April 23rd is St George's Day - England's National Day. It isn't a public holiday (which is galling to a lot of people since St Andrews Day is a holiday in Scotland and St Patricks Day is a holiday in Northern Ireland) but there are some festivities. The pub decided to do a special dinner with English food and matched ales to celebrate.
As a starter, I had a fabulous rabbit, black pudding and egg salad. The mixed leaves it was on were a bit on the fatigued side, but the mustard dressing had enough zing to stand up to the rich black pudding, and the flavours of the egg, crumbled black pudding and rabbit worked beautifully together. The ale to accompany it was Robinsons Squires Gold - which was very nice really.
For people who can't come at the idea of eating bunnies or blood sausage (or don't like eggs) there was a roasted portobello mushroom filled with tomatoes and bechamel. Which looked pretty good too.
As the main course there was what was described as "Rump of Salt Marsh Spring Lamb served with Grilled New Season Asparagus, Crushed New Potatoes and a Port & Cranberry Jus". Well, for one thing I am fairly sure that it was a leg steak, rather than a rump. And the jus was the most god-awful, ill-conceived and poorly executed sauce I have eaten in ages. Completely acid, with no sign of port, it threatened to overwhelm the lamb and lovely vegetables. And from the comments at the other tables, we weren't the only ones who thought so. The chef can't possibly have tasted it.
The ale for this course was Charles Wells Bombadier. Which isn't a bad beer, but I just couldn't be bothered with it, so I moved onto wine for the rest of the evening. The waitress very kindly packaged up the undrunk beers for us to take home.
The dessert was a classic Eton Mess. The combination of berries, meringue and cream is so, so good! I could have had seconds. The beer to accompany that was Innis & Gunn Original. I was quite interested to see how it would match with the dessert, but not interested enough to actually drink it. Instead, we had it at a barbecue last night. It was very pleasant - quite light and delicate. I think it would have been OK.