Review: The Three Horseshoes, Bubbenhall
July 1, 2024

[Disclosure: I was invited for a complimentary meal at The Three Horseshoes for the purposes of this blog]

I love a posh restaurant as much as the next person, but sometimes you can’t beat a proper pub. Lucky for Bubbenhall, they seem to have one in the form of The Three Horseshoes. Where the welcome is warm, the food hearty, and the feel of a ‘proper local’.

The historic pub was revamped when Coventry-born John Thorpe and Ashleigh Spence took over, with their key aim for it to be the hub of the village. In their own words, while they want to attract people from afar, they want the Three Horseshoes to be “a place the locals are proud to say is theirs”. And given the bustle of various tables on a Thursday night when I visited, I’d say they’ve managed just that.

Three Horseshoes Bubbenhall

A pretty frontage including a terrace perfect for that ever elusive beer garden weather leads in to a traditional pub with plenty of cosy corners for a quiet drink or meal, as well as a fairy-lit room that looked perfect for a bigger group or special celebrations. There are seven rooms too, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, and it’s not in a bad location to give you access to plenty of places nearby.

The food offering is extensive, with a whopping 12 menus featuring on the website. Overkill perhaps, but once you realise that one’s the drinks list and one’s the doggy menu (which obviously I approve of!) and several are various offers and deals from pie nights to coffee and cake mornings and curry night, it’s slightly less daunting.

Three Horseshoes Bubbenhall
Three Horseshoes Bubbenhall
Three Horseshoes Bubbenhall


Things get even simpler when you actually go in person, and I was simply presented with the main menu, which had plenty to choose from, though sadly they were midway through changing some dishes so I didn’t quite get the pick of the bunch I’d been hoping to have.

The promise is that they’ve moved away from “modern over-processed meals and instead offer locally-sourced produce that is home cooked to the highest standard”. The menu seems to reflect this, with a focus on hearty classics and proper pub food. Prices are eminently reasonable too, with starters ranging from £4.95 to £9.35 and mains from £12.75 up to £26.95 for a ribeye steak with all the trimmings.

A Moroccan Stew starter of slow-cooked feather blade of beef caught my eye, but sadly wasn’t available on the day I went. S0 I opted for seared scallops – the simple, tried-and-tested combination of scallops with crispy chunks of chorizo, a smooth celeriac puree and a simple salad. Proven flavours, well-cooked scallops. What’s not to like.

Scallop starter

The main courses live up to the promise of old-school home-cooked classics, with dishes like burgers, steaks, sea bass and fish and chips interspersed with pub grub choices of yesteryear like beef stew, sausage faggots and mash and bacon steak.

I’d got excited when I spotted braised pheasant but again, my top choice wasn’t available on the night I visited, so I went for pork belly instead. In a world where pork belly is often serves as cute little cubes with some kind of bouji coating, the slab of slow-cooked meat that arrived was simultaneously daunting and delightful.

Possibly not the prettiest of presentations, but The Three Horseshoes isn’t in this game to garner Instagram likes. Instead, the impression is that they want to feed you up, comfort you with food, and know you’ll leave full. Which I definitely did after valiantly tackling a full place of pork, plus dauphinoise potatoes, and plenty of veg.

Belly pork

Belly pork

Was it the best belly pork dish I’ve ever had? Probably not, nor the best dauphinoise potatoes or gravy. But did I enjoy it? Yes I did. Because it was exactly what I was expecting – comfort food, cooked in a way that evokes a degree of nostalgia, served up in a comfortable, cosy environment where service is good, the atmosphere is relaxed and a reminder of what a good old local pub should feel like.

At prices like this, it’s also good value compared to so many places that promise much more, charge for the privilege, then fail to deliver. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience to rival all others, then no, don’t head here. But if you want reasonably priced hearty, homely grub in a traditional pub, then you could do far worse than to call in here.