There is nothing I like more than a good pub lunch and, fortunately for me, there are plenty of good pubs around our neck of the woods from which to choose, many of which serve excellent food.
As my wife’s signature dish is her Sunday roast, a meal she has spent years perfecting, I find most pub roasts don’t usually come close, so I normally choose something like fish and chips when we eat out.
So having completed a 26-mile cycle ride on Sunday morning, I could eat my pub fish and chips safe in the knowledge I had burned enough calories that day to keep a clear conscience.
Our group’s roast dinners were brought to the table on nice traditional ceramic plates, however, when my fish and chips arrived my special treat had been given the Shabby Chic-industrial-upcycle makeover.
Before I go any further I would like to add that the battered fish, chips and garden peas were superb, it was the eating experience that left me wanting.
In this instance my fish and chips came on a square one-inch-thick piece of wood which had a ¼-inch wide groove running all the way around about half-inch in from the edge.
The beautifully battered fish rested on a piece of greaseproof kitchen paper, the peas in a small ceramic pot and the child’s portion of chips were served in an old baked-bean tin!
Annoyingly, I blame myself as this isn’t the first time its happened, though it was the first time we’d eaten in this particular pub.
My favourite local serves their fish and chips the same way and each time this happens I tell myself to politely ask for it to be served on a traditional plate the next time I order.
Not wishing to make a fuss, and being famished, I tucked in but it wasn’t long before, having naively emptied my peas on to the paper, they quickly rolled around, filled the groove around the border like a bagatelle board, then a piece of my fish ended up on the floor, much to the delight of the Basset hound sitting quietly under the adjoining table.
It seems there is a growing trend these days to serve food on, or in, anything other than a traditional plate with roofing slates, pieces of granite and jam jars all being used for serving purposes.
I recently read of bread rolls being served in an old flat caps, hors d’oeuvres served in a dog bowl and even an ‘unused’ ceramic wall-mounted urinal doubling up as a fruit bowl.
So it was no surprise when I started looking for ‘odd’ serving platters that I came across an online Twitter campaign called ‘We Want Plates’.
Started in 2015 by Ross McGuiness, the Twitter account now has more than 95,000 followers and there are plenty of examples of bad, or novel, serving ‘vessels’ to see.
My godson has a number of food allergies so his parents always inquire about nuts, gluten and other additives before they order his food and, while not comparatively life-threatening, I must now get into the habit of asking if the food is served on a plate rather than an old TV satellite dish or car hub cap.