The Bull in Stratford Dingley another feather in Ritchies cap

As you know my lovely reader, I have been a great fan of Ritchie Sanderson for a long time.  He is someone I admire because he works hard at a job that can be extremely difficult and demanding and there can often be casualties along the way.  What I admire about Ritchie is his passion, his incredibly hard work and his dedication not just to the job but to the staff and his family.  For example he wont open on Christmas Day despite being offered substantial amounts of money to do so because he believes in family time, not just for him but for his staff.

This emphasis on caring shows in his food.  Those who have read my Bladebone reviews will know how much I love it.  He has turned the pub into a great destination venue and it is constantly rammed and needs booking to be sure of a great meal.  I think this will happen at The Bull as well.  The menu is a little different but still has great quality ingredients which means that I am now torn between the two pubs.  My best advice is to try both.

I love the décor, lots of stripped wood, natural looking but classy, clean and comfortable and definitely enjoyable to stay in.  I am not sure who is in charge of the decoration at both The Bull and The Bladebone but they do a good job.

The indomitable Ritchie in front of the tv, look at that happy little face.  As an aside I love that the plugs also have usb sockets.  A little thing that makes me very happy.  The wifi is being upgraded in the very near future which will be good as reception can be patchy.

The bed while it was still neat, lovely and quiet and secluded.  I wouldn’t have been surprised to see deer outside gambolling in the grass, indeed if I had been a drinker even I may have tried gambolling outside the window.  It really was that peaceful.

I love the details especially the grass on the walls, an idea I may steal for my new house and pretend that I invented.  Hmmm probably shouldn’t have written that down then.

So now to the most important part, the food.  Sitting under the lovely Bulls head is Andrew, my companion for the evening.  He is very laid back and not much of a meat eater but was well catered for at the Bull.  He is also incredibly patient which is a wonderful gift when you are eating with me.

A delightful, crisp coated soft shell crab tempura with wasabi mayonnaise.  I had a nibble and it was delicious.  I am always a bit nervous of crab, as a rule it is the one of the few things I don’t eat along with duck and black pudding.  However if I do eat crab it has to be absolutely fresh and not tasting too crabby and this fitted the bill perfectly.

This was my tandoori prawns with coronation mayo and roast lemon, again great produce well cooked, tender and juicy with just a hint of spice.

Andrew went for the Thai red vegetable with coriander, sticky rice and tempura,  He enjoyed the level of spice and loved the way the rice absorbed the juice with perfect timing like a well choreographed dance.  There was a good selection of veggy food including spinach and ricotta ravioli with ratatouille which also looked delicious.

What a marvellous steak this was.  A Vicars sirloin cooked just right for me with a good pink inside and a great peppercorn sauce.  Also the fun scooped chips we have got used to at the Bladebone, such a great idea.  The icing on the steak though was the Surfy option of what I thought was soft shell crab, scampi or prawns but actually was All of them.  Oh my.  Beyond piggery wonderfulness.

We forgot to order our breakfasts the night before so if you go please remember to do this.  I was particularly impressed that they worked out that Andrew was veggy and again the quality of the ingredients was great.

One of my favourite reasons for a night away is the cooked breakfast and this didn’t disappoint thanks to the quality of the ingredients.

Another picture of the Bull in the Bull, lovely to look at although I hope it is secured securely as it looks pretty weighty.  The staff were great and of course I cant rmember their names but a great chef and front of house, friendly, welcoming and attentive but not too much.

This is Ritchie with our door key, I only included it because it looks like he has just found a mini alligator!


So, if you want a lovely night away with good food, friendly staff and a very comfortable room then definitely come to The Bull.  Well worth a visit.  A great addition to the Ritchie estate.


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