I absolutely love The Pied Bull, because its full of the unexpected.
This is one of our best independent venues because it has so much to offer, and it has some rather wonderful stories to tell – like John the ghost who lives in the cellar for example (he’s quite nice apparently!).
I started working with Dave and the team last year and I really didn’t expect to fall in love with the place quite as much as I have. The bedrooms are gorgeous. If you like slipper baths, sleigh beds and oldy-worldy wood panelling (I bet they have secret doors and passageways too) then you need to book in for a cheeky Chester staycation. The pub is full of history and is super-cosy in the winter time, and every year a very special lady (I think it’s Mrs Claus) sneaks in during the night and turns it into a magical winter wonderland. If there was a prize for the best decorated Chester venue at Christmas, then The Pied Bull would win hands-down.
And then there is the food. Whatever you expect – double it! This is proper pub cooking at its best. Chef uses the best local suppliers (including award-winning local butcher David Joinson) to create mouth-watering menus of pure joy. The pub classics are spot on and the service is informal, efficient and friendly.
So when Ops Manager Dave invited us to review between lockdowns, we jumped at the chance, and true to form it was even better than I remembered. We’ve dined at The Pied Bill a few times and have always thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s good quality, honest and wholesome. Proper portions and great flavours always make me really happy.
We started with Gooey buttermilk buns with garlic and cheese (OMG just order them!) and the Beef short rib scotch egg with straw potatoes and mango chutney. Both were so tasty – again not quite what I was expecting but so much better. The Gooey buttermilk buns are worth a trip all on their own, and went down very well with my Red Rock Shiraz and Phil’s pint of Neck Oil from Beavertown Brewery.
On to the mains and I’m not ashamed to say that we doubled up on the short rib! I ordered the pie of the day (braised pork with mustard and red wine with buttered greens, gravy and chips) and Phil went for the Slow cooked beef short rib with pancetta, chestnut mushrooms and bubble & squeak. Both were delicious and great quality – they more than hit-the-spot.
We struggled to manage the desserts, but soldiered on through with the Traditional egg custard tart with poached winter berries (sublime) and their now-famous Baked pistachio cheesecake with caramel sauce and toasted praline. Phil summed them up in one word. Outrageous.
Dinner at The Pied Bull was great and the service was delightful. If you love pub grub then this is the place for you. It is steeped in history, dating back to the 11th century and they can even boast the only microbrewery inside the city walls. And did I mention their heated beer terrace?
This is a special place run by lovely people, and definitely worthy of a couple of outings with your nearest and dearest this Christmas.