The Ashton, Long Ashton: Review

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The Ashton, Long Ashton - Exterior

 

Like many of Bristol’s boozers, The Ashton pub in Long Ashton (ok, so it’s not technically Long Ashton, but it’s just outside) has undergone numerous reincarnations over time. All the way back in the 17th century it was a coaching inn known as the Coach and Horses, and in 1769 it was reborn as the Smyth Arms, named after the family who owned the Ashton Court Estate between 1565 and 1935.

Before it became The Ashton – part of the Mitchells & Butlers group – in early 2015, a Vintage Inns pub called The Dovecote (named after the dovecote just round the side of the pub) stood in its place until it burned to the ground in the early hours of the morning in the summer of 2014.

Perfectly located for Ashton Court daytrippers and within easy reach of the city centre, The Ashton has a decent-sized car park – including electric car charging points – and an outdoor seating area at the back of the pub, set back from the road. Inside, it’s a pretty stylish place, with an enormous open fireplace dominating the main seating area, a huge, curved wooden bar, and smart flagstone flooring. There’s a mix of regular tables, high tables and comfortable armchairs to sink into, and the whole place is fully accessible – while the main toilets are upstairs (with a bit of a club vibe, with the lighting and loud music), there are disabled facilities on the ground floor.

 

The Ashton, Long Ashton - Interior

 

We’d pre-booked a table for lunch – a 40-minute walk there along the Festival Way definitely helped to work up an appetite! And once you look at the menu, you’ll find burgers, rotisserie dishes, classic pub mains, pizzas – even a selection of lighter options, with the calorie count detailed on the menu, if tracking your food intake is important to you.

The Devon crab and king prawn fishcakes (£13.95), served with asparagus, a pea & truffle oil velouté and fries was proclaimed to be tasty and filling, but a little too heavy on the potato, diluting the more delicate seafood flavours.

 

The Ashton, Long Ashton - Fishcakes

 

Across from me, the dirty burger (£16.50) – a beef burger with crispy bacon and cheese, served with a miniature pan of beef dripping sauce and fries, was speedily demolished. Despite the kitchen team at The Ashton skimping slightly on the “lashings of cheese” the menu had promised and overdoing it on the mayo, the rich beef dripping was a delicious dipping sauce for both burger and perfectly golden chips alike.

 

The Ashton, Long Ashton - Burger

 

Take a look at the fish and chips option on the menu, and you’ll see that there’s a veggie alternative listed underneath – battered tempura halloumi with thick cut chips, pea purée and tartare sauce (£12.75). I’m a sucker for all things halloumi, and this didn’t disappoint: three chunky slices of cheese with a light batter, beautifully cooked thick cut chips and a decent tartare – I would have liked more of the peas, but I’m not complaining!

 

The Ashton, Long Ashton - Halloumi and Chips

 

Dessert was pretty epic, and it certainly wowed the toddler! The Black Forest Melting Bomb (£8.50) is the priciest option on the menu – a modern take on the classic gateau. It turned out to be a hollow chocolate sphere on a plate decorated in a beautiful (and very retro) way with piped chocolate mousse, vanilla ice cream with a mint leaf garnish, and criss crosses of chocolate sauce.

After placing the plate in front of me, our server poured over a jug of hot chocolate sauce to melt the top of the sphere, revealing gooey chocolate brownie pieces, cherries macerated in a decent amount of Kirsch and more of the light and fluffy mousse. All pretty delicious, and a whole lot of fun – the only disappointment was the chocolate sauce, which tasted quite artificial.

 

The Ashton, Long Ashton - Black Forest Bombe

 

Overall, pretty good – it was actually the second time I’d been there for lunch in recent months, and I ordered exactly the same main course both times. The Ashton is reliable, the service is good, they’re very family-friendly and it’s generally easy to book a table, due to the size of the place – it’s a winner all round!
 

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