Set in the rural village of Denby, and on the doorstep of Derby and Ripley, The Bulls Head has been under private ownership for the past twelve months. During this time its reputation for serving good food at an affordable price has grown and grown.
To the rear of the large car park is a play area for children and also an outdoor seating area, making this a good place for families during the summer months. Serving an early bird menu from 11.30 till 6.00 also makes this a convenient place to come as a family with children.
The bar area is situated in the centre of The Bulls Head and is the oldest and most original part of the building, with a low beamed ceiling and flag floors, it oozes character. The usual array of drinks line the bar including real ales such as Abbott and Black Sheep, and a variety of good wines are served either by the bottle or by the glass.
The dining area is spread over three levels with the upper floor giving views over the downstairs bar and tables, making it the perfect place to watch the food coming out of the kitchen, if, like my partner you’re struggling to choose what to order.
The menu includes favourites such as beef in ale pie and lasagne as well as more unusual dishes. My partner chose the piri piri chicken for starter, but was too late as they had sold out, so settled for chicken goujons. These were served with a fresh salad and garlic mayonaise dip, the strips of chicken in herbs were really tender and it was a generous portion. My Thai fish cake contained pieces of whole prawn and the coating was crisp, a spicy sweet chilli drizzle added a depth of flavour and I found the dressed salad very pleasant.
By this time my partner who had ordered the beef steak chilli after seeing it served to a guy downstairs, observed that he had finished his chilli and wiped his plate clean, so anticipation arose!! He wasn’t disappointed, the beef, cooked with beans and peppers and infused with rich flavours, was so tender it just fell apart. A timbale of fluffy white rice and a bowl of warm nachos completed a hearty dish.
A little lighter was my chicken breast cooked in a white wine, Pinot Grigio, and mushroom sauce. Still a generous portion, the sauce kept it moist and thin, crisp, chips were served with it. At last, some one who serves real chips, rather than the stack of huge, half cooked offering, that is fashionable now. Along with a bowl of seasonal vegetables, this was a well balanced and enjoyable meal.
The staff were all young, with a pleasant disposition and charmingly honest, when questioned about the contents of various dishes. We were all a bit stumped on how to describe the special, sweet for the day, it was cheesecake with a twist, but the twist baffled both me and the waiters, so we all had a laugh and I ordered it anyway, it was deliciously creamy and filling, although I’m still not sure how to describe it and so I suggest you experiment for yourselves. The warm chocolate cake however was extremely dark, smooth and velvety, with a thick chocolate sauce it would satisfy even the most ardent chocoholic.
We enjoyed a lovely relaxed evening and were surprised at how the time had flown, this is the perfect venue to come to with friends and just unwind, enjoy good food, again and again.
The Bulls Head, 17 Denby Common, Denby Village, Ripley DE5 8PW