Review: The Bull, Westfield
| 12th May 2015
The mighty Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush has been a premier destination for London locals and shoppers since its opening in 2008, with a myriad of fanciful distractions and stores attracting huge crowds week in, week out.
But despite the new age shopping district, the recent reopening of Westfield’s only pub has drawn excitement, with The Bull well on the way to becoming one of the most loved food and drink options on the strip.
Surely the biggest in the growing armada of outposts from Geronimo Inns, The Bull stretches wide over two vast floors down the impressive Westfield southern terrace, boasting an all-new food and cocktail menu to entice patrons enjoying the delightful refurb.
Described as ‘townhouse chic, with a twist of The Hamptons’, The Bull is doubtlessly a modern super-pub, but they manage to retain classic warmth and cosiness that should be well out of reach for such a Westfield powerhouse unit.
Oddball polka dot sofas and chairs speckle through the expansive ground floor, with chess boards painted on to many of the smaller wooden tables. Chatty staff tend to the brand new bar in the corner, with a wooden ladder leaning back on tall rows of champagne and spirits. Faux-candle lighting hang from high, looking a little like Victorian street lights without the posts. Folk of all different age and nationality enjoy decidedly different evenings in the still decidedly English atmosphere.
Upstairs, you begin to see the bulls. This pub does not disappoint when it comes to knick-knacks and generally conversation-worthy paraphernalia, with its namesake animal found somewhere on almost every wall and shelf, stealing the show.
My companion and I took a table slap bang in the middle of the upstairs dining area, under the watchful gaze of one huge ring-nosed specimen, just to the right of the kitchen. Ox cheek chilli with white bean mash (£6) came my way as a starter, while she went for the smoked salmon with smashed avocado on toast (£5).
I must say, she got the better of me on this one, with the dainty strokes of salmon and elegantly battered avocado setting her up nicely for future courses, smiling as she sipped on her large glass of Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc (£9.10). My chilli and mash was small, yet surprisingly dense. The flavours were good and strong, charging for my red tongue straight from the off. Not overpowering, mind you, with the mash keeping things democratic.
The main course came with the two of us now eyeing up their impressive outside area, both up and downstairs. Their balcony is slender, but a super vantage point for a spot of people watching. Their verandah just outside the main doors on the ground floor can seat many, with heaters and benches throughout.
A steak and oyster pudding (£15.50), on the recommendation of the waitress, was to be my next port of call. My companion, meanwhile, was soon batting her eyelids at steak and chips (an 8oz New York Strip, £20.50).
The steak was tops. A chunky Angus offering, with a dash of watercress and delectable Bourbon sauce, chips aplenty. My pudding ramped the density levels up, leaving me reeling somewhat. Suet pastry, slow braised brisket and rock oysters – this was heavy. Not lacking in flavour, but certainly dry, this was a bit much for me, but with Haddock (£12.50), Clam Cannelloni (£13.95), and Guinea Fowl Kiev (£13.50) also on the menu, it seems the pudding is charged with flying the still necessary hefty pub grub flag, solo. Backed up on the weekends of course by Geronimo’s impressive Sunday selection – a favourite destination of mine across the capital.
Polishing off a rice pudding crème brûlée (£5) with a couple of pints of Camden Pale Ale in the downstairs outside was great fun, with heavy laden, stressed out shoppers providing consistent entertainment. A fair few of them saw the light and came in for a solid breather, seeing us lot having such a swell time.
The Bull soon became one of those wonderful pubs that, despite being full, always seemed to have tables free and a barman to take your order quickly. Just another reason to duck in – before, after, or even instead of shopping.
Address: Wood Lane, Unit 1033 Westfield Shopping Centre, London, W12 7SL
Phone: 020 8819 8903
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