The Bell, Burton Overy

May 20, 2010

Lovely little out of the way village, lovely little pub. That’s more or less all you need to know about the Bell. It sits in that hinterland between a smart foodie pub and a pub that simply does food because it has too. It’s resolutely not a poncey gastropub, with tractor drivers welcome to stand at the bar in overalls supping Timothy Taylor’s landlord. But there’s enough interest in the chalk board menu to suggest this is not catering pack stuff but good honest cooking by somone with an interest in ingredients.

A visit by an aged parent took us out on the short drive from Leicester on a midweek evening and we enjoyed excellent chicken breast in a light light cream sauce flavoured with vermouth and ginger – turning out to be a well-judged combination of citrus, herbs and spice – and a  meaty casserole of rabbit with thyme-flavoured roast parsnips.  There were piles of excellent crunchy roasties and nice iron-rich spring greens with carrots and green beans with plenty of snap left in.  For desert a vanilla and raspberry creme brulee impressed the Aged P while my brioche bread and butter with cointreau soaked raisins was a very good version indeed, served with a pot of delightfully light custard.

I don’t think The Bell would be first choice for a big celebration or to impress a date, but for that  low-key, come-on-let’s-have-a -bit-of-a-treat moment it does the job rather well. If you go soon, you might catch one or more of eight tiny cocker spaniel puppies that arrived a couple of weeks back and which were melting the hearts of everyone in the bar.

Update – August 2013. Still on good form. We had had Sunday lunch for 8, choosing from a nicely-matched menu of well-prepared dishes. I had big slabs of very decent sirloin, well-cooked veg, and a rich desert of gooseberry fool.  Good value.

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