Monday, 24 January 2011

The Brickmakers Arms, Swanmore, 20th January 2011

The inaugural meeting of the Pie Club got off to a good start at The Brickmakers Arms,where the 3 founder members met to agree a constitution and sample their first pie. It being a quiet Tuesday in January there was only a limited menu available, with a choice of Pork & Cider Pie, or a Ploughman's Lunch with cold Pork Pie. We all chose the Pork & Cider Pie.

The short-crust pastry was perfectly cooked, not too thick, and tasted excellent. The filling was packed with diced pork meat, with a thin cider gravy, and traces of mushrooms and shredded carrots. It also tasted excellent. The fresh vegetables (new potatoes, carrots, sugar-snap peas) were nicely cooked, and (importantly) served in a separate dish so as to not contaminate the pie.

Nick drank Ringwood FortyNiner; Trevor & Simon had Bowman Ales Wallop Wood. Both are fine beers, served well at the correct temperature, and went well with the pie.
It was difficult to judge the ambience of the pub, as we were very nearly the only customers there, but the service was good, and the pub was clean and nicely furnished. We all felt that it was much improved, compared with how it was a few years ago, and we have learned that the clientele has improved.
We felt that overall the portion size was about right, the quality was excellent, but at £10.95 the pie was a little expensive. The total bill, including drinks and service came to £25 each, which is par for the course.
Scores (max. 5 in each category, 25 overall):

  • Pastry 4
  • Filling 3.5
  • Beer 3.2
  • Ambience 2.7
  • Value 3
  • Overall 16.4

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