Bowled over at The Cricketers
I’d been to The Cricketers at Weston a while back, just after they’d started their renovations — so I was curious to pop in again now that it’s all… well, nearly all… complete. And I’m so glad I did.
Last year when I went, it was a perfectly decent pub — with a spanking new pizza oven, shaped and painted like a cricket ball, and the inklings of a really stylish reno on the way. This time, it was stunning. Stylish, comfortable, welcoming, and full of light.
There’s still the feeling of a proper village pub — and it’s still used that way, with local teams (not just cricket) using it as a base, and the public bar retaining that old-school (or should that be ‘old-pub’?) vibe. Only it’s been neatly updated.
The pizza oven and open kitchen is clearly a talking point, and it’s now central — rather than tucked away at the back — so there’s a sense of the whole place centring comfortably around where the action happens.
The food offering is great. Loads of pizzas, all with deliciously punny sporting names, as well as a good range of other bits. I had the chicken Cesar salad and it was properly good — properly good grilled chicken, those delish white anchovies in abundance, an egg with a perfectly runny middle, and not too much dressing.
It’s not moved, though, the kitchen. It’s just that the pub has expanded. There’s now a gorgeous room on the back — the Pavilion — which can serve as an extension of the pub on a full night or its own self-contained function room. It’s big, it’s light, and it’s been set up beautifully — I loved the chairs with the cricket-ball seats, and the wing chairs huddling round the great big wood stove.
The Pavilion opens out onto the patio — which was covered by a marquee when I was there — and then on to the fields behind and the garden, complete with bits to amuse small folk, at the side. I was there for lunch, and it just screamed lazy summer afternoons in the sunshine nursing long drinks with bits of cucumber and other greenery in them.
I’m glad I went back. And I’ll be going back again. The pizza oven is cute — and the kids will love it. The menu is great. And the renovation has transformed a regular village pub into proper, unpretentious destination dining.
The Muddy Verdict:
Great for: long lazy lunches, watching the kids race round the garden; summer evenings on the patio or in the garden; great food; enough cricketing memorabilia to keep any fan happy.
Not so great for: um, perhaps I’d want somewhere a bit more romantic, and less sporting, for a high-end date night, but I can’t help thinking that it would make Mr C a very happy man.
££: Their ‘openers’ — a sort of ‘pick and mix’ of starters — were £3.75 each, 3 for £10 or 5 for £17.50. Mains are around £12, with Sunday lunch for £13.50 and pizzas around £10 or so.