The Dandy Lion

35 Market St, Bradford on Avon BA15 1LL

Food: 9/10

Choices: 8/10

Décor: 9/10

Customer service: 9/10

Main course prices: From £9.95 to £16.50

TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

HAVING visited The Dandy Lion once before many moons ago, I was intrigued to see whether the new owners and refurbishment meant it had lost some of its roar or whether in fact it was now king of Bradford on Avon’s social scene.

The most striking difference is the appearance of the place, the old and tired décor has been completely changed into a more modern and stylish setting.

And there’s no getting away from where you are, as I counted at least half a dozen pictures of lions or other felines hung on the wall which give the place a sense of character.

Although not the biggest place it exudes a welcoming feel and I was looking forward to seeing what was on the menu.

After ordering our drinks at the bar, a pint of 6X (£3.70) for myself and glass of Prosecco (£4.95) for my girlfriend, we were shown upstairs to the restaurant area.

While the downstairs mostly caters for revellers just popping in for a drink and a chat, the upstairs area has more than half a dozen tables for people to eat, which can be booked in advance.

For my starter I ordered pork belly bites with wholegrain mustard mayo (£5.95) and my girlfriend ordered duck and orange pate served with fig chutney and homemade bread (£5.95).

After a short wait our food arrived, the pork bites turning out to be very succulent and tender and they were complimented well by the mustard mayo dip, which perhaps could have done with bit more of a kick.

The duck pate, which I managed to have a bit of, was smooth and tasty with just a hint of orange and there was certainly plenty of it.

For my main I ordered a homemade beef burger served in a toasted brioche bun with sliced gherkins, caramelised red onion chutney and served with skin-on hand-cut chips – known as The Dandy Lion burger - for £10.25 plus £1 extra for cheese.

My girlfriend ordered sea bream with olives, pancetta and spinach as well as diced potatoes and a beurre blanc sauce off the specials menu for £14.25.

Initially I thought that my burger, which was very tasty and fresh and tasted great with the caramelised onion, was quite small, but the size of the cut chips more than made up for this and by the end I was stuffed.

So much so that we decided to skip the dessert and order another round of drinks. We were in a pub after all.

The drinks were brought up by the friendly waitress and were allowed to stay at the table to finish them and what a was a very pleasant meal which lived up to my expectations.

Total bill including two starters, two main courses and six drinks came to £62.85.