Bespoke is not one of my favourite words. It conjures up images of bankers in pinstriped suits, shops I’m scared to touch anything in and candidates on The Apprentice. If the word bespoke is however preceding the word ‘menu’ and that menu frequently makes reference to large amounts of ‘meat’ then a massive grin adorns my face, my stomach rumbles and my wallet starts to worry. As well as providing a ‘Bespoke Dining Menu’, featuring amongst other options a whole sucking pig, there is a bar menu which is no less ambitious in its offerings at The Old Red Cow.
If stuffing your face with meat isn’t the reason you go to pubs then you won’t be disappointed either. There’s a very healthy array of draught ales from exotic lager to local micro brews. The selection isn’t quite up to the mind boggling choice at The Euston Tap but it’s impressive non the less. We were also rather pleased to see a ‘Coming Soon’ craft beer board similar to the one at The Crown and Two Chairmen.
Why then is this not a pub that sits in our top category I hear you scream?
The slight stumbling block with The Old Red Cow is that my mission statement is about pubs and this doesn’t really sit comfortably in that definition. It rests somewhere between a restaurant and a specialist beer bar. If I were reviewing places to go for great nosh and a posh pint then it would rocket to the top of the list; but I’m not. Despite this minor technicality I would still suggest you go here but don’t expect the trappings of a British Pub.
Other detritus from my brain that I think is worth mentioning. It was erring on the expensive side with one beer coming in at £9 a pint. However I think this pricing indicated that it ought to be sipped and enjoyed in halves as at 8.4% knocking back more than a handful might make you go blind though my companion seemed determined to disagree. Staff were generally pretty decent; though the guy who initially served us seemed to have had a temporary sense of humour bypass the barman upstairs was more than happy to let me charge my phone whilst Steve Jobs laughs at me from beyond the grave.
I think I’ll come back here. Its menu begs to be enjoyed and it seemed like a decent enough place. It’s not a ‘pub’ but it is a good boozer and there’re not enough of them around to rule out The Old Red Cow just for lacking a few exposed beams or crusty old bar stools.