review by Liam Parker
The heart of every town is a place where locals meet to catch up and newcomers visit to relax. For Fordingbridge, that place is The Crown Inn.
On a quiet, yet bustling, road that runs right through Fordingbridge, The Crown cannot be missed. The classic village-style pub comfortably fits an abundance of people, and usually does on evenings and Sundays.
Having visited just after the clocks went back, it was already very dark when we arrived and cold to match. The Crown Inn was the best place to be visiting on a night like that.
From a quick drink to a full course meal, the pub and restaurant has much to offer. Going for the latter, we were seated in the cosy dining area. It was a separate part of the
building that had more of a restaurant feel to it, while still fitting well with the rest of the place.
Since Fordingbridge is between my mother’s home in Salisbury and mine in Bournemouth, I decided to take the opportunity to go with her for a rare meal away from our large family.
The waitress, Suzi, was so helpful and explained what was popular on the varied menu. To start with, I opted for Deep fried wedges of Brie while mum went for the Homemade soup of the day, which was a flavourful carrot and coriander.
The Brie was cooked just right, crispy and sturdy on the outside while the middle was soft and gooey. The redcurrant jelly served with it countered the salt without being too sweet.
Waiting for my mum to finish her soup, which she explained had just the right amount of spice; I decided what I was going to have for my main course.
Having seen how nice the soup of the day looked, I chose the Pie of the day. Served with mashed potatoes or chips and a side of vegetables; that day’s pie was chicken and leek in a white wine sauce.
Both main courses came out quickly, each filling the plate. Mum’s order of Roasted Vegetable Lasagne came with garlic bread, coleslaw and mixed leaves, to create a hearty pub dinner.
The pie I ordered was no exception, taking up half the plate, with the crispy, chip-shop-style chips filling the other half. It could not have been more of a pub classic, the thick crust held together a pie full to the brim with a delicious filling.
Both of us were extremely full, so we skipped dessert and went for coffees instead. While drinking our rich and foamy lattes (served with orange and chocolate chip biscuits) we spoke to landlady, Joanna, about The Crown and our delicious, yet huge, meals.
“We’d rather you be too full than still hungry,” she said referring to their menu that is well known for its hefty portions.
She continued, “We took a lot of time hiring a chef. We really wanted him to know our menu and he really does.”
Having taken over at The Crown just eight weeks prior, Joanna and her husband Tony moved back from the United States and said that they fell in love with the pub when they saw how much the locals loved it. She spoke about how lively it can get at theweekends with families filling up the place for a Sunday roast.