I'VE been trying to order takeout from The Bell on the Common for a while, having spotted glowing recommendations on various FB pages.

But until this week I was unsuccessful, as it has become so popular and has such a strong regular local clientele you really need to get your order in early in the week - they are only open Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday.

Somehow I never managed to get organised enough - but a quick phone call revealed they still had spaces and so I leapt onto their FB ordering page to look at the menus. They have a short main menu and chef Pascal prepares a plat du jour for each day.

Penny and Pascal have become popular members of the village community since they took over this pub, which at one time was one of our go-to places for an evening drink with friends in their lovely beer garden. Roll on summer and the end of lockdown!

Anyway, I decided to push the boat out and go for three courses - if we have to eat at home in front of a streamed film I might as well spoil myself - while Glenn went for just the two, as their only starter was a goats cheese tart, and he regards any cheese not made from cows milk as inedible. Which I can't understand, as in my book anyone who can stomach any variety of that blue stuff should appreciate the stronger flavours of ovine cheese...still no accounting for taste.

It was a quick trip to collect the food, and while the mains sat in a warm over I tucked eagerly into my tart. The mini cheese on a tomatoey base, with crisp pastry (no soggy bottoms out of this kitchen!) and proper salad with cooked beetroot and squash as well as leaves and a delicious dressing, could easily have been a main meal.

On to the mains: Glenn went for the chicken supreme, which came with an impressive array of seasonal veg and delicious potatoes, with the sauce delivered separately so nothing had gone soggy in transit. It was a good sized portion and he wolfed it down so fast I never got the chance to ask for a taste.

Having had a starter I was a little slower in tackling my lasagna, which also came with delicious salad. It was a giant portion, and would easily have fed two children or people with smaller appetites (or less of a tendency to being a pelican).

It was full of delicious ground beef and quality bechemal sauce, and I relished every mouthful as we got really into the film, a random pick off a streaming channel which turned out to be much better in terms of both script quality and acting than we'd expected.

Like lots of people at the moment, we've been watching more films and box sets than before coronavirus, usually on the recommendations of friends. This time we got lucky with the 'let's try the first 10 minutes and see' approach - not something you can actually do at the cinema.

On to pudding, after a break for digestion, and again a real treat. Glenn's favourite creme brulee was smooth and creamy with proper hard caramel on top, while as for the sticky toffee, it was one of the best I've had, home made and the sauce was just to die for.

Our bill came to £46.50.


The Bell on the Common

Broughton Gifford



SN12 8LX

01225 782309

email: info@bellonthecommon.co.uk

Order takeaway food through their FB page

Our ratings:

Service, packing and welcome: 10/10, with clear instructions on what to heat and for how long

Quantity: 10/10, generous portions

Quality: 10/10, everything absolutely spot on