Blog - News from the Talbot Inn
Well we survived the first year! It is hard to believe the revamped Talbot Inn has been open for over a year now… time does fly! It has been a satisfying year and one in which we have learnt a great deal and hopefully provide us with a good foundation to take the Talbot Inn forward. Many thanks to all of you who have frequented us over the past year – your support has been greatly appreciated. A great deal of thanks must also go to our loyal and hard-working team who have put in so much effort to make the Talbot Inn a success. Thank you.
With summer 2013 fast becoming a fading memory we turn our attention to autumn and the run up to Christmas (sorry to mention it!). It is a lovely time of year when the changing colours of the tree foliage provide a striking contrast against the lush green of the Teme Valley. We have been lucky enough to enjoy a superb crop of fruit this year and our chefs have been busy making such delights such as damson puree, apple and plum chutney (great with cheese) as well an array of homemade fruit based ice cream.
With the game season underway and the Teme Valley a rich source of all varieties of game we have been kept in plentiful supply of wild mallard and partridge. Simon’s starter dish of partridge, puy lentils and black pudding has gone down particularly well and received rave reviews from a Ludlow based food critic last week! Our locally sourced roe deer from Bickley near Newnham Bridge has also proved very popular with the kitchen team serving a lovely haunch of venison with wild mushrooms, blackberries and thyme roasted potatoes as well as a simple autumn venison casserole.
On the accommodation side of the business, we have had a busy summer and have had the pleasure of hosting many different groups of people from large family gatherings to classic car groups en route to Shelsley Walsh. I am always amazed how many people manage to find their way to the Teme Valley and the vast array of activities which are happening in the area which draw people to this great area. Our rooms are always popular with people hosting small private parties and save the hassle and expense of having to book taxi’s – if you are thinking about hosting a private party then please do ask about our combined dining and accommodation offers.
On the food front we are delighted to have Simon Szymanski on board. Simon has been a number of years on the restaurant scene in Birmingham doing stints as a sous chef at Jessica’s, Simpson’s and latterly, Purnell’s. Simon’s emphasis is on producing simple but high quality dishes using as much local produce as possible. He has already established excellent links with our local game keepers and is always keen to establish contact with other local suppliers of produce. If you are a local producer and are interested in supplying us then please do feel free to drop by or contact us directly at the Talbot.
Finally, with Christmas looming, our Festive menus are now available on our website. We have a 4 course Festive menu running from 1 – 23 December priced at £22.50 and a 6 course Christmas day menu priced at £69.50 (children £34.50). We already have a number of group bookings for our Festive menu so if you are thinking of having an office or corporate get together then please do think about booking soon!
Finally, thank you for all your support over the past year and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Great article in The Shuttle this last month regarding our year anniversary. Read the full article by clicking here.
Special offers coming soon…
We have had a busy past few weeks at the Talbot Inn with plenty of drinkers, diners and overnight guests enjoying everything the Talbot has to offer. Many thanks to all our regular and new customers.
Our beer garden has now been completed with an array of picnic benches situated to the side of the pub. When the sizzling British summer arrives we will be adding umbrellas and a few other bits and pieces to complete ‘the look’ so please do stop by and visit! It is a great spot and when the sun is shining it is a real little suntrap!
With our spring offers drawing to a close we have a couple of new “May Madness” offers to tickle your taste buds and to sway you to swap the sofa for the Talbot Inn! From Monday to Friday we will be offering our two course table d’hôtel lunch for £10 - yes, that is £10! For those who have dined on our fixed price menus then you know we don’t compromise on the quality of the ingredients used and that these lunches represent superb value for money. We will also be introducing a steak & grill night on a Wednesday evening. Here’s the deal; two delicious rump steak main courses (usual quality cut) and a bottle of Spanish Tempranillo or Sauvignon Blanc for £30. For those who prefer something lighter we will have a chicken and fish option available as well. For £30 why would you bother to cook at home! Bookings are almost essential for this.
What else has been happening? We had a visit from Antony Bridge and friend last week, a Malvern based artist, who paints amazing pictures of the local landscape. He trudges through the fields, finds a quiet spot and then captures the landscape on his canvas. Truly inspirational stuff! Antony and Tom marvelled at the local landscape in the Teme Valley and had a super day painting. Hopefully we will be getting a few of his pictures to hang in the Talbot so watch this space!
On the food and drink side Ben has been introducing a number of new dishes onto our menu with his duo of lamb (rack of lamb and a lamb rump parcel) proving very particularly popular over the past few weeks. With the warmer weather approaching (it is on its way!) he will be adding some lighter summer style salads and this weekend, he has re-introduced our popular meat and seafood sharing platters. Both are ideal for lingering over a long lunch with a cheeky bottle of wine (or two!).
We have also made some additions to our wine list with the emphasis on adding a few lighter white wines and couple of additional rose wines for those warmer alfresco dining nights! On the real ale side we continue to rotate our guest ale and this month start with Darwin’s Origin from the superb Salopian Brewery based locally in Shrewsbury. This is a lovely bitter with citrus overtones which should please even the most seasoned real ale fans!
Here’s to a great May and beyond! We look forward to seeing you at the Talbot soon!
The Talbot Inn team.
With the first quarter of the year under our belt and, hopefully fingers crossed, winter behind us we move into the spring period looking forward to some warmer weather! Although Easter was early this year and felt more like winter we had a very busy Easter period with many new and familiar faces choosing to dine with us – thanks to all.
So what has been happening at the Talbot Inn? Well, firstly we are delighted to let you know that we have just been invited to appear in the main addition of the much coveted industry benchmark “The Good Pub Guide”. This invitation follows an unannounced inspection by their team with the catalyst to this inspection being several recommendations by some of our customers. Thank you to all that took the time to recommend us – it is very much appreciated by all the team at the Talbot. We were also delighted to be selected by the editor of Sawdays, David Hancock, to feature on their new App – “Sawdays Pubs – Handpicked with passion”. Next up is our inspection by the highly regarded AA ….. more news to follow in the next blog!
On the food side Ben and his team continue to produce outstanding dishes in the kitchen which have been proving very popular with our customers. Of particular note is his assiette of pork (four varieties of local pork) – some customers even took photographs of this dish before tucking in! Over the coming weeks Ben will be starting to introduce some new exciting dishes and making full use again of our specials blackboard… so watch this space!
Our midweek two course lunch and evening menu at £11.95 and £12.95 respectively is proving to be extremely popular with a number of people dining on a weekly basis with us which is great news. Again, as the seasons change, these menus will alter with new dishes being introduced so keep an eye out for these new menus. We will also be add some new wines, real ales and ciders over the coming months so why not take advantage of our 20% discount on selected beverages between 5-6pm from Monday to Thursday.
Over the next week or so we will be taking delivery of a number of benches and tables for our beer garden at the side of the Inn – we hope this is the start of some decent weather! This should be a great family space to enjoy a few drinks and some great food whilst watching the world go by.
On the accommodation side we have been very busy and now have a number of regular guests as well as weekend guests visiting the local area. Next month we look forward to welcoming our first Midland Automobile Club guests (MAC) as they attend the “Speed into Spring” festival at Shelsley Walsh on 4th and 5th of May. We are often asked whether we have family accommodation available and the answer is yes! We have two large bedrooms which can both accommodate two additional camp beds (high quality) and are ideal for a family of four with small children. Please do enquire about availability.
Finally, we look forward to welcoming you to the Talbot Inn soon!
With the daffodils starting to raise their heads above the ground it feels like spring is just around the corner…. let’s hope so! On reflection January and February have been a good couple of months for the Talbot Inn. Apart from a couple of blips due to the snowy weather the winter trade has been steady with a very encouraging stream of new customers joining us along with our loyal following of customers who have braved the weather to drink and dine with us – many thanks to all.
So what has the spring got in store for the Talbot Inn? Well, first up is Mother’s Day on Sunday 10th March when Ben and his team will be serving up a special four course lunch menu. Priced at £24.95 (children under 12 @ £11.50) it is the perfect opportunity to treat Mum and thank her for all her hard work! We will be serving lunch from 12pm to 5pm and already have a good number of bookings so don’t delay in calling the team on 01584 781941 to make your reservation.
Next up is Easter Sunday which falls early this year on 31st March (Easter already I hear you cry!) Again, our team in the kitchen will be presenting a gourmet lunch with seasonal favourites such as local spring lamb and rare breed Shropshire beef appearing on the menu. We will be posting details of this menu in the coming days so please visit again for further information.
Following on from our hugely successful “Winter Warmer” offers we will be launching our “Spring Saver” offers from March 1st. Our popular two course lunch for £11.95 from Monday to Friday remains in place and is joined by a two course evening menu for £12.95 which is available from Monday to Thursday. Both menus will reflect the changing seasons and still offer great value for money. Not forgetting our early evening drinkers we will be offering 20% discount on selected drinks between 5 – 6pm from Monday to Thursday. With the dark winter nights almost behind us, now is the time to start getting out and about and visit the Talbot Inn …..!
We are delighted to see a number of people utilising our dining room and booking private dining parties with us. Over the past few months we have hosted a number of family parties, walking clubs, wine clubs and sporting clubs so if you have any forthcoming events coming up and are looking for a suitable venue then please do contact us and we will do our best to help.
Our accommodation side of the business is going from strength to strength and we are starting to see a steady stream of guests staying with us throughout the week which is very encouraging. If you own or are part of a local business and have guests visiting and requiring overnight accommodation in the area then please do contact us for rates. For regular business travellers we are more than happy to offer a midweek corporate rate – so please do enquire.
On the marketing side of things we have just finished running a very successful Twitter campaign and now have almost 700 followers, many of whom are located in far flung parts of the UK! If you would like to follow us or are interested to see who is following the Talbot then please visit www.twitter.com/thetalbot_inn. Happy twittering!
In the coming weeks, and as spring approaches, we will be starting to adjust our menu and will be adding on a number of new dishes which Ben and his team have been conjuring up! We will also be starting work on our beer garden to the side of the building and attempting to start getting our river frontage area ready for the summer months – we are confident both areas will be a great space to sit out and enjoy some superb local food, real ales and ciders… here’s hoping the British weather behaves itself this year!
Finally, we look forward to seeing you at the Talbot Inn very soon
Ian Dowling, owner.