A day out at the rugby in Leicester being sabotaged by C***d we were forced instead to amuse ourselves without any egg chasing for an afternoon.*
The Cathedral being shut and ten quid being too steep a price to look at a former car park with information boards attached we were very quickly in the pub to consider our next move. Church hunting in Leicester is a surprisingly rich occupation so we decided to load up on local grub and then take a stroll.
Wygston’s House is a lovely building a stagger from the big church and more importantly for my CAMRA companions, it’s in The Guide. Deservedly so, because my pint of Vixen was the nuts. A Trent Park golf course vixen, fat and juicy, rather than a scraggiejunkie Harringay Vixen, thin and on the point of expiration.
With that, a planche, or rather ploughman’s lunch, as it’s known in this country. The ploughman’s lunch is an excellent way of assessing how good a kitchen is in a pub. ‘But how can that be?’ you may ask, ‘There’s no cooking involved.’ To which I say, ‘Exactly!’ The first thing a good chef does is select her ingredients.
On the train to Leicester we had passed through rolling hill land, rich with grass even in the middle of winter, the heartland of English farming. W House is a landmark building near the centre of Leicester’s tourist quarter, surely they’d be showcasing local produce.
Ehhh, not exactly. The pork pie was good, and a sharp picallilli (whose mere shade in the jar terrified me as a child) was very good slathered on that. But the cheese. My God, the cheese. Insipid squares of ‘Cheddar’?! In LEICESTER?!?!?!?!?
I repeat, IN LEICESTER??????????????
The bread was some sub-baguette, butterless (I could’ve asked but then I’d have had to stifle the Cheddar outrage) and about as fun as eating someone else’s wet flannel. Was there some veg? A smattering of bag salad I think. The ham was alright.
Please could someone tell me where I can get a good ploughman’s? One with a big lump of local cheese, proper bread (and enough of it), thick cut ham, a couple of chutneys, pork/game/meat pie, real tomatoes not kept in the fridge, lettuce and green stuff ditto and some English mustard.
Lunch dealt with it was time for a stroll, up to see Wolsey, a first for me, it being too much of a stretch when I was commuting to go to Abbey Park. On the way I spied that All Saints, a beautiful mash up of a church, has now become the ‘Van Gogh Experience’. Like Dalì, VG has now become a brand that you can hoick to any place to make your city’s brain dead tourist tsars think they’re being cultural. Dismal. And a waste of a good church, which was never open when I was working there and now is if you want to know what it feels like to be inside a piece of soulless technicolour shit.
5/10 for the beer.
* Bègles-Bordeaux cried off at the last minute.
To see where else I’ve been click on the google map below.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).