The Five Bells is a beautiful Vintage Inns country pub and restaurant in the quaint little village of Weston Turville. Situated on Main Street and surrounded by trees with plenty of parking space and an outdoor seating area, the easy to find, charming venue was built in 1854 and is a must see for those who love wholesome pub food and whiling the hours away on a sunny afternoon in a fabulous atmosphere with good company. There are also ten traditional rooms handily available for accommodation.
Walking through the main door with sloped easy access at the front of the car park, I was greeted by the natural elegance of rustic wooden beams, chalk menu boards, chunky oak tables and pastel shaded upholstery across a mixture of benches and chairs. The bar and restaurant is set across several different levels, with cute cubby holes and leafy window side views, teamed with twinkling candles, artwork and a jug of wooden spoons for table numbers. The mixture of natural colours and textures are a feast for the eye and create such a wonderful ambience that make the venue just as perfect for a light lunch as it does a special evening meal; bricks, stone, wood, glass, fabrics and prints marry together seamlessly with effortless style.
We came to The Five Bells for Sunday lunch, and after taking a seat at a benched table opposite the bar we first read through the Sunday menu, before ordering our food and drinks at the bar where we were assigned a numbered wooden spoon for our tab. Being vegetarian and not eating fish or egg, I can either be a very simple or very awkward diner. Sometimes you have two or three vegetarian options to choose from on a menu, which limits my choice and can make ordering very easy. And other times menu’s include a vegetarian fish dish, omelette or quiche which means that I have to ask for meals minus half of the ingredients or make up a collection of side dishes as a main instead. I have no idea how vegans dine out!
To my surprise there was a chalk board on the wall beside the bar dedicated to vegetarian food, with several dishes ranging from crumbly pastries, to wholesome pies, spinach and ricotta Mediterranean tarts, feta broad bean burgers, eclectic curry and traditional nut roasts, what a wonderful choice. I actually found it quite difficult to choose just one starter and a main as they all looked so good. After a few minutes of umm’ing and ahh’ing I decided on the baked cornish brie and onion marmalade brûlée with celery and crusty bread for £4.45 to start, and a mushroom, leek and cashew nut suet roly-Poly for £8.95 as a main. I have never seen so many vegetarian starters on a menu, which generously offer hand-rolled focaccia garlic bread, rustic bread and English herb oil and butter, Kalamata mixed olives, soup of the day with crusty bread and beer battered mushrooms.
We were served our drinks and chatted as we waited for our food, which came out fairly quickly, piping hot and delicious. My brie oozed succulence, and as I dipped the crusty bread into the gooey, juicy cheese it strung and twisted its way onto my fork, which teamed with the refreshing crunch of a celery stick and irresistibly sweet kick of onion marmalade gave my taste buds a little party. I didn’t leave so much as a drop on my plate. Far from being reheated and sloppy like some pub-grub, the food was light, fresh, crisp and perfectly cooked. Any dish can easily be ruined if prepared and served wrongly, but the quality of the Vintage Inns establishments never fail to impress.
After our plates were attentively cleared, the waitress served another round of drinks just before our mains arrived. My generously sized suet roly-poly pudding was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. With juicy chunks of leek, creamy cashew nuts and densely chewy suet, it was veggie heaven. Served with hot gravy and a side of crunch chantenay carrots, peas, roast potatoes, cabbage and parsnip, I loaded up my plate and savoured every bite. With such generous portions for a starter and main I was sadly unable to even contemplate squeezing in a dessert, and I have no idea how I resisted the temptation of the peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake, apple galette, raspberry crème brûlée, giant éclair, Pimm’s Eton mess, gooseberry and raspberry oaty crumble, Belgian chocolate brownie or cheese board.
We had a lovely relaxing and scrumptious Sunday Lunch at The Five Bells in Weston Turville and will no doubt be back again very soon to try the rest of the menu. The venue is beautiful, the staff are attentive and the food is delicious, and after a starter, main and drink there was even change from £20.00. You couldn’t ask for more from a country pub! If you’ve eaten at The Five Bells please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below, what did you order and what would you recommend?
Today we popped into the Five Bells again for Sunday lunch and had the most fantastic food. For starters I had the vegetarian tomato, fennel and lemon soup of the day, served with crusty bread and butter for £3.50. For mains the ricotta, spinach and tomato tart served with Mediterranean vegetables and baby potatoes for £8.95, and for dessert the gooseberry and raspberry oaty crumble with vanilla ice cream and custard for £5.45.
The soup was fresh, light, sweet and citrus with kicks of crunchy fennel and smooth tomato throughout. I love a good crusty seeded bread with a curl of butter, simply delicious for dipping into a hearty soup as it soaks up all of the flavour like a sponge. I’ve never tried tomato, fennel and lemon together but the flavours worked really well and were a delightful starter, not too filling but packed full of punch.
The spinach and ricotta tart was heavenly, with a nice weighty and thick crumbly pastry, creamy ricotta and juicy spinach, a classic dish that will always delight me. The boiled new potatoes with their skins on split apart with the touch of a knife, and the succulently grilled sweet red onion and juicy peppers were a fantastic texture combination, juicy against crumble, sweet vs. savoury. This is certainly a dish I shall have to recreate at home.
Finally the gooseberry and raspberry oaty crumble, where do I begin? I’m already drooling at the thought of it! The gooseberries and raspberries were softened beautifully, with the gooseberries just holding their form and melting into an explosion of citrus and sweet with each bite, in an electric fuchsia and lime green medley of pure fruit punch. The dish was quite heavily sugared, but for my sweet tooth it was spot on. And the oaty crumble was sensational, the thick, chunky heartiness of oats against the delicate softness of the fruit is second to none; and with a scoop of soft vanilla ice cream melting into the oats, and a jug of custard on the side, this dessert is after my own heart for sheer generosity and indulgence. Wow!
And if you’d like to know more information, to view the full menu or make a booking you can visit The Five Bells website here!
The Five Bells
40 Main Street, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, HP22 5RW
Tel: 01296 613131