Z doesn’t eat lunch

Wink has left for home, calling on friends for lunch on the way.  We finished the last of the bacon yesterday and I didn’t go food shopping, so it was scrambled eggs for breakfast today.

Yesterday, we had intended to have lunch somewhere in the Beccles area, at a pub with a garden where we could take Ben.  I suggested a place – we didn’t know what type of food they served but it didn’t really matter, you can’t go far wrong with a sandwich, salad, fish and chips or whatever.  We went in separate cars as Wink had decided not to go to the dog party.  I was at the petrol station filling my car when she and Russell phoned to say that the pub was closed for refurbishment.  So I went to meet them and suggested another place on the Beccles to Lowestoft road which had always been popular and used to serve traditional pub fare.  So off we headed.  There was a board outside advertising for new tenants, which didn’t look promising, nor did the overgrown garden.  Lights were on, however, so we tried the door but it was locked.

By this time, I wasn’t going to have time for lunch as I had some things to buy and we’d spent half of the time we’d expected to have to eat, just looking for somewhere.  We drove through another village which always had had a pub, but there’s no sign of it now and I suspect it has been pulled down and the land built on.  So we ended up in Beccles, Wink and R went into what used to be a nice hotel in the town centre that only a big pub chain had been able to afford the renovations on, I left all the car windows quarter open and did my shopping, and then went and stole a few chips off their plates.  There are good places to eat in Beccles of course, but time was vanishing by then.

It was quite dismaying that, in the middle of the holiday season and within a couple of miles of an attractive riverside town with lots of visitors, pubs were shut.  And yet all the eating places round here seem pretty busy every day.  Maybe they rely more on locals, I don’t know.  Certainly, the place we went to eat last night was busy, it was as well that we’d booked because, by the time we left at around 8.30, some tables were on their second sittings.

6 comments on “Z doesn’t eat lunch

  1. Rog

    The pub trade seems to be under enormous strain after years of decline. Even the beautiful Chequers Inn at Bressingham which was rebuilt and re-thatched last year is lying unloved and up for sale. It fascinates me how some pubs, even in the most unlikely settings, manage to build up a profitable food business – it does seem that quality manages to win through and the word-of-mouth effect is even more important now it is amplified by the likes of Trip Advisor.
    I would hate to be a Landlord though….

  2. Mike and Ann

    I remember the hotel you speak of; right in the middle of Beccles, on one end of the Market Place, and a comfortable, old fashioned ‘County Hotel’ sort of place. In the sixties a traditional ‘roast beef, yorkshire pudding, and veg, followed by apple pie and custard’ could be had there. Very good it was, too. We returned there sometime in the nineties, knowing a good lunch was be had there, and found it, much as you’ve described- cheap, tacky and with piped music . We didn’t stop, and haven’t been into it since.
    I think we drove on that day to the Swan at Hoxne, where we got an excellent lunch.

  3. tim

    You’ve started me on a pub nostalgia trip. I remember one, on the A30 south of Basingstoke, where there was a bread-and-cheese board; you paid for your pint and a half crown for the food, then just helped yourself. Eat all you want, or can. Can we have the sixties back, please?

  4. Z Post author

    I’m glad our village still has its pub, though it went through the doldrums some 15 years ago. The owner is a local man who wants to support the local, and the tenant landlord family is excellent.

    It closed after that, Mike, Wetherspoon’s has done it up and it reopened last year.

    Those were the days, my friend…


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