My favourite nearby dining pub. It’s a while since we’ve been which I suppose means we haven’t been eating in pubs for a while. We were out that way doing a bit of Christmas shopping and lunch called.
Now, it’s fair to say that starters always seem to be the Bull’s weak point, so we passed this time and went straight into mains. The menu changes through the seasons but there are some dishes that are constants. For instance, there’s always a braised lamb dish. Today it was shoulder and it had been given a proper long braise – the meat literally falling from the bone. It came with very decent dauphinoise potatoes, a carrot puree – sweet but not overly so – and a mix of green beans and cabbage. Good gravy. Across the table, there was a cheese, potato and onion pie. Good shortcrust and good contents, although it could have done with a greater presence of the cheese. A creamy mustard sauce worked well, as did the shredded cabbage that was also on the plate.
Well, of course, as we hadn’t had starters, there was room for dessert. Something we don’t often bother with at this level of cooking. And, in truth, we should have stuck with usual practice. They were OK but only OK. A rhubarb and custard ice cream came from Buttertons Lane Farm, just down the road at the southern end of the county. It tasted of both but in a fairly boring way. Call me a pedant, but when your menu says “roasted plums” – in the plural – there’s an expectation that there will be more than one on the plate. It was nice enough and the dollop of marmalade ice cream had just the right hint on citrus. What was not appealing was the gigantic “catering wholesaler” meringue that occupied half the plate.