Muddy eats: The Pointer pub, Brill
I visited The Pointer pub in Brill (mid Bucks) just before Xmas and absolutely loved it, but there didn’t seem much point in posting lots of food reviews in January! Anyway here we are now, in February, when we’re all allowed to eat again, and perfect timing to show you one of the most impressive pubs I’ve been to in a long while.
The Pointer manages to tame a tricky beast – to be both an approachable local and a destination pub for foodies. It also combines a modern philosophy about food miles, fresh produce and animal welfare with its own small-holding two miles away from the pub, growing up to 70% of the menu in the summer, plus a well-regarded butchery around the corner from the pub.
Along with a couple of journos from London, I was shown around the farm by the owners David and Fiona Howden who are clearly fanatical about the animals and the pub and, with David the boss of an international firm of insurance brokers in London, are happy to throw money at their venture. The little Muddies loved seeing the piglets (shhhhh, don’t tell them where they end up….) and collecting eggs.
I visited The Pointer when it first opened a few years back and, though it looked great, it felt a bit over-buffed and ‘gastro-ed’. I can park those concerns now – I’ve watched as pub’s local reputation has steadily grown, how it’s very much part of the community, and it’s now regarded rightly as one of the best pubs in the area, popular for a pint after work as well as a meal out.
Aesthetically it’s in a lovely position in the centre of Brill, a pretty hilltop village with a grand white windmill and plenty of pretty walks. I rather like the exterior of The Pointer with its quirky signage and handsome 18th century red brick. Insider it’s a familiar set up of casual seating to the right of the bar, relaxed eating to the left and then more traditional dining going towards the back of the pub, where there’s an open kitchen.
No expense has been spared, even down the ladies loos (and possibly the men’s but I didn’t venture in there, I’m not a pervert) where there are excellent baby-changing facilities and emergency distraction techniques for wailing babies.
Back to food, and Sunday lunch was really popular on the day we visited en Muddy masse. The kids menu is smallish but well thought out – pasta, pie, fish n chips, or half portions of Sunday lunches, and all the children woofed down their roasts. My beef (check out that yorkshire pud below) and dessert (lamentably I’ve forgotten what it was, but I rather liked the dramatic presentation!) were both excellent.
Service was friendly and efficient, we welcomed the small attractive outside area for the kids to escape into from time to time when the pressure of behaving became too much (waaaahhhh) and frankly the whole afternoon was a delight. A delighted Muddy ‘yes please’ to a return visit.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Foodies for Sunday lunch, friends and family relaxed get-togethers. Those who like a local vibe with added style.
Not for: I haven’t eaten here at dinner but can imagine it’s an upmarket pub vibe, so if you’re looking for a romantic restaurant it might not be for you. Kids are welcome here, but those with whopper buggies or tricky toddlers might want to re-think – it’s not a massive space, either indoor or out.
£££: Mid-range and good value. Entrees £6-9, Sunday lunches £18, kids meals £6.50-7.50 and a la carte £16-25.
The Pointer, 27 Church St, Brill, Bucks HP18 9RT. Tel: 01844 238339. thepointerbrill.co.uk