When I was younger we had a pub at each end of the street I lived on. Our days out were punctuated with a stop in the pub. I’d sit in the car park with my brother, a bottle of coke and a packet of crisps, while mum and dad had a drink indoors. Christmas Day wasn’t the same without us traipsing down the pub for a drink and a hot roast potato. I knew the phone number to most of them. Initially for when we needed to tell my Dad that dinner was ready on a Sunday, but later on so I could call and see if any of my friends were there to pop down for a drink. (Way before we had mobile phones, I’m feeling pretty old now)
Pubs were everywhere. Our village had a Stag and Hounds, a Black Horse, a Prince of Wales, a Gurkha, a Crooked Billet, a whip and collar, and an Oddfellows Arms 😂 no wonder I enjoy a drink being raised near (and in) that many pubs!
They were a huge part of my childhood, and not in a negative way. I only have fond memories. As most of us do when we get older, we try to recreate those memories for our children. We try to get them to experience the things we found joy in when we were younger. Laws have changed now (sadly 😂) and children can now join you in the pub, so that means my 2 feral creatures have the pleasure of watching me consume my wine. Lucky them. I expect they’d rather be sat in the car park…
The point of this is, I spend my life on a quest looking for the perfect English Pub. One that captures the essence of my childhood, and I think The Stag and Hounds in Binfield might be it.
It’s quaint and pretty, but not in a shabby way. Unless you’re vertically challenged, you have to duck to get to certain areas, which as my husband pointed out has the advantage of actually making him feel tall (he’s slightly on the short side 😂) it’s got a huge fireplace which makes it super cosy in the winter, but it’s also got that lovely old building coldness, which makes it a haven from the heat in the summer. If we ever have one.
Outside there is a beautiful garden, one patioed area, and a big area of lawn. There’s also an outside bar, so you don’t have to go far to order your food or drinks, which is genius.
Myself and the mister popped there the other day for a sneaky lunch while the demons were still at school. Even though I work for myself, I still feel like I’m bunking off when I go to the pub at lunchtime. He definitely was bunking off. He’s got a proper job.
We were seated in a lovely cosy nook. Unfortunately, and this was no fault of the establishment, we were seated in close proximity to the worlds most boring man. His favourite subject appeared to be himself. I tolerated it for a while, but when he started talking about his friends infected saliva glands, it all got a bit much for me 😂 his only saving grace was that I’d finished eating, otherwise he might have found he had a problem with his saliva glands after I throat punched him 😂 (I do not condone violence unless absolutely necessary. In this case I feel it would have been justified)
The menu is pretty good. They do lovely sharing platters, but we’ve been married a long time and don’t share anymore. I’m always trying to find a decent pizza, and the menu says theirs are stone baked so definitely worth a try. We actually both had a pizza, one margherita, and one Tirato bovino, which is apparently pulled pork, roasted pineapple, bacon, jalapeños and bbq sauce. So opposite ends of the pizza scale really. We also ordered a rocket and Parmesan salad. I, of course, washed it down with a Prosecco.
The pizzas here definitely do not disappoint. They are crispy and full of flavour. I only wish they did takeaway, because I’d be collecting a couple of these every weekend. Probably a good thing for both my waistline and wallet that they don’t really.
We have been here before, we quite often stop on the way home from school on a sunny day. It does get busy in the summer, so, quite rightly, be prepared for a bit of a wait for your food. It’s worth it though.
They also run special offers during the week such as fizz Friday (my favourite), chicken chooseday, and steak night. They have a vegan menu, which whilst limited, did have 3 delicious main courses in it that even a non-vegan like me would have happily tucked into.
For those of you with children of different ages, they also have a kids menu, and a junior menu. This is perfect for us, as portions on the kids menus are often just that little bit too small for the boy, but I’m not prepared to accept that his childhood is almost over, and buy him and adult meal.
All in all I would definitely recommend it. Even if it’s just to sit and have a beer and reminisce about what pubs were like in your day…