It has been around a year since I list visited The Golden Ball Inn, on my last visit I was sat in the beautiful gardens with sunshine beaming down and of course a cold glass of lager to cool me down! This would have been around May time, a little different this time torrential rainfall and freezing cold!
The Golden Ball Inn has been through some changes this year, recently under new management and now run by partners Helen Pickerill and Ben Williams. I always feel that the Golden Ball offers a very cosy, warm and welcoming atmosphere, even on arrival walking through the gardens through the sparkling pergola. The Golden Ball Inn is easily the oldest public house in Ironbridge with the first licence dating back to 1728, the Inn has retained some of its original features including the ovens, brewing vats and water pump along with wooden beams and various interconnected small rooms adding to the overall historic feel to the building.
On entering the Inn, it was good to see a good mix of locals sat comfortably at the bar and fellow diners looking relaxed and enjoying their dining experience. Front of house were extremely welcoming and we were very promptly escorted to the restaurant which is full of character, plenty of original fixtures and fittings to explore!
The main menu is presented on the main wall of the restaurant and a great selection of dishes on offer, catering also for vegetarians.
I decided to try something different to start, I chose the Oven Baked in the box Camembert with sliced warm ciabatta and chutney priced at £6.50 and Ann, my wife chose Avocado filled with Crayfish topped with Marie Rose priced at £5.95. We also couldn’t resist the warm baked bread served with oils, I would recommend this to accompany your meal you won’t be disappointed.
Presentation was exceptional on both starters, my Camembert was quite possibly one of the tastiest starters I have had for a long time, the mix of chutney and the strong cheese was exceptional, beautifully cooked. Ann’s dish was a tower full of flavour which she thoroughly enjoyed.
One of the most popular mains at the Golden Ball is their Beef Fillet Wellington, which did look amazing, but I couldn’t resist the Chicken Breast over sauté leeks and bacon with a stilton sauce and croquette potatoes priced at £11.95. Ann selected Barbary Duck Breast, caramelised plum and ginger sauce with loaded potato skins and greens priced at £14.50. There are many side dishes available to accompany your meal but due to the amount of bread we had consumed we decided to resist the temptation.
Both dishes once again looked stunning, the chicken was a very generous portion, beautifully sliced and arranged. Once again the combination of flavours was delicious, stilton sauce can sometimes be a little overpowering, but this was perfect. I highly recommend the Croquettes, they are pretty huge and very tasty!
Ann’s dish was equally as impressive, once again packed with a perfect combination of flavours, the duck was cooked to perfection and she particularly enjoyed the Potato Skins!
Once again I had been beaten, unable to sample the fine dessert menu, however my faithful dining companion didn’t let me down, Ann ordered the Jam and Coconut sponge with custard something light! She did however request a smaller portion which was not a problem. The sponge was extremely light and fluffy and once again perfectly baked.
All food served is supplied by local suppliers in order to maintain a fresh and inspiring seasonal menu at a high quality, this is very apparent in the dishes we chose.
Helen and Ben pride themselves on providing customers with a high quality of service and products with a variety of choice on guest ales available from the chalk board from local to national small breweries, a selection of lager from the well known to continental varieties. A wide selection of spirits, malt whisky’s together with port and a choice on wine add to the extensive choice on offer.
The Golden Ball also offers various accommodation packages with modern twin rooms, 1 double room and a superior double with discounts on room booking for 3 or more nights stay.
It is quite obvious that the new owners, Helen and Ben aim to go above and beyond any customers expectations with the bar, restaurant and accommodation and I am very confident they will be a big success in Ironbridge.
Reviewed by Michael & Ann Haines