What makes a good pub meal? Well in my view the criteria are
Real food - actually prepared on the premises
Fresh produce - especially vegetables where appropriate
Served hot - its surprising how often food is served just warm, a sign of microwaving sometimes
Flavour of course
A fair price
We're not after gastronomy here, just real good food. One more thing, we're talking only of pubs on or very near the canal, and of meals we have eaten this year.
So Herbie's shortlist for 2007 is:
1. Any selection from the Thai restaurant at the Cowroast Inn, at Cowroast - brilliant service, real tasty food and good portions
2. Pies and Sunday roasts at the Anglers Retreat, Marsworth - real home cooking and usually with at least seven different vegetables and proper gravy
3. Steak with tarragon butter at the Fox, Hanwell - just about perfect. An unusual cut of steak I can't recall the name of.
4. Stilton Cheeseburgers at The Paper Mill, Apsley - real home made stuff, meaty and powerful
Not haute quisine is it? After a day's boating you want feeding up with nourishing and tasty food. Believe me all the above are very good indeed.
A special mention goes to the Viaduct at Hanwell, not included because they are 10 minutes walk from the canal, but their Bigos - a Polish hunter's stew - is delicious.
They all deserve to win in their own way, but only one gets the prize. Watch this space while I have a think and consult the crew.