Over the past few years my husband and I have frequented the Bluebell at Henley in Arden on a number of occasions and always had a great time and lovely meal. We were recently invited to try out the new ‘Lunch Club’ Menu that was launched in June of this year.
The Lunch Club is a set menu offer of 2 courses for £10 (or 3 for £15). The menu aims to use the best of local and seasonal ingredients to produce food not compromising on flavour or quality and at an excellent price. Owners Leigh and Duncan Taylor, along with their Head Chef James Devonshire at the helm in the kitchen are looking to provide everyone an affordable everyday treat.
The Bluebell is the holder of 2 AA rosettes, won Midlands Restaurant of the Year for 2013 in the Good Food Guide and is a regular on the pages of the Michelin and the Good Food Guide.
The Lunch Club Menu offers only one choice per course, but there is always the option of eating off the regular A La Carte if this doesn’t suit. And if you’re not there at lunchtime, the A La Carte Menu is available in the evenings, a traditional Roast offered on Sundays and there’s even afternoon tea on offer or the option of having a Tapas board sitting at the bar. So you’re not short of options!
I have always loved the interior of the Bluebell. It’s my kind of pub. Low ceilings and a cosy feel while at the same time being superbly stylish looking somehow both casual and opulent at the same time. Somewhere you could happily spend many an hour eating and drinking merrily. I have always felt warmly welcomed, and the service from Leigh and her team is exemplary.
We started off with a couple of glasses of ‘Bluebellini’ a twist on the classic Bellini, made with strawberry juice. Extremely refreshing, and I could have easily drank several more! They offer a lovely and well-chosen wine list with some very good well priced wines, as well this there was a small insert into the wine list of some more rare or unusual wines – I had my eye on a bottle of the 2008 Valpolicella, but I’ll save that for when I’m not driving! There’s also some nice choices of beer and other cocktails on offer.
So onto the food!
The first course on the Lunch Club menu when we visited was Sweetcorn & Basil Velouté. The soup was velvety smooth and the basil flavour shone through nicely. The crunch of croutons adding a bit more substance to the dish. Presentation was in a lovely vintage china tea-cup, a nice touch. We had some of the homemade sourdough bread alongside it, which was a very decent bread served with some locally produced butter.
Cottage Pie was next up, served in an individual ramekins, with pickled red cabbage. The cottage pie was rich with a creamy smooth potato topping, and the lightly spiced crunchy cabbage was an excellent alternative to traditional veg and really made it stand out that bit more.
Moving on to pudding, and I really couldn’t fault it, in fact I couldn’t fault a thing I ate on the whole menu. Strawberry cheesecake with Poppy Seed Meringue and Strawberry Sorbet was light, refreshing and delicious. The strawberries were from just down the road in Snitterfield (we passed it on the way home!)
I would have no hesitation in recommending the Bluebell as a place for a great meal and this lunch club offer is an absolute steal! Incidently, I happened to be wandering around town later in the afternoon and saw a couple of notice boards at well-known, higher end chain restaurants advertising their own lunch menu deals, and both of the ones I noticed were a little more expensive than that of the Bluebell, and you just know the food wouldn’t be half as good! So go and grab your own slice of this everyday affordable treat, Tues-Sat 12-230pm.
93 High St.
Henley in Arden
Disclosure: We were invited to try the new lunch club menu as guests of the venue. No other compensation was received and a positive review was not required.