Last week we had lunch in Bradford on Avon at the Fat Fowl.
Arlene is the boss lady at the Fat Fowl – she started as a pastry chef in London but when she had children the two didn’t go hand in hand. Her and husband then moved the family to the West Country and opened up the cafe / restaurant 12 years ago.
I asked her what the secret to her success was keeping a small business open for that length of time – she told me you’ve got to grow and change with the time. The building has 2 floors so upstairs has always had something different to downstairs. It’s been a tapas bar, a live music venue and is now home to the Roost which is specially designed to accommodate younger guests. There’s a ball pool and slide plus other children’s play equipment. It means that parents can go for a bite to eat and the children are able to play without the restrictions of a cafe.
There’s a definite sense of ‘family’ team spirit at the Fat Fowl. Arlene also runs a couple of nurseries and some of the staff used to go to the day care in their youth. She’s seen her staff grow in more ways than one and actively encourages them to develop and learn new skills. The chef has worked his way up the ladder and Arlene is teaching him the background in what it takes to run a restaurant.
Onto the food…!!!
We shared the charcuterie board which included serrano, chorizo, salami and homemade pickles. There was SO much delicious nibbles in the board I think I could easily have had it as my main meal. If I was going again, I’d probably also get the meze board which included mozzarella, humus & beetroot pesto.
I opted for the pulled pork bun with a portion of triple cooked chips (which in hindsight I definitely didn’t need!!). There was plenty of pork which was smokey but not overpowering. It was served with a delicious coleslaw made with a touch of Dijon mustard in which complemented the pork well.
JB took the black bean burger which also came with the triple cooked chips. Again the portion was big and the food tasty. Some veggie burgers can be a little bland but not this one! His only negative was that it was a little too big…he couldn’t finish it!
The Fat Fowl is open every day for breakfast, lunch, tea & cake and then in the evenings the menu is stepped up a gear and you’ll find things like roast pork belly, or pan fried monk.
Everything is made from scratch where possible including the coleslaw I had plus the mayonnaise and ketchup. Arlene supports other local suppliers where she can but only if their products live up to her standards.
We’ll definitely look to go again to try out the evening menu or on a Sunday to sample the roast!
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