Where's the Stale Cheese and Ham Rolls?

Monday 4/7/2005

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Diary and Notes

Not so long ago, back in the dark days of the nineteen seventies, going into a pub was a seedy affair. The windows were often blacked out so you couldn't see who was inside having a fight, women would never go into the bar and always sat in the lounge or the snug (depending on whether it was in the North or the South of the country), and spitting was compulsory. Pubs were strange places; local, personal and slightly dangerous - but most interesting of all was the delicious range of things to eat. They had it all, ham rolls, cheese rolls and sometimes peanuts. The rolls were made fresh every Monday morning by the landlady and kept in a plastic tray behind the bar. There was always a delicious thick scraping of margarine and sometimes, if you were lucky, the cheese rolls would have a really thick slice of onion inside as well. Heaven, sheer unadulterated heaven.

So what's going on here then? A pub, and not some nineties style gastro pub neither, serving venison casserole, and in Exeter too of all places.

And it wasn't too bad either. The portions were a bit small and there wasn't a great deal of meat (I think the deer they killed was actually a mouse with horns on) but it tasted ok. There were some mushrooms and baby onions and it was all tender and moist. Nothing like a cheese and onion roll at all, quite disappointing.

I wonder what's next in the evolution of this great British institution? The place we went to (The George Meeting House) is one of those enormous Weatherspoons pubs and is no doubt a signpost of the way things are going, but what's next? Where does the pub go from here or will the cycle turn and will it all go back to the old ways of smokey holes with stale rolls and obnoxious, overweight, bar staff?

I can only keep my fingers crossed and dream.

Cake Blog

Banoffee Pudding: Steamed banana flavoured sponge with a toffee sauce and custard. Isn't this what everyone wants in life?


  • Venison Casserole
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Baby Carrots
  • Leeks

  • Banoffee Pudding and Custard