May 19 2013 Latest news:
By JON DEAN
Saturday, June 23, 2012
The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker, named after a song by Jake Thackray, opened in February on the former site of the Queen Boadicea.
The Chinese Cricket Club, Crowne Plaza 19 New Bridge Street, EC4V 6DB Tel: 020 7438 8051 Web: www.chinesecricketclub.com Tube: Blackfriars
Mains: From £9.50
Wine: From £19.50 a bottle
Children welcome: Yes
Disabled access: Yes
It specialises in some of Britain’s lost pub traditions, like gin, whiskey and ale, and simple but tasty fare with an emphasis on quick service, particularly from the meat and cheese-laden deli counter, which sits proudly at one end of the bar.
So after we ordered a couple of luxury G and Ts, featuring London-distilled Sipsmith gin and Fentimans tonic water (available in very few other boozers, I am told), we asked the exceptionally welcoming staff to make up a couple of platters.
The first thing to arrive was a nest of little black puddings and quail scotch eggs, and lovely little chaps they were too, as were their bigger siblings – delicious full-size scotch eggs with the yolks that were miraculously still soft inside.
Then came a couple of huge slices of homemade pork pie, with seasoned tasty filling, light pastry and no jelly in sight.
But the pick of the bunch was the potted duck, rich pate with a wonderful depth of taste and great texture.
These savoury treats came with a selection of homemade dips – including piccalilli and a cracking celeriac roulade.
To round things off we had a slice of excellent carrot cake and a cheeky chocolate brownie.
I was amazed how replete I felt after eating what was essentially a selection of snacks.
But sitting in the pub’s delightfully kitsch surroundings and washing theses cold cuts down with a few of the great ales on tap is an experience I will be in a big hurry to repeat.