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The Station Inn Church Stretton - Review

The Station Inn in Marshbook Church Stretton is in a word, exceptional.

It has to be said I do love a good bit of steak. Whenever we go out, for me it has to be steak. But the trouble is finding somewhere that serves quality steak and someone that also knows how to cook it.

Seriously, I mean CHECK OUT this for a flat iron steak!

Flat Iron Steak

I've eaten steak in many places and have even had steak cooked by Marco Pierre White when I went on a food blogger day to his restaurant next to Chelsea's football ground.

Now, I've always said that was the best steak ever; but that was until Friday night when we were invited to dine at The Station Inn, Marshbrook, Church Stretton and I have to tell you this place is something else.

My steak was cooked to perfection and although I was about to order rump steak since I always think it has more flavour than say sirloin but Richard who obviously knows his stuff when it comes to meat and cooking suggested I try the flat iron.

I've never fancied the look of flat iron steak as when raw it always looks to me like there's a tad too much fat running through it; which I know as far as steak goes is meant to be a good thing.

Anyway, feeling confident that the butcher would know best, I agreed to have flat iron steak.

I can not tell you how truly flavoursome this was and I really ought to have taken a picture of it cut so you could see how it was perfectly cooked; medium rare but more on the rare side is what I asked for and that's exactly what I got.

Did the steak melt in the mouth?  

Yes, seriously this was truly the best piece of steak I've ever had and topped Marco Pierre White's (sorry Marco).  Yep, Richard The Butcher certainly knows about meat and how to cook it.

A little bit about  The Station Inn

The Station Inn offers premium dry-aged beef, which is matured in a dry-ageing cabinet for 28 days. The beef is grass-fed and sourced locally from Hereford and Angus cattle.

Dry Ager Cabinet at The Station Inn

Richard opened The Station Inn in 1997 and quickly earned a great reputation for quality steak and now 20 years on from opening The Station a major upgrade has taken place.

Richard and his wife Lesley (Head Chef) have clearly worked hard and their aim is to celebrate the family's heritage and knowledge of meat and to serve the very best dry-aged meats which are matured in their dry-ageing cabinet for 28 days.

In order to identify your exact preferences, the chefs help you choose the best cut of beef to cook for dinner which makes for an unforgettable ‘butchery and dining’ experience.

About our evening

From the moment we walked in the door we just knew this place was going to be good.

We arrived at 5.30pm so it was a little early for the place to be packed out which is what I wanted; as it meant I could take pictures for this post without feeling like some mad woman who's a just a bit too happy with her camera 😨

The bar area was already busy, so we were taken through to The Butcher's dining area which is so tastefully decorated and furnished.

I'd like to show you a few (okay a lot) of photos so you can get the feel of the place.

The Station Inn at Marshbrook

On the other side to the left of this picture is more seating with nice comfy seats.

Seating at The Station Inn at Marshbrook

There were plenty of seats but very soon they were filled with people about to enjoy a great night out.

Dining at The Station Inn at Marshbrook

Now to meet Richard The Butcher- sounds scary ah? But no he is a really lovely man, and not scary at all, thank goodness!

Richard - The Butcher

I love this seating area; great for a group of friends to sit around chatting and eating.

The Butcher at The Station Inn

Friday night at The Station Inn is Butcher's night, and this is how it works: 

Once you've read the menu pop over to Richard and tell him what cut of meat you want.  Then tell him what size you want.

Meat Counter at The Station Inn

He will then cut the meat, and weigh it, you can see the price per 100g from the menu which you would have seen when you were first seated at your table.

Steak in the butchers counter

For example, my Flat Iron steak was priced at £6.00 per 100g and worked out at £18 so it weighed 300g (10.5oz) and that includes chips and a generously sized house salad, which I think is an excellent price.

If you're not a steak lover there's Gammon, Pork Loin Steak or Lamb Cutlets to choose from.

Then Richard cooks your meat

Richard The Butcher Grilling Meat

For his main course, Paul (the husband) had the Handmade Burger made from Premium Dry-Aged Beef.

But first, up, of course, were our starters

Pork Belly Bites with a Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce for me and Tomato and Basil Soup served with Crusty Barra Gallega.

Crispy Pork Belly Bites

Crispy, smokey, perfectly cooked little bites of melt in the mouth goodness. The Tomato and Basil Soup was thick and delicious and how do I know? Because I'm writing this review, so of course, I had to try it 😋

Tomato and Basil Soup

And then came our main courses. But it seems I took this photo before the onion rings arrived! Yes, chips and onion rings also came with Paul's burger.

Flat Iron Steak and a Handmade Burger

And what a Burger it was too!

250g Handmade Burger with Bacon and Monterey Jack Cheese and comes with Chips, Onion Rings and a Side Salad and at £13.95 I say that's a Billy bargain.

Handmade Burger - The Station Inn

Take another look at my Flat Iron Steak!😋

Perfectly Cooked Flat Iron Steak

Now I think it's fair to say we are both quite greedy people but you have to have dessert don't you? Well actually I don't do desserts, but when I saw CHEESE on the dessert menu that did it; Cheese Board for me it was then.

This cheese board is seriously big enough for two but I was full now and although I gave it a good go sadly I couldn't eat it all.  I hate wasting food but even Paul couldn't finish it for me.

Cheese Board

Paul's Raspberry Roulade - love the presentation.

Raspberry Roulade

Here am I chatting to Richard with Amy (Amy is his daughter in law), I could talk to them all day they're both lovely people.

With me being into food and cooking I found Richard was really interesting; I was telling him I was so glad he convinced me to try the flat iron steak and how it was so tender.

He's not all butchers talk either, Richard also owns Mountain Edge Resort, a campsite where you can book fancy lodges, pods and shepherds huts or just a pitch for your tent, plus there's a pub and that happens to be The Station Inn. Perfect or what?!

All in all

We love what Richard and his wife Lesley have done with The Station Inn, not that we've been here before but after reading reviews most people are really happy with this place and the idea of Butcher's night is obviously a fantastic idea.

The recent refurbishment has been done beautifully; very tasteful and comfortable looking. I can't think of anything that could be improved.  I love that it's a family business with their family working there too.

We were served by Richard and Lesley's daughter in law Amy who was both friendly (not at all false) and very knowledgeable about the business and the food. There was a good mixture of customers, both young and old which makes for a comfortable visit, it's not 'posh' just nice.

If you're thinking of going (and you really should) you might like to know that the butcher's menu (on Friday nights) isn't all about steak but also offers duck, chicken, salmon and good old fish and chips and a couple of vegetarian dishes too.

During the week the usual menu is different to Friday's and of course still has steaks but also light bites, various baguettes and steak ale and mushroom pie.

Oh and I notice the 'Meat Sharing Platters' (nice idea) and the one in particular that caught my eye is Scotch Egg, Honey Sausage, Potato Wedges, Pork Belly Bites and Apple Chips; now how good does that sound?!

Prices I think are very reasonable and the portions of chips were just right; being quite greedy I think it's not good if you run out of chips before you've finished your steak.

The side salad was huge and the portion of onion rings served with the burger was more than you'd usually get elsewhere. Sadly I seem to have taken the photo before they arrived.

One thing that's very important to me is the Food Hygiene score and The Station Inn has a 5 so all good there.

The ladies' toilets were very clean and tidy and I noticed there was a little basket with deodorant and hairspray and even ladies sanitary 'equipment' I'll use the word equipment but you know what I mean, a very thoughtful touch.  Paul said the gents were also very clean and tidy too which is always a good thing.

The Station Inn is well worth a visit; for us, it's a 48-mile round trip, I wish it was a little nearer but we're definitely going again.

Disclosure: We were guests at The Station Inn.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. 

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