The Crown Inn

The Crown Inn

Pubs and Bars with Restaurants

0.5 miles
Sydenham Road, Sydenham, OX39 4NB
This quintessentially English country pub, with low-beamed ceilings and space for 30 lunch or dinner guests, is an absolute gem of a find. Within a few minutes' drive of Junction 6 of the M40, The Crown Inn is worthy of a detour or a trip in itself. A booked dinner table is yours for the night, enabling a relaxing experience and a proper chat. The fortunate will be warmly welcomed by Louise Pettini, who presides over front of house. Louise's husband, Max, prepares each dish in his purposely small kitchen, where a deft hand and watchful eye can be kept on every individually prepared dish.

Local produce is bought fresh or picked on the day wherever possible, including vegetables from local growers and meat from well-established and reliable quality farm suppliers. Starters of the day included Shetland Island mussels in a chilli and tomato broth, and West Coast scallops with black pudding and a Granny Smith apple salad - both were excellent. For mains I chose honey-and-mustard-roasted rack of lamb, while my companion opted for the 21-day-aged beef sirloin with a choice of peppercorn, mushroom or garlic sauce (the mushroom was the winner). Both dishes were brought to the scrubbed oak table and devoured with much tender pleasure - the steak knife, although pretty, was unnecessary. The accompanying seasonal vegetables were perfection. I was now full to the brim, but my guest chose rhubarb crumble for dessert, with a small pot of warm creamy custard. I was offered a spoonful and it was an absolute delight - fresh garden rhubarb, tangy but not tart, with a delicate crumble.

The Crown has established a good reputation for real ales - there is a choice of three including Brakspear, London Pride and a guest ale which, at the time we visited was the championship beer, Timothy Taylor's Landlord. The wine list here is well chosen, conservatively priced and includes favourites such as the 2007 Bella Modella pinot grigio from Veneto, and a 2008 Sherwood Estate sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. A good house red is the 2008 Casa Defra Merlot, again from Veneto. With all The Crown Inn has to offer, the wise wanting to eat will book in advance.
+1The Crown Inn
Open: Tues-Fri noon-3pm, 5.30pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-3pm; Food Served: Tues-Sat noon-2.30pm, 7pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-2.30pm

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