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  • Christmas & New Year 2019/20 at the Bull

    Aug, 2019

    We are already delighted to announce that we will be welcoming guests for special stays over Christmas 2019 and New Year 2019/20.

    Christmas 2019 at the Bull

    This year we are offering a minimum 3-night Bed & Breakfast stay over Christmas with standard, superior and four-poster rooms available, plus the ability to book Champagne and chocolates on arrival for that little extra treat.

    Separately, for both staying and non-staying guests, we will offer a superb 4-course Christmas Day lunch for £69 pp.

    New Year 2019/20

    To bring in the New Year in style and comfort, book our minimum 2-night stay at the Bull, again with every kind of room available.

    Contact us NOW for best rates

    To book for either Christmas or New Year, please contact our friendly staff, either by email info@bullatburford.co.uk or by phone +44 (0)1193 822220.

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  • Celebrating centuries of history at the Bull

    Jun, 2019

    We recently came across over some historical research about the Bull, which dates the building back to 1397. Believe it or not, from being used as a buther’s shop, it also suggests that the building welcomed some notable guests later on in the 17th century, including Lord Nelson and even King Charles II.

    As an inn, the Bull has been receiving guests since 1610 – that’s 409 years – and there’s also a reason why we have the only red brick facade in Burford.

    A history of the Bull at Burford

    1397 – A Papal Bull authorised the construction of a guest house on the site

    1473 – Records from this year show that there was a building on this site called “The Bull” belonging to Burford merchant John Pinnock, who left it first to his son John, who owned the Angel next door on Witney Street.

    1489 – John’s daughter signed the property over to the trustees of the Parish Church

    1539 – Trustees leased the Bull to butcher Richard Dalby (and later to his son, also Richard)

    1588 – The property was bought from the Crown by William Typper and Robert Dawe, but in 1595 it was reacquired for the town

    1610 – Having been used during the reformation as a butcher’s shop, in 1610 John Silvester moved the existing Bull Inn from 111–113 High Street to 105 High Street and set about renovating certain parts of the building, including fireplaces and panelling.

    1630 – The Bull appears to have been used by Royalist troops for a time during the Civil War. The innkeeper at this time was John Cooke

    1670 – Famous visitors included Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton (the Trafalgar Suite is named in memory of their stay) as well as King Charles II and his mistress Nell Gwynne. In fact, Charles Beauclerk, the son of King Charles II and Nell Gwynne was created ‘Earl of Burford’ and later Duke of St. Albans.

    1690 – The Bull is the only red brick building on Burford High Street and the facade was added at roughly this time, either by innkeeper William Tash or his son, John who died in 1747.

    1750 – Burford was by this time a very busy stop on the route from London to Cheltenham and Wales, and the Bull prospered from this trade. The Market Room (now rooms 8 and 9) was in demand for meetings, sales, Auctions, plays and balls.

    1768 – The princely sum of £196 was spent on further building work.

    1784 – The Bull continued to attract the rich and famous but other tastes were also catered for, with cock-fighting at the Bull.

    1793 – Now owned by John Stevens, former butler at Cliveden, the Bull hosted a ball after the annual Venison Feast.

    1797 – The Bull suffered a serious fire, killing seven coach horses.

    1802 – Stevens hosted a lunchtime visit by Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton when on their way to Milford Haven. The party obtained new horses at the Bull.

    1820 – Stevens died and the bull was run by his widow and son, James into the 1830s.

    1873 – The Market Room ceased to be used for town business, the market ended as the town went through a period of decline.

    1936 – By now owned by Clinch & Co. of Witney, Burford and the Bull saw a period of revival as it could cater for motorists and cyclists. The Bull was offered at this time as “a real old hostelry which has not been restored, yet abounds with possibilities for opening up old fireplaces, beamed ceilings and walls.”

    1982 – The building suffered a fire but remained open as an inn

    2007 – Condemned for fire and safety acquired by the current owners, who completed major renovation work

    2019 – Ten years after being re-opened by the current owners, the Bull is a thriving inn with a friendly welcome, comfortable rooms, wonderful food and happy guests.

    It’s worth remembering, though, that no building with over 600 years of history doesn’t have the odd squeaky floor!

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  • Reviews fit for a king!

    Apr, 2019

    Let’s start with an interesting fact: recent research has shed light on the fact that King Charles II may have passed through the Bull with his mistress Nell Gwynne in the late 1600s.

    Burford gets busy in the spring and summer but nowhere near as busy, relatively, as it was in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Back then it was a thriving stop on the route from London to Cheltenham and Wales, and the Bull prospered from that trade. The “Market Room” (now rooms 8 and 9) was in demand for meetings, sales, auctions, plays and balls. I wonder what kind of ‘reviews’ the Inn used to get…

    300-400 years on, thanks to everyone for an amazing selection of reviews in April 2019! It appears that our rooms, new all-day menu and new Sunday roast price have gone down a treat.

    Here are the first few reviews on both Tripadvisor and Facebook – please read more for yourself, and also don’t forget to leave your own review if you have stayed with us recently.

    Check our latest deals >>

    Latest from Facebook (more >>)

    Great food, chicken Sunday roast. Highly recommended. Nice atmosphere and hard working staff. Will be back. Very reasonable prices too”

    Second to none! food is above average more of 5* restaurant. We stayed in room 18, boutique style, at the top of the house, attic, and took our dog cooper. Extremely clean, staff excellent, food excellent breakfast award winning! Couldn’t fault a thing. Will be a regular visitor there, without a doubt.”

    Great room and lovely breakfast.”

    Latest on Tripadvisor (more >>)

    Marvellous visit, staff work above and beyond – Rooms were very clean and with comfortable beds. The building is beautiful. We dined one evening in the attached restaurant, I had the venison which was very tasty and cooked well, again with great service throughout. I would thoroughly recommend and would stay there again”

    Easter Weekend – This place was fantastic. They were so accommodating, especially for the little dog we had with us. The girl on reception was just lovely and so helpful. Then the breakfast…..that is something to behold….. full cooked breakfast, huge buffet with cold meats, fruit, bread, cereal…..I could have stayed there all day….I wanted to.”

    Mini Honeymoon – Cannot recommend this hotel enough. Staff are amazing, warm and friendly. It’s clean and welcoming. Food is fantastic. Dog friendly too. Will definitely be back. They are more than 5 stars I’d give them 10!”

    Spacious quiet and well furnished courtyard room, perfect as travelling with a dog – Staff all extremely helpful, clean well stocked room which was lovely and warm on arrival. Much larger than it looks and although car park small a large free car park is about 4 minutes walk away. Good evening meal and excellent breakfast selection.”

    Thanks again for all your reviews and we look forward to welcoming you to the Bull in the near future!

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  • Valentine’s Day at the Bull at Burford

    Jan, 2019

    One month out from Valentine’s Day 2019 the Bull at Burford has launched an incredible, discounted Cotswold romance offer!

    The budget can bite a bit at this time of year, so we have cooked up a VERY special 25% discount, even out-doing our other Cotswold midweek mini breaks.

    This year’s Valentines 2019 break offers two nights’ Dinner, Bed & Breakfast from just £136.50 per person, including a glass of prosecco with dinner on the big night and delicious fudge or chocolates on arrival.

    The dining offer gives both guests £35 on both nights from our delicious a-la-carte menu.

    Make it a 3-night stay

    And, as Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, we are also offering a special rate on the Saturday night for those who want to make it a long 3-night weekend in Burford, the Gateway to the Cotswolds.

    This offer is only available by booking direct through our website and allows you to choose between every type of double room we have available: superior, 4-poster, standard and small double rooms – truly something to suit every budget.

    Take me to your offers now!

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  • Bull gift voucher: the perfect Christmas present?

    Nov, 2018

    I know the countdown to 25 December seems to get longer every year, but I think it’s OK to start talking about Christmas on the 1 November and I wanted to let you know about some great new offers at the Bull this year!

    Gift vouchers

    We recently launched gift vouchers on our website. These can be bought online HERE and basically mean that you can give someone a gift of staying or eating at the Bull, with the flexibility of redeeming whenever they want. They’re already proving really popular so take a look.

    Christmas & New Year at the Bull!

    We also recently launched our Bull at Burford Christmas and New Year’s Eve packages. These include a wonderful 3-night stay on 24th, 25th and 26th December from just £202.50 per person including a bottle of champagne on arrival and a New Year’s Eve 2-night stay from just £114 per person with extra nights available.

    Both of these are really popular so get in there quick, and if you want to come to the Bull but already have plans over the festive period, we have lots of other deals available.

    Christmas Day lunch & office parties

    If you’re fed up with all the cooking and washing up and would prefer to go out this year, come to us for Christmas lunch, or if you’re a local business looking for a Christmas party our 4-course Christmas Party menu is perfect and great value at just £24.00 per person, leaving you more than enough spare to get taxis to and from Burford!

    As ever, we can be flexible and cater for all kinds of needs so if you have any questions please give our friendly staff a ring on 01993 822220! We look forward to seeing you at the Bull.

    We look forward to welcoming you at the Bull.

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Categories
  • Restaurant Cotswolds

    The perfect spring starter

    I love Burford in the springtime. The trees, shrubs and hanging baskets that line a large part of the high street come into full bloom and the hustle bustle returns to the town.

    Outside the hotel our tables and chairs become very popular with people wanting to stop by for a morning coffee, lunch or a drink from the bar and the whole place just starts to feel alive again.

    In the kitchen it also typically brings a new emphasis and our head chef Pablo will be bringing out a new menu in the next week or so for lunch and dinner in our restaurant and bar.

    One of our more popular starters at this time of year – in fact it’s popular all year round – is the fish platter, pictured above. It’s a lovely combination of flavours: four peeled king prawns cooked in sweet chilli sauce, gravlax, smoked salmon, herring rollmops, red apple, crayfish in marie-rose sauce and tartare sauce.

    The two sauces make all the difference so here’s a tip from the kitchen: For the Marie-Rose you need ketchup, mayonnaise, orange juice, brandy, tabasco and Worcester sauce. And for the tartare, Pablo uses mini capers, smoked salmon, cornichons, gherkins, red onion, mayonnaise and a dash of English mustard. The taste combinations are wonderful and it makes for the perfect spring starter.

    Keep you eyes peeled for our new menus and also our latest offers for weekend and midweek stays, with dinners included. Our guests have been raving about them all winter!

    Fresh fish at at Bull at Burford

    The most perfect fish dish

    We’ve had a lot of positive feedback to the last couple of Bull Bulletins where Pablo gave his tips for how to cook a poached egg and how to make a hollandaise sauce, so I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes from growing up in the south of France.

    When I was a young boy in the early 60s my mother (pictured) used to work on the fish market in the middle of Montpellier. It was hugely popular and people came from far and wide to buy their fresh fish.

    It’s difficult to believe now, but in those days monkfish was cheap and hardly anybody wanted to cook it. On Saturdays I would often walk all the way to the market to wait for my mother, who’d been there since 05:30, and walk home with her for lunch. I vividly remember her boss often telling her to take some monkfish home for Sunday lunch. Money was tight, so funnily enough we had Monkfish most Sundays!

    My mother had developed her own version of ‘Bourride de Lotte’, which did not involve expensive ingredients and was very easy to cook. Obviously these days buying monkfish tails is a bit more expensive, but you’ll never eat a more delicious fish dish so I wanted to share the recipe.

    The perfect monkfish recipe

    To cook this for four people you’ll need monkfish tails for four people, ideally with the bone in (buy a couple of medium sized pieces of fish per person). And for the all-important sauce you’ll need 6 large tomatoes, 1 large onion, 4 leeks, 4 cloves of garlic, some parsley and a bouquet garni (you can buy these ready-made in the supermarket).

    1. Steam the 6 large tomatoes, peel them and cut them up to remove all the grains, then chop them up into small pieces.

    2. Finely chop the large onion, the whites of four leeks and four cloves of garlic, and some parsley, equivalent to two full table spoons.

    3. Prepare a fresh 2-eggs mayonnaise (do not use shop-bought mayonnaise!) Let me know via a facebook comment if you need help with this and we’ll do it next time!

    4. In a large casserole, put a glug of olive oil add first the chopped onions, the leeks and garlic, then the tomatoes and finally the parsley and the bouquet garni.

    5. Season all that with salt and pepper and cook on a light heat for 20 minutes, tasting to make sure the seasoning’s right.

    6. When this garnish is cooked, add in the fish pieces and cook for a further 20 minutes, again on a low heat, making sure the fish is covered by the sauce. (The monkfish will release quite a bit of water, that’s normal and good!)

    7. When cooked, remove the fish, put into a serving dish and keep warm.

    8. A little at the time, add your homemade mayonnaise to the sauce and stir in. When the sauce is ready pour over the fish and serve.

    Take it from me that this is delicious served quite simply with boiled potatoes – that’s all we had back in those days – and if you want add some large croutons. (For the croutons: take slices of a baguette and cook lightly in olive oil. Not the healthiest addition but delightful with this dish.)

    Bon appetit!

    Couple in Bull at Burford Restaurant

    Autumn offers and Pablo’s perfect Hollandaise

    August was very busy, which is one reason I haven’t written in a while, and September looks to be the same. With 18 bedrooms that guarantees a lot of hustle bustle at the Bull and our staff love it when the hotel is busy, foremost among them our assistant Kali and head chef Pablo, pictured.

    One thing we can never quite set our clock by, though, is how busy the restaurant will be and I have a theory that this comes down to human nature.

    Burford is a picture-perfect town in the heart of the Cotswolds. It’s a great place to wander and pass the time and it also offers a lot of different places to eat, so in many ways I can understand why clients sometimes end up ‘eating out’, even if it means they’re missing out on the best food in Burford!

    It all comes down to taste of course but I think our food is hard to beat and the dinner, bed and breakfast rate we’re offering is tough to find anywhere else. Click HERE to see what I mean.

    Eye for a photo?

    One thing we’ve been missing is some nice pictures of the food we serve. Our chef Pablo recently took some photos of a selection of dishes, which are on our Facebook page, but he’s no David Bailey!

    So I am offering someone the chance to ‘win’ a meal for two at the Bull, in return for coming in and taking some beautiful photos of Pablo’s best work. If you’re local and a budding photographer – ideally with experience of photographing food – send some examples of your work to us at info@bullatburford.co.uk and we could invite you and your camera into the kitchen, in return for a meal for two!

    Pablo’s Perfect Hollandaise!

    Finally, in my last Bulletin I shared our tips for the perfect poached egg. You’ve been asking about the hollandaise sauce to go with it, so here is Pablo’s recipe. Read this with a strong Spanish accent if you can:

    1. It all starts with your eggs and I like them to be fresh! Separate two eggs, the whites and yolks into separate bowls.

    2. Melt about 100g of unsalted butter in a pan and transfer to a jug.

    3. Bring a pan of water to a gentle boil and put the bowl of egg yolks over it, adding a tablespoon of tarragon-infused vinegar and a bit of mustard. Whisk all of that in the pan over the gentle heat.

    4. From your jug, add small splashes of butter to the bowl with the yolks, still whisking, until you’ve added all the butter. You should have a smooth sauce?

    Some top tips: add a bit of white wine vinegar if the mixture has become too tight. Also, when adding the butter if the mixture starts to split add an ice cube and whisk – this might help! And use the egg whites to make meringues – the kids will love them.

    Next time… Bearnaise sauce!

    Cotswold

    Bulletin Post

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