The Red Lion, Milton Bryan
Telephone 01525 210 044
Milton Bryan, Woburn MK17 9HS
The cute little cottage opposite The Red Lion in Milton Bryan has a little stand selling homemade jams. Right here, just minutes from Central Milton Keynes, you have all the eccentricity of English countryside life. The Red Lion has been tastefully decorated and is now a truly beautiful, family run establishment. The low wood panelled ceilings, chequered carpet, open fire place and well-organised bar all combine to create an incredibly relaxed, cosy and warm dining experience.
We were already aware that Head Chef Daniel Turner, who took over the Red Lion with his wife Narelle in September 2016, had previously won an AA Rosette for his food. We left after our meal feeling our food had been created by someone supremely talented, artistic and creative. If you read on, you will find out why.
My guest commented how Halloumi Sticks were the ‘in thing’ right now and we simply had to give them a try. So we began by sharing the Crisp Fried Halloumi Sticks, with Sweet Chilli Dipping Pot from the ‘Nibbles and Sharers’ options. The sticks had a brilliant texture and had been cooked to perfection. They were super crispy and amazingly tasty too. My guest had clearly tried these a few times and happily admitted these were superior to what they had sampled before. This was a very pleasant introduction to food at The Red Lion.
An absolute treat
Pork & Black Pudding Scotch Egg, Sauce Gribiche was my choice of starter. The black pudding was evident but not overpowering. I loved the runny yolk and the Gribiche (essentially a caper and herb mayonnaise) was a lovely accompaniment. Few could prepare a starter like this quite so well.
The kitchen’s skills in presentation were very much in evidence again when my guest’s choice of Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Bruschetta, Poached Hens Egg. This attractive-looking dish was well cooked, thoroughly enjoyed and the runny egg was an absolute treat.
For main I opted for the Chargrilled 8oz Sirloin served medium-rare with hand cut chips. I don’t actually remember enjoying a steak as much as this. This was impressive. The menu states ‘Our Beef is British reared, grass fed Herefordshire cattle. A large breed that produces distinct marbling and dry aged for a minimum of 28 days to ensure only the best in tenderness & flavour. Enjoy!’ Enjoy I did! The flavours of the steak were stunning! The accompanying chips were superbly cooked – possessing the super crispy texture evident with the Halloumi Sticks with a delightful, fluffy centre.
My co-reviewer’s choice for main course was the Corn Fed Chicken Breast & Confit Leg, Creamed Mash, Sprouting Broccoli, Chicken Jus. The chicken in this dish was a revelation and the dish that had ‘quality’ stamped all over it. It was so incredibly soft in texture you had no choice but to praise the kitchen for preparing food like this. I was just thankful my guest was starting to feel a little full, as I had the opportunity to help them finish this dish and I loved the chicken jus. Just brilliant!
Up until now we had enjoyed food to a very high standard, presented like artwork on a plate. So how could we possibly top this? My guest ordered the Strawberry & Elderflower Gin & Tonic Trifle. Macerated strawberry jelly, custard panna cotta, Elderflower Gin & Tonic Sorbet, Shortbread Crumb.
A special gift
This dessert felt like a special gift was being brought to the table. Had we been asked to picture this before it was served, it would have been impossible to imagine it looking so beautiful. My guest simply could not stop smiling. It almost seemed a shame to eat this and indeed, my guest spent an age smiling and admiring their dessert before eventually plucking up the courage to ruin it by eating it. The textures and flavours were a delight. The Gin & Tonic Sorbet was outstanding and that smile mentioned above? It was very evident until the last spoonful. Put simply, this dessert was bordering on perfection.
The attention to detail in every ingredient was pretty obvious throughout every dish we sampled.
If you’ve yet to visit the Red Lion, or indeed, you are unsure where Milton Bryan is, simply take the first left out of Woburn towards London, then take the first right and you’re there! You will not be disappointed.