Having a mother that has knowledge of the pub and restaurant trade means that you get to know all of the quirky places in the Midlands that you might not otherwise know about. For this reason, I’ve visited The Bull’s Head – Meriden plenty of times as it stands opposite a hotel that my mom used to overlook. Located on the Main Road, Coventry as a beautiful white building, this specific premium pub, bar, and restaurant is hard to miss. Owing to its unique sentiment, The Bull’s Head also claims to be the official centre of England (it has a pole there which you can touch to prove it). There are so many things to admire about this place, even more so that they’ve newly relaunched their brand new restaurant and bar area.
Outside is a gorgeous courtyard and garden, perfect for a summer’s evening to sit out and enjoy a glass of wine. Inside, the team have done a great job of revamping the different areas, split into separate rooms. Muted walls, pops of colour from chairs, pillows, curtains and furnished wooden tables are the highlight of the new opening and every table is set up with glassware and sparkling cutlery. The place is chic with mirrored walls, marble art on the walls and looks like the inside of someone’s lounge – an ideal, relaxed and stylish place to to enjoy food and drinks with the family. The warm and friendly vibe from the staff is the first thing we noticed when walking in – everyone inside is so welcoming and inviting.
Josh and I were the first ones through the door when we arrived just past 7PM, so we had an absolute treat of enjoying the place without anyone else there. Naturally this called for a lot of picture taking whilst balancing a glass of tonic in my hand. During October I wasn’t drinking so the staff catered some non-alcoholic drinks for me, including a very tasty gin glass filled with tonic and lots of fruit. Who needs booze anyway?
Nabbing the best seat in the house to enjoy a selection of small and wonderful British and Asian themed canapes, we plunged ourselves in front of the fire whilst snacking on some of the best treats the new menus have to offer. From pork belly pieces, mini fish cakes, lobster and prawn, mac and cheese shots, duck with liver and gooseberry chutney, and the absolute tastiest Katsu chicken – I would totally eat this a hundred times over. It was so wonderful just to be able to absorb in the atmosphere and the relaxed vibe the staff want you to feel whilst there. When the staff asked if we wanted to ‘sample the canapes’, I honestly didn’t think they meant a whole slate to ourselves!
After 20 minutes or so of snacking and sipping on drinks, we were led over to the restaurant section, just past the glass dividing wall which separates the entrance. Once inside, I couldn’t believe how incredible the restaurant area looked. So modern with a fully seated booth area perfect for groups. We could also tell what had been moved around and changed since Josh and I have visited a few times previously. The only downside to the restaurant is that the tables are very close together, so there isn’t much privacy whilst eating your meal. Nonetheless, the rustic wooden vibe offsets the overall tone of the stunning interior.
Once seated, we were handed a menu and to be honest I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of choice available. I, personally, would consider the Bull’s Head new menu to be an ‘upmarket’ pub food experience with choices of lamb, duck, lobster, crab, but also throwing in more low-key dishes such as pizza and burgers. It doesn’t quite hit the mark of ‘fine dining’ but that really isn’t the vibe they’re going for – although reflected in the overall theme and style of the renovation. If I could give any feedback, it would be to streamline the menu further into grill/veggie/pasta sections and this isn’t clearly set out on the menu. But as you can see, you’re entirely spoilt for choice.
Bull’s Head Starters
As we’d sampled the canapes (in which full sized portions were available on the menu) I opted for the Lobster & King Prawn Pot £7.95 for starter and the most expensive thing on the menu – Roasted Rack of Lamb £21.95 for main. A link to the full menu can be found via the Bull’s Head Food Menu page. Josh went for the Scallops and the Diablo pizza (meat, chilli, chorizo, peppers, what more could you want?). Before any of the starters came out, we were bought out a pineapple with a heated chilli dish to kick start the meal.
I couldn’t fault the presentation of the starters, and my lobster came in a little chilled pot with butter and lemon on top. The bitter taste from the lemon combined with the crusty rustic bread and fresh meat was a winning combo. I had a small bite of Josh’s scallops too which were cooked perfectly, tender and still sizzling. The portions are good sizes as sometimes in pubs, they can be overwhelming and you then don’t enjoy your main as much. With the final scoop of my fork, I was done and ready to hit the mains.
Bull’s Head Mains
As previously mentioned, the main course menu was exactly what you’d expect from a classic gastropub, a large selection of meats to choose from, just with a touch of elegance. The roasted lamb stood out to me as it was the first thing on the main course section. Lamb cutlets were stacked like Jenga on a bed of veg and aubergines, potato dauphinoise with red wine Jus. It was impressive to look at, and the texture and combination of meat and sweet vegetables made for a delightful meal although I wish the lamb had come more tender and pink as it was fairly tough to cut. It was a lovely dish overall but I just expected a bit more ‘wow’ considering this plate alone cost £21. Josh’s pizza was tasty he said, although again, it didn’t give us the buzz as was expected. The base was thin and crispy and fries stacked in a little pot – it came across more pub grub than what the menu was marketing.
Bull’s Head Dessert
With every finger wiped clean after pulling meat from the bone, we had a short 10 minute breather before being offered the dessert menu. I knew straight away what I’d be ordering as I’ve had a few of these in previous restaurants – which have been outstanding. The Melting Chocolate & Peanut Bomb £7.95 is filled with sticky toffee pudding and peanut butter cream. Served with Bourbon vanilla ice cream & hot salted caramel sauce, it sounds like the dish of dreams. Josh can’t go anywhere without trying a Belgian Chocolate Brownie with Bourbon vanilla ice cream (v) £6.50, so of course he went ahead and ordered.
With a huge build up on the horizon and other visitors watching my plate (as being the first pudding out) it’s usually something of a spectacle… until it never happened. The usual theatrics of the chocolate bomb melting when the toffee sauce hits it is something of a triumph, but sadly enough my chocolate never felt the pressure. I’m not sure whether the chocolate was too hard after being chilled, or if the salted caramel sauce wasn’t hot enough, but it took a while for the chocolate to turn gooey. However the flavours made up for the lack of theatrics as it was a bloody delicious dessert. I’m a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate combined, so this dessert gets a full 10/10 for taste.
When the brownie arrived, we found the texture to be more like ‘cake’ than a standard brownie mixture. There wasn’t enough gooey pieces inside for it to make us lust after it, so unfortunately for me it felt rather flat. The ice cream with a Bourbon twist was lovely, but I feel the overall dessert didn’t live up to its expectations.
For an opening night, the Bull’s Head did an exceptional job. Everything from the service, to the politeness of staff when asking for drinks, to the table service was fantastic. The pub is grand, and truly delivers a great experience for a date night. I enjoyed trying their new menu and selection of canapes, but feel they need to have a tighter grasp on the mid-range price meals they want to convey. The food isn’t cheap so perhaps by taking away the pizza, burgers options – it would have more of an appeal to those looking for a more ‘fine-dining’ esque meal without it costing the earth. Find out more about The Bull’s Head on their website.
Main Rd, Meriden, Coventry CV7 7NN
Please note: I was invited to the Bull’s Head for a complimentary dinner with a +1. All views and opinions are my own.