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Food - The Crown

Friday lunchtime, and Hurricane Gordon has turned our Indian summer into a monsoon season. The Crown seems a good lunchtime option: there’s something reassuring about the wood panelling that suits bad weather outside. I’m hoping they’ve stoked that glorious wood fire, but I’m disappointed. There’s not much on the specials board that takes the fancy, either. Chicken korma? Not today. Mediterranean vegetables with sautees? Another time. At the bottom there’s a phonemically challenged message - Plus Are Menu! So I look in their menu. It’s new.

Beef and ale pie with mushrooms fits the bill; my companion has the same. It arrives, dominating the middle of the plate and surrounded by a sparse clutch of vegetables: carrot, cauliflower and new potatoes. The vegetables’ taste isn’t up to much (why does everybody boil cauliflower to a near mush?), but the pie’s a delight. The pastry’s the right consistency, the gravy’s tasty, they haven’t been mean with the beef, and the mushrooms, which are jet black and slimy, are an interesting sideshow. When I’ve finished mine my companion is less than halfway through hers, so I’m expecting a second portion of leftovers, but sadly she plods her way through, telling me the story of how she got stung by a wasp. There’s Banoffee pie on for pudding, but my hunger has subsided. The pie’s done its job. AL

We ate all the pies

The Crown
When? Lunchtimes
How Much? Pie and vegetables £6.25