Food Glorious Food
When Mummy goes on holiday she likes to take a break from cooking (she is telling stories if she says she cooks on a regular basis) but sometimes, finding somewhere I can go too and where the food is scrummy enough to set off the Pavlov Bell effect in me (and Mummy), is quite difficult.
During our stay at The Old Stables near Holt, Norfolk, we discovered the Kings Head and liked it so much that we went back a second time. From the outside, the pub looks like it would just do regular food (by this, Mummy means dull), but the menu is all American. It’s inevitable that with American sized portions the humans can’t eat it all and that’s where us doggies step in to help. No one likes to see wastage in the current climate and my siblings and I are very dedicated to recycling food waste on a daily basis.
So, let me tell you about the pub itself. It is situated in the Georgian village of Holt, which is one of those towns you can wander around for ages, enjoying small hidden yards which are full of little independent shops and cafes, or browsing in galleries and antique shops. Many of the shops are dog friendly too. The Kings Head is easy to get to if you park at Bugden’s carpark, although there is a fee to pay before 6.00 p.m.
There is a small courtyard of boutique shops to walk through, and entrance to the pub can either be at the rear, or the front. The pub can’t be missed as there is a good sized outdoor area where us doggies are allowed to sit. To one side, the main restaurant is a glass conservatory with lots of lovey beaten up wooden tables, and flickering candles. We weren’t allowed in this part and thought we would probably have to sit outside, which although it was summer, it was an English summer, and we all know what that means. If it had rained, I think we would have sat under our umbrellas because we were absolutely starving on arrival, and had been fantasising about racks of ribs and burgers all day. Just hearing our humans talk about the menu had set off my tummy with gurgles louder than Mummy’s singing on a Sunday morning.
To our surprise, we were shown into the Tap Room, which is a lovely secluded area big enough to take all five humans and three dogs (on the second visit it was six humans and five dogs). The Tap Room has two large tables and two booths; we were lucky enough both times to have the room entirely to ourselves which meant us doggies could stretch out, and occasionally pester for some sneaky under-the-table treats. It gave the humans the opportunity to deal with any doggy disarray that might have occurred when all our noses followed the plates of food with determination to get the first scrap: if one were ever to be given.
We didn’t feel like we were being thrown into the forgotten echelons by being in the Tap Room, in fact, the service was extremely efficient. Ordering the food had to be done at the bar which was sometimes a little slow but with a kind of circular bar serving different sections of the pub, it wasn’t always easy for staff to see us waiting.
The food was so delicious that we didn’t think we would actually see or sniff any of it up close. I watched my Mummy eat nearly all of her full rack of ribs, and even my Aunty Louise nearly finished her Cajun chicken burger without indicating whether we would get any. Fortunately, we have all mastered the ‘look’ when it comes to food and with a concerted team effort of looking out from underneath our eyebrows while sitting in a tidy row of waggy bottoms, we were able to acquire a mix of BBQ rib meat, and chicken.
I’ve come to the conclusion however, that there are certain rules humans seem able to break that we are not allowed to. After their rather large plates of food had been consumed, the humans continued to discuss more food, of the sweeter kind. Now… fellow doggies, do we ever get offered dessert? I know I don’t! And if we did, I don’t think it would be ice-cream or waffles (I may have told a little lie here as I do have doggy ice-cream occasionally, but that’s not the point). My point here is that we are not allowed desserts of the human kind and this just isn’t fair. When they continue eating, we have nothing; this is not equality and may require a dessert rebellion sometime in the future.
The Kings Head is definitely a favourite of mine in this area because the humans seemed to really enjoy their food, and we had the space to relax. I imagine on a busy night it wouldn’t be quite as free for us, but we always went early enough (around 6.30 p.m.) to get the best spot. With portion sizes being so generous, it also meant that not only did we get some under-the-table treats, but we got some BBQ ribs the next morning with our breakfast.
Know before you go: you can book a table via email and it is best to tell them in advance that doggies are going too. There is no parking directly outside the pub, but Holt is a lovely village to walk through. Go with a starving mind set because the portion sizes really are rather grand, and the food is too good to waste.