The Clifton Sausage is somewhere that I’ve passed on multiple occasions, and had always liked the look of it. If you’re a fan of classic pub grub, but fancy going somewhere slightly more upmarket then it’s the perfect place to go for a meal out. It certainly deserves the good reviews it gets!It had been a last minute decision to go out for a meal, and as it was the Friday of a bank holiday weekend I had been skeptical that we’d be able to book anywhere. James and I had decided that The Clifton Sausage was a good idea as somewhere we had heard a lot about, but never actually made it. Luckily, they still had reservations left although it did mean we ended up eating earlier than we would usually have chosen to. Whilst it was quiet when we arrived, by the time we left it was certainly filling up and so we were pleased that we had decided to book ahead, even if it had only been a few hours before.
As you may have guessed from the name, if you don’t like sausage then this is not the place for you. Apparently over 100,000 sausages are consumed each year the The Clifton Sausage! There are other options on the menu, but the majority of the menu is dedicated to sausages which come in a variety of meats and flavours (there is also a vegetarian sausage available). I’m always a pudding person, so decided to miss out on a starter to make sure I had room for dessert. This was a fantastic decision (as I’ll get to later)!
Having stared at the menu for a considerable amount of time, trying to decide exactly what type of sausage and mash I fancied (yes, there are multiple mash options too) I thought I had come to a decision. Eventually I ordered the Cotswold Lamb, Mint and Apricot sausages which came served with mash and onion gravy. I felt very pleased about this until I spotted someone the other side of the restaurant being served a Yorkshire Pudding, at which point I promptly wished I had ordered mine to come in a Yorkshire Pudding too. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and probably wouldn’t have had room for the additional Yorkshire Pudding so I think I made the right choice.
The sausages were really tasty as they were full of flavour, without any of the ingredients being too overpowering. However, by the time I came to the end of my three sausages I had had enough. Perhaps two would have been enough, or if I had had vegetables this would have cut through the dominant flavour more… either way, although I was really pleased with my choice of sausage I had definitely had enough when I came to the end!
James opted for the rather exciting Clifton Sausage Tasting Plate which gave him the opportunity (and me!) to try four of the different sausages on the menu. He got to try The Clifton (pork, cider and wholegrain mustard), Old Spot pork, the same lamb one that I had and Beef & Butcombe Ale which came served on the mustard mash of the day. We collectively agreed that the Old Spot was the least remarkable of the sausages. It was very nice, but it was just a standard meaty sausage. The others were all a bit different to what you’d usually have and were full of flavour. I’d definitely recommend this dish if you have an appetite and can’t decide between the different sausages on the menu. It was a great idea and meant that James didn’t finish on an overload of one flavour as I had.
After skipping the starter, we had to have dessert which I would recommend keeping space for. James went for the Sticky Toffee Pudding which was apparently very nice. I opted for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie, Amaretto Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce and I honestly think it was the best chocolate brownie I’ve ever had (and I have sampled quite a few in my time…). It was incredibly rich and had more of a mousse/ganache-like texture than a traditional brownie. This meant it just melted away in your mouth. The chocolate sauce that it came with was quite bitter, but it was exactly how I like my chocolate. For a chocoholic it was perfect! However even I think I could have managed a slightly smaller portion as it was so rich I was concerned I wouldn’t finish it.
The Clifton Sausage was everything I’d hoped and more. It had a cosy, pub vibe and the food was incredible. I was particularly blown away by the pudding simply because I was expecting the sausages to be good, but wasn’t sure about the pudding. I think it would be the perfect place to go in Autumn/Winter time when you’re looking for a heartier meal, especially as they run seasonal menus.