Jon & Liz Neilson took over The Crown Inn during February 2003. After much needed refurbishment, they promptly moved their established restaurant business over the road from The Old Coach House and installed Chef, Robin Davies, formerly at the Clarence Hotel, Dublin, in the kitchen, where he presides over an award-winning brigade.
The combined talents of Jon, Liz and Robin have developed it as a popular dining destination, whilst successfully retaining a "village pub" atmosphere. Local Produce, Small suppliers and fresh food are taken seriously. Bread is baked on the premises, fish is delivered daily from Poole Bay and meat is sourced form local, traceable, herd. Farms in the Blackmore Vale supply diary produce and the cheese board features the local Ashmore Cheddar and Dorset Blue Vinney Cheeses, together with some spectacular English Farmhouse cheeses such as Tournegus, Stinking Bishop and Cornish Yarg.
Robin's menus may list classic pub dishes, perhaps Roast Leg of Dorset Lamb, Rib-Eye Steak and Chips and fresh Plaice with prawns and garlic butter. The quality of the ingredients and their presentation are first class. Alternatives may include Coed Fillet with a Pesto Crust and Roast Organic Chicken with Home-mad Bread Sauce. Good puddings (Dorset Apple Cake, Treacle Tart, Dorset Real Cream Champagne & Strawberry Ice Cream), Real Ales from Hall & Woodhouse and good-value wines - eight by the glass.
The Crown Inn was once part of the Flowers Brewery of Fontmell, which flourished in the 19th Century before closing in 1911. It is the birthplace of the now world famous "Crown" Bottle top. It is now furnished in the style of the traditional North Dorset Farming Gentry and the light and airy rooms are cosy and comfortable. Real thought has gone into their design. All modern touches, such as television, tea and coffee facilties are available as well.
Listed in Les Routiers, Time Out Eating Out in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Hidden Place of England for Dining and Accommodation.