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Old Fourpenny Shop Hotel - Crompton Street, Warwick, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 52° 16.722 W 001° 35.620
30U E 595942 N 5792968
Quick Description: This pub is on the south west side of Crompton Street close to Warwick race course.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/27/2013 1:05:58 AM
Waymark Code: WMHNCB
Views: 2

Long Description:

The sign hanging outside the pub-cum=bed & breakfast establishment, has the name on a decorative panel. Across the topr of the sign are four pennies. Two showing the head of Queen Victoria and dated 1858 and the pther two showing tails depicting Britannia the wording "one penny" and the year 1860.

The review, from the Daily Telegraph website gives a review of the place and explains the name:

I PLUCK The Old Fourpenny Shop Hotel from the hotel guide because of its name. Not many hotels have names as interesting as this. It's easy to find, too, being a turning directly off the main street leading into Warwick from the south.

The story - there's got to be a story - goes like this. When the Warwick section of the Grand Union Canal was being built in the early 1800s, the Fourpenny Inn was charging four pennies for a cup of coffee and a tot of rum, while other inns were charging an outrageous six pennies. No wonder the punters flocked to the Fourpenny, which is still good value, though I'd describe it as more pub than hotel.

And what a lively pub, we think as we wait to check in. Then Jane, one of the owners, spots us standing there, does a double-take, and apologises profusely. Oh dear. She's still apologising as she bustles us to our room - a circuitous route, this - through the empty restaurant (pub dining clearly being more fun), down a few steps and along a covered passageway to what looks like a converted stable block - very nice, though with a name like Old Fourpenny Shop I'd hoped for something more characterful; this room's got a faint motel air about it.

It's well kitted out, though. Everything looks new. There are a couple of armchairs - one with a reading light - and two bedside lights. In fact, they've got the lighting just right. Yes, it's a good little room of its kind. We like the fact that a lot of thought has gone into it and that it hasn't just been thrown together in a corporate sort of way.

But we can't hang around here all evening. It's action we're after and there's plenty of that in the heaving bar, which is on two levels, and full of men rocking on their heels, the way men in pubs do, though there are lots of chairs and buttoned upholstered seating.

Soon a waitress - the waitress, apart from Jane - is hurtling in our direction. "Our regular chef is off," she announces, "which means there's not much on tonight." Now while I can see that there are things on the menu which only a chef can do (such as butter-roasted pheasant with pancetta, fillets of sea bass on wilted rocket with a tomato coulis, pan-fried breast of lamb with pomegranate and plum sauce), what's actually on offer is disappointing.

"For your main course you can have the Scottish fillet or the sirloin," she says, breaking off to say "Yuk" loudly - my bet is that this girl's a veggie - "or coq au vin or Barnsley chop with minted gravy." We're not crazy about beef either, so opt for a coq and a chop.

My husband starts with chicken and bacon terrine with roasted tomato and red-pepper chutney. "I'm convinced this is home-made," he says, "especially the chutney," while I only think Chef's green home-made soup is. "Why, it's covered in stuff," my husband exclaims later, looking at my chop. "It's minted gravy, what do you expect?" I reply.

The chop is tougher than I'd anticipated, though I manage not to shoot minted gravy in all directions. "The coq is more sober than I'd hoped," my husband says next. "I'd always thought that coq was rich and dark." "Well, we didn't expect haute cuisine, did we, but the atmosphere is good and that's what counts," I reply.

The couple sitting at the next table almost have stalks coming out of their heads - eavesdroppers really should be more discreet. Eventually they can't resist telling us that their son is a chef at a hotel in Cumbria. "Really?" we smile. "In Witherslack actually at a hotel called . . . oh, the name's on the tip of my tongue," the woman says crossly. She doesn't need to tell me. I remember the hotel well - and the food. It was good.

Beards are de rigueur in here tonight, dozens of them, interesting because in our part of London they're extinct. We love the fact this is a proper local and that they all know each other. Back in our room, I practise rocking. There's an art to it. My husband just hasn't got it. Well, I have been studying it all evening.

Breakfast is served in the restaurant where a large party of men is having a business breakfast. On a Saturday too. There's just one other couple. Sadly, breakfast could be more inspired and the coffee stronger.

Name of Artist: Unknown

Date of current sign: Unknown

Date of first pub on site: Unknown

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h35per05 visited Old Fourpenny Shop Hotel - Crompton Street, Warwick, UK 12/7/2015 h35per05 visited it