REVIEW: The Birch, Woburn


Like everything else around Woburn and the surrounding areas, The Birch raises the standard for great food with a relaxed atmosphere. The family-owned pub is in a great location, only a few moments walk from Woburn village, and a ten minute drive from Milton Keynes.

From the outside on the road, the well-known restaurant looks like any other pub in Buckinghamshire, painted in a duck-egg green with cute flower arrangements dotting the windows sills. However, step inside and you wander in to something like the telephone box from Doctor Who. The front facade looks all very pleasant but as you go inside you are welcomed by a light and airy room, with conservatory ceiling and small outside area in the middle of the pub. It is a welcomed delight from the dark main bar, where drinkers can be seen enjoying a pint or two. We were seated in the conservatory section the restaurant, where you could find colourful works of art, Venetian blinds and mirrors opening up the space.

We spoke to the owner and he told us the back story to the pub and how the pub has been run by the family for over 18 years. He is proud and vocal when he says they are passionate about sourcing the freshest ingredients from farms and estates throughout the country, cooked by the team of talented and highly qualified chefs. They even get local Venison from Woburn Abbey, where they rear deer throughout the year.

Along side the menus, The Birch offers a daily selection of fresh fish, crevettes and top quality steak cut by the ounce served with a choice of accompaniments and they also have a specific lunch menu which consists of a range of dishes and lighter bites. In the evening though the a la carte menu offers you an enticing range of starters and mains courses together with daily fresh fish and griddle seared steak, and sumptuous puddings.

As we browsed through the menu, we were impressed with the smaller yet varied menu – offering you a variety of options, from vegetarian to steak, and even gluten-free dishes. To start I opted for the ‘Crisp Bolognese & Parmesan Arancini with truffle and Madeira mayonnaise and wild rocket salad’ which was stunning. I had recently had arancini at another venue and it was dry an tasteless but this, paired with the mayonnaise was tasty and refreshing. Theo opted for the ‘Warm White Crab Meat Toastie with baby herb salad and chive oil’ which he said was tasty and filling!

Then, the best bit, we order our mains, and I went for the locally reared Venison dish ‘Pan Roasted Woburn Venison Steak with sweet potato rosti, shallot puree, baby beetroot and a redcurrant and juniper jus. I wouldn’t usually go for venison for as it was literally from the field behind us, I couldn’t resist. The venison was sweet, and moist filling your taste buds with 100’s of flavours, and the sweet potato rosti had a beautiful tang, when paired with the juniper jus. Whilst Theo opted for a fish dish ‘Sea Bass Fillet with mango salsa and burnt lemon wedge – the dish looked and smelt divine, and considering the heat currently was a beautiful dish for a summer’s day with the salsa, and salad.

And of course, we couldn’t resist dessert, opting for  a Poached Rhubarb & Passion Fruit Eton Mess with homemade gingerbread and Theo went for the Milk Chocolate Mousse with blackberry jelly, clotted cream and vanilla crumble. Both were insane, with sweet, and tangy flavours throughout.

I was really impressed with both the service, and the food when I visited The Birch last week. I had heard great things about this family-owned pub and I certainly was impressed. I’ll be going back again very soon and maybe next time will sit outside in the terrace area!

*I was hosted by The Birch but as always opinions are my own.