Coming from the same stable as The Bell, which we reviewed a couple of months ago, we had high hopes for The Woolpack, in Stoke Mandeville, which has recently been refurbished – and we were not disappointed.
Both are Premium Country Pubs, a collection of individual pubs located in some of the more beautiful locations in the UK.
As you walk in you are met by wood beams, real fires and a lovely warm ambience, which is echoed by the staff’s warm welcome. These venues really stand out by the quality and obviously detailed training of their staff – the level of hospitality is set incredibly high.
As we walked to our table, we could see that the same eclectic style of decor has been used at the Woolpack – it makes for a place where there is something interesting to see at every turn – and a real treat if you’re used to chain locations with identikit layouts.
Where we sat, there were large French windows leading out onto the patio, which would be lovely for a summer location – and with curtains closing off the area, we imagine it would be perfect for a large birthday celebration, or even a small wedding or anniversary event.
We ordered a Garlic & Mozzarella Pizzette to nibble on while we chose from the comprehensive menu.
The food did not disappoint – a delicious prawn dish (Pan-fried King Prawns with Chilli & Feta) with a sweet tomato sauce, cut through with the salty cheese feta was a particular favourite. As was the Creamy Sauteed Paris Brown & Mixed Mushrooms, served with bread for dipping..
We both went for the steak (one fillet, one rib-eye), although there were other delights including Rack of Lamb with Chorizo, Pan-fried Seabass Fillets & Chorizo, and Candied Root Vegetable Bake. The Maple-Glazed Rotisserie Pork Belly & Scallops sounded tempting too.
One new discovery were the Billionaires fries – crisp on the outside and finished with parmesan, prosciutto and truffle oil. We highly recommend that even if you’re just popping in for a drink you order a portion – though be warned you may be hooked!
Desserts followed – a sticky toffee pudding with a luxurious bourbon ice cream and a perfect creme brulee.
We finished off with a house creation – an autumnal cocktail of prosecco, Bombay Sapphire Gin and blackberries. A perfect finish.
As well as the all-day menu, there’s a Sunday menu, lunch menus with lighter bites – and the Woolpack also welcomes children and has a dedicated children’s menu.
Visit the Woolpack at www.woolpackstokemandeville.co.uk.