Ye Olde Fighting Cocks

Best Part: Being in a pub on a Monday

So first of all, to clear up a misapprehension, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is actually pronounced Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, rather than Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Hopefully this will avoid you looking foolish when discussing it with your learned friends.

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We visited the Cocks on my birthday, following a lovely if slightly drizzly walk to Gorehambury. As such, we had worked up quite an appetite by the time we arrived, and were eagerly waiting for the doors to open and let us in. On the other hand I was aware that I needed to leave a level of room for my birthday dinner treat that evening (KFC).

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So we were after something that was both light but filling, and surprisingly were both able to get something that fulfilled these paradoxical demands. I went for the hot buffalo chicken wings. In deference to my later chicken plans I only had 6, but actually that was more than enough. Clearly the chickens had been working out as they were hefty wings. The saucy crispiness contrasted well with the cooling blue cheese dip, and I was happy to really go for it despite the saucy face and fingers I ended up with.

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My birthday companion had a warming slightly spicy pumpkin soup. She was very excited by the croutons which seemed to be more like cheese on toast. Wow. That’s basically two lunches in one go. Naturally she didn’t end up keeping that cheese on toast to herself because  I felt I needed some too.

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We shared a very generous and crispy bowl of chips, and this together with a starter of a bag of crisps (we were very hungry when we arrived) was more than enough. This meant that the bill was more than reasonable despite me indulging in two pints of their lovely house ale (a dark affair that made the afternoon shopping for trousers maybe a little trying). Mrs Midweek Lunch doesn’t like drinking in the middle of the day because too many people rely on her organisational skills so she went for the “Nanny state” low alcohol beer by Brew Dog. This was brilliant because it actually tasted like real beer. We have tried to buy some since but it doesn’t seem easy to find, she will just have to get drunk at lunch time after all!

Despite it being a Monday (which is a slight stretch on the concept of midweek I confess) the Fighting Cocks was buzzing through a combination of graduates celebrating and a well to do wedding party. This gave us much amusement from determining the poshest shade of trouser, but even without this the pub has character and atmosphere to spare. Long may this St Albans landmark maintain it’s mastery on the banks of the stinky lake.

And it is definitely the oldest pub in England.

8.4/10

http://www.yeoldefightingcocks.co.uk/

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