We’ve visited the Norsewood cafe several times over the years but this time in keeping with our aim to visit Hawkes Bay Country Pubs we lunched at The Crown Hotel. It was immediately apparent that this is the haunt of the true local: the sort who go along to the pub for their midday meal; who look out for each other; and who are not opposed to talking to strangers.
There were three lessons to learn from The Crown that day.
1). If other patrons tell you the portion sizes are large, they will be.
2) If the proprietor says there’s no salad with that, there won’t be.
3) And last, but by no means least, fried food is more difficult to digest as we … er … sigh … get older.
The snags and mash got the highest rating although the declared sausage connoisseur reckoned the gravy was disappointing; the mixed grill was okay but the steak was dry; and as for the BLT and chips with all sauces, ordered by the now gone-to-uni member of our party, that got the thumbs up overall; especially the sauces. She thought it was a shame the chips were cold but then she’s fussy when it comes to chips!
The two who ordered the Fisherman’s Basket and Chicken in a Basket wished they hadn’t. Perhaps the toasted sandwiches would have been have better value for money.
A long, long walk was required afterwards. Fortunately, there are walks to various historical sites, including an old oak tree opposite the hotel, an interesting museum (cost $2.00), and The Sock Shop in Lower Norsewood is worth a look – you might find some woolly bargains. Check out the town’s website for more information.
There’s no doubt about it The Crown is relaxed, quiet, and friendly. If, like the resident cat, a patron happened to snooze off no-one would be too bothered.
But if you’d like to brush up on the local history rather than doze in the sun there’s plenty of photos from early pioneering times on display. It’s a pity that some of the most interesting are hidden behind the nut dispenser.
How did we rate our likely return?
Could be talked in to it
Not if I’m paying
Sadly, this was not the best of the country pubs that we’ve visited so far. But we think it has potential and it appears that it’s on the market. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next!
Categories: Hawkes Bay, Off The Beaten Track in Aotearoa
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