Pub Grub: The Hand and Trumpet

I was in Stoke for my birthday. People at work asked me why. Friends are more important than things, but for all they knew I could have been really into pottery.

Kate suggested that we go out to eat for my birthday. She didn’t really need to add the “for my birthday” as going out to eat is one of the only activities that we get up to when I go to visit. I would prefer walks in the countryside, but we managed to tack this onto the end so I should quit complaining.

All girls (that are me and my friends) enjoy looking at menus and taking too long to make decisions. The choices were;

  • Hector Garcia (or “Gracias” as Kate always writes), a Mexican (a Mexican, in Stoke? No)
  • An Italian place that we went to for Kate’s 21 (overpriced, underdelivers. No)
  • Miller and Carter, steak (steak in Stoke? No.)
  • The Orange Tree, a “fancy” bar and grill (maybe)
  • The Hand and Trumpet, a nice country pub (ding ding)

The Three Mariners has ruined pub food for me as it has set my expectations too high. I pondered between the Sunday roast and the pie. Again, the place in Plymouth has ruined pies for me due to its excellence, so Sunday roast it was. Rebecca ordered the pie and let me try a little – it didn’t even slightly compare, I made the right choice.

I had ordered a pie at a different pub in Stoke near Keele in October and was immediately dismayed at the disparity in quality between this and Plymouth. Take note: stop ordering pies.

Daisy ordered a seafood linguine which was very small. Seafood isn’t something I would order in Stoke, especially after reading Kitchen Confidential that morning. Kitchen Confidential showed me that I will believe many things that I read even though they are nigh on 16 years old.

The roast was perfectly nice, with the biggest Yorkshire pudding that has ever graced my plate without actually being the plate. The meat was medium rare, a sign of good meat. Daisy and Rebecca spoke about how they like their meat and steak well done, which I berated them for. I now have four opinions: two on the Kardashians, one on voting, and one of the evils of well done steak.

Daisy and I shared a sticky toffee pudding. Good sauce. It was overpriced, but in Stoke the good restaurants can get away with charging more as the choices are limited.

We sat by the open fire and the open door across the room which we had to keep closing. Eventually someone came to fix it. Total dining time: 3 hours. Quarter of a century old.


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