We popped into The Bull's Head, somewhere we wouldn't normally choose to go, to see what it's like under new management. Acquired by Weatherspoons the change is immediately obvious and this is now somehere you could comfortably go for a family outing. One instant indication of the commitment to this is the policy to allow only two alcoholic drinks per person to anyone, be they parents or friends, accompanying a child onto the premises.
Inside the seating is comfortable and tables laid out in such a way that couples and small groups should have bo problem finding somewhere that gives a feeling of personal space. Perhaps the only exception are a few tables arranged parallel to a raised area with a table for about 6 near the main window. Though suitable for couples these have the disadvantage that people heading for the exit from the bar are quite likely to walk right by your table which can be annoying as you eat. The decor is restful and well thought out and service at the bar was prompt and friendly. Typically for Weatherspoons you give your table number and order any food at the bar from a fairly standard menu - if you know Weatherspoons you will be familiar with it and details can be found on their website, though there was a shorter menu itemising the current offers available. If you visit there is something to watch out for here - look for the fine print and read the menu carefully. I opted for salmon fillet for example while my wife chose the steak - because her option came under the 'grill' section it fell within an offer that gave a good portion of chips, peas and a free drink (she chose gin and tonic). It turned out that salmon doesn't come under the right section though and so wasn't included in the offer. If you read the menu it's all there, but it can be easy to misread it if the big font highlighting the offer is what catches your eye.
So what was the food like - the salmon came with vegetables that were just a tiny bit rubbery. Not enough to be unpleasant but a texture you could detect and they weren't as full of flavour as they might have been. A slight dryness suggested these were kept heated ready for use, something that probably helps to give the quick service we experienced. The hollandaise sauce too lacked flavour and almost certainly wasn't freshly made, but for the price it would be really surprising if it was. The salmon itself was tasty and well prepared and overall it was still a pleasant meal that was good value because of the low price - not much different from the special offer price paid for my wife's meal. She too commented that she thought the peas were kept heated and they were a little dry, but she described her steak as one of the best she's ever had and asked that whoever had prepared it be congratulated. She said it was soft, succulent and full of flavour, and could not have faulted it if she'd wanted to. If you choose to have your lunch here the prices are even lower during the day and it's hard to see how they can manage to be so competitive.
Another plus for the menu is the attention given to dietary requirements with dishes identified as being suitable for vegetarians (though not necessarily vegans), gluten free options and even in some cases the calorific value of the dish. The exception to this was the special offer selection which, as I pointed out to a member of staff, included no options for vegetarians though the offers are subject to change and it may be different when you visit. They do also have 'specials' with certain dishes emphasised on certain days and described as the 'Curry Club' or the 'Steak Club' for example though we haven't yet tried one of these.
Among other points at The Bull's Head there is a comfortable area outside and, surprisingly a large part of the upper floor seems to be given over to the toilets. I've never been anywhwere and listened to female friends advising people to try out the toilets because they are so spacious and well laid out. If you are interested wifi is apparently available though I didn't try to get a connection during our visit. There is limited parking in front of The Bulls Head but this is not something you should rely on. The nearest alternative parking is for the Ellesemere Centre around the corner and is about 2-3 minutes walk away.
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