I first went to The Jockey after it reopened in 2015 following a major refurbishment by its new owner. It was exciting to have a promising new restaurant / pub open so close to home so we went along with my Mum and Dad to their launch evening to find out more. The décor in the Jockey was lovely, the food that evening was great (awesome burger) and we looked forward to returning and exploring the menu further.
For months after the opening I had tried to book tables on several occasions to go back but The Jockey were always too busy to accommodate me. Talking to other friends, family and locals they were having a similar experience so after a while I was a little put off about wanting to go back. Eventually I did go back a few times and unfortunately the service and food seemed to be inconsistent each time. It was either really good or quite average on both counts.
Just before Christmas last year my boyfriend and I decided to go to The Jockey one evening and I pre warned him about my previous experiences as wasn’t sure what to expect this time. Our dinner that evening was exceptional, so we went back again just a few weeks later. Again, we had a fantastic meal, the staff were much more efficient and it felt like The Jockey I had remembered from the launch night when they had first opened. Thank goodness.
My Mum and Dad were going overseas a couple of weeks ago and were flying early on the following Monday morning. My Mum often cooks Sunday lunch but they decided to go out to eat so they could save time to pack for their trip. My boyfriend and I were invited along, none of us had been to The Jockey for Sunday lunch before but my Dad booked a table for the 4 of us. When we arrived we were greeted by a different Restaurant Manager to whom had looked after us on previous visits. He was a European gentleman who was extremely professional, attentive and friendly. I looked at the menu and noticed the price of the Sunday Luncheon menu – 2 courses @£19.95 or 3 courses @£23.95, this sounded like great value if the food was to be as good as it sounded on the menu.
We ordered some wine and decided to all have a starter each. My boyfriend went for the Sardine Nicoise salad, my Dad had the terrine and Mum and I had the trio of heritage beetroot. All of the starters looked stunning on the plates. Fresh, colourful ingredients presented beautifully and all tasted every bit as good as they looked. My Dad had the smoked haddock risotto for main course, my Mum had the roast lamb and my boyfriend and I naturally chose the roast beef. The roasts were served with a Yorkshire pudding and a rich wine reduction. On the side were some green beans, cauliflower, broccoli and roast potatoes. Each of us thoroughly enjoyed our lunch, I thought the beef was fantastic. I tried some of my Dad’s risotto too, he couldn’t finish it as the portion was large as well as being very rich, it was delicious though.
Hopeful it was going to live up to the standard of the rest of the meal we perused the dessert menu. Mum and Dad shared a chocolate brownie. My boyfriend and I shared a chocolate brownie and a cheese plate (I ate most of the cheese). The brownie was absolutely delicious, although a little over cooked (we were at the end of service) it was still gorgeous and was served with an amazing vanilla and salted caramel ice cream. The cheese board had 3 great quality cheeses to enjoy which we did very much.
When our waitress cleared our plates after dessert I had to ask “do you have a new chef”? But no, apparently the head chef has always remained the same, however the waitress told us that there had been a recent change of sous chef and other kitchen staff. Either way, The Jockey were back on form and I’m looking forward to going back and supporting this fantastic local pub and restaurant.
Cost: £91.80 (Sunday lunch menu, food only)
4 starters, 4 main courses, 3 desserts
Baughton, Earl’s Croome, Worcestershire, United Kingdom – last visited in March 2017
Food hygiene rating – good 4/5 – date of last inspection 6th December 2016