Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Something to whet the appetite

You come across all sorts of interesting things on blogs, and quite often the most fascinating can come from a single paragraph, or even just a couple of sentences.

Take this snippet which I came across on Pub Curmudgeon’s blog, “I’m a regular buyer of the Good Beer Guide, and the main purpose for which I use it is to find interesting pubs to visit when I’m away on holiday or out on day trips. One of the key things I’m looking for is pubs to have lunch when out and about. It can be very valuable in taking me to pubs that I wouldn’t otherwise have found.”

Now the main article was a mild ticking off for those CAMRA branches who select pubs for the Guide, based on their own personal preferences, or are sometimes influenced by internal branch politics, rather than choosing pubs which are of benefit to those who buy and use the GBG It was also a rallying cry for branches to remain focussed on what the Guide is all about.

My main point of interest though is the fact Mudgie obviously likes his pub-grub, especially at midday; and so do I. The daytime trips which my own local West Kent CAMRA branch arranges from time to time, will inevitably include a suitable pit-stop, so that members can get a decent bite to eat, and it goes without saying that careful thought will be put into making sure the lunchtime stop is at a pub which offers good food, alongside equally good beer.

This is well in tune with my own thinking, as when I am drinking, I like also to have something more solid to soak up the beer. In short, I don’t like drinking on an empty stomach. Evenings are a little different, in that I will normally have my dinner when I arrive home from work, and then ideally will allow a couple of hours to pass before heading off to the pub.

Holidays are again different as the evening meal will invariably be in a local bar or restaurant, where I can enjoy a few pints with my meal. I have written previously about how, during the week I normally shy away from a pint at lunchtime, particularly during the working week. This is largely due to the soporific effect which even a single pint can have on me when I return to the office, but at weekends, and especially whilst on holiday, I still prefer something solid inside, even if it is just a couple of rolls or a pie.

I’m not sure where this habit came from, as neither of my parents were drinkers, and both were certainly not pub-goers, but being despite being the “black sheep of the family” something must have clicked, relatively early on in my drinking career, which brought on the hunger pangs if I was to sit down in a pub at lunchtime, for anything more than a pint.

Some might argue that beer stimulates the appetite, whilst others would say that the distending of the stomach, by all that liquid, is the stimulus responsible for the feelings of hunger.

Not everyone feels the same of course, and I know some drinkers who remain content to enjoy lunch in a purely liquid form. The two people I am thinking of in particular, are both heavy drinkers, and I get the feeling that stopping to eat some how interferes with their drinking.

This may be true, and each to their own of course, but for me, especially when I am off on a CAMRA outing, or have spent the morning walking around a picturesque or historic town, there is nothing finer than stopping for a few pints, along with a bit to eat. The same applies when out for a ramble, and probably more so, as the combination of exercise and all that fresh air, are guaranteed to have worked up an appetite as well as a thirst.

I am certain I am not alone in thinking this, and would be interested to hear what other people’s thoughts are, on this matter.

ps. Having met Pub Curmudgeon in person, I can vouch for him being a far more amiable and affable soul than the persona he sometimes projects on his blog. I am particularly pleased to learn that, like me, he enjoys a bite to eat with his lunchtime pint.


Anonymous said...

Well we can all agree on the joy of a pub lunch, Paul. Some great examples in your photos, ignoring the fish and trips that should be on a plate.

I do disagree that the Beer Guide should act as a guide to good places to eat, but then I'm a purist. It's about beer. That said, you can always find good places to eat with good beer in the Guide.

Russtovich said...

Nice foodie pics (even the non-plated fish n chips).

As for drinking with or without food, I'm ambivalent. Like a lot of things it depends on my mood or the situation as you alluded to. I guess that doesn't really help does it? :)


PS - minor nit:

"I know some drinkers who remain content to enjoy lunch in a purely liquid for."

The last word should be form not for.

Curmudgeon said...

@Martin - I'm certainly not saying that the GBG should become a good pub food guide (heaven forbid!), but if you are going to eat anyway, it makes sense to do it in the pub that also serves good beer.

@Paul - I think most people are more amiable in person than they come across in their online persona. It's the distancing effect of impersonal conversation. Plus there's a vein of tongue-in-cheekness running through my blog that some readers seem to miss...

Paul Bailey said...

Typo duly corrected. Well spotted, Russ!

Mudge’s comment about eating in a pub which also serves good beer makes sense, although I agree that is not the main raison d'être for the Good Beer Guide.

Going back to your first comment Martin; I thought the fish and chips was on a plate, although I have to admit it looks suspiciously like a tile! The pub in question was the Anchor at Hartfield, on the edge of Ashdown Forest – close to the Pooh Sticks Bridge, for those who like that sort of thing.

A.A. Milne, of course lived just outside Hartfield, at Cotchford Farm, as did the late Brian Jones.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Paul - I hope you will permit me another small observation about your writing style which I've picked up.
In virtually every post you tend to put a word or phrase in inverted commas when there really
"isn't any need for it" if you see what I mean.
Occasionally you will deploy this technique several times in the same post.
I tend to think it should only be used sparingly for added emphasis otherwise copy ends up a bit like an episode of The Double-Take Brothers.

Again,I hope you will take this suggestion in the positive way it was intended.

Paul Bailey said...

Prof, the quote from Curmudgeon’s post was in inverted comma’s, because it was lifted straight from the original article. “Black sheep of the family” is a phrase, so once again it is in parenthesis.

No offence taken, although if I’m honest I would rather people comment on the subject matter, rather than picking me up on my style. After all, I did grow up in the 1960’s, when English grammar was taught properly in schools.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Didn't they teach you punctuation as well ? Inverted commas doesn't carry an apostrophe - just joking,I know it's only a typo.
I'm not sure I agree that when you use a phrase it should automatically be in parenthesis.By its very nature if it's a common phrase known to all it shouldn't need highlighting which is what the use of inverted commas does.
Other than that I enjoy reading the subjects of your posts very much.

retiredmartin said...

Is the asparagus wrapped in ham from your German trips Paul ?

Paul Bailey said...

You are correct about the ham-wrapped asparagus, Martin. It was actually white asparagus or Spargel, a variety I’d never tasted before, but popular, in season, throughout Germany.

The photo was taken in a pub garden opposite Brauerei Rittmayer, in the tiny village of Adelsddorf-Aisch. I was there on a conducted tour of a few of Franconia’s finest Bier Kellers, in the company of Erlangernick, who was acting as both my guide and chauffeur.

The Spargel was rather nice; probably more delicately flavoured than the traditional green asparagus we are used to here. The Kellers, which were really outdoor drinking areas, often on a hill, were also excellent. As was the beer!

Sam Anderson said...

During a travel, it's great to have some delicious food. People love to have such tasty food to enjoy with their friends and families.
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