With the worldwide recession and the general trend of people now looking for bargains and ever increasing ways to save money, we decided to revisit our entire strategy around our food offering. From suppliers all the way to presentation on the table, we reworked our processes – making many cost-savings on the way.
The good news is that this has now allowed us to have a smaller menu targeted at what I call the “Pub Classics”; which is basically everyone’s favourite pub grub! We now offer a smaller selection of home made dishes using local suppliers, and all at very competitive prices; in fact we can be over 20% cheaper than some of our competitors in town; and the food is better! (that’s not my opinion, but the opinion of many of our Inn guests and regulars – check out some of our guest comments on Tripadvisor!)
Sunday lunch at the Baskerville Arms has also come in for much praise. Its excellent value at £7.50 (as at 02/12/2012) for a main course – again and to my knowledge, the best value in the area. To get to this level with a roast dinner, you firstly need an excellent butcher. We use Paddy Sweeney at Brecon. (Sorry, there’s no website; in fact Paddy has only just started using email!)
You then need chefs that are capable of cooking from first principles, instead of only understanding the ping ping of a microwave… The best example of home made food is stock (or gravy to you and I!). Well actually, its more of a base than a gravy, and is the foundation to many sauces and dishes. It takes the best part of 2 or 3 days to make and is one of those constant background activities in any good kitchen. The process starts with the roasting of bones obtained from Paddy for zero cost, as butchers just want to get rid of them. Various vegetables and cooking water is added over a period of days and it is boiled up several times in the process and finally thickened with cornflour. We do not use wheat based flours, as the many thousands of people suffering from coeliacs disease (i.e. a gluton intolerance) can partake in our gravy with no adverse affects.
With the gravy and meat taken care of, all you then need is some fresh veg, that miracle of culinary science the Yorkshire pud, and some roast potatoes with a secret ingredient to make them taste great – and round this off with a free tub of hot steaming cheesy leeks!
Finally, whether you are partaking in Sunday lunch or dinner on any evening you need just a little ambiance and a good bottle of wine to finish things off!