The Pointer in Brill, Buckingshire is the epitomy of what I would called a great local pub.
A lovely cosy bar area with comfy chairs and roaring fires, complete with the snoozing golden retrievers of locals lolling on the stone floors. This gives way to a back room converted into a sympathetically decorated restaurant area with low beams, stone walls and ecclectic artwork. If you go, do take note of the neon farm animal pictures dotted around which I loved.
The Chef cooking up a storm here in the kitchen is Mini Patel, who you might know from his appearance on this years Great British Menu. We went down to try out their Sunday lunch menu – which is good value at 2 course for £23 or 3 for £27.
We started off with some bread – Herb And Sea Salt Swirls and Sourdough. Arriving in a brown paper bag it was warm and inviting. A beef dripping butter and salted butter were perfect indulgent partners for it.
For my first course I chose the Pork Croquettes, Sweet Mustard, Baby Pickles and Crispy Ears whilst Lee went for a somewhat lighter option (probably sensible given the mountain of meat that came with his main!) – Oxford Blue Cheese and Comice Pear Salad, Truffle Infused Honey, Candy Walnuts, Brambles, Gingerbread Croutons.
My croquettes were jam packed with juicy shredded meat, and the pickles and mustard added enough sharpness to cut through that really well. Delicious shards of pigs ear adorned the plate and were incredibly moreish.
Lee couldn’t praise his salad enough. Each ingredient was prepared to the highest standard and all went so well together. In particular those croutons of spicy gingerbread and the sweet but sharp dots of bramble puree stood out.
Lee (obviously) went for a Roast for the main – Slow Roast Pointer Farm Middle White Pork to be exact, which came with Savoy Cabbage and Bacon, Kale, Apple Sauce, Roast Potatoes and Scrumpy Cream. The Pointer have their own farm and sell a lot of their meat in their own Butchers Shop, next door to the pub. Shame it wasn’t open on Sundays otherwise I could see us having a freezer full of meat right now!
He particularly enjoyed the meat, and there was plenty of it! The cabbage and the apple sauce were also extremely good. The roasties were decent, but in Lee’s opinion no one can beat his own home cooked roasties (and he’s right – they’re the best I’ve ever tasted!)
Weirdly for me I chose the fish option, although when I saw the Roast Sirloin of Longhorn Beef going out to others I had insane beef envy as it looked spectacular. My Loin of Cod, fresh Crab, Roast Heritage Carrots and Spiced Mussel Broth though was also very good. The cod was exceptionally cooked and I enjoyed the spice of the broth against the fish and the sweet carrots. My only nitpicks (and they’re very little ones) is that I would have preferred it served in a shallow bowl or similar, to allow me to eat the broth more easily and a bit more crisp on the fish skin.
Not quite defeated by these large portions we ploughed on into desserts. With the time of year, warming winter puddings were high on the agenda. I chose Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce and Vanilla Ice-cream and Lee went for Oakley Apple Crumble, Blackberries and Proper Custard. These both hit the spot to leave us full to the brim and practically rolling out the door.
For me The Pointer had the whole package for what I want in a great country pub, but as well as that it’s good enough to be a ‘destination’ place and I would happily travel to eat there again.
Disclosure: we were invited to the pub to try out the food which was free of charge. All opinions entirely honest as always