Choose from a range of freshly made dishes with all the quality and none of the fuss

Every so often, you need to go out for lunch and you are looking for somewhere that offers a good standard of quality, but won’t cost you a fortune or drag on for hours. You need something better than those ten-a-penny casual restaurants around town, but you’re not looking for a big business.

The restaurant in the Grade II listed former Freemasons Hall on Bridge Street is an oasis of calm from shiny original parquet floor, to soft green velvet upholstered booth. With its whitewashed walls and tasteful plants dotted around, it’s a refuge from the hustle and bustle outside. Whether you need a peaceful break from blistering heat and city centre traffic, or a place to escape patchy seasonal rain showers, it always feels a little spring or summer-like in Masons.

Since it opened last year the venue has been popular with all sorts of diners for business or social reasons and now the restaurant and bar has responded to requests for a quick and convenient high-level lunch menu. Served between 12pm-5pm Tuesday to Friday, Mason’s now offer a range of hearty seasonal dishes including a 175ml glass of wine, a bottle of lager, or a soft drink for £9.50.

However, depending on what you have planned for the rest of the afternoon, you might be interested in trying out Mason’s brand new gin trolley experience (£12.95) first. After the success of their signature Martini trolley, thoughts have turned to summertime. The friendly bar staff will come over to each table to ask about your particular tastes, talk you through a few different botanicals and garnishes and will create a bespoke G&T just for you.

The differences between flavour profiles can be quite astounding, ranging from fruity and light to spicy and woody. Each gin experience comes with a mini gin tutorial, a ‘perfect serve’ G&T (that’s bar speak for a double measure) and a bespoke combination made for each customer. It’s great value, brings life to this classic drink and is available for all diners at Mason’s any afternoon or evening.

Back to the midweek summer lunch menu, diners can choose from various open sandwiches such as the modestly named ‘veggie flatbread’ – a very pretty and abundant summer lunch of spinata bread topped with vibrant pea hummus and roasted vegetables, fresh pea shoots and green leaves. If you’d prefer something hot, try a melting goats cheese rarebit served with a mixed leaf and herb salad and caramelised onion chutney.

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Smoked salmon and cream cheese flatbread

One of our favourites was a generous looking smoked salmon and cream cheese flatbread with lashings of top quality Loch Fyne smoked Scottish salmon and a beautifully piquant lemon and caper vinaigrette. 

If you’re more of a traditionalist or might be after something a little heartier, don’t worry; they have you covered with a good old sausage sandwich served with caramelised onions, aioli and rocket, along with a portion of home fries. 

Mason’s new special summer mid-week lunch menu might just be the answer to your lunchtime dilemma. Plus, if you do go for the added gin option, it’s educational, so that counts as lunchtime learning.

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