There is not much to do or see in Church Stretton, so a visit needs to be combined with a trip to Shrewsbury or Bridgenorth. Within 45 minutes you will have visted all of the interesting shops and be back at the car park. It is probably a good base for hill walkers and ramblers but for a shopping expedition it is a 'miss'. A small quaint town nestling in the Shropshire hiills, we stopped off for lunch on the way back from Bridgnorth. After a wander, we saw all the billboards promoting Housmans and it was easy to find in such a small town.
Described as a Restaurant Bar, the interior is a bit stalk on a rainy Monday lunchtime and with only two tables occupied at 12.30pm, it was a little disconcerting, but we took the plunge! The staff were welcoming and attentive and were prompt with our glasses of wine and water. The menu was varied with prominence given to their 'Sample Grazing Dishes' designed for sharing. We decided to select from the daily two course menu at £9.95 each.
I selected the soup of the day starter - celeriac and shallot, and my wife the small ceasar prawn salad. Both arrived promptly with a smile from the waitress. The soup was piping hot, creamy and superbly delicious. A home made soup to die for! My wife's starter was equally delicious, if not a little tiny, rather than small.
For mains, the wife chose the salmon and crab fish cake with pak choy on wholegrain mustard sauce, while I opted for the vegetarian option of a risotto fritter with tomato and goats cheese salad. Their arrival was a 'work of art' to be seen! The presentation of these dishes was wonderful! A match for any Michelin star chef!
As for the taste, we could not fault the excellence of the food, surpassed only by its presentation. It is said, that 'you eat with your eyes first', well these two dishes were a most beautiful sight to behold! My risotto fritter sitting astride a slice of beef tomato, adjacent to piped goats cheese mountians and pips of balsamic vinegar. Wonderful! The fish cake was tasty and the pak choy cooked to perfection, flavoursome but with a 'bite'. The sauce a little too gerenerous.
The portions were relatively small and resulted in a gaze to the sweet menu to fill any gaps. I went for the marmalade bead and butter pudding with vanilla ice cream and my partner the cheese platter. Again, beautiful presented, though the cheese a little ordinary, but compensated by a delicious chutney to accompany the peccorino and stilton.
We probably wont venture to Church Stretton for some time to come, but we will remember Housmans for the quality and presesentation of its food and we will return someday. I complimented the chef on my departure. It is so easy to criticise, but seldom do we praise. In this case, praise was deserved. The chef at Housmans should be practising in a big city kitchen and not hidden away in a quite rural retreat.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.