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Bull's Head, Ashford in the Water
Gastronomic success in Ashford
The Bull's Head in Ashford in the Water has been named as one of the country's ten best 'gastropubs'.
You might be forgiven for thinking the term 'gastropub' normally refers to posh establishments down south.
But you need go no further than Derbyshire to get a gourmet experience and a good pint.
The Bull's Head, Ashford in the Water, has been voted as one of the country's ten best gastropubs following a visit from the Egon Ronay pub guide.
The landlady, Debbie Shaw, believes the secret is in the menu: "We change it all the time. The only two things that stay on are the Stockport Pie and the sticky toffee pudding - which is the one that everyone seems to mention."
The guide's comments about the pub are totally complimentary. It says: "The Bull's Head is a gem set in a pretty stone village, and it sparkles with all the appeal of a traditional country pub polished by its excellence and high gastronomic standards."
And of the menu, it says: "Sensibly, there are about four starters, half a dozen main courses and a selection of sandwiches at lunchtime."
The Bull's Head made it into the gastropub top ten after a visit by one of the guide's 'mystery customers'. Debbie Shaw recalls: "The gentleman that arrived came in midweek, maybe about three months ago, just like any other businessman with his newspaper tucked under his arm and a book. He had a half of beer, a glass of house wine, two courses and he introduced himself as he paid his bill."
But she admits that whilst being in the coveted guide is flattering, it does put on the pressure: "We're very chuffed but really scared! We're just a tiny tiny pub.
"We're a pub with food - that's how we like to market ourselves - and it's going to be quite difficult if people come with great expectations. It's very hard to meet those."
Debbie's husband, Carl, who's the chef at the pub, thinks the accolade will serve them well: "It is nice - it's good for us and I think it's good for the village at the same time. It attracts people to Ashford in the Water."
last updated: 19/08/2008 at 11:42