Baring in mind what I do, it's not very often I come across a pub, not a million miles away, that I haven't encountered before. This is exactly what happened whilst rummaging through tinternet for as yet unexplored pub potential. Kean to pay a visit to this unearthed treasure, I called up my brother on the gastrohub hotline and made a b-line for The Flying Bull.
The day had started out as a warm and sunny companion, but was looking a bit indecisive. We decided to stick to our original intension and brave it out in the beer garden, come what may. This is, or was, a traditional coach house, and all that character remains in the best possible way. From the open fires to the friendly service, everything felt good about this pub.
The sun fought bravely to beat the clouds away, leaving us bathed in a warming glow, made that much sweeter by sitting in a pub garden. We explored the menu from top to bottom, as well as our very own little specials board, an idea I like very much. Although there were plenty of interesting options, we both decided it was time for our own private burger-fest. Tom choosing the beef burger, while I went for the chicken coated in 13 herbs and spices. The beef version was just under £12, while the chicken came in at a pound more. Each were to be served with chips and coleslaw.
As we drank, chatted and enjoyed the sun, it seemed that no time had passed before our food was delivered. It was one of those beautiful moments when you just know everything is going to be alright. I started with a chip and nearly fell off my bench. It was stunning, one of the best pub chips ever. I'm under strict instructions not to go on about chips, so let's leave it at that. Both the burgers were truly immense, both in taste and in stature. Tom decided it would have to be a knife and fork job. I just about managed to keep my burger under control with my bare hands, but it was close. We both agreed that these were fine examples of burgers. More than generously filled, and accompanied by some world class chips and a lovely homemade coleslaw.
The excellent, yet subtle service was also worthy of note. Whilst talking with the landlord, we found out that my chicken burger was in its first flight on the specials board, just having been added. When asked how the burger was, I said something very complimentary and that it should be added to the main menu, never to leave. Everyone working here was friendly and helpful, but more importantly it was genuine. No fake smiles here.
Having found this pub, I was delighted to find it of a high quality. Both the pub itself and the food it serves have given me more than enough reason to return. If you find yourself travelling through Rake on the London road, give yourself a treat and pull over at The Flying Bull.