonal specials – Moon Madness. This was a lovely dark ale with brooding fruit tones and a treacle aroma that I really liked. There is the full range of Joules beers available on cask and keg, and everything else you could want besides. I was actually really impressed with the alcohol free section of the menu too, some great choices there if you want flavour but not alcohol.
On to the menu then, and it is a tidy, well-thought-out affair. I always feel much more confident when a venue offers a small considered menu, rather than too many choices that are likely just coming out of the freezer! This offer had the air of quality pub fare, at about standard Shrewsbury prices. I opted for the braised short rib of beef, cos it’s cold, innit?
The dish came out on a humongous plate, all part of the theatre I suppose. The short rib was perfectly cooked – tender, yielding and full of flavour. It was served with braised carrots, kale and mash. There was also an orange sauce which I assumed would be something mustard-related but when I tasted it I could not figure out for the life of me what it was. It didn’t taste of much if I’m honest! In the end, I had to ask my server, who told me it was a carrot and butternut squash puree. So now I know. It wasn’t adding much to the party, and if anything it was not making a pleasant aesthetic as it mixed with the gravy.
But everything else on the dish was really good. Sadly, the savoury sweetness of the beef, those carrots and the gravy was a bit too overpowering for the beer – they didn’t make a good pairing for me. But I didn’t know what food I was going to have when I picked my drink! That’s on my head though, I would have been better off with a classic Slumbering Monk I think, which may have been able to hold its own against the robust wintry dish.
Would recommend the Henry Tudor Inn
Overall, I really enjoyed my visit. The pub is incredibly smart – just a lovely place to hang out. This is something I see time and time again in Joules venues. They really do nice things to heritage venues, without being over the top. The quality oozes from every surface. The team were also dead on point. Great service that was warm and informal yet clearly incredibly well organised. Pop in for a pint or a bite to eat and I’m sure you’ll leave happy.
🐐 Henry Tudor Inn, Barracks Passage, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, SY1 1XA
The team had no idea that I was writing up my visit and I paid for my meal in full using money that I earned by working very hard. My opinion is an honest reflection of my visit and you can’t take that away from me.