This is a post I never expected to be writing.
It seems that a quiet revolution has happened at my local pub of late. The food had been pretty average/inconsistent since the departure of their wonderful chef Jay a number of years back (I am somewhat biased as Jay is otherwise known as ‘him indoors’). In the years following this, there have been a number of people attempting to produce pub grub that did not stick around for long.
Finally, the amazing Mark has taken over (he’s been there a good while now, forgive me but I can’t remember the exact date) and has got the menu spot on! Don’t get me wrong, it’s still classic pub grub, but pub grub done right!
I popped in for breakfast one day (available Tuesday to Saturday between 10am-12pm) and asked for a “Standard Breakfast”. It was nothing but standard. I mean, just look at it.
First thing to note, this plate is huge! But there is also a large version of this, which is insane. Another thing to mention is that breakfast also includes baked beans (never been a fan), so Mark added an extra cheeky hash brown for me. There is not an ounce of grease on the plate. The bacon is the right amount of cooked, not floppy and not burnt to a crisp. I’m also not a huge fan of sausages, as I’m generally fussy about the quality, but these ones are just fantastic.
Normally I’d struggle to eat such a huge plate of food, I’m more of a nibbler. Please to say I polished this off with no hesitation.
I’ve been trying out a few English breakfasts around town lately but I can say, without doubt, that this one is the best by a country mile.
Having been back several times, just to check this wasn’t a fluke, I’ve been happy to recommend it to family and friends, all of whom have agreed with my opinion. They can’t quite get over the shock of the quality, considering the old reputation of the place.
Last week, I popped back in with a friend for lunch. Since it was gone 2pm on a Tuesday, our options in town were few, so we thought we’d pop in to see if their lunch menu was up to muster (available Tuesday-Saturday from 12-5pm). Mark did not disappoint. I went for steak and chips which came with all the trimmings, including far too many onion rings. He came out of the kitchen to apologise that the piece of steak was on the small side (I can assure you, it was not!) and asked what I’d like to make up for it. A completely unnecessary but welcome gesture. I decided on extra mushrooms, as the breakfast ones are fab, so why not. I would loved to have shown you a picture at this point, but I practically inhaled it all the second it arrived. I never usually pick sirloin but the meat was of a great quality and I’d happily order it again.
My friend asked for “the most English thing you have on the menu please”, as she was visiting from out of the country. Mark ended up giving her the Steak and Ale pie. Now remember the size of the breakfast plate? Imagine the pie portion covering well over a quarter of it. Huge! And very tasty indeed. I’ll have to order that next time.
The pub are now starting to do special food events, including a Chinese night headed up by Stella, who recently returned to the UK after a decade in Hong Kong. They’ve done a few so far and it’s been consistently sold out, so if you want to go, make sure you book in advance!
Don’t even get me started on the Sunday Roasts…
You might have noticed that I have not mentioned the name of the pub in question.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE SITTING DOWN FOR THIS.
I’m being serious.
If you’re a local, you might know it by its nickname “The Ugly Pub”.
To the rest of the world it’s known as The Chequers (or Ye Olde Chequers Inn if you want the full thing).
Didn’t see that coming did you!
The kitchen of a nearby pub had to shut down one day recently (through no fault of their own), so its regulars all descended upon The Chequers in search of food. I could over hear a bunch of them expressing their dismay about not having tried the food there before and promising to dine in more often. As a result, I’d never seen it so busy.
You might want to book in before everyone else finds out.
Chequer the pub out (sorry I couldn’t resist) on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/yeoldechequersinn (they’ll have a proper website soon), or give them a call on 01732 358957 to book a table.