I’d booked a table at The Bull in Great a Totham for lunch, it wasn’t particularly busy but I always feel it’s best to get booked in at a place like this and it’s so easy to do online. I was shown straight to my table in the back at The Willow room as this is where all customers were seated for the day. The willow room is to the back of the pub and much more of a restaurant, it’s decorated really well and I thought the chandelier lights were perfect for the room.
We were handed the menu and although there was a couple of vegetarian meals showing these were not highlighted as vegan, so when we ordered our drinks I asked the waitress who went to find out for me. Someone came over and explained there was a root vegetable dish available for vegans although this wasn’t on the menu which I thought was a bit strange but it sounded nice so was happy to give it a go. I was really pleased when it came out, it looked great and tasted so nice 😋 it wasn’t something I would normally go for but I’m really glad I did and it gave me confidence in being able to continue with a vegan diet even when eating out without too much trouble.
I’m not 100% sure what all the vegetables were in this dish, I know there was sweet potato and butternut squash plus I did pick out the olives (I tried one, still don’t like them 😬), but it was actually very filling and I was pleasantly surprised on the taste. Although I was full, I could tell from the conversations that we would be going down the route of ordering a dessert! I did think that it was unlikely that I would find a vegan dessert but, the very helpful waitress pointed out that there was sorbet which would be suitable and I had the choice of 3 flavours – lemon, raspberry and summer berries so I went for one of each 🙊.
You can’t go wrong with sorbet, refreshing and great flavours it really finished my meal off well and I was chuffed not to have to watch the others eating a delicious dessert and have nothing myself! This is a great pub with a lovely menu and I would recommend a visit however, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more on the menu for a vegan diet. I was really pleased with my meal but it would have been good to have had more of a choice and it does mean that if and when I come back here I know that I’ll be limited to possibly the same meal. For this reason I’m giving it an 8/10.
Boxing day for us as a family was at Toby Carvery, we were given a menu in advance to choose and preorder our selections. I was really pleased to see some vegan options on the menu which makes things a lot easier for me, I chose the vegan soup of the day which was a little risky as I’m quite choosey when it comes to soup. I fancied the Carvery but did make a point of stating that I’d need the veg to be dairy free as having been here quite recently I was aware that they normally use butter to cook the veg in. I had to go for the only vegan dessert option which was Christmas pudding with custard, not a favourite of mine but at least there was something available and I thought I’d give it a try.
When we arrived we were shown to our table straight away and ordered drinks whilst waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. I was disappointed to be told one of the meals on the starters list was not available – although this didn’t effect me as it wasn’t what I had ordered I did expect them to have secured our choices. As it turns out, none of us had chosen that but our selected meals were not secured or saved even though we had pre ordered which I thought was strange. The vegan soup was butternut squash and although I wasn’t too sure I’d like it I have to admit it really was delicious and definitely something I would choose again!
I stuck to the carvery choice for my main meal and had a huge plate full of veg cooked for me without butter, I do not have any complaints here – there was a good selection and plenty of it. I would say the service let the meal down a little as it was slow and not even particularly busy at the time we were booked in. When it came to dessert, my choice of the vegan Christmas pudding with custard wasn’t available, but another vegan option was provided which was chocolatey and bloody lovely so no complaints from me although some may have been upset by missing out on the Christmas pudding.
On the whole I enjoyed the meal, just a few things let them down today which was the service both at the table and up at the carvery as I know some had to wait for some things to be re-filled. I believe if you are asked to pre order your meal the restaurant should ensure these are available for you (although i was happy with my alternative dessert, others may not have been). I was quite preoccupied by enjoying some family time and completely let the side down on the photo front, however the soup was a pleasant surprise so I am happy to be able to provide you with a photo of this.
Having spent a lot of my childhood in Southwold it was lovely to take a visit down memory lane, although I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t recognise much of the town. It is a lovely seaside town with many places to eat, this was the first tough decision which needed to be made!! Having been given a few to select from I had spent some time researching the menu’s online, this was tough because there wasn’t only so much to choose from venue wise but many of them had great vegan or dairy free options available!
Finally a decision was made, the Sole Bay Inn right opposite a nice little sweet shop which I regret not popping in to! Anyway, I made it into the Sole Bay Inn and was very lucky to grab a table as it is really popular and the place was already busy!! It isn’t the biggest of places, but all tables were full by just a few minutes past 12 and many people were at the bar ordering drinks. The place is dog friendly which is great for those who have been for a nice long dog walk and fancy getting a bite to eat on their way home, not so good for anyone with a fear of dogs – however, that is not me and I loved having a stroke with the dog at the bar when ordering my drink!!
The menu was vast, with many light bites to choose from to burgers and main meals it was a tough decision to make. My choice is always made easier when there is a limit to the dairy free options, however this place had a lot even for me to choose from and there was even a chalk board with the specials and dessert options.
I toyed with the soup of the day, but this was pea and ham which has to be the all time worse flavour of soup out there! There was jacket potatoes which is always one I like to fall back on and I was close to choosing the homemade chilli con carne / three bean chilli but I made my decision at the Grown Up’s Fish Finger Sandwich.
I informed the chef that I was dairy free so no butter was used and there was a swap on the bread which I thought was great customer service. These fish fingers were proper battered cod loins and delicious! It came out with dressed leaves (without the dressing for me!) and chips, it was a great lunch time choice which filled me up for most of the day!
I took a photo of the dessert menu, such a tease for me as there wasn’t anything suitable but it was nice to see there was a good choice for those who can eat dairy – even a gluten free option available. I think I would have found it difficult to choose between them anyway!! I really enjoyed it here, was lovely to walk along the seafront after the meal and the choice was great. I would give this an 8/10 and would be happy to come back and try some other options on the menu.