When the weather isn’t clement, I hardly want to venture out. I think it’s a comfortable foodie thing. Seriously, I can be as stubborn as a mule when it comes to leaving the house on a dull grey day, when all I want to do is lounge in my snuggly jim-jams catching up on my beloved Saturday Kitchen.
It was with trepidation that I bid my comfy red couch adieu, braving the wet and wild outdoors to make my way to The Bulls Head in Repton. Booking the table was as easy as pie (pardon the foodie pun). Within minutes of the telephone reservation, the email reservation had already hit my inbox. This great and swift customer service was a happy portent of things to come.
The exterior feels like a regular pub, whilst the interior channels a gastro-pub vibe. The building is rich in history, having been a 19th century slaughterhouse – even today it is easy to continue gawking at the beautiful intricate detailing of period architecture.
We were seated in the first floor Garden Room restaurant, although there was the option of dining in the ground floor pub area for a more informal dining experience. We made our way upstairs and were shown to our table which had a wow-factor of a gazillion. It was ginormous in all its majestic glory and I really (really) wanted to take the chair home, I was honestly that taken with it. The food and drink menus are comprehensive yet easy to navigate. I love the wooden theme throughout the restaurant, even the menu was nicely weighted in a gorgeous streaky wood.
And that’s one of the things I love about The Bulls Head. The attention to detail is phenomenal (hats off to the interior designer and owners Richard and Loren Pope) for the décor and table layout that is as pretty as a picture.
We kicked off with three Yakitori Sticks for grazing. Tiger Prawns (dressed in chilli & garlic butter) were tender melting morsels with a whisper of chilli on the swallow. The King Scallops (wrapped in prosciutto) were my favourite, the sweet fleshiness of the scallops a perfect marriage with the salty, slightly chewy ham. The Cajun Chicken (drizzled in sour cream & chive dressing) was nice, with the Cajun seasoning lovely in all its subtlety.
There is a lot of noise online about The Bulls Head burgers and steaks, but because me and The Dude have a thing for wood-fired ovens, we opted for pizzas.
I had the St Lucia (pulled pork, homemade jerk sauce, sweetcorn, spring onions, chillies, peppers, Bulls Head tomato sauce, mozzarella). The base was deliciously thin and although the actual size of the pizza was three times the size of my head, it was polished off in record time due to the perfectly seasoned pulled pork and punchy chillies. The Dude had the New Orleans (chicken breast, hot Cajun spices, spinach, mushrooms, sour cream, sweet chilli sauce, mozzarella, Bulls Head tomato sauce) which also went down very well due to the creamy combo of tender chicken, the dreamy, creamy sour cream and velvety smooth spinach.
We finished with the Jack Frost Sundae (mint choc chip gelato, After Eight mints, whipped cream, vanilla gelato, chunks of mint Aero bar, Oreo biscuits, hot fudge sauce, fresh biscuit waffle, dark chocolate flakes). This was a big old dessert, inventive and deliciously refreshing, that’s great for sharing (or not, dependent on how generous a mood you’re in).
The ambiance of The Bulls Head is superb. Just check out this quaint owl perched on the bar upstairs.
The food is wonderfully filling and tasty. The portions of all the dishes are generous and the waiting staff have great smiles and big hearts. I cannot wait to return to The Bulls Head and explore more of their stunning menu, because their pizzas are to die for. Booking is highly recommended so please do make a reservation, as this popular place gets chocca real quick.
Yakitori sticks start from £1.00, pizzas from £7.00 and desserts around £6.50.
Star Rating 1-10 (1: “I’d rather eat my own shoe, I hated it that much” – 10: “I’d pillage for a meal here”.)
Value for money: 10
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Address: The Bulls Head, 84 High Street, Repton, Derby DE65 6GF. Tel: 01283 704422