You often hear about people coming across charming country pubs whilst following meandering lanes in the English countryside. Well, on a recent trip to Old Blighty, we did just that! You can read full details about how we happened across this hidden gem on W3Junkie – Our sister blog.
Of course, since we were in a pub, the first thing to do was to order a drink. I have to admit here that even though I grew up in the UK, I was never a great fan of many of the standard British brews. As a teenager, bitter and mild were the normal fare for the average pub patron. To me, the first tasted, well, bitter! The latter, although it may indeed have been mild, reminded me of dishwater, not that I can actually remember drinking any (dishwater that is!). As a youngster, the only way to make them palatable was by converting them into shandy by mixing 50-50% with fizzy lemonade (like Sprite or Seven-Up). However, even back then, I was partial to a glass of draught cider! I may even have converted Dorothy, since that is the libation that she is holding at left. Strongbow, was then and remains to this day one of my favourites, but we discovered several others on this trip just as good and even became better acquainted with pear cider which can also be very good. I also noticed, that perhaps as a result of thawing relations with Ireland, that many of the ciders now come from there! Whether they like it or not, England’s historic insularity is rapidly eroding….
It turns out that pub lunches, like most everything else in my former homeland, have changed a great deal in the intervening years. Mostly gone are the Steak & Kidney pies, Cornish Pasties and Sausage Rolls that were standard fare in my formative years. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is a matter of much disscussion and varying opinions. What Dorothy and I settled for, on this particular occasion, was back-bacon and brie on Ciabatta bread (pictured at left). The only thing that might have been on this plate 40 years ago would have been the bacon. It would have been unceremoniously plonked between two slices of sandwich bread and have been called a bacon butty! Today, we add French Brie, use Italian bread and put a dainty little salad on the side! Truth is, we loved it! Traitors though we might be, we say Vive La Communauté Européenne!