Pub grub

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The Independent Online

Stars. It had to happen, of course: the first pub has been given a Michelin award. And the first two Indian restaurants. There will be those who will claim this as another triumph for the rising standards of New Britain and confirmation of our recently discovered and pervasive interest in cooks and cooking and eating.

Stars. It had to happen, of course: the first pub has been given a Michelin award. And the first two Indian restaurants. There will be those who will claim this as another triumph for the rising standards of New Britain and confirmation of our recently discovered and pervasive interest in cooks and cooking and eating.

But there will be others, too. Once again the old lament will be heard across the land, and the shade of Orwell invoked to inveigh against the importation of fancy ways and meddling with our ancient institutions. How can we, many will demand, be expected to appreciate subtleties of cuisine after nine pints of lager on a Friday night?

And the pub. How right Orwell was, they will say, with his warnings against the decline of good ale, plain fare and simple surroundings. What is it with these fancy blackboards rabbiting on about doing strange things to tuna? Why can't we have our old pubs back? Indeed. Who can forget the fizzy beer, the exciting, basket-based culinary offerings, the floral carpets, the historic horse brasses and the sign behind the bar reading, "Do not ask for credit as a punch on the nose often offends." Hands off, M Michelin.

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