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Published May 13th 2017
Chips To Die For At Pub In Delightful Countryside Setting
It is fair to say that The Hollybush pub in Staffordshire is somewhat off the beaten track, especially as there were confusing road diversion signs on the day that my wife and I visited. But the rewards of finding this splendid watering hole were certainly worth all the effort.
The Hollybush has a Lichfield address but, as we discovered, it is actually located within the small village of Little Hay, near Shenstone. And it couldn't be better situated, with delightful open countryside and fields directly opposite the pub on the other side of the lane. In fact, as the sun set in the early evening, this was the perfect place to sit over a drink following our meal inside.
A splendid place from which to enjoy the evening sun
Although The Hollybush is described as an historic pub it proved impossible to find out exactly how old it is. Possibly, in view of its peaceful rural setting, it may well have been a coaching inn for wayfarers passing through this attractive part of Staffordshire. But whatever its age, there is plenty of evidence of a long history within the spacious timber-and-brick interior, in particular one separate dining area where the beams look especially ancient.
In fact, much of the pub is clearly dedicated to the eating experience with a number of dining rooms surrounding the central bar. Although fairly traditionally decorated, the interior also boasts some interesting brass, pictures and plates adorning the walls, while wooden beams, pillars and decorative fireplaces are complemented by areas of exposed brickwork. A close look at the seats will also reveal some very interesting patterns on the material.
As previously mentioned, there is a pleasant beer terrace on the front of the pub, but there are also a couple of outside dining areas at the front and rear. And, although it was a gorgeous sunny evening, we chose to eat inside on this, our first visit. Certainly there was no shortage of great pub dishes on offer from the menu, ranging from hand-battered cod and chips to a 'gourmet burger'. My wife chose the slow cooked lamb shoulder with mashed potato, buttered seasonal vegetables and a rich red wine sauce at a cost of £14.99, while I had the Brewer's chicken which came with barbecue sauce, grilled back bacon, melted smoked Cheddar cheese, chips, coleslaw and garden peas for just £10.19.
Both dishes were perfectly cooked and tasted delicious and, for my part, I have to say that the chips were undoubtedly the best chunky chips I have ever tasted, being incredibly light and simply melted in the mouth. It is well worth a return visit just to try the chips again! Although we visited in midweek the pub also offers a range of traditional Sunday roasts which apparently come with a huge Yorkshire pudding and unlimited gravy.
The delicious Brewer's chicken, with chips to die for!
The Hollybush, which is a Chef and Brewer pub, normally serves one regular beer, namely Greene King IPA, and two guest beers which change from time to time. But on the day we visited the only guest beer available was Backyard Brewhouse's Subversion IPA, so Greene King Abbot Ale was added to the regular beers instead. A pint of Abbot Ale cost £3.63 while a regular glass of Frontera Cabernet Savignon wine was £4.49.