Delicious fare with an instant feeling of home
OME pubs you walk into and it's as if you've walked into a Western – saloon doors swing behind you, the hardened, poker playing clientele watch your every step and the bartender glares at you. Happily, when you walk into the Union Inn at Stibb Cross, the opposite is true. There's a buzz of Friday night chatter, the barmaids offer a welcoming smile and you instantly feel at home.
It was clear that if you lived in the area, this was the place to come to meet your friends and start the weekend. And if you didn't fancy cooking, it's a Friday night treat. In fact, it would be a treat any night of the week.
For starters, I chose whitebait in breadcrumbs with a side salad and roll. Little bits of fishy heaven, the lighter alternative to scampi. My fellow diner had slices of smoked duck with plum sauce and salad. The wonderfully tender meat was well met by the tang of the sauce.
My main course of oyster mushroom, Champagne and rocket risotto was delicious. I have been known to get bored with a risotto half way through, but in this case each mouthful, accompanied by fresh rocket, parmesan shavings and garlic bread was a delight.
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The Union burger was the choice of my fellow foodie and he was not disappointed. Two burgers came topped with cheese, bacon, sautéd mushrooms and onion rings. Served with chips and salad garnish, this was a substantial meal that ticked all the taste boxes.
Sticky toffee pudding caught my eye for sweet. This version of the traditional dessert was made with puréed dates and served with Dunstaple clotted cream vanilla ice cream or clotted cream. I went for ice cream. Large enough to easily split into two portions if you fancy sharing, this was a light and decadently sweet pudding that hit the spot.
My fellow foodie had lemon mascarpone cheesecake, which offered a crumbly biscuit base and oodles of luscious lemon. Tart, yet tantalising.
There is the option of having a game of pool or two over another drink if you want to, but we were happy to head home satisfied that we would like to return soon.
Where: The Union Inn, Stibb Cross, Torrington, EX38 8LH.
Bookings: 01805 601626.
Cost: The above meal with drinks came to £44.10.