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Monday, 8 October 2018

#247 Horse & Jockey, Grindley Brook, Shropshire : 1996 to 2018

Grindley Brook is a small village on the Llangollen Canal just outside Whitchurch. The only pub in the village is the Horse & Jockey which we've visited on the few occasions that we've stopped there.
Our first visit was at lunchtime on Sunday 25th August 1996 and this was the welcoming sight. As usual, I have little recollection of the interior, but as the sign says Food was served from 12 - 2 pm and 7 - 10 pm Every Day so we obviously were well fed. (as an aside, whatever happened to those sorts of food serving times? Admittedly, 2 pm is a bit early to stop. Definitely shows the changing times and eating out habits over 22 years.)
The Llangollen canal isn't one we take on too often and so we didn't return to the Horse & Jockey until another lunchtime on Sunday 2nd September 2007.
In the passing 11 years, the Horse & Jockey appears to have changed hands and was no longer a Banks's pub. Interestingly, aside from the complete redecoration, a 'porch' has appeared around the front door and a chimney has sprouted from the low roof on the right.
Coincidentally, it took us another 11 years to return and on this trip, we paid it two visits.
Firstly on the evening of Wednesday 29th August 2018 and then again - 
 on the evening of Sunday 2nd September 2018 (exactly 11 years to the day from the previous visit!). It has undergone yet further refurbishments both outside and in. One thing that hasn't changed is the civilised food times on a Sunday (til 9 pm).
The d├ęcor is what I would call, modern rustic, a style many food led country pubs have now adopted. The food was good with an interesting menu that changes monthly, but I have one quibble - why is it a modern trend to serve a meal with the various components piled on top of each other?
My fish and chips arrived with the battered cod on top of a stack of chips (piled Jenga style) meaning that the fat from the batter inevitably softens what were crisp chips! On the second visit, the roast beef (and Yorkshire Pudding) were on top of a pile of assorted vegetables which hid the abomination that is cauliflower cheese. The manner in which this was rectified was exemplary, which is the sign of a well-run establishment.

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