AD – This meal was complimentary in return for a review.
The Anchor in Aspley Guise is probably one of my favourite pubs in Milton Keynes. In fact, I first reviewed it when it was first taken over by Epic Pubs a few years ago and it’s somewhere I always recommend to people if they’re looking for a good country pub. However, I’m back reviewing it again as The Anchor, as well some of its sister pubs such as The Wheatsheaf and the Knife & Cleaver are no longer owned by Epic Pubs, but Great British Inns, who you may already be familiar with. Great British Inns is a small family of British gastro pubs and look after The Three Trees in Bletchley and the Red House in Newport Pagnell.
I was invited along to try The Anchor’s new menu following the rebrand and acquisition and, as it’s Sunday roast season, Dan and I decided to try out the Sunday menu!
The Anchor in Aspley Guise really is one of the cosiest pubs. The interior is absolutely gorgeous with lots of little quirky touches added to make it unique. There is a bar area as you go in to your right and the eatery is on the left, extending through to a beautiful extension on the back of the pub (which was built a few years back) It floods the eatery with light and is a great dining space.
Speaking of interiors, I am not a huge fan of the branding of Great British Inns pubs. I find the blue and white signs quite garish. I was pleased to see they haven’t added these to The Anchor yet, and I doI hope that the understatedness of the exterior is retained. We were chatting to one of the waiters, and he said that Great British Inns really listen to what the locals want in the pub, rather than going in and creating carbon copies of every one. I really appreciate that sentiment and hopefully The Anchor can retain some it’s original character.
The Anchor was only acquired a month or so ago, so it is still in a bit of a transition phase. They’ve worked hard to get the food menus looking great so you’ll find plenty of your favourite traditional pub classics like fish and chips and pies! All of the suppliers have also been revised so that the pub uses more local suppliers for the ingredients.
The drinks menus and wine lists weren’t quite ready yet, but there is a fully stocked bar with some great choices. We opted for a bottle of Malbec which was deliciously smooth – the perfect accompaniment to a roast!
Now for the food! As we knew we would be having a huge roast, we decided to have a starter to share. The Chef’s Croquettes (£5.95) turned out to be a fantastic option! The flavours change weekly and this week, it was cheese, chorizo and tarragon. They were crispy on the outside with a molten centre which was rich full of flavour. The tarragon was well balanced and added a good hit of freshness. Top marks for these. I could have happily eaten four more!
As with most pubs on a Sunday, you can expect the menu to be slightly different. On The Anchor’s Sunday menu, you’ll find all your favourite roast meats as well as vegetarian options, plus other dishes if you fancy something else. Dan and I both had the traditional Sunday roast, which were both served with roast potatoes, parsnips, creamed savoy cabbage, carrots, green beans, Yorkshire puddings and rich gravy.
I had the slow roast leg of lamb (£15.95) because lamb is my absolute favourite! It was delicious – slightly more well done than I usually like my lamb, but it was tender, not too fatty and full of flavour.
Dan had the trio of meats (£16.95) which consisted of roast beef, lamb and pork. The beef was nice and pink, and the pork melted in the mouth.
As for the trimmings, they were all great – The Yorkshire pud was HUGE! The veg was all cooked to perfection. I found the roast potatoes a little more dry than fluffy, but the gravy was so thick and rich that it more than made up for it. Actually, the gravy was the best thing ever. It was almost creamy – so delicious.
Of course, we had to try the desserts! Suitably full from our roasts, I ordered the lemon posset (£5.95) as a ‘light’ option. A sweet, smooth custard flavoured with lemon, topped with strawberry and served with the most beautifully crumbly shortbread. Definitely one to have if you’ve just filled your boots with a roast!
Dan had the ultimate classic, sticky toffee pudding (£5.95) which was swimming in toffee sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream. You can’t go wrong with a sticky toffee pud, can you? And there was nothing wrong with this – dense yet light cake with enough toffee sauce. Yum!
We had a really lovely meal at The Anchor in Aspley Guise and were genuinely impressed with the roasts. It was great value for the amount of food, and you can tell that Great British Inns has aligned the new menu with what the regular customers want to see in their local pub. The service was absolutely wonderful as well – we were well attended to and everyone was so friendly!
I always think roasts are a tricky one to nail as a restaurant because let’s face it, no one’s roast is better than your Mum’s, but The Anchor nailed it.
I’ll definitely be heading back – If you’re looking for a good pub in a cosy setting, then it’s definitely a great option. It still has the private dining room upstairs which you can use for bigger celebrations so worth bearing in mind if you’re a big group.
The Anchor doesn’t have a new website up and running yet so I will post it as soon as it goes live. in the meantime, you can view menus and booking details on it’s Facebook Page.
Have you been to The Anchor in Aspley Guise before? I’m planning an MK Food Guide to Sunday roasts so I’d love to know where your favourite Sunday roast in MK is!
DISCLAIMER: This meal was complimentary for review purposes. As always, it doesn’t impact my opinion!