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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Food Blogger Meet Up: The Bird in Hand

A few weeks ago myself and some fellow bloggers, Bristol Bites, The Awkward Eater and Wuthering Bites were fortunate enough to be invited by the lovely Catherine from Red Cherry to sample the menu at The Bird in Hand pub in Long Ashton. An off shoot of restaurant/pub The Pump House in Hotwells, The Bird in Hand is more like it's casual, rustic cousin.
Bird in Hand Long Ashton
The pub is right on a main road which I was not expecting but you walk in at it's nicely decorated with some old adverts and it definitely feels like a classic country pub. The menu was fairly small with about 5-6 choices to choose from for each course, you can mostly forget the pub food classics this menu was gastro pub dining and then some.

I was tempted by the mussels as a starter but with my main already in sight I decided to go for something a bit lighter so opted for the Bulls Heart Tomato with Goats Curd. Gloriously creamy the goats curd did not disappoint the tomatoes were fragrant and well matched, my main gripe was the herb, which I think was tarragon, it did not match or compliment the dish at all, I found myself picking most of it out. Other than that it was really delicious and I would definitely order it again.
Bird in Hand Long Ashton
Bulls Heart Tomatoes with Goats Curd
Bird in Hand Long Ashton
Bristol Bites opted for White Bait
For my main I chose Honey Roast Rare Duck Breast with Stuffing, Potato Cake and Bread Sauce. This was delicious the duck was very pink, just how it should be, and the stuffing ball was particularly good as it seemed to be of the pork and sage type variety. As my mum will tell you I get a bit possessive at Christmas over the stuffing, done well pork, sage and chestnut stuffing is heavenly and which is why I find myself guarding and rationing the leftovers a bit too aggressively. My only tiny criticism is the inclusion of bread sauce, horrible stuff even though Rich and a few other people seem to think it's accompaniment of the gods, does it belong beside duck?
Bird in Hand Long Ashton
Honey Roast Duck with Potato Cake and Stuffing

Duck is more filling than it looks and I was considering the possibility of pudding. I was eventually swayed by the fact everyone else was eager for a sugar hit and opted for the sticky toffee pudding.Usually a pudding in the top 5 of my favourite puddings, as long as you lump it in with syrup sponge pudding as a tie, it can easily be dry and disappointing. It was not the case here, the sticky toffee pudding was luscious and wonderfully indulgent with a nicely rich toffee sauce. 
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Eton Mess
Buttermilk & Elderflower Pudding with Summer Fruits
All in all the Bird in Hand does good food but I would argue the prices might be a tiny bit steep for some people and particularly a village pub type place. But the choices are definitely a bit different compared to your usual pub grub so if you find yourself looking for something a bit different check it out. For more information check their website.

The food was complimentary on this visit but I shall not bow to any sponsor, thus as usual, it is all my own views and personal thoughts.

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