Coming back from an event at the weekend we decided to abandon the usual overpriced mass catering of the motorway service station and track down a local restaurant or pub which served proper food.
Within a mile or two of the M5 we found a wonderful village pub called The Swan (www.theswaninn.co.uk), in Birlingham, Worcestershire. I guess we struck lucky, but the food was amazing! Locally grown asparagus, home baked bread, pork in cider and cream sauce - washed down by Cheddar scrumpy (for the non-driver of course - but luckily the driver was able to take a carton home with him!)
Coming across a timber framed inn on the edge of the Cotswolds on a warm summer's evening is a dream in itself, but finding that it served great food too was a bonus. The local people we spoke to in the pub were incredibly friendly?and made us feel really welcome - we've been invited back to the beer festival in September!
None of this should be surprising, but I think these days it is. Perhaps we were lucky but it reminded me that, even when you're travelling, you can find a world of real food - good food - out there. It pays to get off the motorway, away from the mass produced fast food.
Besides, many village pubs are struggling, so I think it's really important to support them, as they're the social hub of many communities and one of Britain's best traditions and assets. Not that there were too many tables free at The Swan!
Posted at 5:04pm on 18th June 2009
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