REVIEW: The Pointer gastropub, Brill (Mid Bucks)
27th Aug 2012
I’m not quite sure I put The Pointer in Brill in any of those categories, and yet in an area that is kind of bereft of good gastropubs it’s definitely a welcome addition to the local landscape and worth knowing about. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s within 15 minutes of Bicester and the beautiful National Trust property of Waddesdon Manor so potentially worth factoring in to these trips.
I didn’t know The Pointer in its previous incarnation, so don’t know how much of an improvement has occurred since its launch a few months ago, though word from locals is that it’s manna sent from heaven. Certainly it’s been expensively reappointed, with the usual array of sludgy Farrow & Ball-esque colours, lots of exposed oak beams and charmingly quirky pics of dogs on the walls. It’s tastefully done, if strangely predictable, rather like The Crown in Amersham with its Victorian windows and heritage colours and high backed chairs and flagstone-style floors.
We arrived before lunch started serving today and it was quiet. All that coolly painted wood can feel a little stark when there are few people in the bar, like an elegantly vacant Georgian parlour. But by the time we left at 2.30 it was busy and buzzy. My hunch is that it’s actually a real local’s place and comes to life in the evening. I’d definitely like to try a dinner here to test the change in ambiance.
And so the food. Mr Muddy had a decent steak (though it had been chopped up for him which he wasn’t keen on. An alpha male issue no doubt). My son declared his fish and chips superb. Iris had smoked salmon and scrambled egg on a muffin which tasted delicious, but the seasoning on the egg wasn’t toned down for a 5 year old’s palate (though maybe I should have made this clear rather than expected it). The wine, a Sicilian red, was absolutely knockout. Throw in two desserts and child-friendly service and the bill of £72 seemed very reasonable.
So my advice is to give it a whirl – not for an anniversary or a vastly important landmark, but for a relaxed meal with family or friends. There’s a simple but attractively landscaped garden out the back so if we suddenly have an Indian summer (dear god, please ) I’d also suggest the Pointer as a stop off point for bikers or hikers for lunch. Follow it up with a walk around the village and a visit to the landmark Brill windmill if you have the time.
The Pointer, 27 Church St, Brill, Bucks, HP18 9RT. Tel: 01844 238339. www.thepointerbrill.co.uk