Dish of the Day: Finding a good pub in London
Living in London for almost 15 years, there has always been a missing part. Something I have longed for many times, but have never been fortunate enough, or smart enough to think about when looking for a house, to have. I am of course referring to a decent local pub, walking distance from home, that serves decent grub and a proper pint. It sounds pretty stupid as I type this, that I haven’t considered this as a factor when moving, but things like travel time to work, price, area have often taken precedence.
Last Sunday, after a gruelling day at Meatopia at East London’s Tobacco Dock, bbq-ing lots of pigs heads, with some hugely talented chefs and passionate punters alike, I was, as I often am, craving a roast. Strange considering the vast amount of meat that was consumed, but after a day of beautiful aromas and plenty of meat sweats, I guess one gets a taste for it.
The thought of having to travel for said roast was heartbreaking. First world problems I know, but I am from a little town in Shropshire, where one walks to a pub every Sunday for either a cracking roast or a pre-roast-at-your-mum’s pint.
I’ve never been one to enjoy fancy Sunday lunches, and whilst I love cooking at home, and seldom find a place that can match a home cooked one, the growing aches and pains of long weeks at work means sometimes one wants to just sit in a boozer with the people that matter and eat the day away.
So on Sunday we jumped in the car for a drive around Kent, to get a little bit out of London and maybe even find a country pub with a good kitchen, and that’s just what we found. In a small village called Otford, sits a little pub with no awards, no big hitting reviews, just a local boozer with customers who for the most part knew each other, with the husband working the front, and his wife in the kitchen.
The food was good, it wasn’t life changing but it was a plate of food that a mum had cooked (I know she’s a mum because her daughter was the waitress) and it was full of heart and soul. You can’t teach that, and it’s something that’s hard to find. Cooking with love is so important, so vital, and something that some places, whilst are technically brilliant, are sometimes lacking. I love my job, I really do, but these places make me realise that it’s not worth getting too stressed out over, you don’t always have to be setting trends or finding new ways to reinvent the wheel. We all need a place like The Woodman nearby, and I think I’ll be looking for my own local pretty soon.
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