Restaurant Review: The Coach House (Norbury)

Food is about love and generosity

Michael Smith, Head Chef (Loch Bay Restaurant, Skye)

We love the thought of food as ‘generosity‘. A shared plate … a favourite recipe offered to a friend … recommendations for places to go … a glut of fruit passed on to a jam maker …

The community of folk who love food, like, really love food … they’re a great bunch. It turns out that not only are they great people but they are remarkably generous too. How so, you ask. Well, a whole host of Shropshire-based makers, producers, chefs plus food and drink experts recently contributed to a wonderful collection of treats for an auction prize to raise money for the ‘Mad About Harry‘ fundraising appeal.

From beautiful ceramics and wooden boards to speciality roasted coffee, handpicked wines and regional treats imported from Italy, experiences and great tastes alike, warm-spirited souls contributed generously. The irresistible haul was snapped up by Mr and Mrs Deli, treats to inspire our foodie souls. Amongst the fabulous rewards – through the generosity of Sean and Lexi – was a B&B stay in their coveted restaurant with rooms, the reputation of which is growing apace.

So, just under 2 weeks ago, we took full advantage of an overnight bed and breakfast stay at the fabulous Coach House in Norbury by booking ourselves into their ‘Taste of March‘ evening.

From the moment we arrived, we were spoilt rotten. Our style is ‘unpretentious high end‘ and the Coach House has totally got that nailed. Ben’s front-of-house is attentive and welcoming. Our bed for the night turns out to be the most comfortable … pillows to sink into, a mattress you won’t want to ease yourself out of.

BUT … ease yourself out of it you must … no lazing about for tired Delis, it’s time for supper!

Chefs Sean Morris and Harry Bullock wow’d us with a mouth-watering tasting menu. As we chatted later in the evening, the super-modest Sean let slip that Harry is only 21 years old and self-taught. What a talent!

Seven stunning courses unfolded during a relaxed evening where the front-of-house service matched the sensational flavours tantalising our taste buds.

As ever, it is nigh on impossible to pick favourites but Mr Deli always has a soft spot for pork belly, while Mrs Deli luxuriated in two desserts (rhubarb with ginger set cream, nutmeg and ginger nut followed by a chocolate tart with hazelnut and caramel … lush!). The wine pairings were selected by Robin at Iron & Rose, who helps us with selections for the deli – another one of the fabulous food connections which made the evening so special. We even got to eat a dessert off a bowl made by Gill at Sytch Farm Studio, the evening after she and Jon had dined with us at #tablefor10

For the record, the menu looked a lot like this:

  • Bread (Sourdough and Salted Butter)
  • Hispi (charred Hispi cabbage, black garlic, ricotta)
  • Crab (mooli, soy, spring onion, dashi)
  • Beef (beef, oyster, broccoli)
  • Pork (belly, apply, date, leeks)
  • Rhubarb (ginger set cream, nutmeg, ginger nut)
  • Chocolate 70% (tart, hazelnut, caramel)
  • Neal’s Yard Cheese Board (including unctuous Baron Bigod)

We have had the Coach House on our radar for a while but we’ve been busy with the deli. Fortunately, the generosity of the food community in Shropshire created its own bit of serendipity … we’re kicking ourselves for taking so long to get our table booked.

Do promise that now it’s on your radar you won’t delay!