Emily (being a real seafood lover) went for the pan fried devilled scallops, cucumber & mooli salad with lime yoghurt, which can be a starter or main. Interestingly it came with a side of skinny fries. Why not pop over to Emily’s blog to see what she thought! Charlotte kept it classic with fish & chips (sustainably caught, beer battered fish) which, just as it should, came with chunky chips and looked FAB!
I love a good country pub but it’s rare to find one which ticks all the boxes. The Blue Bell Inn recently opened in Rothley (literally round the corner from home) and we’d heard only good things. So, I was excited to finally get there for dinner with lovely friends and fellow bloggers Emily and Charlotte last week to see whether this could be the one that ticks all those boxes.
First impressions count – picturesque village – tick. Friendly staff – tick. Pretty decor and outside seating areas – tick. Food? Most definitely TICK!
Inside, the Blue Bell Inn has a cosy but stylish village pub feel. You could definitely while away a few hours over a bottle of wine there. Walk to the back however and you’ll find the restaurant area is in a light and airy converted stable. As we walked to our table, we passed an open kitchen and wood fired pizza oven – both smelling delicious, plus a lovely looking garden area. The menu is very seasonal and changes monthly. It’s definitely gastropub territory and includes a wide range of cuisine. You can have a pizza or roast or stew from their wood fired oven or go for something from their main menu.
To start I opted for sea salt and pepper squid with mango and chilli salsa. The squid was very tender although I’d have preferred the batter to be a little crispier and the salsa suited it well. My dining companions opted for asparagus, spinach & fried duck egg on sourdough, béarnaise and pulled pork, fried onions, baby gem, sesame toast. I heard no complaints across the table and everything smelled delicious.
For my main, I chose the Smoked & braised Hereford beef rib, potato salad, smoked butter corn on the cob. OMG – 12 hours of braising and smoking lead to what can only be described as … heaven. The meat just dropped off the bone and was incredibly tender. The corn on the cob is cooked in the butter but I asked for some on the side so I could slather a bit more on – a great move. The potato salad was very mustardy and the sharpness cut through the rich beef well although may be too mustardy for some people.
We were at The Blue Bell Inn early on a Thursday night and were impressed to see the place so busy. Although the service was a little slow we didn’t mind too much because the staff were very friendly. Anyway, three girls having a gossip – we weren’t in a rush! And yes… we are always those ones.. the ones taking pics of our food. Sorry guys! In conclusion, I paid around £21 for two courses. This didn’t include any drinks as I was on tap water (yawn) so for a full evening meal – 3 courses and wine – you’re probably looking at around £30-35 a head. I personally think that the food is worth every penny. So much so, that I’m booked in to go back with the other half and my parents!