This is now officially the busiest time in food driven pubs. Sunday Lunch makes other quiet days liveable with, what with the Great British Pub Trade being under immense pressure (beer taxes in pubs have risen by 77% since January 1997). This is not a pub friendly government! With the VAT increase too, your pint now has more than £1 of tax mixed in with the hops and barley! So food is the lifeblood of profit, and Sunday the key day to get the crowds in.
This does make it difficult to get anything other than a roast dinner or carvery in your standard pub. We wanted a snack and a walk. So, 3 miles to the pub at Lustleigh (The Cleave), snack, then 3 miles back. Look, in a perfect world, I would like to have my pit stop on a walk at 2/3rd the way around a circular walk. This is of course impossible if you are on a ‘there and back’ walk. Obviously, it’s about half way! It’s a nice, flattish walk from Bovey Tracey, following The River Bovey through woods and some open fields. Virtually every other walker has at least one dog with them, so much of the time was spent stopping and discussing the dog with the owners.
The Cleave with its latest landlords has adopted a brasserie style of food offerings. The small plate concept was in evidence here too. We had homemade hummous and Garlic Prawns on skewers. Chefs have a lot of input here – the side salad / garnishes were different for each of the plates, as was the dressing. splendid tasty bread too.
Remember the ham we started two days ago? It’s final appearance was tonight. We had some spuds left over, so I chopped and fried them, with spring onion and tomatoes, with a few mushrooms chucked in too. Ham was cold, with Parsley sauce out of the packet one more time! I really like using leftovers. Billions of pounds worth of food are thrown out in the UK every year.I am making a minor contribution to reducing this mountain – and you can too.