Sunday, 2 March 2014

2013 Pie of the Year Award Presentation

After another year of dedicated devotion to duty in 2013, 8 of the gentlemen members of the Pie Club gathered together on 27th February 2014 for a formal presentation to the Landlord at The White Lion, Soberton of the 2013 Pie of the Year certificate. Unfortunately Doug wasn't able to join us for this special occasion, but the rest of us carried on without him, certain in the knowledge that it's what he would have wanted.

We have fond memories of the outstanding Chicken, Ham Hock and Leek Pie that we were presented with on that happy day in July when we last visited the White Lion, and it was with mounting excitement that we entered the bar. It seems that Allen, the landlord, and Katie, the barmaid, had also been looking forward to this occasion as they were obviously very pleased to see us.

But never mind that. We were more than very pleased to see the tempting array of fine ales that were on offer: The ever-reliable Sharps Doombar 4%, and 2 excellent ales from the local Bowman Ales Brewery including our favourites Swift One (3.8%) and Wallops Wood (4.0%). Once we'd quenched our thirst with the first pint, we got on with the serious business of the day and presented Allen with his well-earned certificate.  Congratulations to Allen, and all the hard-working staff at the While Lion!

After another pint we moved into the dining room to sample another one of their excellent pies. As we took our seats at the table we noticed a very dangerous-looking object sitting on the table, of which, more later.  We were slightly taken aback when we learned that we were not going to have another Chicken, Ham Hock and Leek Pie, but our fears were groundless. We were presented with a Steak, Mushroom and Stilton* Pie that was every bit as good.

This was a pie that was perfect in every respect, but unfortunately this was a special celebratory meeting of the Pie Club and therefore, according the rules of the constitution, we were unable to do a formal assessment of the pie. This was probably just as well, because if we had then this pie would probably be the winner of the 2014 Pie of the Year award, but we have to be fair to other pubs and give them a chance to win. The thrice-cooked chips were perfect as well (yes, those are chips in the photo, not roast potatoes).

After such an excellent pie, only Stephen* felt able to have a pudding. He had a Treacle Tart and Custard, which was, apparently, very good. Notice how the custard was served separately, in a jug. It's attention to little points of detail like that that wins our approval. It was a big jug as well.

Then our attention turned to the very dangerous-looking object sitting on the table, which turned out to be a decanter of fine port, courtesy of the house!

Now, we're not normally port drinkers, but it would have been rude of us to have declined such a generous offer, so with a great deal of effort we managed to polish it off between us (and as a consequence there were a few sore heads the next morning!).  Only when we'd finished the port did Allen demonstrate to us the correct way for a gentleman to decant port into glasses, and we all felt a bit chastened when we realised that perhaps we're not all real gentlemen after all.

So, congratulations once again to all who work at the White Lion. Long may you continue to offer such good pies! And no doubt we will be back again to sample more of your excellent wares. And we must bear in mind the special offer available on Mondays:

* Unfortunately, Stephen has a strong dislike of Stilton cheese, and was unable to fully appreciate just how good this pie was. He made up for it by having some pudding.