The Green Dragon, Sambourne, Warwickshire
The Green Dragon is a traditional timbered olde worlde country pub by the village green in Sambourne (which is about a couple of miles south of Redditch / a mile west of Studley). It has a proper restaurant, but that wasn't open when we got there - I should imagine that it is reserved for when there are more people eating. There was, however, and area of the bar set away round the corner from where the locals were drinking and smoking, and that was laid out for food. It was empty when we got there, although a couple of the other tables filled later on.
The service was fab and friendly throughout: although it was accurate it couldn't be called slick, and was therefore exactly what I feel suits a country pub of that sort. the waitress was also quite cute, which always helps. :-)
The food was also very yummy. I opted for the goats cheese starter, and got a sizeable slab of cheese, melted onto a round piece of toast, all of which was perched on top of a mixed salad. My dining companion had kindly remembered to tell the waitress about my pepper allergy (I always forget and end up having to leave the salad) and she got the chef to modify it accordingly, whilst ensuring that the peppers still came in his food. It's things like that which make me happy about service. I can't remember what Simon had for starter, but I don't recall any complaints about it either.
For main course I went for the medallions of beef in a Diane sauce, accompanied by mashed potato and mixed vegetables. Very very nice. The beef was tender and done medium rare as I asked, and was rather better than the fillet steak Diane I had in Pinocchio's last Thursday. Simon's main course was some sort of duck stir fry, which looked lovely.
The pudding menu was remarkable for its lack of chocolatey goodness, which was fine by me. In fact, it had far more choice than I'm used to on a dessert menu, as it contained some good old fashioned English puddings as well as favourites such as cheesecake and creme brulee. I eventually chose the apple and rhubarb crumble with custard, and Simon chose the apple pie with custard. Both were very very good.
The coffee afterwards was okay, and it was nice to find somewhere that's happy to offer decaffeinated as an option. It was even nicer to find somewhere within striking distance of Birmingham that serves a lovely pint of Adnam's Broadside. Hurrah! I think I might be going back, especially given that it worked out at 25 quid a head for that little lot, and I felt replete afterwards. Highly recommended.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that there were two troupes of dancers out on the village green whilst it was still light - one troupe of morris women in pinafores and clogs, and a troupe of morris men with blacked up faces, bells, ragged clothing and the likes of tail coats. I didn't think they could be proper morris men because they were almost all under 35. They were clearly having a whale of a time 9with Mr Adnam's assistance) and once it got dark they came in and danced around in the bar, which was quite entertaining. It was possible to avoid them entirely by staying in the room where the food was being served, but they were too much fun to want to miss!
(NB I am not so uncool as to find Morris men entertaining generally, but this lot were a giggle)