In 2012, when I last commented on the Bull’s Head, I said we’d had a decent lunch but the food at the Roebuck, literally across the road, was better. So, that was the kiss of death to the Roebuck as it closed shortly after and is still shut.
Like many of the good pubs in the area, the Bull’s Head not gone down the full gastropub route and is all the better for it. You’re very welcome to just have a pint and, in the smaller bar, you’re also welcome to bring the dog. But, if you want to eat, they’ll quickly set a table for you.
I kicked off with a small fillet of smoked haddock, topped with a Lancashire cheese and beer rarebit. Decent enough, although both the smokiness of the fish and pokiness of the cheese were a tad muted. It came with a small leaf salad, some warm cherry tomatoes and, also, a warm tomato chutney. For a main course, I went with the seasonal game stew. It came in one of the most stupid presentations of food that I can recall. The stew, and the accompanying mashed potato, each in cast iron pots and no plate. It was all but impossible to eat like that and I had to ask for a plate, which I had slight sense that it was brought maybe not grudgingly but somewhere along the road to be grudging.
So, whinge ends about lunch, as the stew (once on a plate) was bloody lovely. Long cooked meat, mainly venison, ample very flavoursome stock, a few chunks of onion and carrot and good mashed potato (by which I mean potatoes just mashed, not beaten into a slop with butter).
Mrs H took her starter from the “nibbles” section. A small pork pie, bought in and, truth be told, not of top quality. It came served with English and grain mustards. A pleasant enough nibble. Her main course, was from the sandwich menu. Fish finger butty was very good, served in a barmcake that managed not to fall apart. Not your catering fish fingers, either, but what we assumed were trimmings from other fish dishes, battered and deep fried. It came with a small leaf salad and a few chips.
There’s a good range of beers and Mrs H enjoyed a half of the house brew – “Mobberley Wobbly” – made for them by Weetwood Ales. It’s a dark, very reddish, bitter with a full flavour. The pub makes a donation of 10p to the local church for every pint sold.