At the top of the hill climbing out of the Teme Valley, just as you cross the border from Worcestershire into Herefordshire, lies the small village of Upper Sapey. It is here that you’ll find The Baiting House.
The focal point of village life for well over a century, the Baiting House was traditionally where drovers and waggoners climbing the hill with their horses would stop for “bait” (the local word for food, or a small snack). The earliest census records go back to 1840, when a wheelwright called Peregrine Perkins occupied the property and had a useful side-line as a beer maker.
Having fallen into disrepair at the beginning of the current decade, the Baiting House closed completely early in 2015, but was totally refurbished and re-born having been bought by local couple Andrew and Kate in September 2015.
The Baiting House offers something for everyone – an excellent selection of local cask ales and ciders from their own Herefordshire orchards, fine wines and a 2 AA rosette restaurant offering fresh local ingredients cooked beautifully by head chef Charles Bradley.
The prix fixe lunch menu is exceptional value at 2 courses for £20 or 3 courses for £25, offering a selection from the main dinner menu. Food is served in the bustling bar area which is dog friendly, and in the main restaurant. We received a warm welcome during our lunch time visit, which kicked off with a Blackberry Bellini from the Baiting House cocktails list.
I started with the twice baked little Hereford cheese soufflé, which came served in the piping hot stoneware dish it had been cooked in. The soufflé itself was light and fluffy, which transformed into a moreish decadence with each mouthful when combined with the creamy, cheese sauce. Every now and then I would get a taste of red pepper and a caramalised onion crumb. Comforting, indulgent and entirely marvellous.
My dining partner opted for the smoked haddock scotch egg with a ‘chip shop’ curry sauce. A soft egg yolk was revealed when the scotch egg was halved with the outer crunch of the scotch egg contrasting well with the softer haddock layer. The curry sauce added a depth of flavour which built in heat of time.
To follow a dreamy plate of lamb rump with braised shoulder, broccoli, feta cheese, potato terrine and lamb sauce was presented across the table from me. I had complete food envy, and was told that the lamb was one of the most tender and flavoursome cuts he remembers having ever tried.
My eyes lit up when I saw the large portion of cod fillet in front of me. The fish was accompanied with a mussel puree, cauliflower, potato terrine and an intense shellfish sauce. The cooking of the cod was magnificent, and the entire lunch had been an absolute triumph. So much so that we couldn’t get enough, and ordered a sticky toffee pudding to end the meal with – highly recommended.
In addition to great food, The Baiting House also offers 6 luxury en-suite bedrooms, with comfy beds, Egyptian cotton bed linens, flat screen TVs and power showers. Dog friendly rooms are also available. This is one of the most idyllic country pubs with some of the best food you can find in the area.
The Foodie Card offer – 3 courses for the price of 2 from the prixe fixe lunch menu (excl. Sun) / 10% off OR a free glass of wine with 2 courses for dinner (excl. Fri & Sat).
*The Foodie Card® is only £15 per person per year (or £25 for two), and entitles you to exclusive offers and deals in participating food and drink places across The Three Counties. It’s the perfect gift for foodies!
*One offer per Cardholder per visit on presentation of the Card at a Participating Business, unless otherwise stated on the offer listing).
Click here to view the full list of participating businesses and to buy The Foodie Card.