The Horns Pub
Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
82 Bramfield Road, Bulls Green, Datchworth, Hertfordshire, SG3 6RZ
Proclaiming itself to be the oldest building in the village of Bulls Green, dating to the time of Henry VIII but suspected to be older, this timber-framed building retains its rickety charm, complete with Tudor timber beams, open fires, vaulted ceilings and uneven floors. It is even said that the ghost of the highwayman Walter Clibbon still dines here. The Horns boasts a superb menu that's based on fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, as well as offering daily specials and a traditional Sunday lunch. I enjoyed a starter of whitebait, deep fried and served with lemon, with chunks of fresh wholemeal brown bread and creamy butter. For the main course I chose from the specials of the day, opting for lamb shank with a traditional mash, carrots and vibrantly coloured shredded cabbage - perfectly cooked, wholesome English pub cuisine. Other seasonal notables on the menu include a delightful English summer berry salad served either as a starter or main course, with mixed leaves, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and walnuts drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette. Winter warmers might include fish and chips, pie of the day, rib-eye steak or a light bite such as a simple sandwich or a basket of scampi or chicken. The Horns wine list definitely deserves a mention; I went with a bottle of Gestos Malbec Finca Flichman Mendoza which was outstanding, with accents of ripe plums and stewed prunes. It boasts an intense rich colour and is smooth enough to be, unsurprisingly, the most popular wine in the establishment. To finish I chose the interesting cheeseboard featuring splendidly ripe Brie, goat's cheese, Cropwell Bishop Stilton and nicely mature Cheddar served with celery sticks, grapes and a variety of crackers. A small glass of Port was the perfect accompaniment to the cheese, and a great way to finish a pretty perfect meal.