The George at Backwell: Review

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The George at Backwell - Exterior

 

Another weekend, another family visit – and another excuse to enjoy lunch at a local pub! The George at Backwell is a pub with rooms that’s just a 15-minute drive from Bristol city centre, and a handy place to stop if you’re enjoying a day out at Tyntesfield, Clevedon or Weston-super-Mare.

It’s part of the Malvern Inns brand: a small group that began with The George, and expanded to include two more pubs in the Harrogate area. Located on the main road through Backwell, there’s plenty of car parking at the side of the pub, and a sizeable courtyard and garden area – including seating both with and without parasols, depending on how al fresco you like it – before you head through to the bar and restaurant itself.

The main entrance opens up into a long, narrow room with tables and bench-style seating along one wall, plus the way through to the venue’s seven boutique guest rooms, each one individually designed and named after a different famous George. On the other side of this room, there’s a pile of blankets and hot water bottles for customers to use – clearly left over from the days when COVID-19 ruled out indoor dining, and certainly not needed on a warm and sunny Bank Holiday Monday.

The bar and restaurant themselves are tastefully decorated with muted colours, exposed stonework and two wood burners, and a beautifully sophisticated feel. At the very right hand side is a more relaxed area with slightly cosier seating, and with two deep armchairs by one of the woodburning stoves, it’s designed for both drinkers and diners alike.

 

The George at Backwell - Interior 1

The George at Backwell - Interior 2

 

Being a pub with rooms, as you’d expect, there’s a small breakfast menu – both for residents and non-residents – which is served seven days a week. On Sundays it’s all about the roasts, with starters, desserts and a few non-roast main options also on offer, while from Monday to Saturday from 12pm (with the kitchen closed from 3pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday) it’s the main menu that’s the star of the show.

Here, you’ll find a few sandwich options that are served up until 5pm, along with a selection of more substantial dishes that include various burgers (including a pulled pork burger and a bean burger), ribs, fish and chips, steak, pasta and more.

There are a couple of salad options for those looking for something a little lighter, along with a choice of six different pizzas. There’s quite a variety in pricing too, with mains ranging from £8.50 for a vegan smoked cheese ciabatta to £21 for an 8oz ribeye with sides.

I was sharing with the toddler, so ordered based on his demands: a ham, Cheddar and caramelised pineapple pizza (£12.50). He also managed to persuade the others to share their meat feast pizza (£13.50), Greek salad (£13) and honey & lime salmon with roasted peppers, avocado and steamed rice (£16), so he did pretty well!

That is, of course, after our food eventually arrived: while we were expecting a Bank Holiday Monday to be busy, we were hoping we’d beat the rush with a 12pm booking – but ended up waiting over an hour for our food to arrive.

From the shape of it, there’s no doubt that the dough of my pizza had been hand-stretched, and the consistency was beautiful. The toppings, while delicious, were a little meagre, and bizarrely the ham and pineapple (the chunks of which were far larger than I’d have liked) were pretty much confined to one side, which was a little odd. While the toppings on the meat feast pizza were more evenly distributed, at least, they were equally stingy and a little disappointing.

 

The George at Backwell - Ham and Caramelised Pineapple Pizza

 

Our visitors enjoyed their meals, although at £13 the Greek salad seemed a little steeply priced – and it was disappointing that The George at Backwell was out of feta, instead offering to replace it with goats’ cheese which was deemed tasty but not quite the same. The honey & lime salmon had a beautiful flavour and, with its sides, tasted lovely and fresh, but for some reason, the rice was quite oily.

The service throughout was pretty good, though – regular visits to our table to check if we needed more drinks, apologies for the lengthy wait, and smiles despite the fact that they were clearly a little overwhelmed by the number of people choosing The George at Backwell for lunch on that particular day. I’d be up for going back to enjoy a drink (there’s a pretty decent selection of cask ales and wines, plus soft and hot drinks), but with the prices we paid and the quality of the food, I’m not sure we’ll be rushing back for lunch again soon.

 

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