This week, my boyfriend Stephen and I made our way to The Crown Inn, in Penn to try out their menu.

After we eventually found it (Google Maps failed us), we were immediately impressed with the pub itself as it is full of character.

The 16th century building is Grade II listed and full of charm. We went in and were seated right next to a roaring fire, one of many throughout the deceptively large pub. The pub is open plan but despite there being many people in there, it wasn’t noisy which made the meal even more pleasant.

On to the food; as the pub is hosting a Game Festival throughout February, there is an even wider selection of meaty starters and mains than usual, including venison medallions, guinea fowl, game burger and an impressive game mixed grill (£21.99).  

The main menu consisted of a range of classic dishes like steaks, burgers and slow-cooked pork belly as well as seasonal favourites like sea bass and seared scallops and pan-friend duck with cherry sauce.

In the spirit of game festival, I decided to be adventurous and chose pheasant bubble and squeak (£5.49).  The presentation was good, with a free range poached egg and Savoy cabbage baked potato cake stacked on top of the pork, fennel and Scottish pheasant pattie and generously drizzled with sweet chilli Hollandaise sauce.  I’ve never tried pheasant before and I was glad I took a chance on it.

Stephen went for the duck and port pate (£5.99) which came with toasted bloomer bread, redcurrant and ginger compote and dressed rocket. He was very satisfied with the portion size and the flavour of the pate was very tasty, delicate and not too overpowering.

For mains, we both chose something from the Chef’s Classics. Stephen decided to go with Yorkshire sausage and mash (£7.49) while I chose rib of beef and wings (£14.49).

The sausage and mash was exactly what you would expect it to be. The black pepper sausages were delicious and the mash was smooth and creamy and the onion chutney was sweet and tasty.

The beef rib was accompanied by around four duck wings in a sticky sauce, corn on the cob and I chose sweet potato fries instead of normal ones, as well as a dressed salad.

I wasn’t quite prepared for the vast amount of food that I would have on my plate and I struggled to finish it all, but the beef was perfect after being slow cooked for eight hours. You could really tell it had been, as the meat fell off the bone at the slightest touch.

The duck wings were tasty but I wasn’t as keen on them as others might be, purely down to personal choice. Stephen and I both agreed we would prefer a chicken wing over a duck wing any day, but the duck did complement the beef well.

The sweet potato fries were a great accompaniment and went well with the sticky barbecue and ale sauce.

For desert, there was no doubt it had to be the chocolate fudge cake (£4.59). We’ve had the fudge cake at other Chef and Brewer restaurants and it is absolutely perfect. The fudge is gooey and creamy, with tons of liquid chocolate and soft chocolate sponge.  

We requested ice cream instead of cream and the waitress was more than happy to help, even recommending cookie dough ice cream instead of vanilla, which was a tasty replacement.

Although their other desserts, like chocolate praline profiteroles and lemon cheesecake are very tempting, I would highly recommend the fudge cake.

Overall, the staff were very helpful and friendly, we didn’t have to wait too long between meals and they were very attentive, making sure we were topped up on drinks.

The food was full of flavour and top quality and it was comforting to know that they have been awarded a five-star food hygiene rating, which they proudly display on the door. 

The pub is part of chain of Chef and Brewer restaurants, but the quality of the food would never have given that away.

The picturesque setting would make it the perfect place to dine during the summer months as it’s nestled in the Chilterns with breathtaking views, but it was equally as lovely during the winter as we warmed ourselves in front of the fire.

Visit to view the menu and book a table.