• THE STAR INN, Elmley Road, Ashton-under-Hill, Evesham. Tel: 01386 881325

• SOMETIMES you travel miles from home to go out for a meal with family and friends and you forget you have a little gem right on your doorstep.

Living in Ashton-under- Hill, at the foot of Bredon Hill, I wanted to find somewhere special to celebrate my son Olly’s birthday on a Saturday evening, but didn’t really want to travel far.

So we decided to try our village pub the Star Inn, which I have visited many times over the years but I wondered how we would enjoy the current fare prepared by the chef.

I am pleased to report this was probably the best dining experience I have had there.

We were seated in the Star’s upper restaurant room, which was extended and refurbished a year or so ago.

For starters, I chose the chicken satay – skewered chicken breast marinated and cooked in satay sauce and flame grilled (£5.95).

It was way too much for one person but I shared it with my son Jake, who enjoyed it as much as me.

Meanwhile, birthday boy shared with my wife Helena a homemade chicken parfait served with toast (£5.95).

They also loved it.

For main course, I chose something I had rarely tasted, sea bass. This was served on pan-fried artichokes and finished with a lemon cream sauce (£11.95).

When the waiter brought over the dish of vegetables, I thought there may not be quite enough for all of us – only to be told they were all mine! The sea bass was scrumptious. It was perfectly cooked and the sauce had just the right amount of lemon in it.

Olly loved his hunter’s chicken (£12.95) while Helena and Jake were equally pleased with their deep fried cod and chips.

We had tipped the pub off in advance that it was Olly’s birthday and asked if we could bring our own birthday cake. At the end of the meal, they kindly produced our cake for us decorated and looking far more impressive than the one we had handed over. We enjoyed the cake with a portion of the Star’s very more-ish millionaire’s choc chunk vanilla ice cream (£4.50), made up of luxury vanilla ice cream rippled with sticky caramel, crunchy shortbread and chunks of milk chocolate.

It was a terrific dining experience. The bill came to just over £65, including a drink for us all.

Landlord Eddie Spires has worked hard to put the Star on the map, sourcing local produce and staging special events.

If our meal was anything to go by, that hard work is really starting to pay off.


Food **** Service ***** Ambience **** Value for money ****