This was one of those pubs pointed out to us by the pub Gods. We happened across it whilst on our way to another pub, and promptly added it to our "TO VISIT" list. Every pub has its day, and this day was all about The Greyhound.
First impressions were fairly good as we entered. Greeted by the smell of an open fire, and wrapped in the warmth that fire can bring. The landlord was particularly friendly and cheerful as he lead us to an available table. It was then, on closer inspection, that the higgledy-piggledy nature of the pub became clear. A myriad of differently styled tables and chairs had found a home together, sitting atop the slightly tired paisley carpet. I suppose you could argue that this gives the pub its own particular charm, but you could equally argue that it could do with a freshening up.
Things looked on the up when we got stuck in to the menu. After having to get used to the average meal in a gastro pub sneaking up to £13, we were delighted to see some very reasonable prices here. Many meals coming in at £10 - £11. There were also several offerings on the specials board, but we both opted for something from the main menu. On the lookout for something a bit different, I chose leeks and parsnip in a tarragon sauce, topped with mash and cheese. Dad went for one of the pub staples in sausage and mash. Both of these were a fair price, falling under that £13 mark.
Other punters filtered in as we waited for our food, and it felt very much like an old school, traditional, locals country pub. This is not to be detrimental in any way, in fact I think that holds its own charms. When the food appeared it looked pretty good. My leeks and parsnip were hiding amidst a rich tarragon sauce, covered by a mound of well seasoned, smooth mashed potatoes. This was served with a separate dish of well cooked, fresh vegetables. Dad's mash was equally good, and the sausages were of a high quality. The dish was however crowned with a single onion ring, which wasn't too far from cremation. It seemed an odd gesture to proffer a lonely onion ring, surely three would make more sense. It also surprises us that sausage and mash is often unaccompanied on the vegetable front. This is not just the case at The Greyhound, but at many pubs across our great nation. Some peas, or a few spoons of red cabbage, would surely add an extra layer to a British classic.
We found it tricky to come up with the marks for this one. It is in no way bad, but there are just a few things holding it back. With so many pubs, the frustration is caused by the level of simplicity to rectify so many of these negatives. When we arrived, I could hear music, but it was only coming from a certain area. We later came to the conclusion, that that music may have been leaking out from the kitchen, that's not the way to do things. When you run a pub or restaurant, your first thoughts should be about the customer. Provide music for them, not second hand from the kitchen. Don't serve one onion ring, especially if it's overdone. On the other hand, the service was good, the prices very reasonable, and most importantly, the food was good. Although this might not be top of our list of pubs to revisit, we certainly wouldn't be put off coming back. Just a few simple tweaks, and this could be a really good gastro pub.