One of the top things on my ‘to do’ list whilst being back in England (alongside the likes of having a curry and eating fish and chips) was going to the pub! Yep, the pub is an institution in England and man have I missed it! I mean, massively missed it. We’re talking hugely missed it, like pining for a pint and a pie for months missed it!
So, after being back in the country for less than 24 hours, I am not joking about this either – within 24 hours of setting foot back on good old British turf we found ourselves here:
The Cross Keys in Leeds – one of the greatest pubs in the world! Now before our move Stateside, this was mine and the German’s local pub, the place where just about every Friday and/or Saturday we’d walk the 10 minutes down the canal and get our fill of amazing food, wine for me and wheat beer for the German! In fact, once when the German asked how long they’d have a certain German wheat beer on tap the bartenders reply was ‘it depends how quickly you drink it!’ Yep, we were well known in this establishment, we had a favourite corner we preferred to sit in (and got a little bit miserable if someone nabbed it before we got there!), we even had a leaving party there before jetting off to Atlanta, it was a given that we would be heading back there ASAP!
This is kind of a posh British pub, or a gastro pub as they like to call them nowadays (how old do I sound?!) but it still has the atmosphere of a typical British pub! It’s warm and cosy, has open fires and proper beer on tap – I’m talking lager, ale, wheat beers and of course cider! We walked in and went straight into our usual corner – we were back!!
We sat down and ordered our usual drinks (a wheat beer and a glass of rose!) and perused the menu – we’d also brought along a few stragglers – Ma and Pa Cook along with the bro and sister-in-law – this trip was a family affair! After perusing the amazing dinner menu, we made our choices and placed our order and man was I excited! I was in my element – back in the pub, with a glass of wine and waiting for some proper pub grub!!
And when it came I was, once again, not disappointed! First up was a black pudding scotch egg – you can’t get more British than that! It looked a little bit like this:
It’s basically a boiled egg (that’s still a bit goey in the middle) surrounded by black pudding and pork, covered in breadcrumbs and deep-fried before being served with some brown sauce! A-MA-ZING!! I was in heaven!! Next up was the main course – I’ve been dreaming of a proper British pie for ages and there was only one thing on the menu that was going to cut it – venison with red cabbage and an oxtail cottage pie!! It was the oxtail cottage pie that swung it for me and when it came I was once again transported to a little cloud in the sky!
Now let me explain the delights of the traditional British cottage pie to you (sorry British friends of mine – this is a bit of a teaching you how to suck eggs moment!) it’s usually mince with onions and carrots in a gravy sauce and topped with mashed potatoes! Sounds amazing right? This one was a little different though – it was made with oxtail and served in a teacup – quirky and VERY tasty! My British pallet was definitely satisfied!
By this point my belly was about to burst after getting its fill of British goodness but the German had room for more! As was tradition when we went to this pub he ordered a cheese board:
I obviously had a little taste of the delicious cheese – it’s the law!! By now the buttons were about to pop off all of our trousers so we finished our drinks and waved goodbye to what used to be our second home! Sad times!
The great British pub is one of the things I miss the most living in America – I miss being able to walk to get a drink and not having to worry about somebody being Des to drive home (even though back home we could walk home from said pub, the German often ordered a taxi and we ended up with an annoyed taxi driver because we were a cheap fare – lazy bum!), I miss the cosyness (if that’s even a word!), I miss being able to go to a bar that doesn’t have some sort of sport on a TV screen, I miss the friendliness of being a regular and having a chat with the barman, I miss the traditional food like pie and fish and chips, lets face it – I just love the pub!!
* This is an unsponsored blog, I did not receive any payments for this review, all views are my own.