Friday, 12 August 2016

Review: The Old Crown, Digbeth, Birmingham

We were lucky enough to be invited to check out The Old Crown in Digbeth, in central Birmingham by The Custard Factory. It's not often we get invited out to dinner at a 14th Century Inn- Birmingham's oldest Inn at that.

In fact the pub is celebrating its 648th birthday on the 26th of August 2016!

We had walked past The Old Crown when attending events at the nearby O2 Institute and Custard Factory, we had even planned on getting a drink post Digbeth Dining Club but ran out of time. This time though we went with the sole intention of enjoying a meal from their new menu and going on a Monday meant the pub area was fairly quiet so we easily got a table to relax at.

My Queen with her crown
The outside of this pub belongs in a country village, it's quaint and traditional and makes you long for simpler times when the main event of the week was a drink at the pub. The inside was more of a surprise, with every turn the place seemed to get bigger or open up to a new room. At one end is a traditional pub complete with bar while the other end is a coffee shop by day with a cosy feel. Somewhere between the ends is a room that looks like someone's lounge with armchairs and a coffee table.

Keep your eyes peeled and see if you can spot a bookcase with a room behind it!

If you make your way to the back of the pub you are greeted with a different venue altogether. The back yard is filled with tables made from massive wooden wheels and all kinds of chairs. There are bench areas perfect for groups and a telephone box should you need to call a taxi (I kid I think it's purely decoration :))

The back yard has more of a Digbeth feel - it's where the cool, alternative kids hang out and would be great on a warm evening.
Pic courtesy of
Our choice was the pub area where we were served by a lovely bar man who was helpful with advice on checking out the menu. While not a vast menu there is enough choice - as with most pubs there was a burger selection, including a veggie option, and you could choose between regular chips or sweet potato fries.

I went for the Brum Pie as it sounded different - a chicken tikka curry in a pie! Served with a side of mash and honey roasted veg I was in heaven. This combo of food had so many of my favs that I can't believe I left it this long to try it. At first I was a little disappointed the mash wasn't quite melt-in-your-mouth as I like but mixed with the curry I soon realised that was a good thing. Mixing the curry and mash was DIVINE! And it wasn't just me who thought so - Laura had a fair bit of my meal too!

Laura went for the Crown Burger and while the flavours were far more traditional - burger + cheese and bacon - it was still delicious. Laura prefers her burgers a little less well done but the huge amount of tasty bacon made up for it. Oh and the sweet potato fries were SO GOOD! And most importantly really hot when they arrived - seriously the amount of cold sweet potato fries I have sent back is significant!

We also admired a fish and chip portion from the distance and the speed at which the man consumed it must have meant he enjoyed it too.

Conveniently the pub is also right by two Pokestops - not that this should matter but it certainly is no bad thing! (Want to know what Pokemon Go is all about?!)

After a break and finishing off our Old Mout cider - a perfect accompaniment to almost any meal if you aren't an ale drinker, we decided to attempt dessert. As with the menu the choice wasn't vast but there was enough for both of us to find things we liked. Laura opted for a sticky toffee pudding - which we highly recommend - and I went for a sundae filled with brownie pieces and my two top ice cream flavours - strawberry and vanilla. There were also some delicious strawberries thrown in for good measure, which took me by surprise as I tucked in.

While our meal was free we did checkout the prices and thought them very reasonable. All burger meals were around £9, the pie was around the same and the most expensive main was £12. The desserts were a bargain though, each was around £4 and for the portion size that was a good deal.

So if you are in Digbeth, or central Birmingham, and fancy a yummy meal or drink in a place that surrounds you in history and makes you feel like you are in the middle of the country The Old Crown is for you.

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