Located in the historically important Ironbridge Gorge alongside the River Severn, the Best Western Valley Hotel makes a convenient watering hole after you retreat footsore and culturally overdosed from the world-renowned wonders of the cradle of Britain's Industrial Revolution.
With 44 distinctly-styled en-suite bedrooms there’s plenty of space to relax in this Georgian listed building and there’s more to look forward to, literally, for instance the fine views of the adjoining parkland and the River Severn. The servant quarters and stables of yesteryears have now given way to Mews style accommodation accessible by glass covered walkways.
The Severn Suite’s embossed wall paper, wood panelling and a black carpet offset by the gold coloured walls offer a striking contrast, and provides an ideal backdrop for those all-important business meetings or conference. After a hard day at work a relaxed meal could be just the antidote, so head to the tastefully furnished Chez Maw restaurant.
After being awarded a 2 AA Rosette, the cuisine is certainly not easy to define, beyond saying that it is broad to the point of being eclectic, without any over-fussiness. The á la carte menu offers a range of dishes with English and Continental influences, with a good selection of vegetarian dishes; honest, wholesome food is the order of the day and the support for the restaurant is not by any means confined to those who only seek the nearest refuge. The wine list is supportive with bins from the Old and New World.
An individually priced menu has been introduced to enhance the whole experience, incorporating the best of local ingredients, as in warm pork and sage terrine with pear and prune compote, stilton and walnut salad, or seared king scallops with chorizo sausage, roasted pumpkin and parmesan. Not so local but just as appealing for those who like something honest and full bodied from the sea there is hot smoked mackerel fillet with crayfish tails, Asian coleslaw, lime, soy and sesame dressing.
There is something tremendously reassuring about confident starters, removing any possible element of doubt about what comes next, leaving you free to anticipate with pleasure the rest of the meal, the company, the view over the Gorge, try to coincide your meal with an early summer sunset, and something exhilarating from the cellar.
Move on to a selection of main courses that would do credit to a menu in a stylish West End brasserie. Mercifully all roasted fillet of Loch Duart salmon does not remain in Scotland, and here it is served with parsnip and potato mash, purple sprouting broccoli, red wine and pancetta sauce.
Char-grilled sirloin steak, trimmed Packington pork cutlet and braised shoulder of Shropshire lamb are all regular attenders on the menu, which finishes on a note of triumph with sticky toffee pudding, or maybe an almond pannacotta with raspberry sorbet and toasted coconut flap jack.
Currently holding a 2 AA rosette award for high standard cuisine and service, this is most certainly one of the better restaurants in a part of Shropshire renowned for its outstanding scenery. The dining room, for instance, has the benefit of an adjoining bar and patio area, which overlooks award winning parkland and the River Severn, in the centre of this World Heritage site.
For more information, and details about staying at the Valley Hotel, do visit their Website