Review of 'The Saracens Head'

I stayed at “The Saracens Head” for four days recently and as such I was able to sample much of their menu. There is a pub serving traditional pub food but there is also a separate restaurant area (though here you can order from the pub menu if you like).

Breakfast is served for residents which is absolutely amazing with the traditional “Full English” breakfast (including black pudding) but also lesser-seen breakfast options such as smoked haddock.

Full English

All of the menus were quite amazing, featuring local ingredients and, thankfully, quite short with very good dishes on offer. Yes, there were the traditional pub options on the pub menu but even these are done exceptionally well (the fish and chips looked delicious indeed). The prices are reasonable (compared to big cities, but expensive compared to other local options) with lunch sandwiches between £7 and £9, starters between £8 and £10, mains £15 to £30, and desserts £7.50 (cheese board at £10.95).

The lunch menu in the pub includes sandwiches, baguettes and burgers which are quite tasty if served in enormous portions. I tried the “beef brisket” which was a sandwich, frankly, not possible to eat with your hands that came with a good amount of delicious chips - Crunchy but fluffy in the middle.

Beef Brisket Sandwich

Other huge offerings included the “Welsh Black Beef Burger” (£14.95) which I told was amazing.

Welsh Black Beef Burger

I also tried the “Farmhouse Ham with Honey Mustard Glaze and Salad” in a granary baguette (£7.95) which was delicious, particularly the seed-filled baguette.

Farmhouse Ham Baguette

The restaurant lunch menu mirrors much of what is on the dinner menu. For dinner I tried the “Hot Pork Terrine” starter (£7.95) which was mild in flavour but very pleasant indeed with sprigs of greens on the top. The (local) pork was tender and delicious.

Another day I kept things simple and ordered the “trio of asparagus” starter as my main which was absolutely delicious though quite a small portion (even for a starter). The asparagus was from just down the road in the Wye Valley.

On the first night I had the local organic chicken for my main dish “Creedy Carver Chicken Breast wild morrell mushrooms, rillette chicken bon-bon, Wye Valley asparagus, pea puree, Madeira jus” (£21.50) which was absolutely delicious. The delicate potato ring added an interesting texture and the (organic) chicken was full of flavour. The asparagus was perfectly cooked - Just slightly al-denté while the light, crunchy chicken rillette added a even more texture to the dish.

The hit dessert of the stay was the “Textures of Chocolate” - “Dark chocolate ganache, chocolate crumb, chocolate aero, chocolate sorbet, warm chocolate soup” (£7.50) which was incredibly decadent. The ganache was creamy and rich, as was the chocolate soup. The aero was lovely and light and the crumb added a nice texture to the dish as did the crunchy sugar shard decoration.

Another good option, though slightly disappointing in taste, was the “Rhubarb & Custard” - “Egg custard tart, champagne rhubarb, rhubarb gel, rhubarb cream, rhubarb ripple ice cream”. Surprisingly, it tasted very little of rhubarb save for the strips of rhubarb sticking out of the top of the tart. Generally quite tasty though.

All dishes, as you can see, looked amazing and were served with great care and attention. The service was not always quick (though at lunch the pub staff really step up to the plate and deliver food quickly to tables) but the food was always amazing. The staff were very helpful and pleasant throughout our stay going out of their way to help us at all times.

The prices are a bit high for the area but the cooking is top notch. Well worth a visit.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2018-06-27

Cuisine: American/British

Address: Symonds Yat East Ross-on-Wye Herefordshire HR9 6JL ENGLAND

Location: Herefordshire (England) - Symonds Yat



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Telephone: +44 (0) 1600 890435