The Blue Bowl Inn West Harptree
Bristol Road
West Harptree
BS40 6HJ
T: 01761 221269
Are you on Whats on!

The Blue Bowl Inn
red line

4 stars

It’s such a pleasant drive to the Blue Bowl at West Harptree, through the beautiful ChewValley countryside and past the Chew Valley Lake that you can’t fail to arrive with lifted spirits. After a busy Saturday I was looking forward to relaxing and someone else cooking us a jolly good dinner and I can say right away that I wasn’t to be disappointed. As well as boasting quite palatial rooms to let, a large restaurant and on occasions live music, the Blue Bowl is at heart a proper old-fashioned country pub. A notice pinned to the bar announced a “meat draw” with profits to be donated to the British Army Benevolent Fund, a very worthwhile cause, and it put me in mind of a holiday long ago in Devon when we spent the evening in a pub, beat the locals at darts and won the meat draw which was by the look of it, an entire sheep rather erratically wrapped in newspaper. We had to give it back as we thought our landlady at the B & B would charge extra for a sheep in the room!

Selecting two pints of wallop to be going on with (they have a Cask Marque award for real ales) we took a look at the specials board; there were plenty of fish dishes; baked salmon fillet on Caesar salad caught my eye, and also pan-fried bacon steaks with mushroom and Dijon mustard sauce. The restaurant was full to the gunnels and we had the last table, tucked away in the corner, overlooking the very pretty garden. The menu is well rounded with both old favourites and new and together with the specials you are spoilt for choice. To start, we took cauliflower cheese soup for me, and whitebait for him, followed by Cheddar pork loin steaks cooked in cider sauce and marbled with Cheddar cheese, and spaghetti bolognaise served with garlic bread and salad. There is a note on the bottom of the menu saying “don’t fancy chips? Try jacket, new etc…. Quite frankly I don’t know anybody who doesn’t fancy chips and if they say not they are probably lying. Anyway we ordered them.

Both starters were good although the main courses definitely deserved the medals, the pork loin was so tender and the cider sauce rich and piquant – good for squashing the chips in – and the spaghetti bolognaise just like mama makes. Altogether we had a lovely time, the service was efficient and friendly and even the bill was reasonable!
Jacquie Vowles