The Pear Tree Inn

Top Lane



SN12 8QX

01225 704966

Parking: Yes

Wheelchair access: Yes

Food served: Breakfast; 7.30am to 10.30am; lunch; noon to 2.30pm, dinner; 6pm to 9.30pm


Decor 9/10

Food 9/10

Choice 8/10

Service 9/10

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5/5

IT was my birthday and my husband and son had decided that Arsenal v Leicester was a bigger draw on a Monday evening than helping me celebrate. So while they went to the Emirates my daughter and I decided to spoil ourselves with a meal out somewhere a bit special.

Over the years The Pear Tree at Whitley had always been somewhere I had meant to try but not got around to. Under Martin and Debbie Still it won many plaudits then there was controversy when Marco Pierre White took over and in 2014 it closed after staff walked out.

But three years ago The Pear Tree rose from the ashes and began to win back its former excellent reputation.

We arrived at the pretty village destination and were greeted by twinkling fairy lights. From the beginning all of the staff were wonderfully smiley without it seeming forced.

Our waitress at first showed us to a table for two next to door leading out to a courtyard. But when she returned to take out drink orders she noticed it was a bit chilly and immediately asked if we would rather move to the larger dining room complete with a woodburning stove.

We took up her offer and were quickly settled at our new table to peruse the menu. I loved the sound of the venison and black pudding Scotch egg (£6.95) while my daughter, who had spotted macaroni cheese as a side for the mains, decided to save her self and just ordered the bread and oil as a starter.

The Scotch egg was deliciously runny on the inside and crispy on the out. The bread turned out to be a bit of an unexpected star. It was some of the tastiest I have ever tried - even Paul Hollywood would find it difficult to pick fault - and the oil infused with rosemary was remarkable.

On to the mains and I had hake with prawns, squid and mussels in a creamy saffron sauce (£18.25) while Francesca opted for the sage and lemon chicken with poached leeks, crispy chicken skin and Lyonnaise potoatoes (£16.25) not forgetting the macaroni cheese (£3.95).

I have had a similar hake and prawn dish elsewhere but the succulent prawns and smooth sauce were faultless. The skin on the hake could have been a little crispier or maybe removed but the overall dish was a pleasure.

At this stage I should have stopped eating but as I mentioned it was my birthday so we both decided to have the decadent chocolate and rock salted caramel tart (£7.50). We really should have shared one as it was amazingly rich but that did not stop either of us scrapping the plate.

We chuckled over the fact that the men did no know what they were missing but as Arsenal won 3-1 they were probably happy with their plastic burgers.

The final bill including a couple of glasses of wine for the birthday girl and diet cokes for the driver came to just over £69. Not cheap but excellent value for a special occasion.