Tandleman revisited the issue of pub food this week, following his trip to the Black Country. Whether it’s pies and cobs or trencherman meals, that area seems to get it right. I recommend the Harrow in Coven (posh Wolves) for cobs.
Contrary to comments expressed by C.Tevez and believed by most Londoners, Manchester has plenty of good food, with the Marble Arch, Knott and the Angel being good pub examples. Nothing cheap though, and bar snacks tend to be of the £4 Pork Pie/Sausage Roll variety (Crown & Kettle does them well).
One of the things that initially appealed about Stockport was the unfussiness of food operations, with a standout half of Vaux and a cheese and onion toastie for £1.35 in 1993 a non-Robbies memory.
Most of the new Guide entries in Herefordshire and the Marches are firmly aimed at the food market. The county’s famous basic ale houses like the Sun, and even the Olde Tavern are now offering food described as “magnifique” on Trip Advisor.
There was relief at hand in the Red Lion at Caersws (pop. 1,500), home of the unlikeliest team ever to compete in European competition.
A smart makeover has changed a basic pub into a pleasant village all-rounder offering a decent Three Tuns and a very cheap and cheerful cheese and onion roll, alongside a standard 1980s style leather-bound menu. If you lived there you’d use it more than you expected to.
QUIZ TIME – Name the other beers (please, I have no idea)
Over the border, and at the other end of the food rainbow, was the New Harp in Hoarwithy. This was a smartish place on the banks of the Wye catering for walkers like me needing to put back the 1,000 calories they’d failed to walk off in the morning. Apart from Spoons, it was the only place I saw in the Marches pushing the craft (bottles of BrewDog).
The pub was plain but well-managed, the Wye Valley rich and lovely (NBSS 3.5), and the Platter (aka Ploughmans) was a tenner. High quality ingredients and tasty, but how things change.
QUIZ TIME – What’s missing ?
Of course the perfect wholesome pub snack, shown here in its pint glass glory, is a rather cheaper treat;