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Saturday, 04 April 2020
AFTER a brisk stroll along the Thames, envisioning a cosy pub with fires blazing, a friendly atmosphere and live piano music playing seemed a blissful way to spend a Sunday afternoon sheltering from the cold.
Which is exactly what the Bull on Bell Street provided and more...
As soon as we opened the door to the Bull, the warmth and lively atmosphere enfolded us.
The pub was fully booked, with couples having early evening meals, families enjoying a Sunday roast after a long walk and friends catching up at the bar over a few drinks. The establishment being intimate yet spacious allowed for all types of fun social occasions.
The decor reflects the building’s amazing history, being one of the oldest in Henley — the pub opened in 1564 — with exposed wooden beams, a big varnished wooden bar with gleaming beer taps and wooden furniture throughout, which was complemented with tasteful leather upholstery.
We were shown promptly to our table by friendly, personable staff. Sitting next to patio windows, we had a lovely view of the outside area — with pretty fairy lights which made me begin to feel Christmassy.
For my main, I couldn’t resist what one is classically expected to have on a Sunday. The roast. I chose slow roast rump of beef and Yorkshire puddings served with heaps of roasties, cauliflower cheese, roasted root vegetables and lashings of gravy.
It truly was an eye-opener when it appeared at the table: extremely large, beautifully presented, and it tasted magnificent.
My dining companion Charlie ordered the 8oz sirloin steak, fries and garlic butter. The fact he was quieter than usual spoke for the meal itself, and he described it as being cooked to perfection.
Full and happy, but never too full for pudding, we embarked on dessert. The selection was all the British traditional favourites, with intriguing twists. I decided to go with the classic sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream, which was heavenly, with each complimenting the other perfectly. I’m sure I could have continued to eat it all day.
Charlie went for the apple and raisin crumble with hidden custard. We were both intrigued by this last element. The portion size was perfect and the custard really was hidden until he started to eat and it came flooding out.
The whole experience of eating at the Bull was marvellous. It was wonderful for an afternoon of relaxation, socialising and pleasantries. I am excited to return for an evening meal.
You can dine at this establishment for lunch or dinner, for any occasion and it will be faultless.
Simon and his fantastic team have created a chic 21st century feel but still kept the pub’s historic class and legacy. This pub will be hard to beat.
For more information, visit the pub’s website at www.bullonbell.co.uk
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