Comeback king: Trumpet Major, Dorchester

The Trumpet Major

The Trumpet Major

First published in Restaurant Reviews

WE BRITS love a good comeback.

When it comes to music we’ve seen blasts from the past welcomed back with open arms, including Take That, Blur and even Steps.

So if bringing back a tried and tested formula works in the music industry why shouldn’t it work in the pub trade?

That could be the thinking behind the return to its roots of the Trumpet Major on the outskirts of Dorchester.

After nearly a decade as The Original Thomas Hardy, the pub has undergone a complete refurbishment and gone back to the name it first opened with back in the 1960s.

Having been to the establishment in its previous guise, the transformation is striking as soon as you walk in, with one major difference: how light and open the new-look pub feels. It now also offers a full table service with room for nearly 200 diners at a time.

Managers Tonia and John Sheridan must clearly be doing something right as when we visited the Trumpet Major they were literally turning people away soon after we had managed to grab one of the few remaining tables.

At first we thought this might be because it was a Saturday night, but were later told by staff that it had been a similar experience almost every night since they opened last month.

One of the clear selling points of the pub is clearly its two for one menu. The offer completely transforms the value of what, at first glance, is still not an expensive menu.

My partner ordered a ham and orange terrine while I went for ‘black and blue mushrooms’ – two large flat mushrooms topped with blue cheese and cracked black pepper. Both starters turned out to be very tasty.

For mains my companion went for one of the numerous specials, a lamb shank with pomegranate sauce, and I was impressed with her choice as the combination of flavours was delicious.

I opted for a mascarpone, crayfish and rocket linguine that satisfied my love of both pasta and seafood.

The generous portions meant we could only muster a joint effort of one dessert, the warming melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding.

Considering how busy the large pub was, the service could have been slower and the staff were all friendly and helpful.

For good value pub food it would be hard to beat.

This is an independent review by a reporter without the co-operation of the establishment.

My Trumpet Major bill:

Glass of Chardonnay: £4.25

Black and blue mushrooms: £3.85

Ham and orange terrine: £3.85

Lamb shank with pomegranate: £15.25

Mascarpone, crayfish and rocket linguine: £9.25 (free as part of two for one deal)

Melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding: £3.55

TOTAL: £30.75

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