The Malt Shovel at Barston
“Smart, busy inn down the country lanes” - AA Inspector
BARSTON, WEST MIDLANDS
The Malt Shovel is an airy, well designed free house with modern soft furnishings and interesting artefacts. An early 20th-century, stylishly converted mill building, it sits comfortably in the countryside outside Solihull. Natural wood and pastel colours characterise the interiors and flowers decorate the unclothed tables in the tiled dining area. The bar is cosy and relaxed with winter log fires, and there’s an attractive garden for outdoor dining; at weekends, the restaurant in the adjacent converted barn is opened. The extensive choice of modern British dishes makes the best of fresh seasonal ingredients, so you might begin with a ham hock croquette, handmade faggot, or lambs’ kidneys with bacon. Steak and ale pudding or haunch of venison with apple and braised red cabbage might follow; or there’s a daily fish specials board – perhaps king prawn and chorizo risotto; or line-caught mackerel. As for desserts, you could easily be tempted by the lemon curd cheesecake with gin and lime glaze and a mint brandy snap; or chocolate truffles and petits fours. A board of English and European cheeses with grapes, celery, red onion chutney and artisan crackers will fill any remaining corners.
- Children welcome
- Children's portions
- Coach parties accepted
- Open all year
Also in the area
About the area
Discover West Midlands
After Greater London, the West Midlands is the UK’s biggest county by population, and after London, Birmingham is the UK’s largest city. There’s a lot to seek out here – it has a vibrant culture, with exceptionally good nightlife. Coventry used to be more important than Birmingham, until the 18th century when the Industrial Revolution started and Brum forged ahead.
Apart from Lady Godiva, Coventry is best known for its cathedrals. The medieval parish church became a cathedral in 1918, but the Blitz on Coventry in 1940 left only the spire and part of the walls. After the war, it was decided to build a new cathedral alongside linked to the ruins.
Dudley was one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution, and this history is reflected in its architecture and the Black Country Living Museum, a recreation of an industrial village, with shops and a pub, cottages and a chapel. Stourbridge is also worth a visit, mainly due to its involvement in glassmaking, which has been going on since the 17th century, and is still a part of the town’s culture; there’s a glass museum and a bi-annual glass festival.
Places to Stay
Recommended things to do
Why choose Rated Trips?
Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
The best coverage
Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.
Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.
Plan your next trip
Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.
Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.