Best Part: Just being there in our comfortable old shoe!
Mr Midweek Lunch had a morning off work and we decided to drop into the Horn Public House for a few games of pool and a nice lunch. They didn’t open until 12 and we had time constraints so we decided to try to new Billiards club in town. Alas, they were also shut. The commercial world clearly believes that the denizens of St Albans don’t want to play pool before noon and I dare say in most cases they’re right. All was not lost, though, as we got to look around a tile shop instead.
We were so eager to enter the Boot that the barman hadn’t finished opening all the doors. Keys in hand he was rather surprised to see us. However there were many others hot on our heels and what a range of customers too, businessmen, musician types, friends and lovers. This popularity is not surprising. The Boot is my favourite pub in the city centre. They have some wonderful Ales on tap, a cosy traditional pub feel, good food, good toilets and a really cute pub sign. Pub signs are important to me. The Boot is also in a good central location. Easy to meet your friends at the Clock tower, have lunch and be close to Christopher Place or the Maltings for post lunch shopping.
Phew, the Menu was pretty extensive for a standard pub. They claim to do the best Ploughmans in town and I decided to put this to the test. Mr Midweek lunch was still sad about the tile/pool incident and wanted to share a deep fried Camembert for a starter. The problem was that all the Vegetarian options were cheese intensive. This is a good thing, I love cheese but I didn’t really think I could stomach half a gooey Camembert and a Cheese Ploughmans/Macaroni Cheese/Cheese tart at midday. In the end I didn’t want him to be depressed so relented on the Camembert with the idea of having a fish finger sandwich. I didn’t want the fish finger sandwich but compromise is what a marriage is all about. Somehow though I still ended up having the Ploughmans and he didn’t get the Camembert. Which proves that what marriage is really all about is the wife getting her way at all times. The Cheddar and Stilton were out of this world, the Cheddar being rich and slightly sweet. I couldn’t eat it all so sneaked it out in a napkin. To throw that in the peely bin would be a crime. The accompanying Ploughmans bits were great too. Crusy baguette, a jazzy salad and suberb beetroot chutney. They also served me with a great pot of tea with a jug of milk and cup and saucer. Full marks.
My companion had the ‘Fire Engine’ Chili, which disappointingly was served neither with nor in a fire engine. It was however a more than generous helping of chili, which overwhelmed the modest potato. Luckily he was able to barter some of his excess butter for my surplus baguette and all were happy. The chili was spicy without being super-flavoursome, but did go very well with the beer. Speaking of which…
Having seen Breakaway Theatre’s wonderful WWI poetry performance the previous night (well done Breakaway), I was in a patriotic mood and chose “Remembrance” Ale. It was flavoursome without being overpowering. My husband had every other type of beer on tap and had a slightly glazed smile by the end of proceedings.
This is a warm, woody, comfortable English Pub. Nothing fancy but everything it should be. I love the Boot. The Toilet was I think cream themed rather than grey, with fake books to disguise it’s true disgusting purpose.