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Gastro Pub Club...


MobyP
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Stephen B - welcome to eGullet! Thanks for the post. Whats the pub food scene like in Manchester?

I don't see that much of it, to be honest. The Arden Arms at Stockport is my pub of choice for food, the landlords used to run a restaurant and they try to keep to that standard. It's usually pretty good.

Stephen

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This is a really cool thread, guys. Not only for the interesting look into something we just don't have in the States, but also for things we don't hear much over on this side like this: "young luvvies and half-luvvies and friends of luvvies, listening to that rocky rolly music."

god that's all moby needs now, encouragement :wink:

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went to a really sweet little gastropub called the hartley. ridiculously cheap and an entertaining mix of sophisticated - foie gras, ham knuckle and chicken terrine - and down-to-earth - shepherd's pie.

food really a lot better than we expected: great pork belly with black pudding, crab 'russian' salad, goats cheese fritters. fabulous ice-creams like bread and butter pud or black pepper made in house.

64 tower bridge road, se1. 7394 7023

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Stephen,

Fair comments RE the Ox, it has all the obligatory gastropub characteristics - red walls, original art, no table linen, chalkboards etc but it never quite hits the spot for me. Nice to meet a fellow Manc on here by the way.

I find it amazing that Manchester has so few gastropubs. It is a major city with a huge restaurant scene tending towards the good-quality/good value/informal end of the market; throw in lots of students and a burgeoning city centre population all looking for a comfortable 'local' restaurant and the place should be teaming with gastropubs.

I think lack of venues suitable for refurb may play a part. Many of Manchester's city centre pubs are boxy, pokey and dark with small windows; they were for the city's poor, and are often tucked away down sidestreets with minimal decoration. This is a direct counterpoint to some of the fabulous Victorian and Edwardian drinking houses you see on street corners in places like Liverpool and London (and in the suburbs of Manchester).

Two lights do shine brightly in Manchester's gastropub scene though. The first is the 'Chop House Company', which run Mr Thomas's Chophouse and re-opend the long-established Sam's Chophouse too. Both venues have a wonderful cosy feel, but my favourite is Mr T's which is in a rickety Victorian townhouse which almost appears to lean against the adjoining building as if onsteady on its feet.

Interior is gorgeous - green glazed walls, mirrors and dark wood, tiled floors - all of it original and with minimal messing about. It also has a recently opened outdoor area at the back behind St Annes Church which is one of the best al-fresco eating spots in the city. Mr T's is a guide regular, and always gets pointed out to tourists (in everything from the NY times to inflight magazines). Clientele tends to be the pin-stripe boys during the week (Gary M...) and shoppers at the weekend.

Menu at both places is classic British cuisine with lots of good fish, seafood, and game (everthing arrives furred and feathered for butchery onsite). Classics include their steak and kidney pudding (yes pudding, not pie), braised steak with mustard dumplings and quite wonderful fish cakes. Desserts are tip top too, and the portions are bloody enormous. Award-winning wine list also deserves a mention.

A nice story from last time I was there (at Sam's): After ordering parsnip mash the waitress came out and said the chef wasn't happy with it and there would be a delay to make some more. Not good that they cocked it up (I can picture some poor commis getting an earbashing for overmashing or going heavy with the seasoning) but nice to admit it rather than send out substandard product or just leave me waiting...

Second place has a link to the first. Robert Owen-Brown is a well-respected chef on the Manchester scene, having cooked at Reform, opened his own place in the local backwater of Radcliffe (Roscoes) and then returned to the city centre for an excellent stint at Mr T's followed by time at Lounge Ten. Now, he has taken the gamble and reopened the dank little den of thieves that was the Bridge Tavern (Bridge St) as 'The Bridge' (Gastropub!).

It's a basic little space, and the decor was a bit funny when I was there. Nice simple 'gastropubby' stylings offset by a fairly awful 'Yate's Wine Lodge/Airport' style swirly carpet. When I went the place had barely opened and only the bar menu was available though the full menu should be available now. The groundfloor bar itself was still staffed and run by the brewery (though I think this is due to change) and an upstairs dining room should also be opening soon.

Another nice story actually: I went for a bite to eat whilst looking after my four week old son so that Sophie could go and shop (or have her hair done or one of those other girly things). I knew that having only just opened in the pre-Christmas deadzone The Bridge would be quiet, and so it was. I got a nice table, no crowds or smoke and a nice pint.

The minute my food arrived, Jack (my son) woke up and started crying, I'm sure the more experienced parents amongst you could have predicted this. My face dropped as I realised that eating my lunch and pacifying an infant simultaneously was beyond me, but the FOH manager (and Robert's girlfriend) came over and offered to 'bounce' (technical term) Jack to keep him quiet whilst I had my lunch. She did, he did, and I did - wonderful.

Food was good - a very competent fish and chips, but the full menu is meant to be much more extensive, with a focus on local produce and quality ingredients. I have seen three outstanding reviews (in City Life, the Metro and the Manchester Evening News respectively - the latter gave it five stars, an honour granted on only three occasions in 2003). So I am planning to go back as soon as parenthood allows, and would heartily recommend it (based on Robert's track record) in the meantime.

As an aside, Robert has done a simple yet clever thing with the pub sign. Nearby there is an uninspiring Victorian stone bridge across the Irwell which formed the subject of the old sign. Barly 100 yards away the Lowry 5-star hotel has opened on the opposite bank, and it is connected to the city centre via a rather beautiful white, sail-like, curved bridge designed by internationally renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. The new pub sign is painted in the traditional style but features the shiny new bridge; a rather pleasing melding of Manchester's past and it's recent cultural reinvention and kind of a summing up of the gastro-pub ethos.

Edit: Because you only see your mistakes when you press 'Submit Post'.

Cheers

Thom

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Clientele tends to be the pin-stripe boys during the week (Gary M...)

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin: : :biggrin::wink:

They both sound good Thom- nice post. Perhaps we can finally meet up for that drink and a bite to eat when I am next up in the area? :cool:

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Bapi,

Glad you spotted the dig...

Be glad to meet up, it seems we're getting close to establishing an egullet enclave up here in Manchester.

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Who can deny that the gastro pub hasn't been towards the center of the UK food transformation? From exceptionally good-value to outrageously expensive; from the local on your corner, to a renovated bistro-bar. And the talent in the kitchen -  young cooks who want or are forced to start small, to michelin-starred chefs returning to simpler life-style. Less obligations, less financial commitment (not to mention less foie gras).

Hi Moby,

This is a great thread, and while I don’t deny your central premise that the ‘gastro-pub’ has transformed the British dining scene in recent years, may I also suggest that it is true that rise and rise of so many wannabe gastro-pubs has at the same time paralleled the demise of the good old traditional local.

In my small Westcountry town, for example, we used to boast something like a dozen real pubs, some serving only just a street or two, and all with their own fiercely loyal clientele. Over the years I’ve lived here, a few have gone completely, the buildings themselves more lucrative for developers to turn into residential houses. Of those that remain, most have been tarted up, or re-tarted up (the velvet booths of the 70s replaced with faux traditional bare wood flooring, ship’s decorations, or bistro-like furnishings). A particular loss is that the public bars are now mainly history (that is, there is no longer any distinction, in decor and beer price, between smarter lounge bar and the more rough-and-ready public bar) and most places now insist on serving food of a sort that is becoming as predictable as it is indigestible, a sort of pseudo-international faux-cuisine that invariably includes the likes of Thai green curry, cajun chicken, nachos covered in cheezey gloop, deep fried squid with gunky sweet chili sauce out of bottle, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, the fault, of course, is not the rise of the true gastro-pub per se, and it is great that places of real quality and individuality have evolved to take the place of locals and tied houses that have fallen by the way. But it's sad all the same that the loss of real pubs is undoubtedly one casualty of our time.

So what makes a great gastro-pub? Perhaps for me, living in the country, it is different than what you may want and expect in the city. For me, a gastro-pub shouldn’t be a high-class restaurant masquerading in the guise of a pub but really, deep down, wanting to be recognised as a restaurant. That is, a place serving restaurant foods - at near restaurant prices - in the setting of a former inn that is no longer a place where you'd feel welcome just to pop in for a beer or two. IMO, the best ought to serve real foods based above all on quality local produce (wherever they may be), competently and unfussily prepared, served in an informal and relaxed setting.

Two examples from near where I live: the Drewe Arms at Broadhembury (near Honiton, Devon) is a gorgeous thatched local pub that has for some years enjoyed a reputation for serving outstanding local fish and shellfish, sometimes simply (great homemade gravadlax) sometimes classically (seabass in beurre blanc, great fresh diver’s scallops, local crab and lobster). Excellent beers, too (Otter ales) plus good list of reasonably priced white wines (mainly). It is always good, and is well worth a detour if you are heading to the Westcountry (not far off the M5 motorway, exit at Cullompton).

Another example: across the Haldon Hills that rise above the Exe Valley, in the tiny hamlet of Doddiscombleigh you’ll find the Nobody Inn. This pub not only serves a great range of cask-conditioned ales, it also boasts one of the best pub wine lists in Britain as well as an outrageously comprehensive selection of single malts. The restaurant food is only so-so, but the bar meals are always good. Simple foods like homemade pies, smoked fish, lamb casserole, and, best of all, sensational selections of West Country cheeses. Is this a ‘gastro-pub’? Probably not. Just a damn good one.

As for locals, in my small riverside town, I am happy to report that one exceptional place remains, utterly unchanged for over 100 years (and certainly unchanged for the quarter of a century that I’ve been frequenting it). Rated by CAMRA consistently highly for its fantastic range of cask-conditioned ales, but gloriously and stubbornly untarted up, this is probably the anti-thesis of the modern ‘gastro-pub’. Me, I go there a couple of times a week at least, was there last night, in fact. Though there are always a dozen beers on offer, drawn direct from the cask, I’m a creature of habit, always enjoy pints of Branoc ale (a light quenching ‘session’ beer from the nearby Branscombe Brewery). For food, well, you don’t really come here for food but if you are really hungry, you can have hot pasties (not homemade but excellent, served with gooseberry chutney), homemade soup, perhaps on a good day a smoked chicken ploughman’s (the smoked chicken from the excellent Dartmouth Smokehouse), but that’s about it (apart from the massive jar of pickled eggs on the bartop counter).This pub, incongruously, has the ‘honour’ of being the only pub ever visited by Her Majesty the Queen. Where am I?

Answer

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Marco Polo - thanks for the recommendations.

may I also suggest that it is true that rise and rise of so many wannabe gastro-pubs has at the same time paralleled the demise of the good old traditional local.
Unquestionably. The notion that replacement and substitution must be a good thing seems to instill a panic in anyone with eyes on the competition. There was a phase coming out of the 80's of green curries, chips with everything ... "cajun chicken, nachos covered in cheezey gloop, deep fried squid with gunky sweet chili sauce out of bottle, etc." What we had come to expect - maybe a roast on the weekends (over-cooked), or a nice lump of local cheese and pickle (more often from the supermarket) - had already been replaced by imitations of itself. Publicans felt they should be providing more, but had no idea in which direction to look. For me, the wonder of all this is not some closely-kept-secret-powered-chef who apprenticed under blah blah blah who's cooking in a small closet surrounded by a rare breed of azaleas - it's the sheer range and scope of it all; the integrity of it (when we're lucky); the man or woman who looks at their surroundings, finds a wonderful breed of local chicken, or freshly caught fish, cooks it simply, and well enough, and agrees to sell it to you. Which is just to say:
the best ought to serve real foods based above all on quality local produce (wherever they may be), competently and unfussily prepared, served in an informal and relaxed setting.

For me, it's actually - and I'm hesitant to say this because it sounds like the sort of sentimental tosh that knee-caps are broken for - to do with a simple cultural ideal; an ecumenical environment; the possibilities of a great or or simple or surprising meal without the cultural inhibitions of being 'in a restaurant.' The pub has all sorts of semiotic and cultural overtones that, to my knowledge, exist nowhere else on earth in the form that they have done here. That's not to say that all of them are good - but they allow an environment which - when it works - is unique. Gastro-pub's a horrible term.

I once drove across America expecting to find the Steinbeck-ian ideal of a small family restaurant with a 6-generation old recipe for fried chicken. Turns out, no matter how small the town, where ever I went, they'd all been bull-dozed to the ground and covered with a row of franchises. So much of America has traded in its uniqueness for the homogeneity of consumption. But that's changing as well. Slowly.

To a certain degree, the perfect ideal of a pub vanished for most of us half a generation ago. Finding a place unharried by the green monster of a Thai Curry, or a chips with everything lunch was almost impossible. Now - and this is almost a joke, surely - it's becoming a fad to find a local farmer who knows what they're doing, and buy produce direct! It's absurd, and wonderful, in equal measure. It's a storyline on 'The Archers' (allegedly) for goodness sake. It's also true. So, in one fell swoop (as all swoops should be fell), you have an age-old institution which is connecting to its surrounds and community in a way which hasn't been done - well - for an age. And what does it signify? To tell you the truth, I'm not sure. But I am enjoying it.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Aren't, or weren't, there a number of pubs that lent or rented their kitchens to entrepreneurial restaurateurs who couldn't manage the fixed costs of fully operating a restaurant? I recall one country pub that offered a Spanish menu on selected nights of the week (almost no food on the other nights). And weren't there London pubs -- one near Chiswick, if I'm not mistaken -- that offered "London authentic" Thai food on certain nights? By "London authentic" I mean of a standard that you would get in a small independent Thai restaurant in London, e.g. Talad Thai in Putney. They were able to do this because a local Thai cook who couldn't afford to establish a restaurant came in; the pub brought in punters who wouldn't otherwise have come.

The equivalent would be renting a Regus office to conduct business, or perhaps sharecropping.

I would guess that these arrangements are short lived and perhaps increasingly rare, since the "system" operators of pubs would try to capture any food margin available by pushing industrialised sandwiches, plastic-boxed salads, etc.; and since an entrepreneurial restaurateur who succeeded in a rent-a-kitchen model would be inclined to open an independent establishment.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Bapi,

Glad you spotted the dig...

Be glad to meet up, it seems we're getting close to establishing an egullet enclave up here in Manchester.

Cheers

Thom

If I ever move back home (Which I've been threatening my folks with for the last year or two!) I'll join you!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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Many of Manchester's city centre pubs are boxy, pokey and dark with small windows; they were for the city's poor, and are often tucked away down sidestreets with minimal decoration. This is a direct counterpoint to some of the fabulous Victorian and Edwardian drinking houses you see on street corners in places like Liverpool and London (and in the suburbs of Manchester).

I like the pokey dark small pubs! I had a great time at Christmas wandering round the pubs - probably couldn't get more than a pickled egg, but good beer.

Have to admit though, I was diverted by bright lights and the prospect of fast noodles, so ended up eating in Tampopo!

The corporate kitchen type approach to pub food is a shame, but unfortunately it is very hard for a pub to do what we would like to see, maybe no pretentions of great food, but a few home cooked specialitites (Betty's hotpot!). Unfortunately unless a pub has a high enough food trade, it cannot justify the expense of having a 'professional' style kitchen in order to pass health and hygiene regulations.

P.S Thom, I spent 7 years living in Radcliffe!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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Carlovski,

I just knew someone from here would be from Radcliffe... Actually, some of my friends live there (though they claim they are in Whitefield), and of course you have a famous ex-resident in film director Danny 'Trainspotting' Boyle.

I like dark dank pubs too. Avoid the touristy ones (Peveril of the Peak etc) and go the fabulous Marble Arch on Rochdale Rd. Used to be my local, and it hasn't succumbed to 'Gasto-ness' yet (until recently the only food was Tunnocks caramels or Seabrooks crisps).

Or, if you want even more traditional boozers try the little known Jolly Angler and nearby White Horse between Piccadilly and Great Ancoats St (quick before the yuppies move in). The Castle on Oldham St is also full of traditional back street city-pub 'characters'.

Badger1234 (I can't remember the actual numbers) is also a Manc, Bapi has roots here and even Gary M is a Northerner (although he comes from the wrong side of the Pennines). Any more lurkers from the cool end of the country?

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Clientele tends to be the pin-stripe boys during the week (Gary M...)

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin: : :biggrin::wink:

They both sound good Thom- nice post. Perhaps we can finally meet up for that drink and a bite to eat when I am next up in the area? :cool:

I'm used to character assasination from the good mr hetherington :biggrin:

I don't tend to think of my local haunts as gastropubs but guess they fall into the generic category.

For example the ''gastropub cookbook' was launched at the star at harome which i personally would not class as a gastropub although paradoxically it is most certainly a 'working' pub and most certainly a gastronomic delight.

Likewise the yorke arms which is also in the book and retains many of the features and bar of the pub but is really more a very good restaurant.

my local the st vincent arms in sutton upon derwent, york, to me is just a bloody good pub that happens to serve bloody good food. It has many camra awards for those odd people who don't drink lager and the cheapest quality wine list i have ever seen (pol roger white foil £23, michelot meursault £24, dujac morey saint denis £40, sauzet puligny montrachet £40). Food varies from pub staples of fish and chips to, well whatever the chef decides to cook, which last night was breast & confit'd leg of guinea fowl on savoy cabbage with a red wine sauce (& chips!) £9.50. Virtually everything is made in the tiny kitchen on a daily basis.

i will do it more justice with a full write up soon, but obviously i'm wary of inducing customers from the wrong side of the pennines :biggrin:

gary

you don't win friends with salad

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...a bloody good pub that happens to serve bloody good food...

By jiminy, I think we've found our motto.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Carlovski,

I just knew someone from here would be from Radcliffe... Actually, some of my friends live there (though they claim they are in Whitefield), and of course you have a famous ex-resident in film director Danny 'Trainspotting' Boyle.

I like dark dank pubs too. Avoid the touristy ones (Peveril of the Peak etc) and go the fabulous Marble Arch on Rochdale Rd. Used to be my local, and it hasn't succumbed to 'Gasto-ness' yet (until recently the only food was Tunnocks caramels or Seabrooks crisps).

Or, if you want even more traditional boozers try the little known Jolly Angler and nearby White Horse between Piccadilly and Great Ancoats St (quick before the yuppies move in). The Castle on Oldham St is also full of traditional back street city-pub 'characters'.

Badger1234 (I can't remember the actual numbers) is also a Manc, Bapi has roots here and even Gary M is a Northerner (although he comes from the wrong side of the Pennines). Any more lurkers from the cool end of the country?

Cheers

Thom

It's got to be bad if you would rather say you lived in Whitefield.... (Roma deli and the Church inn excepted)

I did go in the White Horse (And the Circus) - it's great being in a pub which is actually smaller than your living room!

Unfortunately live in the south now, but Winchester has some decent pubs, including the Wykeham arms, which was Gastropubby before the term was invented (Also sells excellent sausages over the bar, thus fulfilling my Gastropub criteria)

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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Thom: The Bridge is now a gastropub? Incredible. I think food has been more of a rescue mission than a take over. Of the four pubs in one of your posts, the Bridge was never over-busy, the Oxnoble (or was it Ox Noble, I forget) was a deadhole in the back of beyond, Mr Thomas's was only half the size it is now and didn't open in the evening, and Sam's was shut for ten years.

I like your choices of boozers (another post); there are some more over the river in Salford, but nothing like as many as there used to be. Get in now before they're knocked down.

Stephen

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Fans of the Duke of Cambridge should know about The Alma, near Highbury and Islington. It's run by a few of the staff from the Duke.

Haven't seen a published review, but it was the local of a good friend (he just moved to India). He rates it very highly.

It's where I want to go next when it's my turn to choose, and speed and convenience aren't the overriding factors.

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Tried the Drapers Arms last night on Barnsbury St, Islington. Beautiful upstairs dining room to escape from the melee below. It was quiet but the tables are well spaced anyway.

I had fish soup with good croutons, roue and cheese but not quite intensely fishy enough for me. But then few fish soups are. Then chicken with mushrooms and turnip dauphinoise with a side of spinach - massive portion, nicely cooked, could actually taste the chicken. Finally a HUGE piece of vanilla/choc cheesecake with a roasted plum and plum sauce (I was eating my way out of a hangover) which was just the ticket.

With 4 people eating 2-3 courses, coffees and just one btl wine the bill was £34 a head inc. service which was delightful (OK I fancied the waitress) except for an inexplicable wait for the mains which was apologised for. Good value I'd say.

Not sure if a separate dining room disqualifies it frfom being a gastropub but I'll be back here - prefer it grreatly to the Duke Of C. which is a bit uncomfortable and overpriced imo.

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For me, it's actually - and I'm hesitant to say this because it sounds like the sort of sentimental tosh that knee-caps are broken for - to do with a simple cultural ideal; an ecumenical environment; the possibilities of a great or or simple or surprising meal without the cultural inhibitions of being 'in a restaurant.'  The pub has all sorts of semiotic and cultural overtones that, to my knowledge, exist nowhere else on earth in the form that they have done here. That's not to say that all of them are good - but they allow an environment which - when it works - is unique. Gastro-pub's a horrible term.

Hi Moby,

Been chewing over your post. In essence your philosphical musings really do get to the kernel of the issue. The term 'gastro-pub' is a truly horrible new word that is bantered about too willy-nilly (and applied to far too many indifferent places that are neither particularly gastronomic nor not even very pubby)Yet it does manage to encapsulate in essence what the best of such places should aspire to. 'Gastro-pub' may initially seem an oxymoron as 'gastronomy' traditionally and historically has never (before now) been what a 'pub' is (or should be) about. Whereas the word 'pub' as you point out exudes all sorts of other cultural, regional and personal connotations: most of us who know and love and frequent pubs know what that means to us (comfort, refuge, camaraderie, friends, good cheer, a certain fuggy atmosphere, tradition, licensing hours - 'drinking time, you've 'ad your drinking time'-, beer, beer, more beer, good beer, whatever).

A gastro-pub at best must somehow manage to combine good, imaginative (and sometimes if we're lucky even great) food in a place that maintains the essence - deeply and integrally, not superficially - of what a true pub is. Just tarting up a pub interior, and installing a restaurant is not quite what it ought to be about, is it? There are plenty of restaurants in the premises of former pubs, but I wouldn't call them 'gastro-pubs'. Nor for that matter is it enough just to serve good 'pub grub' (pies, pasties, fish & chips, however excellent). I think it's the imaginative, the unexpected, the juxtaposition of truly superior food in a pub setting and atmosphere that really goes some way to making the phenomenon of the 'gastro-pub' a new form of British dining institution that may, as you suggest, one day become a classic along the lines, for example, of the true Lyonnais bistro (however much the latter may be copied, to varying degrees of success, from Paris to Paris, Ohio).

So I guess the fact there are so many self-proclaimed but horribly bad 'gastro-pubs' emerging (just as there are, and always has been, so many bogus bistros) should take nothing away from the best. Now, when the first gastro-pub opens in Paris, Ohio, then we'll know the genre has truly arrived...(no doubt someone on this list will tell me that it's already open and thriving).

MP

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Giles Coren - Three of a kind - "The gastro pub is turning us ever so slowly from a nation of drinkers into a nation of eaters"

The Coach and Horses

 

The Gunmakers

 

The Greyhound

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Two places spring to mind for good food in a pub though not necessarily "gastropubs".

The first is the Ladbroke Arms in Notting Hill/Holland Park. Generally good food, and not too pricey, and the other is the Churchill Arms in Kensington. Not really a gastropub, but pretty good Thai food and very cheap prices.

Both however can be difficult to get a good table at the busy times.

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the Churchill Arms in Kensington. Not really a gastropub, but pretty good Thai food and very cheap prices.

Both however can be difficult to get a good table at the busy times.

Is that the place up the road from Kensington Place? I've had a couple of decent noshes there - but if I remember, I was standing on one foot, balanced precariously by the fireplace, packed in like a sardine.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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