The Bull Inn

South Brewham,
nr Bruton,
BA10 0LN.
T: 01749 8122200
W: (link opens in a new page)

See the earlier review for details of the pub.


I had 'Breast of pigeon with a gin & pea dressing'; the pigeon breasts were cooked rare (exactly as I like them) with a drizzle of pea purée and a garnish of frisée. I have to admit I couldn't detect the gin in the dressing and there wasn't much of it but what there was was good.
'Chicken tempura with a sweet chilli dip' was nicely cooked goujons of chicken breast in a cornflour batter. It was piled onto a garnish of salad and surrounded with the chilli sauce.

'Slow roasted shoulder of lamb (stripped and wrapped in a cabbage leaf) served with parsnip mash' was beautifully cooked, and well presented wrapped in savoy cabbage leaves although the range of additional vegetables (french beans, broccoli and sugar snap peas) on the plate were undercooked even for me (especially the beans) and didn't really compliment the dish as maybe chantenay carrots and some more of the cabbage might have done.
Chicken dopiaza with basmati rice, naan bread & mango chutney was good. Mrs Riverdale had it spiced up, as is her wont, and from the colour she took on it probably didn't need much more 'lift'.

Chocolate slice dressed with a syrup of oranges and an almond mascarpone with a sesame & poppy seed tuille was superb; a grenache type slice dressed with orange zest in syrup and served with the tuille wedged into the mascarpone. The tuille was a fascinating piece of crisp sugar leaf holding together the sesame and poppy seeds; chef was kind enough to give me the recipe. Technically it wasn't on the everyday pudding menu but was part of the Valentine's Day Special menu (which, incidentally, looked extremely good) but they were kind enough to let me try it.
Banoffee pie with vanilla ice cream had a strong base which was a little difficult to get into with the fork provided but was otherwise 'gorgeous'.

The Bull has a new team in the kitchen and the emphasis has changed a little without any drop in the quality. Presentation was always good but has now stepped up a little without veering into the realms of silliness, although Mrs Riverdale's starter was a column that wobbled alarmingly as it hit the table. Whether they will be able to maintain such presentation when the place gets busy in the summer months remains to be seen. If there is any criticism it's to do with the quality of the meats used; both the chicken and the lamb, though beautifully cooked, had the flavour, or lack of it, of mass-produced meats. Most wouldn't notice as it's certainly as good as any supermarket would provide, but such presentation begs the use of the best ingredients, many of which are available locally as our shopping bags, filled that morning at Frome farmers market, would testify. However I appreciate the considerable difference this would make to the price, which, at just over £60 (including a couple of drinks beforehand and a couple of glasses of wine with the food) was a very fair price for a very good meal.