“THESE days, you can call in the AA when you want your plumbing doing. So why not call a plumber when you want your belly filling?”
Quentin is prone to making esoteric statements – but there generally proves to be a bit of truth in them... and on further investigation, this proved correct once more!
Conisbrough’s Hilltop Hotel is, indeed, now in the hands of a plumber – but given the top food reviews it has been garnering, this pub has certainly not gone down the drain.
So Mr Quaffer and I set off in search of the perfect pie and pint there. And we came across a great steak, too!
The Hilltop, on the junction of Sheffield Road and Old Road, is owned by John and Julie Bulcroft.
John describes himself as a Conisbrough lad and ex-plumber who has a passion for good food and drink.
Julie went back to university for six years as a mature student to study the hospitailty trade before taking on the challenge of the pub!
Their mission is to serve “good quality, locally-sourced food as fast as we can”.
But can they deliver?
Well, there was a slight problem on the evening we visited...
The mouth-watering, home-made pies had been proving so popular that all (including the delectably-sounding beef and stilton) bar the mince and onion, were gone!
However, Quents immediately alighted on the latter, and declared it to be a CARP (Campaign for Real Pies) champion – its thick and clearly home-made shortcrust pastry giving way to a jam-packed filling of good lean mince.
It came with equally lovely, home-made chips in abundance, two veg and lashings of rich gravy, all for £7.95.
The pub majors on real ale, and Quents was delighted by a Mature Toad from Doncaster’s Toad Brewery.
The Hilltop’s other self-acclaimed speciality is its steaks – with the pair launching a Bully’s steak house venture in the pub from Wednesdays to Saturdays.
I was enticed by this, and decided to chance my hand on the 10oz sirloin with chips, onion rings and salad for £10.95.
I asked for it done “medium”, and it came out exactly as promised. It was tender, juicy, and nicely lean – just what you want in a steak.
And the service time? Well – given the menu warns this food is all freshly prepared and there will be some cooking time – it was on the table under stainless steel plate-toppers, within 15 minutes.
So John and Julie have their act together... and we have no problem in awarding them four-and-a-half stars for outstanding grub, at very reasonable prices.
Bully for them!