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nikkib

Pubs - the topic

128 posts in this topic

http://www.thecowdray.co.uk/ Had a deliciuos sunday lunch here yesterday after visiting friends in the area. The Pub is minimalist in style, wooden floors and comfy banquette seating with smart leather covered chairs. The walls show photos of local vineyards, following through with their use of local ingreadients wherever possible.The menu lists all their main suppliers on the back which is a nice touch. We had home made carrot and cumin soup and a terrine of leek, parma ham, chicken and wild mushrooms to start and followed that with roast pheasant with truffled mash and creamed leeks and a huge sirloin steak with chips and bearnaise. For dessert we shared a 1/2 portion of local cheese choosing 2 of the 5 on offer, a great sussex blue and a "brie" with quince jelly and homemade chutney. With a bloody mary, glass of champagne, 2 glasses of the most expensive wine by the glass, 2 coffees and a bottle of water our bill came to under £70. The bill had a 10% discount added to it as they are celebrating their first year of business by doinga discount throughout jan and feb and had little notices around the bar thanking everyone for their business which i thought was a nice touch, and one taht is obviously working as it was packed. You get the sense that the owners really care about what they are doing and everything is done with a very personal touch with Alex working the floor and Andy manning the stoves. This is what Great English Pubs are all about and i wish them continued success.

Where else would egulletters recommend for a great local pub in the truest tradition?

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"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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The Highwayman Inn, owned by Nigel Howarth is excellent and they are also proud of their suppliers. See the long list here:

http://www.highwaymaninn.co.uk/heroes/heroes-gallery.htm

My favouite pub will always be the Bay Horse in Ulverston, however. Think they recently won small hotel of the year, or something. It's somewhere I visit after a long, hard day's walk in the Lake District. It's absoultely fantastic, wonderfully traditional, cosy, there's always an good atmosphere and you wouldn't feel out of place taking your shoes off. The modern conservatory, acting as the main restaurant in the evenings is utterly stunning, on the ocean edge and with a mountainous backdrop. They serve traditional food made to a much higher than average standard.


Edited by SaladFingers (log)

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I assume we are discussing "everyday pubs" rather than the gastro superstars like The Star, The Sportsman, The Walnut Tree etc.

By coincidence we tried a new pub for Sunday lunch The Pony and Trap, which is just south of Bristol. It was recomended by the chefs at The White Hart in Bath (also a good everyday food pub but best for drinks in the summer when the garden is open and so a better ratio of drinking to dining space). The food at the P&T was good, although it being a Sunday the menu "roast" heavy for the meat selection, the cheese plate was especially good with some Somerset Brie in perfect runny condition with no hint or ammonia. What I really liked is that it is a real pub, serving decent food cooked with care, no sign of a "Farrow & Ball" designer makeover, lots of locals, and lots of muddy wellies left by the door.

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The Highwayman Inn, owned by Nigel Howarth is excellent and they are also proud of their suppliers. See the long list here:

http://www.highwaymaninn.co.uk/heroes/heroes-gallery.htm

My favouite pub will always be the Bay Horse in Ulverston, however. Think they recently won small hotel of the year, or something. It's somewhere I visit after a long, hard day's walk in the Lake District. It's absoultely fantastic, wonderfully traditional, cosy, there's always an good atmosphere and you wouldn't feel out of place taking your shoes off. The modern conservatory, acting as the main restaurant in the evenings is utterly stunning, on the ocean edge and with a mountainous backdrop. They serve traditional food made to a much higher than average standard.

Is the "General Burgoyne" still going - it used to be really basic (as pubs should be) with a great pie and peas, and a really good Hartleys.

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I have a feeling it was taken over by Lucy's and I haven't been since then. It is always busy whenever I walk past, so I imagine it's still worth a visit.

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Was at George and Dragon, Clifton, just south of Penrith on Sunday. Had a good Ham Hock and chick pea curry, then I spied rice oudding and thought it rude not to give it a try. It might fall under the farrow and ball catogory, its was busy with lots of locals in. Meal for 2 £60 including 2 glasses of prosecco and a bottle of wine.

Funnily enough, never rated either Highwayman of 3 Fishes, never had good experiences at either.

Brown Horse at Winster (Lake district) is always excellent, so is Strickland Arms near Kendal.

Must give bay horse a try, I hear lots of good things about it.

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I assume we are discussing "everyday pubs" rather than the gastro superstars like The Star, The Sportsman, The Walnut Tree etc.

By coincidence we tried a new pub for Sunday lunch The Pony and Trap, which is just south of Bristol. It was recomended by the chefs at The White Hart in Bath (also a good everyday food pub but best for drinks in the summer when the garden is open and so a better ratio of drinking to dining space). The food at the P&T was good, although it being a Sunday the menu "roast" heavy for the meat selection, the cheese plate was especially good with some Somerset Brie in perfect runny condition with no hint or ammonia. What I really liked is that it is a real pub, serving decent food cooked with care, no sign of a "Farrow & Ball" designer makeover, lots of locals, and lots of muddy wellies left by the door.

yes - there is lots of talk of the superstars like the sportsman etc, i was thinking more about unsung locals, thanks for this


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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The Highwayman Inn, owned by Nigel Howarth is excellent and they are also proud of their suppliers. See the long list here:

http://www.highwaymaninn.co.uk/heroes/heroes-gallery.htm

My favouite pub will always be the Bay Horse in Ulverston, however. Think they recently won small hotel of the year, or something. It's somewhere I visit after a long, hard day's walk in the Lake District. It's absoultely fantastic, wonderfully traditional, cosy, there's always an good atmosphere and you wouldn't feel out of place taking your shoes off. The modern conservatory, acting as the main restaurant in the evenings is utterly stunning, on the ocean edge and with a mountainous backdrop. They serve traditional food made to a much higher than average standard.

:shock: Oh dear this is my first post and it has got to be negative. We did the Bay Horse last year after being recomended. It was awful, the area is horrible, a mill pond of dirty rushing sea water, a tumble down lock at the back end of a trading estate. As for the 'hotel', it smelt like a pub and that is not a compliment. We stayed overnight, dinner was regemented, the food was just like 'cling & ping' and the staff disapeared altogether after the pud was served. Next morning there was a lovely view over mud flats Ugh


Pam Brunning Editor Food & Wine, the Journal of the European & African Region of the International Wine & Food Society

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I'm bewildered by your experience.

Did Jeremy Beadle appear at the end?


Edited by SaladFingers (log)

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and a really good Hartleys.

You can't go wrong with a Hartley :wink:

Now owned by Robinson's (Stockport's finest)


John Hartley

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Two in Cheshire:

Boot Inn @ Kelsall

Duke of Portland @ Lach Dennis

Both "dining pubs" rather than your full "gastro", if you see what I mean. The Boot is very much a proper pub; the Duke a bit more restauranty.

In Manchester - Mr Thomas' Chop House in the city centre (the pubby cousin of the more restauranty Sam's Chop House) and, in the southern suburb of Didsbury, the Royal Oak.

The Oak is locally famous for its extremely substantial cheese, pate or pork pie lunches. Nothing else is served. They offer doggy bags for lightweights who can't manage the quantity.


John Hartley

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The Bell is just south of Stratford-upon-Avon in the village of Alderminster. I understand the local Lady of the Manor (The Alscot Estate) recently purchased the pub to keep it open, and is has been refurbished (lots of Farrow and Ball) however it is still OK. Many of the staff are ex the Howard Arms in Ilmington which was once good but has now really gone down hill.

The kitchen is good, a nice terrine to start, slightly tough "Venison Wellington", but an excellent Poussin and vegetables. Desserts are a weakness and are firmly aimed at the <10's. The area around (and in) Stratford can be tricky for reasonable food pubs, and IMO this is the best in the area.

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and a really good Hartleys.

You can't go wrong with a Hartley :wink:

Now owned by Robinson's (Stockport's finest)

Aaah, Robbies beer- I haven't had a pint of that for years. Damm fine stuff I seem to remember.

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Any ideas for Hertfordshire?


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Granville Arms, Barford, Warwicks (a couple of minutes off Junction 15, M40).

Stopped here a couple of times for lunch (found it on www.fiveminutesaway.co.uk). Newish owners trying to make food a "significant thing". Roasts on a Sunday; wider bistro-ish menu through the week.

Next time I'm having the "doorstep sandwich" that the next table was eating. Big pieces of bread, crammed with what looked like very nice ham, bit of salad on the side; came with a separate bowl of chips that I wanted to thieve.


John Hartley

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Lunch at the Highwayman today (somewhat stuffed after the "full English" L'Enclume brekkie).

Is it a gastropub or just a pub that does really good food? Well, with Nigel Haworth as owner, it’s probably somewhere in between. What it certainly is, is a pub that celebrates local produce and then cooks it well.

We started with a couple of the “nibbles” on the menu. A plate of sausages – two each of Old Spot, Cumberland and black pudding, with a mustard dip. This was good. Very good. The other nibble was a selection of Highwayman dips – black pea, marrowfat pea and preserved cherry tomatoes, and some good bread. Tomatoes were very good (and with a lot of leftover thyme flavoured olive oil to dip into as well); the two pea dips not so good being a bit underflavoured.

One main was Bowland Lamb Hotpot with red cabbage, of course. A plentiful portion of long cooked very lamby lamb with a good crispy potato topping. The pickled red cabbage appeared home made.

The other main was a veal rump steak supplied by local “food hero” Farmer Sharp. It’s not often you see veal steak on a menu – it should be there more often if this was anything to go by. It came with a grilled field mushroom and a few sprigs of watercress. And a bowl of excellent chips (cooked in dripping, of course). And, to show this place has no pretensions but a commitment to quality, when I asked for vinegar for the chips, it came in the Sarsons bottle! I’d also got a side order of cauliflower cheese which went well – the cheese sauce baked on the cauli a little but the cauli still retaining a little bite.

Good lunch all round.


John Hartley

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Forgot to ask yesterday - has anyone been to Nigel Howarth's latest pub venture (Clog & Billycock at Pleasington)?


John Hartley

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http://www.thecowdray.co.uk/ Had a deliciuos sunday lunch here yesterday after visiting friends in the area. The Pub is minimalist in style, wooden floors and comfy banquette seating with smart leather covered chairs. The walls show photos of local vineyards, following through with their use of local ingreadients wherever possible.The menu lists all their main suppliers on the back which is a nice touch. We had home made carrot and cumin soup and a terrine of leek, parma ham, chicken and wild mushrooms to start and followed that with roast pheasant with truffled mash and creamed leeks and a huge sirloin steak with chips and bearnaise. For dessert we shared a 1/2 portion of local cheese choosing 2 of the 5 on offer, a great sussex blue and a "brie" with quince jelly and homemade chutney. With a bloody mary, glass of champagne, 2 glasses of the most expensive wine by the glass, 2 coffees and a bottle of water our bill came to under £70. The bill had a 10% discount added to it as they are celebrating their first year of business by doinga  discount throughout jan and feb and had little notices around the bar thanking everyone for their business which i thought was a nice touch, and one taht is obviously working as it was packed. You get the sense that the owners really care about what they are doing and everything is done with a very personal touch with Alex working the floor and Andy manning the stoves. This is what Great English Pubs are all about and i wish them continued success.

Where else would egulletters recommend for a great local pub in the truest tradition?

Had a quick main course here yesterday for Lunch. Slow cooked Pork Belly came with honey roast vegetables and creamed potato. The potato which was pretty awful, it had a strange and very pronounced flavour which I wondered was caused by some rancid butter or cream but the waiter told me it may have been the truffle oil. It certainly wasn't truffle oil, maybe they picked up the vinegar by mistake? :hmmm: The pork and veg were very satisfactory.

A Roast Chicken dinner was also very nice indeed, good potatoes and a very good chicken.

Recommended for a reasonably priced lunch!


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I wish I could add the Trusted Servant in Minstead to the list of great dining pubs, unfortunately its lovely location was let down by poor food. A homemade steak, ale and mushroom pie wasn't actually a pie, It was steak and ale (I couldn't find any mushrooms) and a seperately baked undercooked puff pastry lid (not homemade and certainly not made with butter) which was balanced on top for serving. Good chinky chips though.

The same chunky chips were served with the Fish and chips. The bar staff weren't sure whether it was haddock or cod but it was "definitely one or the other". I'm still not sure what it was even after trying it. The batter was heavy and once again undercooked, the fish was more than likely frozen. :hmmm::sad:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Another Cheshire pub - this one doing pretty reasonable fish & chips:

Pheasant Inn at Higher Burwardsley (near Chester).

Not as good, IMO, as the two I mention upthread. Ham hock terrine was good, but fridge cold. Fish & chips much better. Mushy peas were just mush. Tarrate sauce was good.

Great views over the Cheshire plain towards Liverpool. It'd be a grand place to have lunch outside on a nice day.


John Hartley

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Morning All

for my two pennorth worth

Manchester - The Angel - it not just the food, the beer is great.

Penrith - The Queens Head at Tyrril - micro brewery beers great and the inglenook fieplace is good for drying/thawing in.

Forton near Lancaster - The Bayhorse - has Thwaites and its great to sit out if the sun is shining, you can drive to that farm that sells ice cream afterwards just in case you have any room left..

Liverpool- I am tempted to say just and sit in the Philarmonic and make do with crisps but if you must eat go to the Monroe, however if you want to get see lifes rich pageant get to "Ye Olde Cracke".

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Had a very tasty Lancashire hot pot with pickled red cabbage at The Dysart Arms in Bunbury,a very pretty Cheshire village close to Tarporley.

Mrs G chose Braised Lamb shoulder (on the bone) dauphinoise potato,minted gravy (excellent choice).

We eat here fairly frequently,as we do at two others in the group http://www.brunningandprice.co.uk/

The Grosvenor Arms Aldford, just out of Chester,and in Chester proper The Old Harkers Arms.

The food is consistently good, certainly at the ones we have tried,

Combermere Arms,Pen-Y-Bryn, Pant-Yr-Ochrain and Hand and Trumpet.

They have a highly successful formula,of quality food,good service,excellent locations,and very comfortable interiors.

We are big fans!

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David, I used to be a big fan of B&P mini-chain but I have seen quality slip in the past couple of years. Only two weeks ago we visited the Alford place and had three very overcooked ducks and a bone dry piece of pork. A visit to the Pant Yr Ochain last year has similar results with tough, chewy, overcooked steaks. Not happy, not at the prices they charge. Harkers is ok, far too busy for anything other than bar food though. The chain sold out to a huge pub co last year so it looks like the rot may be setting in unfortunately.

Now if you want simply cooked but great tasting food at a pub near Chester, head to Stuarts Table at the Farmer's Arms in Huxley for one of the best Sunday dinners around! Stuart himself is a bit eccentric but the guy in the kitchen knows what he's doing.

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brunning and price is now owned by restaurant group plc


you don't win friends with salad

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