Written on: 13/12/2009
If it's good enough for Bobby, it ain't good enough for me
In the restaurant in the Butcher's Arms "pub" there's dozens of signed pictures of minor celebs telling owner Lino what a "wonderful" meal they've had at the Butcher's Arms. People like Bobby Davro and some actor you've never heard of from Crossroads.
And that really tells you as much as you need to know about the Butcher's Arms. Like Bobby Davro's comedy routine, it's stuck somewhere in mid-1983. Flash, but uninspiring. Fussy and dull. The epitome of thinks-it's-better-than-it-really-is populated by people who don't-know-any-better.
It's clearly escaped the owners' notice that we live in 2009, in the world of Gordon, Heston, Jamie, Hugh et el, and places like this just shouldn't exist. If Ramsey ever got his hands on this place, he'd just go ballistic.
From the 114 starter options to the 139 main course dishes (including about 36 steak dishes lovingly cooked like its 1977), to the achingly old fashioned stuffy silver service, sweet trolley and massive portions of the 30%-40% overpriced dishes.
It's probably survived on the back of a (totally undeserved) reputation of the fact that there's nowhere else "posh" to eat within 30 miles. Yet there is.
The Butcher's Arms - certainly the night I was there - just isn't a relaxed environment. Women in sparkly evening gowns. Late middle aged men, true blue collar stock, who've made a few quid as sale director of Widgets & Co, in black ties thinking it doesn't get any better than this. Sad.
Sophisticated it ain't. AA Gill should book himself in one night. He'd have a field day. If you know anything about food, anything about elegance, in short - anything about TASTE - just don't bother going here.
Yes, it'll make you laugh for a few minutes. But then as you wonder why it still exists in 2009 - it'll make you cry. A bit like contemplating the point of Bobby Davro.