Pub review: The Lamb, Buckland, Oxfordshire
My husband and I set off this morning to see a couple of bitches in Oxfordshire. You heard me, I said bitches!
But before you think this is some story about handbags at dawn between me and some other women, don’t worry because the bitches I’m referring to are furry and of the canine variety. 🙂
We’re planning to add to our little family by getting a little dog soon. We’ve narrowed the choice of breed down to two, and today, we went to see a breeder specialising in one of them. They’re based about an almost two hour drive from where we live, so I orchestrated our day out to include lunch at a pub along the way, and what a great idea this turned out to be because we’ve found a little gem of a pub!
I haven’t written a restaurant review in ages, partly because I’m really fussy, and also because since we visited The Hind Head in Bray last December, we simply haven’t been to any that we felt was special. I think we’re extra pleased about today’s find because the new French restaurant in Godalming we visited on Valentine’s Day turned out to be a complete and utter let-down. So much so that the less said about it, the better…
However, The Lamb has no cause for concern because from start to finish, we loved it!
The Lamb in Buckland is a lovely, picture-postcard style English pub, with stone walls, dark beams and a lovely welcoming hearth. We originally booked a table in the restaurant but choose to eat in the bar area near the fireplace instead. Dotted throughout the pub, you’ll find little lamb decorations which, instead of making the place look tacky, was actually really sweet and totally fit in with the pub’s decor. The whole atmosphere of the pub is very chilled and relaxed, made more so by the warm and friendly waiters and bar staff, and the pub’s spaniel who loved nothing more than to run up to guests to say hello.
Food wise, if I had to give this pub marks out of 10, it’d have to be a at least an 8, with a 9 for the whole pub overall.
But what I loved more than anything else was that every single thing we ate today was made fresh – from the bread – granary and white with beautifully crisp crusts – to the lovely home churned and salty butter and a hand-made selection of chocolates to go with our coffee.
Here’s a run through of what we ate… I went for a traditional starter, the home-made faggot on bubble and squeak, smothered in onion gravy, mmmmmmmmm!
My husband choose to try the spicy cauliflower cakes, which were so light it was almost like eating air.
We both opted for the rump steak, which I have to admit was not very tender but those are the risks when you order rump, sometimes they can be a tougher cut. I should have taken a picture of my husband’s steak because his was a nicer cut to photograph but mine had more garlic parsley butter. And boy, that garlic parsley butter was extraordinarily good! It made me think of the garlicky butter you get when you eat escargot and while it was packed with garlic, the garlic didn’t have any rawness to it. We mopped out plates clean… 🙂
Our steaks came with thick cut home-made chips, which were utterly AMAZING! There’s a lot of ponce around today about triple fried chips but these chips were just as good; in fact, they were 10 times better than the triple cooked chips our new (but mediocre) French restaurant in Godalming offered. I love French fries but nothing beats a properly cooked English chip – thick cut, crispy on the outside and mash potato creamy on the inside. YUM!
So, is it the best pub grub we’ve ever eaten? No, it isn’t.
We have had better steaks elsewhere (eg The Hind Head) but collectively, all the hand-made, home-made dishes actually made me enjoy this meal even more than the one I had at Heston’s pub. I seriously doubt Heston’s pub made their own butter, but if it did, it certainly didn’t taste as nice as the one we ate today, and the pudding I had at Heston’s pub was really disappointing. Whereas here, I enjoyed every single course, especially the chocolates because these were like Oh. My. God. OMG. Oh my god! Look see…
And I’m not even the one in the family that’s that crazy about chocolate! Our petit fours consisted of a marshmallow, fudge with pistachios, a milk chocolate truffle rolled in almonds and a dark chocolate truffle. These were awesome. Seriously awesome.
Would I go again? You bet!
Unfortunately, with the pub being almost two hours’ drive from us, we’re unlikely to visit it again anytime soon, unless we choose to get one of these puppies from the breeder nearby. Tempting. Very, very tempting. 🙂
If you ever fancy a visit yourself, here’s the address:
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Lots of love