THE Crown Inn was my local watering hole for some 18 years – albeit I was too young to drink there while I still lived at home.

Despite it quite literally being on my parents’ doorstep, we’ve eaten at the pub on relatively few occasions, so I decided it was high time to sample its current fare.

On first appearances, the Crown is the idyllic village pub.

Set in the heart of Peopleton and a few paces from the ancient St Nicholas Church, it is surrounded by chocolate box thatched cottages and adorned with pretty hanging baskets.

On arrival, my parents and I entered the busy bar area to the welcoming sound of happy chatter from drinkers and diners alike.

After ordering our drinks, we were shown to our table in a cosy corner of the restaurant.

The three of us picked dishes from the Crown’s fantastic value for money menu, costing £12 for two dishes or £15 for three.

I plumped for local seasonal asparagus to start, which arrived with lashings of deliciously creamy hollandaise sauce, generous chunks of buttered fresh granary bread and a zesty salad garnish.

My mum opted for the broccoli and stilton soup while dad went for an oozing baked camembert with relish.

Both were accompanied by more wedges of fresh bread and were quickly devoured to much acclaim.

My main course was a generous serving of toad in the hole with rich onion gravy and a selection of fresh vegetables – perfect for a chilly night.

Cumberland sausages made for a delicious alternative to standard pork bangers and the golden Yorkshire pudding was crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, without being too hard or soggy.

Dad was equally delighted with his salmon fishcakes, which came with an ample side salad and chips, and mum thoroughly enjoyed her traditional battered cod and chips. By this time we were already feeling pretty full, but being a sweettoothed family, we couldn’t resist dessert.

Mum was presented with a tower of plump profiteroles doused in chocolate sauce, while dad opted for a latticework apple pie and I happily tucked into a slice of fluffy lemon meringue pie with cream.

Two of us also enjoyed fresh coffee to round off what had been a brilliant meal with good company, wonderful service and great atmosphere.

With the bill coming to a little over £60 with four pints of lemonade and lime and a pint of bitter, what more could you want?


HOW IT RATED Food **** Service ***** Ambience ***** Value for money *****