West Virginia, West Virginia
July 2, 2004
Located next to the historic Market House on East Bank, the Bowling Green offers a lounge area with a large fireplace, plus restaurant seating in the Parlour and Conservatory dining rooms. (Guests accompanied by children are asked to select tables in one of the non-smoking dining areas.) The décor is simple and attractive, in keeping with the building’s historic character.
As a traditional free house, the Bowling Green offers a varied selection of free ales and keg beers from a wide range of brewers, as well as a goodly number of malt whiskies and other spirits. Yours Truly took quiet notice of the largest bottle of Jameson (a personal favorite) she's ever seen. Mounted upside down behind the bar and specially fitted to facilitate dispensing its contents, the Jameson reassured me that the Bowling Green is a serious pub—despite, or perhaps in accord with—the gentle and oft-practiced humor of its proprietors.
The food was tasty and wholesome, easily exceeding standard pub fare. After taking our meals at the Bowling Green for three nights running, our party managed to sample a fair percentage of the menu. The fish and chips won high praise all around. I loved the baked stilton, which was created from a medley of fresh vegetables with a generous addition of wonderful English stilton. Mother appreciated the potato-leek soup, though she longed for another option after the second night. My daughter highly recommended the steak-and-ale pie. And on our third and final night, my sister persuaded us all (in honesty, with scant resistance) to indulge in an exploration of the "pudding" list. Dishes we didn't try include peppered pork, a lamb casserole seasoned with Mediterranean spices, and for the adventurous at heart, black pudding. Our evening's tab for four people was always under £30, a bargain by any reckoning. Though I should add that our party went very light on the ales and spirits.
The Bowling Green's advertisement promises a warm and friendly welcome. Based on our experience, owners David and Marilyn Bentley followed through admirably in delivering on that promise. David chatted with us at length, putting us at our ease and giving special attention to Mother. Marilyn kept busy behind the bar, making sure our orders were handled efficiently.
From journal Root and Branch - Family Ties to Derbyshire