A perfect Cotswold Mother’s Day treat
I have just been reliably informed by our manager Kali that we still have a few tables spare for Mother’s Day, which can only mean that not enough people have heard about our special menu!
Head Chef Pablo has just changed the dinner menu for springtime, and at the same time he came up with a lovely Mothering Sunday menu, either two or three courses. You can take it from me that any of these choices will leave you – and more importantly your mother, daughter, wife, grand-mother etc – extremely happy with whatever you eat.
And for an extra-special experience, why not treat that special person to a night away too?
For this, you can either ring us up on 01993 822220 and ask about availability for the Saturday and/or Sunday night (I’m sure our reception staff will also do you a good package including the Sunday lunch), OR you can look at the Sunday Stroller that we already have in our current special offers.
If it were me, I would start with the fantastic fish platter, which I wrote about in my last Bulletin, and then I’d either go for the salmon or the pork. Or maybe the chicken, or the beef. Or the risotto! And I am not really a pudding person so would go for the cheese board, but all the desserts are made in the kitchen and absolutely delicious.
Make sure you ring soon or you’ll miss the last few tables..
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, 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!
Four incredible Winter Warmer offers
It’s been a little while since my last Bull-Bulletin but this is exciting because I bring news!
We have four amazing offers on at the hotel at the moment to warm the cockles through the winter, until the end of March.
2-Night Midweek Winter Warmer – From Sunday to Thursday have two nights in a standard room Bed and Breakfast with a £50 allowance towards one evening meal in our restaurant and a complimentary drink on arrival. All of that for only £199.00 for two people, or upgrade to a superior room for £249.00 for the two of you. I’m interested! >>
3-Night Luxury Midweek stay – If you want a touch of luxury in a Superior room and two full days to explore the surrounding Cotswolds, then this package is for you: three nights’ Bed and Breakfast between Sunday and Thursday with two evening meals in the restaurant allowing you to enjoy even more from our menu (£50 meal allowance). With a bottle of champagne in your room on arrival, this amazing three night, two dinner offer is just £399.00 for 2 people, when you book direct with us through the website. I’m interested >>
Weekend Wonderland – If you want a weekend break that takes care of everything, leaving you to simply relax, then book our Weekend Wonderland: Friday and Saturday night in a Superior room with a delicious dinner both nights (£30.00 per person per day food allowance) and our award-winning breakfast in the morning. £349.00 for two people, or £299.00 if you’re happy with one of our slightly smaller standard rooms. I’m interested >>
Sunday Stroll – I love this offer, it’s the kind of thing I wish I had done more in my life! Picture this: You arrive with us in time to check in to your superior room and join us for a delicious Sunday lunch, followed by a lazy afternoon relaxing in our lounge or bar, or exploring Burford. When you’ve built up enough of an appetite you have £10 per person towards a light evening meal. In the morning there’s one final culinary delight with our award-winning breakfast. All for £159.00 for two people, or £149 if you prefer a smaller standard room. I’m interested >>
All of these offers are only available if you book direct with us through our website and not surprisingly they’re already proving popular so get in there quick!
Our head chef Pablo has also just published new lunch and dinner menus, so you can rest assured that all of the meals are seasonal and utterly delicious.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Bull!
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.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
28 Feb 2018
2-night Spring Special
Written by Jean-Marie Lauzier
Kick-start your spring with a wonderful bed and breakfast two-night stay at the Bull in either a Standard or Superior room, with dinner included on one night (£50 food allowance). Available Sunday-Friday.