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The Ship And Castle, Congresbury Review 6th December 2017

The Ship And Castle, Congresbury Review 6th December 2017 
The Ship and Castle at Congresbury is under new management, has a much different menu and they are going all out to bring change and a fresh new slant to the pub. To this end they have acquired a new chef who is certainly something to shout about; his menu contains all the favourites of a pub menu, plus six or so ‘specials’ created by him and freshly prepared each day. Banished are stodgy pastas, same old burgers and the vegetarian limp lettuce salads, when you take a table here be prepared to have your taste buds titillated like never before!

The pub has already undergone some refurbishment with more to come and we chose to have our supper in the romantic and candlelit ‘stone room’ which is newly decorated and looks lovely. The bay window holds an enormous bridge candelabra, that spans the whole window and I cast a covetous eye on it thinking it would look nice in my dining room but the number of candles in use would probably wreck my household budget for a week. We perused the menu in the warm glow and as it was a wild, wet and windy night I knew we would opt for something hearty.

To start I chose rosemary and garlic crusted brie served with side garnish and tomato chutney and across the table, the chef’s homemade pâté served with chutney and warm toast. The ‘specials’ looked good, a French trimmed bone in pork chop (now who would have thought you’d find one of those down at your local) served with garlic and herb sautéed potatoes caught my eye, as did the ostrich burger but I decided to road test the new chef’s skills with my go to pub choice of homemade lasagne with dressed salad, garlic ciabatta and chunky chips. My dinner companion saw his favourite: steak and ale pie with mashed potato and looked no further.

Our starters arrived in time to stop an argument about wax candles versus battery operated and tasted every bit as good as they looked; the chicken liver pâté was a velvety dream and as well as the brie, I loved the accompanying salad which had an excellent dressing (the chef makes all the dressings too).

Fortified by a glass of Australian Shiraz we tucked into our main courses. We were both very impressed, my lasagne would have won prizes in Italy and the steak and ale pie was full of soft pillows of steak in rich sauce topped by crisp pastry. All the vegetables served were delicious, especially the carrots and we both agreed it was one of the finest pub meals we’d had in a long time.

Jacquie Vowles 
The Ship And Castle, Congresbury Review 6th December 2017 

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