Long live the gastropub – and to hell with the Good Food Guide snobs

The G-word has been banned from the foodies’ bible The Good Food Guide. What a disgrace.

How very high-handed of The Good Food Guide, the foodies’ bible, to systematically remove the word “gastropub” from its pages. The G-word has been banned altogether from the 2012 edition of the guide, thrown into the outer darkness like a bruised plum or iffy oyster.

Why this Stalinist act of censorship, depriving readers of a useful term to which they have become accustomed? Because, according to the guide’s consultant editor Elizabeth Carter, gastropubs were a 1990s fad that has passed its sell-by date. “I think customers are getting bored with it.”

Really? Some customers may indeed have got bored with the gastropub craze, and not entirely without cause. Far too many pubs have awarded themselves the gastro prefix, hiked their prices, tarted up their menus, but not actually raised their game in the kitchen. If I had a fiver for every rocket salad I have been served in establishments that should have stuck to honest-to-God baked beans and chips…

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Duke of Cumberland Arms named Pub of the Year in the Good Food Guide

The Duke of Cumberland Arms in Henley, West Sussex, has been named Pub of the Year in the Good Food Guide 2012 Editor’s Choice Awards.

Goodman: head chef at the Duke of Cumberland Arms in Henley, West Sussex 

Simon Goodman, head chef/patron of the freehold, was named Pub Chef of the Year in the PMA’s Great British Pub Food Awards 2010.

“I was very, very impressed with the pub from the time of booking,” said guide editor Elizabeth Carter.

“It is not formal, a nice, friendly pub with efficient, friendly staff and a can-do attitude. It does very, very good food without veering off into the realms of fancy restaurant whips and foams.”I would encourage other publicans to go there and see how its done.”

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