Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Coach and Horses - New Brewery and Tasting Menu

Before we headed off on our holidays we were invited to the relaunch of a pub we have driven past a dozen or so times but never had the opportunity to visit. When the invite mentioned that we would be given a tour of their on site brewery and a taster of their new menu we were sold.

Set in the gorgeous countryside just outside of Birmingham the Coach and Horses Weatheroak Hill pub and restaurant captures that countryside feeling while offering delicious food and a great variety of beers. It's also been in the same family for nearly 50 years so they obviously knows what works well.

As you know, Laura and I are not big drinkers, so we were checking out the pub more for the food than the drink and we were not disappointed. Seriously - the food is amazing!

If you do like a beer, the micro brewery they have on site makes sure there is plenty on offer, in fact some of their ale is award winning, so if you are looking to impress a beer drinker, this is the perfect place. To go a step further than that they also have monthly tours of the brewery should you want to check it out.

But back to the food! There are two menus available (check them out here)- a Sunday one that has the good olde roast and the rest of the week menu that was jam-packed with deliciousness, whatever your tastes. Thankfully the tasting session we had allowed us to try so much of the menu we didn't have to choose. 

For starter, we got to taste the chicken, bacon and brandy pate - it's as good as it sounds - and the beef, horseradish, garlic and parsley hash browns - I could have eaten the whole tray's worth.

For mains we started with traditional fish and chips and I am pleased to report the chips are chunky and fluffy and, lets just say, I will have more! The crispy pork belly was so tender and flavorful and the lamb shank tagine was cooked perfectly. For us though, it was the crispy duck salad that won us over. Never ones to pick salad over a cooked meal, I don't think we would have ever chosen it on the menu but we would have missed out. I have never eaten duck that tasted SO good. 

We will have go back and try the roasted butternut squash and melted goats cheese pie next time - how good does it look!

By the time the sides arrived we were....almost.... too full to try them but thankfully we made room for the yummy sweet potato fries as they were a great addition. 

As dessert was delivered we were so stuffed we could only manage a few spoonfuls of the chocolate and caramel tart, although the Devon toffee ice-cream seemed to disappear without me trying. And we couldn't leave without trying the extensive cheese board - always a great way to end a meal.

The Head Brewer made sure we were well informed about beer!
The best thing about the tasting menu is that it is actually available if you book on to the Tour, Talk and Tasting session they run on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. As well as the delicious food, you also get advice on what beer goes best with what food and get samples to enjoy as you eat. The tour part of the evening is hosted by the Head Brewer who not only knows everything about the beer he brews, he also knows everything about beer in general! He even has a slideshow to help those of us not paying full attention keep up. I think we may have been distracted by the food :)

 Things we thought it was good to know:
1) It has gluten free and vegetarian options
2) The Coach & Horses is dog friendly
3) It has a pretty big car park, so if you do drive you won't be left parking in the road

So if you are heading to South Birmingham or fancy a detour on the way to the Cotswolds we recommend checking out and if you love it as much as we did, let us know!

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