The Brandling Villa is a pub that does it all; great foods, local ales, live music, food festivals and a warming friendly atmosphere.
They sell a wide range of ciders, beers and ales most of which come from Ouseburn Valley Brewery, a local brewery which started back in 2010. The Brandling Villa has been a big supporter of Ouseburn Valley from the start and most of their beers go to them, including American Honey, Elderflower Gold and India Pale Ale.
The Brandling Arms is also famous in the region for its food festivals, such as its three day sausage festival, which boasts around 40 types of sausages including pork and cherry, Thai coconut chicken and kangaroo and anchovy.
However, it is the food that really stands out. The kitchen menu was quite small but everything looked well thought out and it was hard to choose.
Everything on the menu is also local, all their suppliers are based in a 20 mile radius, and it's all cooked fresh to order. I opted for the Free Range chicken and black pudding stack with peppercorn sauce, chunky chips and hearty salad. My partner chose five bean chilli with flatbread, nachos, dressed salad and a mint yogurt dip. We also got some onion rings to share.
We waited a while for our food, but we didn't mind, the place is very warm and relaxing plus the menu states because it is fresh you may have to wait a while for your meal.
The pub is dog friendly, and the customers really take advantage of this as there were at least five dogs enjoying the relaxing atmosphere, we did have to move though as one dog came very close and we didn't want to have to share our food.
Once the food came we just couldn't wait to dig in, and the wait was definitely worth it. The chicken, which was stacked high with black pudding, was crunchy on the outside and melt-in-the-mouth soft on the inside.
The black pudding was soft as butter, quite rich with a hint of spice and the black peppercorn sauce worked perfectly, accompanying it rather than overpowering it. It was creamy with a touch of pepper that just tickled the back of my tongue.
The door stop sized chips were cooked to perfection; with the skins left on they were so soft with a crispy outside that made me go back for more.
The salad was drizzled with a tangy balsamic dressing that brought it to life, another great element to the dish.
The onion rings were chunky, crispy on the outside and soft and quite sweet in the middle, they also worked very well with my meal.
My partners chilli was very spicy, too spicy especially with no warning, he managed it, but a lot of people probably wouldn't be able to because the spice was so intense. The yogurt dip cooled it right down though and was extremely refreshing on the tongue; the crispy nachos were great for scooping up the chilli.
Sadly, as far as we were aware, there was no dessert menu. Even though I was quite full a dessert would have gone down nicely.
But that won't stop me from going back again as there are so many things on the menu I can't wait to sample.