Dorset County Magazine - July 2013
The Greyhound Inn at Corfe castle is reputedly the 'most photographed pub in Britain'. It's easy to see why - the ruins of this famous castle provide a stunning backdrop to the old inn which dates back to the 16th century.
I visited on a busy Friday evening with my two teenage sons - both a dab hand in the kitchen. Would the food at The Greyhound provide the same 'wow factor' as the views?
We were given a very warm welcome by Jo Martin, Joint Manager and Head Chef - she took us on a tour of the pub which boasts several areas for eating and drinking (some nonsmoking).The garden provides a fantastic photo opportunity of the castle ruins, and has a recent addition- the 'Ye Olde Tuck Shoppe' serving teas and cakes, as well as hot dogs and pasties, which is great if you only have time for a quick pit slop. On the weekend we were there the pub was hosting a Beer Festival in the garden - it was tempting to stay and sample one of the 30 beers and ciders; however, teenage tummies had to be fed..
Not only does the menu make line taste-bud-tingling reading, on the back is an interesting section on the history of the building and origins of the pub. The Specials often feature local fish -the fishermen just turn up at the kitchen door with their catch of the day!
From the extensive menu and ever-changing Specials board, No 1 son chose the moules mariniere, a big bowl of local mussels which came with chips, doorsteps of warm bread and butter, and a glass of dry white wine or Belgian beer (£14.95). No 2 son chose from the Specials -Indonesian chicken , a chicken and vegetable stir-fry served on a sizzling platter, accompanied by rice (£12.95). After much deliberation I could not resist the beer-and-beer pie, made with prime British beef braised in real ale with mushrooms, Dorset Blue Vinny cheese and topped with puff pastry (£10.95). This was served with chunky chips and peas. The classic white¬ wine-and-cream sauce with the mussels was extremely good: smooth, rich and creamy with just a hint of garlic. The chicken was deliciously spicy with a subtle coconut flavour and stir-fried with red onions, courgettes and red pepper. A tastily-dressed fresh salad also came with this. As for the pie - the beef was very tender- and the beery, cheesy sauce was scrummy. The washer-up may have been unsure whether to wash our plates or just put them away, so scraped clean were they!
The pie was very nicely accompanied by an Oakwood Shiraz cabernet from Australia - good value at £10.95 a bottle. The Greyhound has a comprehensive winelist with a selection of popular wines from Europe and the New World as well as a couple of choices of bubbly. If beer is more your tipple, there is a good range of local real ales.
After a suitable gap we ordered puds -sticky toffee pudding and cream for me, 'Dangerously Decadent' chocolate pudding and cream and a Tia Maria-and-chocolate mousse for the hulks, all priced at a very reasonable £3.95. My pudding was lovely - a light sponge with a rich treacly sauce, The chocolate pudding is indeed dangerously decadent and very rich - but this was polished off with a lick of the lips. The mousse was very good too, smooth and lightly whipped with a hint of Tia Maria. All our puddings were topped by a luscious strawberry.
As we finished our drinks I took a moment to look around - ¬the pub was full of a mix of people: young, old, holidaymakers, locals, families and couples all having a thoroughly enjoyable Friday evening. In the bar area a band was setting up - a regular feature at The Greyhound on Friday evenings and throughout bank-holiday weekends.
The Greyhound has a great teem of staff - in the kitchen and front of house. The bar staff were particularly friendly and chatty, in between taking copious table bookings for the weekend ahead . It's a warm, welcoming place with good, well prepared and cooked food and got a thumbs up from all of us!
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