Thursday, 9 May 2013

Ploughmen at the pub with pals.


       the Closed Shop at Commonside held a "Ploughmans" evening last night. I was invited by people from the real world and decided it would be a nice change to attend. I say a change. Going to the Closed Shop is hardly an unusual step for me. Neither is drinking beer. Or eating a bit of pork pie. Or becoming a trifle refreshed and boarding a late night bus. Or drinking Blue Bee tangled Up IPA. So, admittedly none of that was a change. The cheese and crackers was though. Except, I had them at Bedlam bar last month. So, erm...

Anyway, the regularity of its constituent parts matters not. It was £6.00 a go, you got delicious food from local suppliers and a free pint. It was all tremendously exciting, and done with friends. In fact it was rather good.

Snap wise, Urban Pantry supplied 3 cheeses, oak smoked Wensleydale, Colton Basset Stilton (or Cropwell Bishop, I confess I don't know which one of the two I had) and Dewley Farm Lancashire. Also provided were spiced apple chutney from Just Preserves and chicken liver pate from Findlaters Fine Foods, as well as pickled onions from a jar, which were, like the Seabrooks cheese and onion crisps, of unspecified origin. There was also pork pie and a steak slice (or veggie alternative) from legendary apostrophe experts Kevin's pies, and finally, an ice cream free Cornetto and a wowipob, as Doctor Hibbert would say.

It all came in plastic containers like a lunchbox, and the sight of loads of people crowded together (a little) opening boxes and taking out their food and chattering away was reminiscent of a school lunch time. Except the food was nice. And no-one had semolina.

The free pint was a good deal when you consider you could use it to get Blue Bee Tangled Up IPA, which at £3.30 a pint makes your Ploughmans £2.70. Please note, Neil, that I don't consider an apostrophe is necessary as the food does not belong to a ploughman that I own, or indeed any ploughman, and also is the name of the assembled ingredients, thus can be a straight forward plural. So nerr...

Anyway, I had arrived before seven to "check out the scene" and demolished a rather tasty pint of Blue Bee Nectar Pale whilst awaiting my troughing and slaking companions, Gav, Clare, Neil and Jane. All too soon however, the drink had mysteriously disappeared so I had to have a pint of Blue Bee Tangled Up. When all had arrived we got to grips with the ticket system.

Now, working as I do for a dysfunctional entity where even the simplest processes are rendered needlessly complicated, I was amused at the idea of buying a ticket, to exchange for your Ploughmans, and two further tickets, one for each half to which you were entitled. Especially since, prior to being given their tickets, plenty of people wanted their first half of beer to be paid for with one of said tickets, whilst others in their group, paying together, wanted to use both of them, and others none. Cue a dizzying yo yo of paper stubs and a wry smile from me.

To be fair though the staff needed to keep track so the idea was along the right lines. As was mine, which included drinking more Tangled Up, and the Titanic Cappuccino stout which was very pleasant.

The food was a hearty snack (as promised), and although it could have done with a few more crackers it was still very tasty (and lets face it, had it come with a surfeit of crackers and almost no cheese, that would have been far worse). And the cheese was very nice. Especially the Stilton, with just the right amount of shoe in summer on the nose...

Thanks to my friends for great company and to the Closed Shop for putting on something a bit different. I look forward to attending the next themed night, the "Tavern Haunter Night", in which I arrive at the pub, and drink lots of beer. Entrance free. The next one is at some point on Saturday 12th May....

Wee Beefy  


  1. Sounds great - the Ploughman's lunch seems to be seriously underappreciated nowadays.

    1. Yeah - perhaps not a trad lunch but a great sense of atmosphere and shared appreciation. Great fun....