This review is a little too close to home. Well, I did used to live the distance of a Stuart Broad bowling action over the road from The Three Crowns pub. Speaking of Mr Broad, it’s largely down to him that the pub got a much needed renovation. Gone are the ageing furnishings and odours of chip fat to be replaced by a sleek, swish bar area and promising food menu.
The Three Crowns used to be a typical village pub, you could pretty much name each regular. Visitors weren’t common and you certainly wouldn’t take a route of your way to have a meal and a pint. Those times have certainly changed as many flock now to try out the pub now owned by the famous international cricketer. We accepted our invitation to try it out for ourselves.
Driving into the car park, straight away we had to admire the new decking. Perfect outdoor seating for this time of year to enjoy a beer in the summer sun. Just before the seating area, there is a sheltered spot which houses a large pizza oven. It was the pizza that we were here to try which has been the subject of rave reviews.
Walking into the bar was a shock. I had my first legal pint in here with my dad and it has undergone a rapid transformation since then. A smart main bar area with comfy seating and televisions in each corner give off a ‘sports bar’ vibe. The photos on the wall depict history of both Leicestershire and the village which is a nice touch.
The staff were welcoming and the selection of beers on tap is actually very good. Estrella doesn’t get a look in at many places that i’ve visited before so it was a pleasure to see it here. We swerved the beer though and got stuck into a bottle of Hardy’s Rose, an ideal drink on a summers evening.
Tucked away in the far back corner is the original raised dining area, a reminder of how The Three Crowns used to be, or at least how I remember it. We ordered our pizzas from the menu written in chalk on a beam across the ceiling. The prices were very decent for a village such as Wymeswold with many ranging from £11-13.
As Mr Broad has his hand in this place, his day job has a hand in the menu. Many of the pizzas are named after cricketing terms. We opted for ‘Bowled Over’ contained cherry bell peppers, mozzarella and balsamic vinegar along with ‘The Local’ with porcini mushrooms and salt beef.
Waiting for food rarely gets this good. We sat watching Switzerland take on Serbia in the World Cup as the bar slowly filled up. As you’ve no doubt guessed by now, the pub is extremely cricket-orientated. That sits perfectly well with me as many diners sat down to discuss the game while tucking into eye catching portions of fish and chips. There’s even advertised group offers for coach travel to England test matches.
Our pizzas made their grand entrance on ‘Cat and Wicket’s’ branded wooden boards, a really cool touch. Saying that, we were lucky to catch the logo as these pizzas were enormous! I was having a tough time keeping mine on the board while deciding the best course of action to tackle the beast.
You have a handy pizza wheel tucked somewhere under the magnificently crispy crust to help divide the giant circle. In the end I went for a combination of knife and fork with the occasional intervention of the wheel.
Taste-wise the pizzas delivered. The salt beef and porcini went together as ham and mushrooms traditionally do, really well. The balsamic and pepper pizza didn’t quite ‘bowl me over’ as I thought it might but it still tasted decent. The crust is where the real applause was heading, perfectly crisp and a delight to eat.
I’m not sure if it was the wine, but we were really starting to feel relaxed and content within our surroundings. Hats off to Stuart and his team for delivering a place that you can slouch in your chair and enjoy a decent meal and a side order of live sport. Many more faces appeared in the dining room yet the noise levels were barely above average. Perfect for us.
Meanwhile, back to Man vs Food. This pizza was a worthy adversary but I did manage to finish it off. Overall I would be happy to pay for a pizza of that standard in addition to pretty much everything that I saw leave the kitchen that night.
As we said our goodbyes and headed over the road to check in with my folks, I reflected on the experience. The pub is certainly more a hit for six than a safe forward defensive stroke. With a good selection of beers for both real ale and lager drinkers, a decent wine selection and a promising menu, The Three Crowns is in a good place.
For the local people of Wymeswold, it’s certainly a pleasure to have a chill-out zone like this on your doorstep. I tip my hat (or rather my bat) to Stuart and his team for delivering a good, solid pub experience that Wymeswold can be proud of.
Opening Times: Daily 1200-2300
Nearest Train Station: Loughborough