A little while ago, I was invited to The Victoria Pub and Restaurant in Barnt Green.Â Established over 100 years ago in 1903, The Victoria Inn, on Hewell Road, is close to Alvechurch and conveniently situated off the M42 motorway. At the time of visiting, The Victoria had just undergone aÂ refurbishment, re-opening to guests with a new look on Saturday 13th October. I was invited* to bring a guest with me to help me sample their new drinks, and my lovely momma of course jumped at the chance! (who wouldn’t?!). Right then, let’s get ontoÂ The Victoria Inn, Barnt Green review!
The OutsideSo this was the outside area that we were greeted with once we had parked the car and before entering the restaurant. To me, it felt really welcoming and I was eager to step inside. As part of the refurbishment, The Victoria Inn has increased the size of its outside seating area. I really love the look of this, in particular the covered area. It looks so comfy and chilled and I love the lights! It’s great that part of the outdoor area can be hired, I can see this being a really popular feature, particularly in the Summer.
The InsideAt The Victoria, there had been an extensive makeover of the internal decoration from designers, Spatialized. I had never visited the Inn before, but can imagine some major changes took place during the refurb.
The Bar Area
So we found somewhere to sit and got ourselves comfy. As you can see, the bar is definitely well stocked! Something for everyone there, I’m sure! Now it was a case of deciding what to have…
This would be every gin lovers dream, I’m sure! Plenty of gin and the opportunity to add various flavourings.
There was plenty of seating around the bar area. This included bar stools as well as comfy chairs too.
I was a big fan of the decor near the bar. So geometric and trendy! It was right up my street.
Since I had my bubba back in July, I’ve had an alcoholic beverage every now and again, but nothing much. So I thought as my lovely momma was driving, I would enjoy a cocktail (or two…or perhaps three haha!). There were plenty of great ones to choose from, mixing the classics to some I’d never heard of before.
First of all, I went for a raspberry mule. I loved the way it was presented with the mint garnish, raspberries and of course the lovely copper mug. The cocktail was a great blend of flavours, mixed perfectly.
Of course, I couldn’t resist one of my absolute faves, a pornstar martini! It was so fruity and yummy, it slipped down a treat! My final cocktail was a clover club. I love that it included edible flowers! You might have spotted that The Victoria does a ‘cocktail club’, offering 2 cocktails for Â£10 on Monday – Friday, 12-7pm. Such a great deal! You can check out the full range of cocktails here on theÂ cocktail menu.Â I definitely think I need to work my way through more of the lovely cocktails another time! If you’re not a big cocktail fan though, there are plenty of other drinks to choose from. You can browse them here in the drinks menu.Â I must say, there is an extensive range of gins on offer (if that’s your thing).
Time for a Preview
As we were enjoying our drinks in the bar area, we were very kindly treated to a preview of some of the starters from the seasonal menu. It was much appreciated as I was feeling peckish by this point, as was my momma. Plus, it was good to be able to sample the food before having to order off the menu. I’m pretty indecisive so this was handy for me! I must say these starters were really yummy. Each special in their own way, and full of flavour. I particularly enjoyed the pork and crackling, mainly because I have a bit of an obsession with crackling (anyone else love the crunch or is it just me?!). After monching on these, I knew we would be in for a treat with the food, and couldn’t wait to get started!
The Restaurant AreaThis was where we were seated in the restaurant area. It was super comfy and I really loved the floral backing.
As you can see, there are a range of different sized tables, suitable for various party sizes. You may have noticed that some of the chairs are made using the same floral material used where I was sitting. Whilst this area seems quiet on the preview night, I imagine this isn’t the case the rest of the time and this area probably gets very busy.
We were seated near the fireplace. It wasn’t a particularly cold evening when we visited, but I can imagine that the warm glow feels lovely on a chilly Winter’s evening.
This was how our table was decorated, in keeping with the colour range of the rest of the restaurant.
The MenusWe were provided with several menus – the drinks menu, the dinner menu, and also a vegan menu. Whilst I am not a vegan myself, I realise many people are these days so I was impressed that it was offered. Now it was time for us both to decide what to have!
StartersThe starters we chose were lobster and king prawn pot in Devon crab crÃ¨me fraiche with toasted ciabatta bread (Â£7.75); and duck liver and port parfait with gooseberry & Prosecco flavour compote and toasted ciabatta bread (Â£7.25). We both really enjoyed our starters and tried a bit of each others too. I was particularly impressed with the amount of ciabatta bread we both received, as often in restaurants they don’t give you enough!
Time to Cleanse Your Palette!After our starters we were given this – pineapple with chili – as a bit of a palette cleanser. I can see the idea here, but neither my momma nor I were a fan! It was just a bit too overpowering for us, but I’m sure others would appreciate this gesture.
MainsThe mains we chose were pan-fried sea bass fillets with Parmentier potatoes, pancetta, olives, spinach and white wine velute (Â£17.95);Â and roasted pork belly and seared scallops with potato dauphinoise, butternut squash puree, green beans, toasted almonds, crackling and red wine jus (Â£18.50). Again we both really enjoyed our mains. They were a great size for us both – not too big that we couldn’t get through the meal, but big enough to fill us up. Can you guess who had the pork?! 😀
PuddingsFinally, it was on to puddings. We chose vanilla creme brulee served with home-baked sultana and oatmeal biscuits; (Â£5.95) and melting chocolate and peanut bomb filled with sticky toffee and peanut butter cream, served with Bourbon vanilla ice cream and hot caramel sauce (Â£7.95). By this point in the meal, we were both pretty full but couldn’t resist a cheeky pudding! I opted for the melting bomb, but I must say the melting part didn’t wow me as much as I expected it to. It was just in no particular rush I don’t think! The server apologised for this. However, it did taste pretty yummy so that made up for it. My momma enjoyed her creme brulee too.
Other FacilitiesI must say I was even impressed with the decor in the bathroom! It is a continuation of the style within the rest of The Victoria, as well as being clean and tidy too.
Overall OpinionBoth my momma and I really enjoyed our evening at The Victoria. We were made welcome as soon as we entered the building, and this continued throughout the night. The staff wereÂ helpful and attentive, and it was clear that they enjoyed working at The Victoria. Both the food and drinks were delicious and very enjoyable. Therefore, I would happily return to this venue in the future. Before visiting The Victoria Inn, I had read that they had introduced a special Instagram feature to the pub, a floral evergreen growing wall, specifically designed for those who love to share the perfect picture. That is absolutely me to a tee but I somehow managed to miss it on my visit! I will be sure to look out for it when I return. So this was what I thought to The Victoria. Have you ever been? Would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments! Until next time… Jean xoxo *The meals and drinks we received were gifted. However, all opinions are my own, and I would never share something with you guys that I didn’t love myself!