The King's Head
This pretty village may seem unassuming, but it has a tale to tell that literature fans in particular will be interested in – Shakespeare’s parents were reportedly married in its church and are rumoured to have had their wedding breakfast at The King’s Head, which is just next door. This listed pub has lost none of its charm in the intervening years, and is still serving the people of Aston Cantlow well, with a menu of seasonal dishes, a bar well-stocked with quality wine, ale and whiskey, and homely surroundings featuring original oak beams and open fires.
There are many walking routes that start and end at The King’s Head, making this a welcome retreat after a ramble in the countryside – dogs are welcome in the bar area too. If the weather is fine, guests can take advantage of the lovely beer garden, with a huge chestnut tree as its centrepiece, where there is often live music during the summer months.
Everything is made using local, seasonal produce where possible, with some ingredients sourced from the pub’s own garden. The à la carte menu is extensive, promising something to suit all palates and appetites. Perhaps begin with peppered venison loin with spiced plum and gooseberry jam and roasted fig Port jus, or crispy duck egg with roasted thyme root veg and crumbled feta. From the main-course offering, opt for pan-fried breast of local pheasant with confit leg croquette, creamed Savoy cabbage and pancetta if you’re in need of a hearty meal, or roast fillet of stone bass with shellfish bisque, langoustines and samphire if you’re a fan of seafood. The King’s Head is well known for serving top-notch duck suppers, a tradition that has been upheld with the duck mixed grill – a dish that is not to be missed. There are also pub classics like fish and hand-cut chips, served with homemade tartare sauce and minted pea purée. Desserts such as Nanny Winnie’s bread pudding and King’s Head carrot cake with stem ginger ice cream will please even the most seasoned sweet-tooth.