Showcasing a wide range of menus, it’s safe to say you’ll never go hungry at The Boot Inn. A revamped, country-feel village pub that allows visitors to indulge in a tsunami of culinary delights, the overall experience radiates a warm, cosy feeling perfect for a seasonal meal with family and friends.
Rehashing similar surroundings, decor and menus to other premium country pubs in the Midlands, (The Bull’s Head – Meriden) and The Lyttleton Arms, Stourbridge just to name a few, it seems every person, their dog and nan has visited The Boot Inn, Studley at least once in their lifetime. I’ll admit I’ve never been so I was looking forward to taking part in the exclusive media preview to trial their new menus. During our visit, just a 20 minute drive from Stirchley, myself and a guest received a complimentary three-course meal, plus all associated drinks and a tour of the new renovation.
The Boot Inn – Revamped Decor
I personally won’t be able to tell you how much it now differs from before the renovation, but the new setting unearths a variety of nooks and crannies; enabling customers to hide away whilst enjoying secluded drinks with small groups of friends and loved ones. Alternatively the main restaurant area for larger numbers features a healthy number of tables, laid neatly with sparkling wine glasses and candle-lit features. The plush decor is attractive, sophisticated with orange and brown chairs and pillows combining earthy, wooden tones and a sensual autumn-licked palette. Wooden beams scattered high and low, statement floral wallpapers and artwork and gorgeous hanging lights markets a romantic, but relaxed vibe. Open log fires and feature lighting portrays a modern, rustic countryside feel whilst adding a touch of glamour. It’s like stepping into someone’s country home, with the erotic smell of meat, carbs and gin lingering about the place.
The Boot Inn – Gin Station
Tucked away on the corner of the bar is the gin station, laid heavenly and heavily with an assortment of dried fruits and juices to personalise your tipple. Stocking non-alcoholic Seedlip in large quantities, I treated my drink to a concoction of passion fruit, oranges, cucumber and more before retreating to our table – apparently one of the best in the house located at the back of the restaurant. The Boot Inn has introduced a wide range of seasonal cocktails, so whether you fancy something fruity, fresh or stormy, they’ll make any drink you like. You can also enjoy their range of premium G&Ts, wines and bubbles, craft beers and refreshing ciders. The pheasant plucker (3.7%) ale was a favourite. Drink menu can be found here.
Expect to read menus aplenty at The Boot Inn which has carefully curated a new collection of dishes. I personally felt a bit overwhelmed with the number of menus available (also continuously joked about when diners came in for the evening and servers handed customers a stack of paper to read.) Although mountains of fresh flavours inspired by the seasons are appreciated, I wouldn’t reject the idea of seeing the menus and options decrease in size as it took a good 5-10 minutes to read through it all. The website details more on their menus: lunch to all day dishes, Sunday roasts to specific vegan menus; not forgetting a selective ‘fish’ list to browse through – the last thing you might want to see is the dessert selection at the end.
Weekends will also promise fresh shucked rock oysters and grill sharing boards. Offering great value throughout the week, the pub and restaurant will see a promising Monday-Friday lunch offer including pizzas, salads and grilled delights. Whether you fancy something from the main menu or trying some catch-of-the-day fresh fish, there’s something to suit all cravings.
The Boot Inn – Starters
While you ponder your choices, breads, olives and small dishes are available from £2.95. A hearty selection of starters awaits you – the usual selection of brie, scallops, duck liver parfait, squid, soups are readily available. Opting for something to pick at, we went for the impressive (but pricey) Sticky Pig Sharing Board (£19.95). Expect Copper Marans scotch egg & golden beetroot piccalilli, sausage roll & brown sauce, pork belly on smoky creamed corn, crispy pig cheeks, apple sauce & crackling.
We had people come over to our table to take photos so it certainly looks impressive. The best part was the crispy pig cheeks; succulent and enough for two people to indulge. We heard the chef was slightly disappointed with the scotch egg as it should have been more runny. Considering we were guinea pigs for this stage, it’s helpful to see how they can improve the quality of the food come real-time service.
The Boot Inn – Main Meals
The dinner menu is extensive – a plethora of sticky meats, pies, burgers, and nourish bowls (£10.50) await. The vegan menu also offers a range of healthy dishes. On the night we headed directly for the sustainable day-boat fish options. Pan Fried Monkfish Cheeks (£19.95) landed in Scotland and comes with roasted peppers and tomatoes, fondant potato and chimichurri. Josh had the Pan Fried Hake Fillet (£17.50) caught in the North-East Atlantic, coming with roasted tomato salad, capers, olives on sourdough. We enjoyed our meals with a small portion of Baby Spinach (£3.50) and a side of onion rings and a variety of thin and chunky chips. We were told we could order whatever we wanted – so naturally went carb heavy.
The meals weren’t over-complicated, came out on clean white plates, with chunks of fish sitting on a bed of vegetables. Not the most Instagram worthy meal I’ve eaten this year and I can’t see the dishes winning Michelin stars, but it’s good to know where the fresh produce came from and I’m happy to say both were cooked beautifully enough for the fish to crumble and flake. The sweetness from the tomatoes and reminiscent of Chimichurri made my meal pleasant. We didn’t leave feeling sickly full afterwards.
The Boot Inn – Dessert Menu
With just enough room to squeeze in a pud, we were presented with another long list of sweet choices. Serving melting bombs (I’ve had enough of them in my time to know they don’t always perform to their fullest theatrical potential) to fruit crumbles, a variety of tarts, ice creams, cheesecakes and more – General Manager, Scott informed us that the ICON SHARING DESSERT BIRDCAGE (£16.95) is a great sharing option and pub favourite, coming with three tiers of shareable plates. Not forgetting Premium Country Pubs have created five vegan-friendly desserts if you aren’t able, or don’t want to order off the main menu.
Sad to say we weren’t blown away by our dessert choice. But it certainly didn’t stop other bloggers on the next table wanting to take photos. Technically more style than substance, the top tier was an upturned vanilla cheesecake, accompanied by strawberry, chocolate & pistachio smash; (an apparent identical looking creation from a well known fine dining establishment in Birmingham!). Sadly, the tier wasn’t enough for two people to share evenly. How do you split an ice cream cone fairly, anyhow? The second tier was more enjoyable, a soft, warm gooey home-baked brownie, with French almond macaron & pecan praline ice cream. Uncomplicated but the best one of the three. The bottom tier left a lot to be desired, an odd sensation and texture of blackcurrant mousse & mango coulis that didn’t leave me wanting more.
Overall, our experience at the Boot Inn was a relaxing one and we were very well looked after by the team in terms of food, beverage choice and dining experience. After our meal we retreated to the fireplace while Josh sipped on his evening coffee. The Boot Inn officially reopened on October 12, so if you’re looking for somewhere new to visit that isn’t bang in the city centre, or if you simply want a pleasant time with hearty food and great service, you know where to go. I’d say just give the birdcage a miss. Onsite parking is free and The Boot Inn is open 7 days a week.
The Boot Inn, Mappleborough Green, Studley, B80 7BJ
Please note, I was invited as a guest including a full Premium Country Pub dining experience – 3 courses and associated drinks. As always, opinions and photos are my own.