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The Talbot at Knightwick, Bromyard Road, Knightwick, WORCESTER, WR6 5PH [Map]
Seemingly in the middle of nowhere this 14th century family run traditional coaching inn is easily accessible being just off the A44 between Worcester and Leominster in one of my favourite counties (hence the large numbers of pubs around here visited!), Worcestershire. The pub also lies next to the pleasant River Teme from which the on-site brewery derives its name. The brewery, which opened as recently as 1997, brews a particularly fine range of real ales which are available at the pub. 'This', 'That' and 'T'Other' are the main brews. I particularly like the 'That' (abv. 4.1%), a wonderful fruity premium beer. They are one of only 2 perhaps 3 breweries in the UK to use their own hops grown in hop gardens a mere stones throw from the pub. The pub also offers seasonal beers as and when available. A good range of foreign wines are also on offer though I'd thoroughly recommend the beer as a first choice for taste and quality. Oh yes, they, also offer Hobsons Best Bitter (abv 3.8%), a personal favourite of mine, a superb hoppy beer brewed nearby in Cleobury Mortimer - an absolute treat to taste. All beers are also available to take away in 3 pint glass containers, and 2 gallon and 4.5 gallon boxes.
We happened to visit the pub on the second Sunday of the month (11am - 1:30pm), when you'll find a Farmer's Market outside the Talbot with a range of stalls selling a broad range of good quality local produce. On these Sundays the pub tends to be particularly busy.
High quality food is served both at lunchtimes and during the evening. Wherever possible ingredients are sourced locally (they list a range of their primary suppliers on their website) so you can be sure that they are particularly fresh and haven't travelled huge distances around the globe in the backs of large trucks and planes. Many are also organically produced or even grown in nearby back gardens! The dining room, bar and when the weather is favourable outside seating area are often full, so if you're after food do call before or arrive on the day early!
I particularly like the Talbot as it also respects the local community unlike many a country pub which has turned completely to the more profitable food side of the business. I'm always one to settle down in a bar to strike up a conversation with whoever might be there at the time - I've ended up discussing all manner of fascinating subjects though more often than not find out a little more about the local area and the history and goings on at the various pubs I visit. Happy, friendly locals are often a very good indication of a thriving pub.
For those who fancy a break away from home, the pub also offers well-appointed en-suite accommodation with good facilities including homemade cookies!