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British Pubs - why so important?

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British Pubs - why so important?

Old 1st May 2021, 13:35
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Holy Carp!!! I see what you mean, just looked at the menu.

By all accounts its a very successful pub but bl00dy hell who pays fifty odd quid for a sunday roast?
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Old 1st May 2021, 15:47
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
Holy Carp!!! I see what you mean, just looked at the menu.

By all accounts its a very successful pub but bl00dy hell who pays fifty odd quid for a sunday roast?
In the Marlow area I don't think he'll have any trouble finding customers prepared to pay his prices.
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Old 1st May 2021, 16:56
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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We've eaten there 3 times over the years. Each time, the menu became less interesting for me, and more expensive for what I might like to try. Service is brilliant.
However, all in all, both the Waterside Inn and the Manoir are better value for money. None of them is a "Value" proposition.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 05:17
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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AO
I would agree with you, having eaten in all 3 establishments, with my personal favorite being the Manoir, though as you say "value" is perhaps the wrong word to describe these establishments, more an experience I think.
Cheers
Mr Mac
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Old 2nd May 2021, 08:57
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mr Mac View Post
AO
I would agree with you, having eaten in all 3 establishments, with my personal favorite being the Manoir, though as you say "value" is perhaps the wrong word to describe these establishments, more an experience I think.
Cheers
Mr Mac
Mr Mac,
Yet again this is the "trap" of British corporatism in the hospitality sector. I just wonder how many people in a city outside London actually believe that when they go to Marco Pierre White's, Jamie's Italian, Carluccio's or any of the other restaurant chains that have a "celebrity chef" name over the door they will get food cooked by said chef, even whether said chef had ever set foot inside the establishment, or even owned the chain. It's about the "experience" and being able to put on Facebook that they have eaten at Jamie Oliver's restaurant.

Sure some celebrity chefs, such as Tom Kerridge and Sat Bains do, I believe just have one establishment, and cook in it. But the food you will get often isn't the star, it's the concept of having it cooked by the big name chef. Hence the ridiculous £50 Sunday lunch. I'd be well aggrieved if I ordered it and felt it was no better than I could cook myself (presentation would, of course, be another matter!!).
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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:13
  #46 (permalink)  
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Just looking at Tom Kerridge's Hand and Flowers Sunday Roast menu... hmmm. Off to Tesco in a mo to buy a £3.50 chook and a cauliflower for dinner tomorrow. Will get some sprouts later from M&S (they are tastier) and together with the ingredients I've already got, there's three or four main meals, plus six servings of soup for under a tenner. I don't mind spending a bit on a meal but those prices are seriously pretentious. Even if I won the Euro Millions, I wouldn't go there on principle - and I am a greedy capitalist bastard!

One that really riles me is being charged a lot of money for a meal which barely troubles the plate - one really should be offered a small portion or a large portion depending on one's appetite. Many pubs/restaurants offer a children's menu which is entirely different to the mains - do children's portions of the main menu, plus fish fingers and chips for the little brats who won't eat proper food.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 10:20
  #47 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Mr Mac,
Yet again this is the "trap" of British corporatism in the hospitality sector. I just wonder how many people in a city outside London actually believe that when they go to Marco Pierre White's, Jamie's Italian, Carluccio's or any of the other restaurant chains that have a "celebrity chef" name over the door they will get food cooked by said chef, even whether said chef had ever set foot inside the establishment, or even owned the chain. It's about the "experience" and being able to put on Facebook that they have eaten at Jamie Oliver's restaurant.

Sure some celebrity chefs, such as Tom Kerridge and Sat Bains do, I believe just have one establishment, and cook in it. But the food you will get often isn't the star, it's the concept of having it cooked by the big name chef. Hence the ridiculous £50 Sunday lunch. I'd be well aggrieved if I ordered it and felt it was no better than I could cook myself (presentation would, of course, be another matter!!).
Three years ago I was on a mini touring holiday in Cornwall and we stayed at St Merryn for a few nights. I realised that Rick Stein (whose TV programmes I love to watch) owned the pub/restaurant at the end of the village. I was greatly looking forward to eating there, especially as I love seafood. I ordered what was for me a rare treat, a crab salad. It took a long time to arrive and when it did - what a huge disappointment. A plate of green lettuce with a bit of crab on top. Nothing else, not even a dressing! It looked like the crab had escaped.

A few days later I tried again at a small country pub in the middle of nowhere. This time it was how I expected Stein's to be. So much variety and so much on the plate I couldn't eat it all, for about a third of the price, too. Lesson learned.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 17:03
  #48 (permalink)  
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" It's about the "experience" and being able to put on Facebook that they have eaten at Jamie Oliver's restaurant."

I have had that "experience ", which isn't quite how I would phrase it, once and never to be repeated. This was at his outlet in Birmingham, now closed I believe. The portions were minimal, understatement, and the venue bore a close resemblance to a hanger. However, what was noticeable, and " difficult to miss " was, that, any space that could be filled, was. With what you might ask ? Merchandising in every conceivable form featuring ? Correct !

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Old 2nd May 2021, 17:20
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I've had mixed experiences with Jamie Oliver's. I was invited to the Cambridge and just loved it. It was in an old building and the service and food was great. I did not have to pay so i can't comment on that.

Next Jamie's i went to was in London and that was no better than an italian fast food chain, like a pizza hut. it was dirty, the food was no good, just a disappointment. Afterwards i decided to go to Jamie Oliver's 15 and that was a lot, a lot, better...
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Old 2nd May 2021, 18:58
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Are these eateries within a pub setting, or are they restaurants ? There are plenty of gastropubs with great food, but for me they're neither one thing or the other, except with restaurant prices. There's an award winning one not 100m from my HQ, really nice all in all, but to just have a casual drink is either impossible due to bookings for food, or too noisy from the happy diners to really enjoy. Oh, and the prices.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 19:07
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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The whole Jamie Oliverís thing was a showcase of how celebrity branding can go terribly wrong. Iím sure if I went to Jamieís house and he cooked me dinner it would be fantastic, but his restaurant chain was execrable. Food was seriously average, staff were untrained and it wasnít cheap to make up for it. Your local Italian trat would have beaten it hands down in all departments; even Carluccios operated on a much higher level.

Iíve been to most of the places mentioned above, and frankly I thought the Manoir was better value than Jamieís as I actually enjoyed it. Steinís Seafood Restaurant is another I thought actually did what it said on the tin, despite the hype.

Weíve (hopefully) reached peak gastropub, in that although some of them are quite nice, they all seem to look the same and serve the same food these days. There need to be more independent one-offs as opposed to chains.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 19:25
  #52 (permalink)  
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I remember going in to a pub in Newlyn for a quick pint and overhearing another patron complaining to her companion about "these wretched people just coming in for a drink"! I know that wasn't the landlady's view and I have been back several times for a meal - very nice too and not particularly expensive.

Craft beer pubs... now then. Irritating, particularly their menus where everything is priced as "15" or "9" or whatever. I see we have craft cider now...

And pubs who insist on their staff wearing t-shirts emblazoned "staff" or even worse "crew". Why not a small pub logo?
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Old 2nd May 2021, 19:47
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Pity a Pie and a Pint isn’t still allowed.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 22:55
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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99% of pubs these days seem to fall into one of three categories,
The "family pub" full of dreadful parents with their dreadful little brats.
The "local", a toxic mix of gossip mongers, some nefarious characters, "beer and bullshit" types & "life's casualties".
The "gastropub" , only interested in extracting as much revenue as possible serving overpriced "speciality" sausage and mash and nonsense craft beers etc.
All best avoided.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 23:21
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Private jet View Post
99% of pubs these days seem to fall into one of three categories,
The "family pub" full of dreadful parents with their dreadful little brats.
The "local", a toxic mix of gossip mongers, some nefarious characters, "beer and bullshit" types & "life's casualties".
The "gastropub" , only interested in extracting as much revenue as possible serving overpriced "speciality" sausage and mash and nonsense craft beers etc.
All best avoided.
Fortunately round here we still have quite a few independent pubs run by couples/families, that offer good food (nothing fancy), local beers, and are happy to see you even if you just want a pint and a bag of crisps. I really think you have not actually travelled that much, if that is your impression of pubs.
We have one "gastro" pub near us, but nothing on the menu is over £20, which in this day and age is hardly exorbitant.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 23:40
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by wowzz View Post
Fortunately round here we still have quite a few independent pubs run by couples/families, that offer good food (nothing fancy), local beers, and are happy to see you even if you just want a pint and a bag of crisps. I really think you have not actually travelled that much, if that is your impression of pubs.
We have one "gastro" pub near us, but nothing on the menu is over £20, which in this day and age is hardly exorbitant.
So you mean a "local" then? Please reread my original post, if you like such places then good for you. I've travelled quite a bit, so you think wrong, and actually I find "British" pubs overseas far more pleasant places than pubs actually are in the UK. As for Lincolnshire, I'm very glad that you have some decent pubs, must compensate somewhat for the pure depression induced by the place in general.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 00:51
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Private jet View Post
99% of pubs these days seem to fall into one of three categories,
The "family pub" full of dreadful parents with their dreadful little brats.
The "local", a toxic mix of gossip mongers, some nefarious characters, "beer and bullshit" types & "life's casualties".
The "gastropub" , only interested in extracting as much revenue as possible serving overpriced "speciality" sausage and mash and nonsense craft beers etc.
All best avoided.
You forgot the Microbrewery Taps. Loads of them popping up now. Serving seriously interesting porters, stouts, and IPAs run by passionate, independent Brewers. Love em. My local tap house also has regular cheese and beer nights, live music, quizzes etc.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 08:23
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Private jet View Post
So you mean a "local" then? Please reread my original post, if you like such places then good for you. I've travelled quite a bit, so you think wrong, and actually I find "British" pubs overseas far more pleasant places than pubs actually are in the UK. As for Lincolnshire, I'm very glad that you have some decent pubs, must compensate somewhat for the pure depression induced by the place in general.
Not sure that I'd call places like Stamford depressing.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 08:38
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by wowzz View Post
Not sure that I'd call places like Stamford depressing.
Certainly not! Similarly, but not in the same league the old centres of Grantham and Sleaford aren't exactly depressing, and then there is the gem that is Lincoln. My favourite though is Stamford.

UK hotels and Guest Houses tend to mostly fall into three ctegories:
  • Ghastly chain hotels paying minimum wages to their often disinterested staff and a local management that is driven by the corporate profit motive rather than by a desire to offer a decent level of service to the customer
  • Boutique hotels where you pay an extortionate price for frills that do little to really improve the stay and lighten your wallet considerably more than is necessary
  • Grotty B&Bs and pubs, some of which still appear to believe the customer is happy to tolerate shared facilities

They all share one thing in common; the requirement to deposit money with them, and often pay up front before you've so much as set foot into reception, let alone try out the bed or the shower. They also cost considerably more than continental hotels, largely of course because of the UK VAT rate on overnight accommodation which is one of the very highest in Europe outside of the Covid-19 special one off reduction.

Pre pandemic we used to spend a lot of time travelling across central Europe including Belgium, Germany, Austria, Czechia, Slovenia and Italy staying in independent accommodation, and never are we asked for a credit card number, or a deposit. In many properties we have been trusted to pay the entire bill, including food, drinks and accommodation at the end of the stay, in cash (Germany!!!!!) or card.

It always mystifies why the UK demands payment up front for pretty well everything, are we Brits really that dishonest as a race?
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Old 3rd May 2021, 09:31
  #60 (permalink)  
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are we Brits really that dishonest as a race?

In a word - YES !!
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