Saturday, May 16, 2009

It sounds easy – pick a random Eurovision country, find out something about their food, and blog about it. Unfortunately, it all has to be done in a day. A day in which I'm at work. Oh well, how hard can it be? Call the country's embassy, get a tip for a restaurant, have a meal, blog about it.

Then I draw the UK.

Ahh, no embassy to call. Have a brainwave – find about Jade Ewan (the UK's entry). What's her favourite restaurant? Unfortunately, her publicists are all in Moscow. Scraping the barrel I wonder what could be more British than a pub. The trouble is, which pub? London's full of pubs, so I need to some criteria; first it has to have a good range of the most British drinks real ale and farmhouse cider, and second it needs to have good British style food

I can only think of two pubs that meet both of these criteria; The Pembury Tavern in Hackney, and The White Horse in Parsons Green. As Parsons Green is right on the other side of London, I head to the Pembury Tavern.

The Pembury has a wide range of beers, most from the Milton Brewery in Cambridgeshire, but I decided to Start with a pint of Buffy's Norwegian Blue. This was a light copper coloured best bitter, with an unusual flavour of American hops. A pleasant enough beer, the pleasing fruit flavours, gave way to a slightly less pleasant yeasty flavour as the pint wore on. I decided to switch to cider and was tempted by a pint of Rathay's Old Goat from Herefordshire. Unfortunately, at over seven and half percent alcohol, my critical faculties might not have been at their sharpest, but it was a delicious, refreshing pint.

After all this alcohol, my mind turned to food, and one thing jumped (if not hopped) off the menu for me – rabbit braised in cider. This proved to be a generous portion of rabbit on the bone with a lovely texture (not falling apart as some braised dishes can be) served with a reduction of the braising liquid. The dish was somewhat let down by the slightly boring side vegetables, but for £11.50 I wasn't going to complain.

After a few more pints of delicious cider, I struggled home to contemplate that most British of phenomenon, binge drinking.


Anonymous said...

So you binge drank your way through the Eurovision song contest? :)

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! I love the sounds of that rabbit dish! I bought a half rabbit today, might attempt it.

Good choice for the UK post :)

Anonymous said...

The Pembury Tavern is awesome. I love the unique combination of lefty anarchist commune and traditional British pub...

Anonymous said...

I would think drinking, binge or otherwise, would be the only way to make it through the Eurovision song contest semi-alive. Kind of like how it's the only way I survive the family Christmas menus.

sewa elf said...

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