[Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire] Bull's Head

(John Hartley) #1

A return visit for a quick one course lunch.

My companion in life broke our first rule of pub eating – never order the fish & chips unless the pub is in sight of the sea and it also has a reputation for good fish & chips (with thanks to PhilD). In the event, these weren’t bad at all. Decent sized portion of cod – not overcooked and with a crisp batter. Mushy peas that were peas and mushy. The “fat chips” were swapped for fries, as the lesser of two evils. Why can’t places serve chip sized chips?

And an advertised “pork trio” turned out to be an even better “pork quartet”. There’s pulled pork encased in a steamed suet pudding. And very long cooked braised cheek. And a slab of belly pork (disappointingly without crispy skin but rescued by serving a single shard of crackling). And the fourth bit of the quartet came from black pudding, interleaved with potato in a boulangerie style. There’s gravy, some baby carrots and kale.

Two good lunches

(John Hartley) #2

A bit of a celebration lunch today - I’ve just finished a fairly lengthy course of treatment at a local hospital. So we ate:

Me - Smoked haddock and leek rarebit tart – crisp pastry, filling a bit underseasoned but generally OK. Braised shoulder of lamb, dauphinoise, mixed greens, carrot puree, gravy (industrial and too much – made the plate overly wet. Orange sponge for dessert – a bit heavy but lovely orange flavour, choc sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Herself - Roast tomato soup, swirl of crème fraiche. Followed by a small cod, chips, mushy peas and tartare. Instead of a full size dessert, had a cafetiere of coffee and mini dessert – choc & praline waffle and choc hazelnut sauce.

I’m a long time fan of the dinign pubs owned by Brunning & Price. The menu is always well crafted and is generally fixed in the Modern British style although today I was much tempted by the goat tagine. By the by, I see they’ve bought the four pubs previously operated by Ribble Valley Inns which in turn was owned by Michelin starred Northcote.

(John Hartley) #3

We had vouchers that were going to get twelve quid knocked off the bill. So, that was an easy decision for where to have lunch. It was also a pretty easy decision as to what I was ordering. Yep, that’s the Appleby’s Cheshire cheese, onion and potato pie. Crisp pastry, tangy cheese, etc. It came with roasted carrots (as advertised) and mixed greens (not advertised – but always delicious here). I feared that it may be a restrained lunch, so ordered some chips (that’s Brit chips, not Yank chips) – yes, a three carb plate. But it was a substantial offering of pie which meant the chips were superfluous – but all were eaten anyway, of course. By way of dessert – two scoops of Cheshire Farm sorbet – one each of blackcurrant and lemon.

Herself was in a restrained mood. Granary bread open sandwich, topped with prawns in an underwhelming Marie Rose sauce, handful of mixed salad and a slightly less restrained side order of fries. She didn’t fancy a full dessert but they do a coffee and a small selection of mini-desserts – in this case a crème brulee.

All very nice as it usually is in this dining pub. Surprising just how busy it was on a midweek lunchtime – pretty much full.

(Peter) #4

Ooh, I just had some “Brit chips” at Emily’s, a British-style steakhouse in Penang, the other day. Perfect with a splash of malt vinegar! :joy: