The Queens at Horton

If you fancy a pub lunch that’s a little bit extra, head to The Queens at Horton. A beautifully refurbished 19th-century building, they offer fantastic seasonal menus. We popped down because we had family visiting and took a toddler and dog – all welcomed and well catered for!

Every dish we ordered was a delight. Home-cooked food using local ingredients. It really shows. You may pay a pound or two more than a chain restaurant, but it is absolutely worth it. Happily, because the autumn menu is full of warming, robust dishes, a lot of it is slow cooked. So you don’t have to wait long at all for them to be served! We went for the venison. A huge portion of warming stew, with lots of achingly tender meat, came to my place. Alongside was a sizeable dollop of buttery mash, run through with cabbage – champ – and a couple of good hunks of bread. The dish was rich, the thick gravy flavoured with carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms. It was perfect for the time of year, as that first nip of cold is coming through.

Autumn Menu

Our table also loved the steak, ale and roasted vegetable pie which was devoured without ceremony. As a judge at the British Pie Awards for several years now, I am firmly of the belief that a pie in a casserole dish with a puff pastry top is not a pie at all. It is a stew with a lid. However, this didn’t seem to matter to my dinner guest. A beautifully tender lamb shank came with seasonal vegetables. Another perfect dish for Autumn.

The bar is well stocked, carrying a range of beers, including four on handpull. Three of those were local, from New Brew, Hobsons and Salopian. We opted for the Hobsons and the Salopian. I have to say the pint of Shropshire Gold was the perfect match with the venison casserole. The light sweetness from the malts brought out the sweetness in the rich gravy, added by those tiny, soft onions, and the delicate bitterness helped to slice through all that opulent indulgence.

The pub is welcoming and friendly, with a very attentive team. It’s a beautiful atmosphere to sit in – comfortable and classic – while the beer garden is definitely on my list for when the sun returns!

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The Queens did not know I was going to write up my visit and we paid in full for our meals.

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