The Elephant Woolton
Subheading “pub and bakehouse”, The Elephant is a Grade II-listed building (with sunny beer garden) in the leafy village of Woolton, dating back to the early 18th century, and with plenty of owners in its time, including a recent-ish brush with Simon Rimmer off of the telly.
The menu offers up a bit of everything, from artisan pizzas (although hoisin duck and cucumber is a new one on us) to brioche bun burgers (beef patties and cheese, lemony chicken or buttermilk halloumi). Pub grub classics include the likes of a shortcrust pastry cheese and onion pie or beer-battered fresh Fleetwood fish and chips (hand-cut) with mushy peas and tartare sauce, and there’s a French dip (garlic and herb butter) steak sandwich with caramelised beer onions and a poshed-up version of ham, egg and chips, with dressed watercress. Everything has a little Woolton edge, from the braised lamb shank with fondant potato and tenderstem broccoli to the pesto-glazed seabass with winter greens and crème fraîche and chive sauce. There’s also a fair offering for the vegetarian and vegan diner, including sweet potato and chickpea falafels and tofu katsu curry, and there’s even a special menu for big groups. There’s brekkie at the weekends, including a full vegan and smashed avo on sourdough, and Sunday lunch is popular: roast beef, pork belly or chicken and stuffing served with Yorkshire pud, homemade gravy, braised red cabbage, roasted root crush, roast potatoes, honey-roasted carrot and seasonal greens, and a vegan option of courgette, aubergine, spinach and charred onion strudel. The kids are well catered for too, with smaller roasts and pizzas, and not-for-the-grown-ups bangers and mash.
Desserts err on the side of crowdpleasers – sticky toffee pudding, baked cheesecake – and there are also “indulgence cocktails” (including a Bakewell, presumably named after the tart rather than the Labour peer) and liqueur coffees. There’s also guest cask ales, if that’s more your thing.
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