No, I really don't see myself as a restaurant critic. I don't wear enough rings, have a stern enough demeanour or describe my munching in terms of literary criticisms, but I feel I should put the record straight after my mauling of Pan-ache. There are, after all, some simple places that do outstanding food in the area.
After bouncing about with multiple dogs and friends at the usual beach haunt, we headed north along the coast to pick up some strap hinges for the barn doors from blacksmith David North-Lewis. The sea air and traversing of fat cobbles had built a perfect appetite, and the pub, just yards away from the forge, called to us. They were happy for us to bring in the dogs and we commandeered a big corner table so we could tuck the canines, large and small, under our legs and out of the way.
Our eyes slithered over the starters but when we saw the pudding list decided to go mains and puds. Beer battered fish with fresh tartare and homemade mushy peas; homemade beef burger with stilton and relish with fries; steak and kidney pie with roasted veg and mash. Nought complicated there, just straightforward pub food without a gastro complex in sight. But oh my. It was fantastic. Everyone oohed and aahed over their dishes. My burger was stunning - gorgeous beef, beautifully cooked and it smelled amazing - what you always hope for and rarely if ever get. I wanted to bury myself in it. I don't know who the chef is (although he took the pudding orders from me), but the chap sure knows how to cook.
I took Fenn out for a quick leg stretch across the village green and for another sniff of the sea before it was time for almond crème brûlée with shortbread for some and chocolate brownie for me. As the waitress got close to the table I could smell the deep dark scent of good chocolate. This was clearly going to be an adult experience. A bitter sweet crumbly brownie sat in a sea of thick dark, hot chocolate sauce with what can only be called several portions of clotted cream.
We talked at length about the disappointing food we've had in pubs over the years and grinned broadly at having just experienced exactly how it should be done.
There's lots about the local provenance of their ingredients and it shows - everything was super fresh and we've already planned a return visit.
For once there were absolutely no scraps left for the dogs. Shame.