Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Red Tile, Cossington

It’s mid-week again and I’m struck down by another bout of “Can cook, but won’t cook”-itis. I suggest a trip out for a meal and am asked to choose a pub.  The outlying villages in this part of the world all boast a decent pub with decent food – it’s just the town that doesn’t! Axbridge, Bleadon, Burtle, Cross … and that’s just villages starting with the  first three letters of the alphabet … I choose Cossington.  It’s a while since I’ve been there and the last time I went I had the most delicious Lemon Sole.

The Red Tile is a popular pub with foodies and locals alike.  Many of the tables are already reserved when we get there, but we squeeze in on the remaining one in the small dining area (there’s a larger area too, but it’s a bit more out of the way).  From my seat I can see through into the ordinary bar where the local skittles team are gathered. It’s a busy night.  And it’s going to get busier … my eye is drawn to a sign telling me that tonight is “Acoustic Night” – I love a bit of music.

Now … this is where I deviate from my quest slightly … I’ve not been feeling well for some time – a general lack of energy, tiredness and some other symptoms we won’t go into! A friend suggests I try cutting out the carbs in my diet for a while and to see how I get on.  I've tried it for a time at the weekend and felt better, so I thought I'd really try and stick to it for a couple of weeks. Trouble is, no carbs means … no bread … and no cider.  And so tonight I’m going to have to order a glass of dry white wine instead (compared to cider wine is practically carb-free!). And due to the no bread rule I won’t be able to have a tuna baguette either … Please don’t be too disappointed dear reader … I can still give you a feel for the place!

So to go with my white wine I order a bacon-wrapped chicken breast and salad.  The chicken breast is HUGE, quite the biggest I’ve ever seen – they must breed massive chickens out here on the Somerset levels - much like us girls when it comes to breasts.   The salad offers more than the average "garnish" – mixed leaf, peppers, cucumber, tomato, beetroot and a splodge of coleslaw.  The menu here is large and varied – the specials board actually runs to six boards – including one for starters, one for fish, one detailing the two pies of the day  and one for puddings! A large menu tends to worry me – how much of it can really be “freshly prepared”? But despite my misgivings, I have to say I’ve never had a bad meal at The Red Tile.

As I finish my meal the band (The Polden Ridge Mountain Boys) strike up a rousing version of “The Gypsy Rover” and I join in … well, by now my glass of wine has turned into a bottle and a glass … Forty-five minutes later the chauffeur practically has to drag me out to the car.

So how to score The Red Tile? Since I can’t give my usual mark out of five for the cider availability, another mark out of five for the tuna baguette, and a further mark out of five for the general atmosphere of the pub ... I shall have to put the marks for wine and food in brackets instead …

So The Red Tile scores ... 0 (3) – 0 (4) - 4

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