As I arrived at The Temple Inn, I was still looking at the menu for the pub’s Wednesday burger deal on my phone.
Under the menu section on the pub’s menu, the midweek £10 burger night offer lists five choices and I’d already decided which one I was going to order.
But, hang on. We have a problem. As we sat down at our table in the bar, we were handed a clipboard with the menu and no mention of burger night.
‘Could we also have the Wednesday burger menu, please?’
‘Er, sorry, we stopped doing that one.’
‘Oh, but it’s still on your website, look.’
‘Er, is it? Um, sorry, we’ll have to get that changed.’
OK, as far as first world problems go, it was no biggie, but surely a bang up-to-date website is rule one when running a successful business?
And The Temple Inn clearly is a thriving operation with its pub, restaurant and ten smart bedrooms in a separate hotel-like building.
I mean, this upmarket 17th-century village inn even has free electric vehicle charging points for customers.
At least, it does for those customers arriving by plug-in cars, as opposed to us, who took the Mendip Explorer 376 bus, which takes about 40 minutes from central Bristol and stops outside.
Renovated in 2017, this roadside village inn was taken over by new owners in October 2020, just before the pandemic, but it has clearly regained its following since as the place was packed on the Wednesday evening we visited.
With its woodburner, bare brick walls and smart upholstery, The Temple Inn is well-dressed and appeals to both locals, passersby and people staying in the rooms next door.
Every table was occupied with diners when we were there and there were a few drinkers on stools at the bar, where Somerset-brewed beers from Cheddar Ales (Gorge Best and Potholer) were vying for attention alongside three types of Thatchers cider and premium lagers such as Peroni and Grolsch.
There is also a range of made-to-order cocktails and a decent wine list, starting at a reasonable £18 a bottle.
There were only two members of staff front-of-house despite being so busy and they later admitted that they hadn’t expected it to be so busy on such a grim, rain-lashed evening.
They only had five tables booked but a sudden influx of walk-ins had put them on the back foot.
The kitchen was also clearly caught on the hop. A few of the chalkboard specials were already being scrubbed off and they had already sold out of the sausages.
Couldn’t they have popped down to Farrington Gurney to buy emergency banger supplies at the Co-Op?
Still, the menu is extensive enough that nobody was going hungry.
As well as four types of sourdough pizza, there were five ‘classics’ (including Thatchers cider-battered haddock and chips for £15.25 or sweet potato and chickpea coconut curry at £15.75) and a range of ‘small plates and sharers’ such as spicy, sticky Asian chicken thighs with spring onion, red chilli and sesame seeds (£9.25) and herbed Scotch egg with piccalilli for £7.25.
The five burgers available are priced from £15-£16.75, which certainly isn’t cheap, but the Cheddar burger with gem lettuce, beef tomato and relish, with skin-on chips (£15) was still money well spent.
Inside the soft bun, the thick and juicy patty was sandwiched between crunchy lettuce and tangy, mustardy relish. It was a great burger and the skin-on chips were piping hot and properly seasoned.
I can only assume the £10 burger deal on Wednesdays was another victim of all the usual rising costs faced by pubs in these straightened times. Who can blame them?
But let’s just hope they remove that menu from the website before any other burger bargain-hunters make a beeline for the pub on Wednesday evenings.
The Temple Inn, Main Road, Temple Cloud, BS39 5DA. Tel: 01761 451145.