Pub of the Year 2013 entrant: The Golden PotBy Laura Nightingale
March 06, 2013
OFF the beaten track, a charming country pub in Eversley hums with the chatting of friends, a roaring fire and the clinking of glasses.
John Calder, who has owned The Golden Pot for 10 years, warmly invites each and every guest to the cosy and quaint 365-year-old venue that relishes in home-cooked, locally-grown food.
The red-brick freehouse with dainty cottage windows stands just off Reading Road and customers are immediately greeted with woodsmoke aromas from the double-sided fireplace, and that of traditional wholesome food, served on rustic, wooden tables.
Considered a ‘foodie pub’, the à la carte-meets-bar menu is regularly changed and there is a cheese chalk board to tempt guests for afters.
Mr Calder said: “Around 75% of our customers are regulars and we do see an older clientèle through our doors so we cater to the customers' needs.
“We offer small plate dishes as well as standard so that people with smaller appetites can still enjoy a three course meal.
“We rotate the menu often so that we can monitor what our diners prefer and try and provide options that people would not regularly cook at home such as liver and bacon.
“We try to keep our food and drink as local as possible and have introduced a cheese board with produce from the quadrants bordering the pub.
“We have a tray of local blue, soft and hard cheeses, plus chutney and biscuits from Hartley Wintney. It was the best decision we made.”
Fish is provided by a supplier in Andover, meat is used from a butcher in Ascot and vegetables come from Reading.
The Golden Pot offers a selection of 53 wines and has recently introduced half bottles which have proved to be very popular.
There are three cask ales available at any one time, which are rotated within a collection of 11 different ales.
The local breweries used include Andwell, Windsor and Eton, Ascot Ales, Bowman and Rebellion.
For the second year running the rural pub has been acknowledged in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
During the summer months, a small wooden gate leads to The Snug at the back of the pub where there are picnic tables and chairs for outside drinking and dining, overlooking the fields.
The pub’s regulars visit for a fine table service experience and as Mr Calder comes from a hotel management background he is able to provide this.
The main age of the clientèle is 40-plus, with pensioners visiting for lunch during the week and families with children stopping by for a Sunday roast.
Mr Calder added: “When I first came here, the food was all à la carte.
“However, we have brought bar food and restaurant food together.
“So a dish such as venison and bacon meatballs and mash is on the menu, as is a more traditional à la carte dish such as our corn-fed chicken with spinach and sautéed mushrooms.”
His sister Elizabeth Rees looks after the flowers inside and outside the pub and also takes care of the administration on days when Mr Calder is particularly busy.
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