I went down to deepest darkest Hampshire/Berkshire today to meet my cousins at The Wellington Arms, a pub at which we started to meet because it is half way between their house and mine and at which we continue to meet because it’s so good. It’s a lovely pub with friendly staff in an idyllic setting. They sell their own eggs on the bar along with a range of home made jams and chutneys. They grown their own herbs and list the source of everything they cook and present to diners. The food is delicious, that cat is adorable and the sheep are baaaaaing over the fence. Janet and Alan had wonderful Greek salad – so fresh you could accuse them of vegicide – followed by proper cottage pie (Alan) and amazing stuffed courgette flowers (Janet) and I had the pork chop which was delicious and SUCH a treat as it is rarely ever seen on English menus.
I have long wondered why pubs will list where they get their meat, fish, milk, carrots, etc but don’t list where they get their bread. I always ask and I am usually disappointed. The average pub buys factory bread. The better than average pub bakes off from frozen. The good pub sells real bread and the exceptional pub either bakes its own or lists its source. The Wellington Arms sources bread from The Birch Cottage Bakery which is just up the road in Berkshire.
It was a proud moment. A really proud moment.
Birch Cottage Bakery is run by Lucy Steele who is a Bread Angel. She bakes in a sea container that is in her garden, she teaches and she sells bread locally, and she sells bread to the Wellington Arms who mention her as the source. I nearly cried.
It was a great selection of bread – whole meal, white, and a white and rye with caraway seeds. We scoffed it (Janet loves caraway, Alan is wedded to white and I love whole meal so we were all happy) and all around us other diners were scoffing it too and mumbling words of appreciation through their thickly buttered crusts.
Does your pub serve good bread? If not, I challenge you to ask them to source real bread locally and sell it. Would you like to buy bread from or learn to bake bread with Lucie at Birch Cottage Bakery? Both are just one click away. Or would you like to learn to set up your own micro bakery so you can improve the bread in your local community while earning a crust yourself? If so, just click here and you too can be a Bread Angel.