English Pub Food – do we expect too much?
What a beautiful bank holiday weekend we have just had! I hope you all spent some time reconnecting with family and friends; sharing some leisure time together, maybe doing a little gardening, having a walk, but mostly for me, sharing some delicious food! Unfortunately, that didn’t happen on Monday, and this is going to turn into a bit of a rant……… I took a friend and her wheel-chair bound elderly mother out to a picturesque village on the Thames. In the Chilterns the beech leaves are beginning to dapple the woods with their vibrant lime-greenness and the bluebells are finally opening their buds to emit their sweet heady perfume. A perfect day for a countryside ramble. The idea was to have a nice walk round the village and a stroll to the pub for lunch. Well! As the weather was gorgeous everywhere was very busy, so maybe the staff at the local hostelry were taken by surprise. The garden was busy but well laid out with tables and umbrellas, well kept, neat and tidy, and there was a very promising barbecue going with a big counter – looking very professional. The menu – double burger and salad; salmon and prawn kebabs and salad; sausages and salad etc. Looked rather expensive at around £10.95 – £12.95, but we thought it must be worth it as the set up looked so good. OH DEAR! We queued for about 20 minutes, were served 2 flaccid pale under cooked sausages with a bit of wet lettuce and red onion with some sautéed new potatoes which tasted 3 days old; 2 fish skewers – the fish was actually nicely cooked; with some under cooked green and red pepper, wet lettuce and red onion and a teaspoon full of penne pasta dunked in Hellmann’s; and finally 2 slices of halloumi with Mediterranean vegetables (actually a bit more green and red pepper) with the wet lettuce and some warm (because it was sitting on the Hot-Plate) coleslaw. All served up on flimsy plastic plates. All in all, pretty disgusting. Why do we get it so wrong? It seems no one wants to take responsibility to see an idea through – apparently the food went on sale at midday, with a lovely selection of salads to help yourself to, but once they had run out by 1.30pm, no one thought to reduce the price, serve more potatoes, bread or even lower the price, make more salads (radical I know) or apologise! Rant over – I will write to the pub concerned. I ought to have complained then and there, but I was being treated to lunch by my friends so it was a little awkward. However, if we are met by bad service, mediocre food that is overpriced; or indeed portions large enough to feed a small hummingbird; we should complain or at least draw the senior member of staff’s attention to the problem, so that they can (hopefully!) put it right. The (somewhat disgruntled, underfed) Rambler
The Rambler, AKA Celia Dulieu
Celia has been sharing food, wine, recipes and friendship with Simon and Sue Gale for more than 15 years.
In a former life she was a mass caterer, working for large companies such as Selfridges, London; but after moving to the countryside with husband, 2 kids and dog, she resurrected her love of food, - particularly by entertaining her large extended family to lunches ,sharing informal get togethers with friends, and developing her small but productive kitchen garden. She is passionate about all things to do with food and wine; from where it is produced to how it arrived on her doorstep.
Celia’s love of meeting people, visiting places and trying different things has culminated in being invited to get involve with writing up the experiences of the Heart Kitchen and sharing her love of food with you through her ramblings.