By Pub Spy

Each month, the SNJ’s Pub Spy visits a local eaterie to give his verdict. This time, he visits The Vine Tree Inn.

Set on the side of a hill in the picturesque village of Randwick, small pubs don’t come much more traditional than this.

I visited The Vine Tree on a glorious bright and summery day last Wednesday just as the sun was setting behind the hills.

My party and I had only meant to enjoy a quick pint and enjoy the views from their impressive beer garden. But after looking at the menu we decided to stick around and try the food for ourselves.

I must admit it wasn’t a pub I’d heard of, but it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.

The inn itself is nestled away in the side of Randwick’s steep hills and looks out over a spectacular view of the Stroud Valley and across to Rodborough and Selsley Common.

Enjoying the last of the sun outside, I chose a pint of San Miguel. Normally I favour an ale – but something about the summer feeling tempted me for lager.

Stroud News and Journal:

The bar has a good selection of beer and ales and even some special Hungarian wine. Its restaurant has a cosy village atmosphere, made all the better by friendly and helpful staff.

After we’d finished our beers we headed inside and were seated at a long table right by the window. Even from inside the views are still pretty amazing.

The menu, while fairly small, has a good range of traditional pub food. Classics like glazed ham, egg and chips and pork belly are blended with interesting dishes such as the butternut squash and chick pea wellington.

The blackboard is also spotted with creative Eastern European dishes such as the Hungarian garlic, paprika, caraway seed sausage and the venison goulash.

To start I ordered tempura battered king prawns with sweet chilli jam, which cost £6.25.

Stroud News and Journal:

This was very tasty and well cooked. The portion size wasn’t great however and maybe not worth the price tag.

The presentation could probably have been improved slightly and the side salads on all the meals were a little sparse and unimaginative.

In keeping with my fishy theme, for my main I went for a sturdy pub classic – fish and chips.

This beer battered fish of the day came with fresh tartar sauce, minted peas and very, very chunky chips (£10.95).

This huge piece of freshly-sourced fish was very nice and you could really tell the sauce was home-made. But as in any traditional pub, the real indicator of good grub is the chips.

Stroud News and Journal:

Fortunately, these were excellent and perfectly cooked; receiving high praise all round. Portion sizes for all the mains were much better and very filling.

Also worth a quick mention was the 8oz house made Hereford beef burger (£10.95) which tempted four of my group and got rave reviews.

Plus, despite being a party of nine, all the food was whisked out of the kitchen in good time and the waiter and bar staff were more than accommodating.

One set back is the location. It is a little out of the way for some. But then again, perhaps this is also a benefit. It is a secluded gem tucked away on the hill.

Nonetheless, I can see why this pub is a favourite for walkers and locals alike– it’s both a great spot for a pint and a bite to eat.

The atmosphere is everything you want in a traditional inn, as is the variety, the value and most importantly, the view.

This summer, choose one sunny afternoon and take a stroll up to The Vine Tree Inn. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


• Atmosphere: 8/10

• Decor: 7/10

• Staff: 7/10

• Drink: 6/10

• Food: 7/10

• Prices: 8/10

• Overall: 7/10