The Bugle Horn is an adorable hearty country pub and restaurant situated in Hartwell, Aylesbury Bucks, and a part of the Vintage Inns group. It simply oozes rural charm and makes the perfect lunch time escape or cosy evening meal; tucked amongst trees and fragrant flowers with its own stone-walled carpark on the main Oxford Road.
There are both steps and a ramp leading to the entrance for easy pushchair and wheelchair access, and upon entering I was delighted to have been greeted by a roaring log fire, traditional beamed interior, paintings, candles and friendly smiling staff. The Bugle Horn has perfectly mixed the classical charm of a country pub with a modern twist of quirky patterned textiles, an elegant colour palette of pastels and soft creams, and the well-loved wooden-spoon table numbers. Every twist and turn leads you to a charming cubby hole, a sunny window seat or a cosy hide away, with flickering candles, stunning views of the garden and chalk boards detailing special menus and events of Jazz nights.
I visited with a friend at midday for a lite lunch, and after ordering our food and drinks from a menu at the bar we took a wooden spoon and walked into the restaurant choosing a table in the far room right beside the window. Being vegetarian I chose the feta and broad bean burger in a crusty cob with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, with smoky tomato salsa and seasoned chips for £8.99. Upon ordering at the bar, the waitress asked me if I’d like to upgrade my regular chips to the thick cut gourmet option for an additional £1.00 which I did. I also ordered a side of homemade onion rings for £2.50 and a bottle of J20 orange and passionfruit with ice and a slice of fresh lime for £2.30.
The feta and broad bean burger was absolutely huge, and I picked it up with both hands, taking a big bite into the fluffy fresh bread roll. My tongue was met by the crispy seeded batter of the crumbed smoothly stuffed cheese burger, fresh cool crisp lettuce leaves, juicy sweet tomato slices and a generous helping of creamy mayonnaise. It was a taste bud party and a half, a flavour sensation contrasting the hot burger with a fresh cool salad, the softness of the bread roll with the crunch of the batter and delicious smoothness of the filling. If I could have opened my jaw any wider I would have happily ate the whole thing in one go for how delicious it tasted.
When I bit into my thick cut gourmet chips I was pleased that I’d upgraded from the regular chips as the batter was scrumpy, crunchy and light with the fluffiest potato inside. I am a massive chip fan and think there is nothing worse than undercooked, sloppy limp chips, and I can safely say that these were nowhere near that. Although the chips come with a smokey tomato salsa, the waitress came over with a selection of several sauces and dips, for which I chose the sweet onion as I’m not a huge smokey sauce fan. The chips were filling but somehow disappeared in a matter of seconds, I have no idea how that happened!
And finally the homemade onion rings, my favourite weakness as I can’t resist a good handmade battered vegetable. Instead of the sorry and often limp, finely crumbed frozen rings served in pubs, this was a hearty, huge and beautifully crunchy, wonky battered delight, with soft fresh onions and irresistibly savoury batter. A huge thumbs up.
I washed my lunch down with a refreshing glass of J2O served from a bottle in the chiller. The waitress asked if I’d like ice, which I accepted, and also added a slice of fresh lime which I’d never had with a J2O before, but it made a lovely addition. I took this picture of my drink as it looked like a smiley face.
My lunch came to a total of £14.79, which is fantastic value as the generous portion sizes left me nicely full. I was served quickly upon arrival and the staff were very attentive, clearing the table swiftly after we’d finished eating, and offering advice on dishes and chefs recommendations. For food, atmosphere and staff attentiveness, the Bugle Horn is fantastic and I look forward to popping by again. If you’ve eaten here please feel free to comment below with your thoughts of your experience and any dishes from the menu that you’d recommend.
You can visit the Bugle Horn on the Oxford Road, Hartwell, Aylesbury, HP17 8QP contact them by telephone on: 01296 747594, or view their website and online menus here!