Sunday, 2 November 2008

Bricklayers Arms

Yesterday it was cold and rainy so the question of lunch assumed additional importance. Not only did we want nice food, but we wanted it in cosy, atmospheric surroundings.

We settled on the Bricklayers Arms. We've often been to this pub, but have previously sat in the beer garden, watching the kitchen staff feed carrots to the horses who live in the paddock at the back and listening to the bumblebees in the hawthorn hedge. It's really, really nice.

I was a bit sceptical about eating indoors - previously when I have walked through the dining room on my way to the loo the atmosphere has been akin to God's waiting room. But the food is fabulous, so I was prepared to set aside my prejudices.

And rightly so. As soon as we walked through the door we saw gorgeous little individual cream and green pumpkins on most people's plates and we were quite determined that whatever was in those pumpkins was going to be our lunch. It turned out to be a daily special of butternut squash and pumpkin soup. Velvety, not too creamy, but absolutely delicious.

They serve really good bread at the Bricklayers - thickly cut slabs of wholemeal or white sourdough, with cute little white china dishes of French butter. It was just the perfect thing with the soup, but I had another course coming and didn't want to overeat myself.

Paul ordered local wood pigeon breasts with field mushrooms in balsamic reduction. The pigeon was beautiful - tender, dark, rich meat, perfectly complemented by the mushrooms and rich sauce. He had some dauphinois potatoes with it and it is not often you see him eat potatoes so happily!

I'd been craving a burger, and while a local pork & sage burger with applewood smoked cheese wasn't at all what I had in mind, it certainly satisfied the craving. The burger was flecked with quite large pieces of fresh sage - absolutely delicious - and the smoked cheese was just the thing. In a perfect world there would have been a couple of slices of onion on the burger as well, but you can't have everything. The chips served with it were hand cut and very nicely browned, but unfortunately the salad hadn't been properly washed and was a bit gritty. Maybe someone was too busy feeding carrots to the horses to care about the finer details?

15 comments:

kat said...

Oh I'd have to have that soup too!

Natashya said...

The soup sound perfect for a cool and rainy fall day. I really want to make something like that one day.

Esi said...

That soup looks and sounds delicious, but the burger sounds fantastic as well!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Everything sounds delicious - sounds like a great place to eat. Cute way of serving the soup too :)

Sarah said...

The idea of sitting on a patio amidst hawthorn hedges and horses nibbling on carrots sounds summertime-dreamy right now, but you did just fine sitting indoors, too! The soup looks wonderful, but Paul's roasted wood pigeon sounds even better. I'd give that meal high marks!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh what a delightful pub flavored lunch. I'm just going to have to try serving soup in a gourd. My daughter makes dinner in a pumpkin for the kids (so she says:) and they just love it!

Thanks for sharing you...

Foodycat said...

Kat - I think they paid someone to sit inside the door with a bowl of soup, EVERYONE was eating it!

Natashya - I don't have the patience to hollow out pumpkins.

Esi - it was a great burger!

Laura - you should see the desserts. I couldn't fit one in but I'd have liked to!

Sarah - if it gets any colder they will light the fire. Brilliant pub.

Louise - have you seen the one that Kat & Matt did? Yum! http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com/2008/10/roast-kabocha-squash-with-cheese.html

Dee said...

Ooh, I want that pork and sage burger! It's a crime that we don't have anything remotely close to that here. It would be interesting to recreate that burger... go on then :)

I love the idea of melting the camembert with vinegar and garlic. Thank you so much for the tip. And thank you for the kind comments.

Apples and Butter said...

Sounds like the perfect pub meal and how festive that they were actually serving the soup in pumpkins!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh my my my....Kat & Matt's looks incredible. I am hooked! and no dishes to clean. I am definitely going to look into these dishes. Thank you so much for sharing the link. It's indeed a Keeper!

Snooky doodle said...

soup is the ideal winter comfort food.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Foodycat, I just saw your picture on Gloria's Featured Foodie post. You are lovely my friend. I was reading your post on the Bricklayers Arms and saw the photo of the soup served in the small pumpkins. How delightful. You (and your honey) are great foodies.

The Blonde Duck said...

What a wonderful review! That soup looks so neat! Personally, as a Texan, I'm all about burgers.

Sam said...

Everything sounds so good I wouldn't know what to choose! I love the way the soup is presented.

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