Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Typical British Lunch

Dive into the pub, of course, to escape the British Weather

photograph picture of the Plough Inn in Pilning, Gloucestershire, England

This is the Plough Inn at Pilning, just outside of Bristol. The last time I recall going there was in about 1983, to play a game of skittles. It was the first place I ever encountered an asparagus sandwich. Asparagus spears rolled in buttered wholewheat bread. A bit fancy for an 80s British Inn. They hadn't even invented the term gastropub back then!

photograph picture of the Plough Inn, Pilning, Gloucestershire, England

I couldn't find the old skittle alley, but thankfully they still have a bar. A pint of Guinness for the lad, a Pims & Lemonade for me, something soft for mum.

photograph picture of ham egg and chips at the Plough Inn, Pilning, Gloucestershire, England

Ha, ha, ha! Hardly gastropub. All three of us chose from the "Kid's Menu". Mum and I couldn't resist the hand-carved Wiltshire ham with fried egg and chips.

photograph picture of sausage beans and chips at the Plough Inn, Pilning, Gloucestershire, England

Fred had sausage, chips and beans. The portions were a pretty decent size and only £3.95 each. I don't think any of us could have managed an adult-sized portion.

There is one thing I have noticed about eating out in Britain. Buying and eating local doesn't seem to be a gimmick. It's almost de rigueur on every menu. Good job! The Wiltshire ham was delicious. You wouldn't find anything like it in America. You don't know what you are missing. Seriously.

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A Typical British Lunch


  • At 3/11/05 19:36, Blogger Farmgirl Susan said…

    Dare I confess I've never heard the term, "gastropub?" Of course I will! Just add it to the list. Besides, I haven't been to England since 1981, and I wasn't of legal age back then (even for England).

    Fun post. Loved that you all ordered off the kiddie menu (and no hassles, or none that you mentioned). Hope you are having a fabulous time. Though it looks like your mum is totally getting out of cooking duty--first the Mars Bar Cake for breakfast concocted by the kids, now a lovely pub meal. . . Hmmmm. Mine always demands three homemade farm meals a day when she is here. Wanna trade? : )

    P.S. Sam, kindly delete forever that above post. I just couldn't bear the thought of a typo and had to re-do. : )

  • At 4/11/05 00:36, Blogger Dive said…

    Britain is AWESOME!

    I especially love the out of the way pubs. One of those places was a pub called, what else, the King's Arms in Mickleton in the Cotswolds (near Broadway) that was a true gastropub. The owner/chef was "forced" to move from London because his wife wanted to live the country life. Hello Green Acres!

    Another great semi-gastropub was one in Bradford-on-Avon called, I believe, A Bunch of Grapes. Anyway, the roast beef with bubble and squeek was absolutely divine!

    And if you're ever there, please stay at the Lynchettes! You won't be sorry!

    (Incidentally, I, for some reason, never came across that many "gastropubs" in London. They were either a pub serving the usual or a bar or a restaurant.)

    I really wish that one day we could come close to recreating the true English pub here. The closest I know of is the Pig and Whistle, and when I say the "closest", it really is much further than someone who has never been to the UK, would think.

    Anyway, England is also experiencing a strong movement to preserve and expand the pub culture insofar that the drafts remain "slow", ie. local, and pulled (ales, stouts, lagers, scrumpy, etc.) and that the hours of operation go well past 11 PM (to keep the young folks around).

    I'm in total agreement with this.

    Britain has a very respectable pub culture that only in my wildest dreams could I see America emulating.

    But, like New York Pizza, sometimes you just have to go and be there...and that's all good.

    I would gladly go. Anytime. In a heartbeat.


    PS Sorry to hog your blogspace. I should be writing this all down on mine! :)

  • At 4/11/05 09:20, Blogger Jeanne said…

    Hey Sam!

    I have to agree - I found Wiltshire to be particulary good for local food and top notch ingredients when we visited earlier this year. I just loved it!

    Look forward to meeting you tomorrow - you will have to wear a T-shirt reading "I am Sam, Sam I am" - otherwise it'll have to be the red carnation tucked behind the ear trick... ;-)

  • At 4/11/05 12:12, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey, happy travels! Since I'm a clueless American I've no idea where Bristol is, but if it's close to Great Cheverell in Devizes (Wiltshire) -- or if your travels take you past -- stop in to the Bell pub. My best friend Sara and her mum own it and the food, though not officially gastro, is rumored to be off the hook. (I can't say for sure since I'm a lame friend and haven't yet been...) Plus, Sara's the BEST and if you go you MUST MUST MUST tell her I sent you. She and her mum know how to have fun and they can drink anybody under the table.

  • At 4/11/05 12:29, Blogger Owen said…

    For those looking for a good gastropub in London I can heartily recommend the Hope and Anchor in the Cut behind Waterloo station and less than a block from the New Vic theatre.

    I had one of the top five meals ever there - up with Chez Pannise - they are graduates of St John's and it was brilliant. Get there early and then you won't have to wait (otherwise I am told it is well over an hour in the pub part to get a table)

    Atmosphere is not all that pubby though.

  • At 5/11/05 00:43, Blogger tanvi said…

    Ah how I miss pubs in England! You're making me reminscent, Sam. Have fun!

  • At 9/3/06 08:01, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Greetings from England! I'm really glad you enjoyed your visit to the Plough at Pilning (I found out because you linked to my website ( You are right that the skittle alley has gone, but the Plough is a good English pub.

    Using local ingredients is becoming more important, especially among rural pubs.

    Anyway, please feel free to contact me (I'm if you need to know anything else about British pubs.

  • At 25/11/06 12:12, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well I never!
    Just found this blog and what a surprise...I used to work at The Plough about ten years ago! Food was much better back then, although chips are always good whatever shape they come as!


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