After Hours: Be bullish on Fairford pub
FAIRFORD — Two Brits, an airman and the ghost of a monk all walk into a pub. The airman orders dinner, downs a pint and turns to a Brit to ask, “Did that monk just order the fish?”
“No, the full English breakfast,” the Brit replies.
And so it is, or very well could be, at The Bull Hotel pub in the heart of Fairford’s historic district.
About a mile outside of RAF Fairford in western England, The Bull Hotel is a charming 15th-century stone building, home to a restaurant/pub where the service is surpassed only by the superstition.
The Bull Hotel bar manager Chrissie McDermott recently provided Stars and Stripes a behind-the-scenes tour of the former stable house-turned-local watering hole. It included enough specter references to keep even a hardened skeptic wondering if the spirit of Robert Stack and the “Unsolved Mysteries” crew were lurking around a dimly lit corner with a fog machine and that chilling soundtrack.
“We’ve had many guests tell us that they’ve seen the ghosts of monks wandering the halls,” McDermott said. “And there are certain rooms or areas that dogs won’t go near. And dogs tend to be much more keen to that type of stuff.”
She said the supernatural occurrences don’t scare away potential patrons.
“This place has a ton of charm, and the guests come for that charm and character,” she said.
They also come for a pub menu that almost borders on the sublime. In short, the food’s delicious.
A few items from the menu that caught my fancy include chicken ham and garlic papadelle for 8.95 pounds ($18), steamed lamb with mint suet pudding for 9.95 pounds ($20) and homebaked honeydew ham with fresh chunky chips for 5.95 pounds ($12).
I dined on roast chicken basted in red sauce topped with noodles and some soft bread. It was good.
The bar offers a full range of beers as well as wine and, yes, spirits.
Sadly, it does not offer tours of the tunnel that connects the hotel with the nearby church. It was in these tunnels that the aforementioned monks traveled between Fairford’s most striking structures in the days before refrigerated kegs and ice-cold refreshment.
But you can stay above ground, and work off a can’t-miss dinner-and-pint combo with a relaxing stroll through what is certainly one of the most endearing villages within a stone’s throw of an Air Force installation.
The Bull Hotel
Location: The Street, Fairford.
Drinks: If they don’t serve what you drink, you’re probably a snob.
Hours: 7:30 to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
Web site (coming soon): www.thebullhotelfairford.co.uk.
Phone: 01285 712535.