9th November 2022

The Bay Horse Tavern: Perfect for a comforting, cosy winter meal

Looking for somewhere cosy to eat this Winter? The Mancunion visited The Bay Horse Tavern to try its new seasonal menu, which did not disappoint
The Bay Horse Tavern: Perfect for a comforting, cosy winter meal
The Bay Horse Tavern, Lucy Giles @ The Mancunion

As we settle into the midst of the winter period, it becomes a matter of necessity to find comforting, but equally delicious winter food. This week, I was lucky enough to taste some of  The Bay Horse Tavern’s new winter menu.

The Bay Horse Tavern is a modern and sophisticated take on an old Victorian Pub in the heart of the Northern Quarter. Its atmosphere is perfect to warm you up on a cold Wintery day, with wooden floors and tables set against deep blue wallpaper, white tiling, and chic but amusing decor (like the porcelain busts of the Beatles in their Sergeant Peppers outfits in a glass case). You can also encounter some pretty cute pups as it is dog-friendly.

The staff are friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere is one of comforting elegance. We pick our cocktails from the seasonal range and I have the Sloe-ver Club, a fruity spiced cocktail with Portobello Sloe Gin with rose pineau, orange, blackberry, and lemon. It has a great mix of warm, winter-spice richness but is paired with just enough freshness to balance.

My friend has a Jacked Rose, a zingy sweet cocktail made with Jack Daniel’s Apple, rose, pomegranate, and lemon; which is even fresh enough for someone like me, who is not so keen on sweet cocktails. To wash my starter down I have the House Pilsner, a fresh, classic larger that you can’t really fault.

For our starters, we both have the Salt Beef Mini Yorkshire Puddings, topped with Horseradish cream and Watercress. As a Yorkshire lass myself, I always have apprehension about ordering Yorkshires when out. Suffice to say though, these did not disappoint. They were fluffy and soft on the inside but the right amount of crunchy on the outside, and successfully avoided the crime of being far too chewy. They were also huge, which is the desired size for a Yorkshire Pudding, and felt almost big enough to be a second main. The beef was pulled, salty, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious while the dashes of horseradish cream complimented the rich gravy and beef well.

Yorkshire Puddings
Photo: Lucy [email protected] The Mancunion

By now we were already feeling well-fed, but eagerly awaiting our next dish.

For our mains, I ordered the Mushroom Pudding, a kind of soft pie filled with stew-like mushrooms in a bath of mushy peas. The filling was earthy and full-bodied, and the mushrooms were cut small which created a mince-like texture and did a great job of making a hearty vegetarian dish. The pastry acted like a pie crust encasing it in the dish, but was largely softer than a usual pie crust, which certainly gave it a more puddingy feel that made it feel not just comforting, but also indulgent. The mushy peas were also impressive as they were neither lumpy nor watery, but soft, creamy, and impressive for someone who is usually averse to having mushy peas. It came with triple-cooked chips and what I am now nominating as probably the best gravy I have ever tasted (I wish that was an exaggeration). It was rich in flavour, and thick, smooth, and almost velvety in texture.

My friend ordered The Bay Horse Fish and Chips, as according to her, she is a fish and chip connoisseur. The fish was haddock that came with tartare, mushy peas or curry sauce (you can also order both). The haddock was fresh and well battered, a crispy indulgence without being too greasy or overly stodgy. The tartare sauce was creamy and piquant, and for my friend, it was another winner.

Fish and Chips
Photo: Lucy Giles @ The Mancunion

We cleaned our plates, more than satiated and our taste buds satisfied. We did not have enough room for dessert, so instead stayed a bit longer to continue soaking up the warm atmosphere. We left with full bellies and warm hearts, back into the frosty winter cold down the cobbled streets of the Northern Quarter.

With dishes so big but equally elegant, this is a great place to take your parents if they come and pick you up for the Christmas break. Equally, while it is not the cheapest, the prices are not ridiculous for the amount of food you get. It’s definitely the right choice if you are looking to spend a bit more on a nice meal, rather than a last-minute stop at Mcdonald’s.

The Bay Horse Tavern is open Monday – Friday 12 pm–midnight and, Saturday & Sunday 11 am – midnight. Food is served daily until 9 pm. Breakfast is served daily until 2 pm. Roasts are every Sunday 12 pm – 9 pm.

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