More Birthday Celebrations at The Cross Keys, Woolstone

Little boy, eating a Belgian waffle with ice cream

In our house, birthdays are like buses – you wait a while and then two come around at once! After we celebrated my birthday in mid-January, Ash's is at the end of the month – meaning another Sunday lunch to celebrate. Again, no surprises – and after some super quick research, I decided on the Cross Keys in Woolstone (another find courtesy of the Eat & Explore Facebook page).

When I call to book, there were slots available for 12pm and 2pm. Thinking of Alfie, I went with midday. It was fairly busy for the duration of our meal with lots of larger parties enjoying get-togethers. While our table was booked for a two-hour slot, it didn't feel rushed, and the staff were attentive.

We were given a high table which wasn't a problem – Alfie loved being up high and felt so grown up. I would recommend checking when you make the reservation in case you have children of a younger age, as it wouldn't be suitable. When I enquired to book the table, I did mention the reservation would include a child, but we wouldn't require a highchair.

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Onto the food… I've seen and heard good things about the mixed roast (to share) – three lots of meat (beef, lamb and pork) with all the usual vegetables, giant Yorkshire puddings, and even portions of cauliflower cheese and pigs in blankets included, at a very reasonable price of £33.95. I kinda wish we'd plumped for that. Instead, Ash and I ordered a roast each – he had gammon, and I chose the pork belly. We both wanted sides, so chose the cauli-cheese AND pigs in blankets... So much food!

Pork belly with roast potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire pudding

The roast was absolutely huge. I had a massive piece of pork belly which I struggled to finish, loads of potatoes and about six different vegetables! There were four jumbo pigs in a portion, and again, I couldn’t eat them all. I mentioned in a previous post, I don't normally order roast dinners when going out – but the Cross Keys have absolutely smashed it here. Everything was cooked and seasoned to perfection. The only problem for me was there was just far too much. Needless to say, I saved room for pudding.

The children's menu had plenty of options, as well as Sunday roasts (chicken or beef). Alfie chose the beef burger, fries, and beans. The burger came with lettuce and tomato, which of course I had to remove first – and again the portion was massive. The burger was chunky and juicy, and the fries were so crisp.

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I had shown Alfie the menu beforehand and he was more excited about the Belgian waffle for pudding. I think the options were chocolate brownie, waffle, or ice cream for the children, and in hindsight he should have gone for the latter. The prospect of having a waffle was really exciting, but he ate the chocolate and caramel sauces first, followed by the ice cream and once I had cut the waffle up, left most of it.

Slice of chocolate cake, with pistachio ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce
I chose the chocolate drip cake which was reminiscent of the Bruce Bogtrotter cake in Matilda. Super light sponge, with a rich chocolate ganache – so moreish! With my sweet tooth, I didn't struggle at all. It was served with pistachio ice cream which was also lovely… Such an underrated ice cream flavour in my opinion! Originally, I was tempted just to order that, but the cake caught my eye last minute. Ash had the ‘Cross Keys Mess’ – basically, an Eton Mess.

It was lovely to go somewhere new as even though we don't go out much, we end up choosing the same few places. We said we'd go back again. That said, The Plough at Simpson is its sister pub, so we could always give that a try next time. The staff were really good with Alfie and his menu doubled up as a colouring and activity sheet, so between that and our phones he was well entertained – and behaved well too.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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