Saturday, 14 July 2007

When is a pub not a pub?

I see that award-winning pub company Brunning & Price have acquired Sutton Hall near Macclesfield and are currently in the process of refurbishing it.

Now B&P deserve praise for their sensitive renovations, their promotion of real ales from local micro-breweries and the extensive use of fresh local ingredients on their menus. But it has to be said that the ambiance of their establishments is much more that of an upmarket restaurant than a traditional pub. They're hardly the place for the working man to go for a bacon buttie and a few games of darts and doms.

Does anywhere offering a menu including "fennel pesto" and "sweet basil and ginger dressing" and featuring main courses at £14.75 really qualify as a pub? In fact, in our more prosperous rural areas, anything resembling a real pub is fast becoming as rare as hen's teeth.

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