They used to hang Poachers, didn’t they?
The terrible crimes committed in the name of Britain’s ‘Holy Trinity’ of national dishes are many and varied, though no less depressing for that ubiquity.
The thin grey fillet dough battered fish of fish ‘n’ chips, the watered bean, chippie sausage, rubberised egg, rock hard tomato fried breakfast and, of course, the sprawling gamut of travesties routinely rolled out as a ‘Sunday’ roast.
The stodgy Yorkshire pud that tastes like a cheap stale cake. The perfectly circular slice of processed gristly beef. The tepid greasy mash. The stuffing ball you could throw through a plate glass window.
All these delights and more were mine for a mere seven quid-odd the weekend just gone when, out of sheer idleness and rank stupidity (it was there, we were there, and very hungry) we adjourned to The Poachers at Bamber Bridge for grub and ale.
More fool us.
Obviously it is not this column’s place to focus on food and so, having expended no more than half my allocated space doing exactly that, I will leave the matter with one simple truth: if you can’t serve up a delicious Sunday dinner for £7 you’re taking the mickey.
It would be nice to say the ale on offer salvaged this situation but, other than providing the deadening effect common to all alcohol consumption, this would be a gross exaggeration.
The pick of two pints, having sampled the pair on offer, was the Greene King IPA, a citrusy, bready ale I got a taste for on a stint working in Bury St Edmunds, the brew’s hometown.
Obviously this was no match for the stuff I was supping in a pub 50 yards from the brewery gate, but it was okay, and in not bad condition.
The pint of Bombardier from Wells & Youngs of Bedford which chased it down the hatch was just that side of drinkable to stop you returning to the bar and saying ‘there’s something up with this’. Brown bitter of the kind that put people off real ale for decades.
The pub itself is comfy and clean, and lots of play areas and what-not for kids, but if you want to eat and drink give it a wide berth.
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