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“What a turnaround”

The Bull at Riseley
Ranked #2 of 2 Restaurants in Riseley
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $20
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: A friendly and welcoming pub with a focus on good old fashioned hospitality. With a good selection of traditional home cooked pub food and a Seasonal menu, all freshly made to order. We open all day from 12pm and serve food all day up to 8.45pm ( 7.00pm Sunday ) WE welcome families and have a large gated garden area at the rear of the pub, along with ample parking.
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Last time we visited the Bull it was being run by a miserable man called Dave. Thankfully this has now changed and we were greeted by a very friendly and helpful staff. We went for Sunday lunch and we werent disappointed. We all went with the beef and that came with two good size slices of sirloin, yorkshire pudding, veg, roast potatoes and a portion of cauliflower cheese. There were four of us and as we were a little ful by the end of the meal we decided to wait a while before opting to share two puddings between four. This turned out to be the perfect end to our meal and we all left nice and full with a smile on our faces. The food and drinks worked out roughly at £17 p/head which is excellent value.

Definitely recommended for food.

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1  Thank Berkscouple2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AJ2155, Owner at The Bull at Riseley, responded to this reviewResponded February 10, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. I'm glad you found the staff friendly and helpful and these comments have been passed onto them.
We like to think we offer good value for money and are pleased to hear you agree.
My husband has a theory that on a Sunday you should eat a good meal, feel full, go home, relax and fall asleep in front of the TV. He is part of the kitchen crew and can no longer can do so, so he wants everyone who visits on a Sunday to do this on his behalf
Hopefully we will see you again in the future
Thank you again for recommending our food.
Kind regards Amanda

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Reviews (116)
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89 - 93 of 116 reviews

Reviewed February 5, 2013

From other reviews on tripadvisor, decided to give the Bull a try when my parents came over on Saturday. I'm quite hard to please with my food, but thought the quality was very good. We had the potted crab and baked camembert to start. Lots of meaty crab and the pickles were lovely. I'm not the biggest cheese fan so won't comment but thought it could have done with an option of a mix of brown / wholemeal bread in addition to the nice chunky white bread.

The main of pork belly was great, very large portion size and not too fatty like you sometimes get. Bit of crackling and touch more sauce would have made it perfect. The other main ordered was the venison which also seemed to go down well and again very generous portions. Veg's were really good too, I do like a nice dark cabbage! Everyone was very happy with the food but too full to try the desserts (this time).

Owners were friendly and helpful, and even gave my girlfriend a little pressie which was really nice.

I have paid much more for far worse many times in England and abroad and am looking forward to trying the sunday roast and the burger. Overall represents great value and great food. Cheers!

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Thank john g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AJ2155, Owner at The Bull at Riseley, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Thank you for your review, glad you thought the quality of the food was good.
I have spoken to the chef and he is happy to provide both white and wholemeal bread with the Camembert if people would like this and extra sauce with the pork
Look forward to seeing you again when you get a chance to come back and try a roast or a burger.
Hope your girlfriend enjoys drinking from her new glass
Kind regards Amanda

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Reviewed February 5, 2013

After seeing the rave reviews on Trip Advisor I have been very curious to sample The Bull first hand. I have to say I came away a little disappointed.

First impressions on entering the pub were good - we got a nice welcome.

The pub was rather quiet so I couldn't properly appreciate the ambience but the whole interior does seem very sparse - maybe a little more in the way of decoration would liven the place up a bit.

As has been highlighted in several reviews the service is outstanding - exceptionally attentive but not intrusive.

The food was fine but not outstanding - the portions were generous though. Overall it was standard pub fare but not really anything that would differentiate it from its local competition.

There was a good selection of beers on draught including Oranjeboom (which I haven't seen anywhere else).

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Thank Bobby1301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AJ2155, Owner at The Bull at Riseley, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Thank for your review, and your honest opinion of our pub. Some people might find the heading good unpretentious food a big of a negative, but I take it as a compliment as that is what it is.
With regard to the pub being sparse you are probably right to a degree. We have been running the pub for nearly a year now and we decided that we didn't want to just clutter the space with just any old nik naks but would take some time to find things that are relevant to the pub it's self or to the brewery we are tied to, at first we didn't have any pictures on the wall, but in the last few months have added some relevant Shepherd Neame pictures and we will continue to add to the decor in the dining area. In the bar area their are some old photos of the pub and also a photo of one of the old landlords.
Thank you for your kind comment on the service you received
Kind regards Amanda

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Reviewed February 2, 2013

I booked a table for 7, ages ranging from 10 years to 73 yrs old for Sunday lunch to celebrate my birthday, Never having been to The Bull before, we were all pleasantly surprised, fantastic surrounding, log fires and friendly staff, the food was the best we had had in a very long time, normally in a pub restaurant you are served frozen vegetables which is over cooked and tasteless,a slither of meat, here however, huge portions of meat, potatoes and a large yorkshire pud topped with fresh coursely chopped veg which was cooked to perfection, extra gravy bought to the table along with an assortment of sauces, my sister is a vegetarian but that was no problems as she just the same without meat, but they also thought to give her a separate jug of vegetarian gravy and not many restaurants offer this, we cannot fault anything about the meal, surroundings or staff and will definately make The Bull our regular eatery.....THANK YOU to you all.....

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1  Thank debs19642701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AJ2155, Owner at The Bull at Riseley, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review our pub. It's good to know that people appreciate that we use fresh vegetables and not frozen ones. We want people to feel that they are special whilst they are here and go home full and happy. I hope you had a good birthday and look forward to welcoming you back in the future
With kind regards Amanda and all the staff at the Bull

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Reviewed February 2, 2013

I reviewed a number of restaurants and public houses serving food as it was a special occasion.
I decided on the Bull because of the high rating. The hygiene rating of 4 on the door was slightly worrying, but more importantly, the pub was very basic, no charm or character and more importantly the large brick fireplace just contained dead embers and we were both extremely cold. It smelt of stale fried food was quite unpleasant. We ordered a ribeye teak and halibut. The steak was very thick, had no marbling like it should and looked like rump steak and had no taste. The halibut was slightly undercooked and tepid in temperatures like the vegetables. It was not value for money and we will not being going back. It's a shame as the staff were helpful but nothing could make up for the poor quality food and cold and dismal atmosphere. This has taught me to ignore any kind of feedback or rating and stay with the tried and trusted as it certainly ruined our day.

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Thank Qualitycook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AJ2155, Owner at The Bull at Riseley, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2013

Firstly to other people reading this I would ask that you take a look at the other reviews this person has summited on other establishments and also the other reviews on our pub and then make up your own mind

Dear reviewer
Thank you for your review, we value all honest feedback both positive and negative.
So to respond : firstly I'm not sure if you understand food hygiene rating system. As you said we have a 4 which is 4 out of 5 and this is a GOOD and we are proud to display it, so I don't understand why this would cause you concern.
Pub basic and lacking character : The pub was refurbished a year ago but the building dates back to the 1640's so has built in character. The furniture is of a good quality along with the carpet. Perhaps you misunderstood and thought you were coming to something that we are not, we are just a pub that serves good food
The fire: the fire had been cleaned out that morning and relaid ready to be lit, however as my husband personally explained to you, he had been delayed and had not had time to light it and didn't want to do this whilst you were sat near it as this didn't seem polite when you were going to dine.
Cold : I don't understand if you were cold why did you move from your seat with the radiator right behind you to another one at the same table ! The pub heating is on all the time during the cold months and is set at 25 degrees centigrade.
Food: with regard to the temperature of the food and quality, I personally served and I asked you shortly after you and your dining companion had started you meals if everything was to your liking and the response was yes, I then asked you again when I cleared your near empty plates with the same response again, you were asked a third time when you paid the bill, at no point did you mention any problems. We do make mistakes like everyone but if we are not told when we ask how can we rectify a problem ?
I challenge the comment about "smelt of stale fried food" we have a good hygiene rating and the fryer is cleaned regularly along with the extractor in the kitchen.
Dismal atmosphere : when you telephoned to book your table you stated you wanted a quiet table. When you were told we had some big tables booked in you told my husband you didn't want to sit near them, the dining room was full when you were here but you don't want to sit near anyone. How can you expect atmosphere when you don't want anyone near you?
Having responded honestly to you points I thank you for saying that the staff were friendly, and I sincerely hope you find the type of establishment that suits your expectations.
Kind regards Amanda

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