Yesterday I posted a transcript of the 1967-68 Good Food Guide review of my Grandparent’s restaurant, The Miners Arms. It rather appealed to me for the brief insight into the character of my Grandfather.
Another review followed in 1969-70, and was also available at Thornbury Castle, so I snapped a copy. It too has a wonderful anti-garlic quote (my Grandparents were famous garlic haters), and I love the comments about the size of parties, and opening hours being dependent on the boiler. Marvellous. Note it also got a Good Food Award.
I should stress, the Miners’ Arms is now a residential house (has been for quite some time).
Anyway, without further ado:
PRIDDY, Somerset Â Miners’ Arms
4 Miles NW of Wells. Map 2. Priddy 217
Paul Leyton and his wife continue the individuality and excellence of their cuisine and wines at this remote and rather drab-looking inn. It is not even in Priddy, which is remote enough; it stands about two miles to the north-east, at the junction of the B3134 and B3135; a small off-white building. The food is a la carte only; an average lunch will cost you 22/-, and dinner is 27/6, excluding wine; the menu is unusual and imaginative. Among the best dishes are Mendip snails a la sauce du patron, cooked in a mixture of English herbs and ‘not obliterated by garlic’ (1/2 dozen, 6/6); clear snail soup (5/-); quenelles of Chew Valley trout with Normandy sauce (8/- as a starter); chicken in cider (10/0); quenelles of veal with mushroom sauce (11/6 as main dish); smothered chicken (with cream, onions an white wine (9/-); steak Theodora (with herbs), (17/6) ; lemon syllabub (3/6); and Miners’ Delight (cream ice and apricot in a pastry case with hot sherry sauce and cream, 3/6). As is perhaps inevitable in such a position, the deep freeze is used, but if it was always used so skilfully we should not complain. It is no place for large party, as everything is cooked to order. ‘Six is the maximum we can cope with in one party,’ states Mr Leyton, ‘to cook for more at the same time seizes up the kitchen.’ You must be prepared to wait half an hour in the lounge while your starters are cooked and be some time at table. The rooms are rather simple. The wines, about 85 in all, are chosen with great skill, and as things are (alas) can’t be called expensive. Quarter-pint glasses of French red or white cost 3/6 to 4/6; among the more expensive wines, a personal choice would be Ch. La Louviere, white Graves, ’59 (22/-) or Scholls Bockelheimer ’64 (21/-) to begin with, Ch. Bourgneuf ’55 (26/-) or Volnay Caillerets ’57 (28/-) to follow, and thereafter ask Mr Leyton’s advice.
Cl. Chr. & Boxing Days; probably 2 weeks end Nov/Dec; ‘and when the boiler bursts’. Must book. Meals 11.30-2; (summer) 6-9.45 (Su 7-7.30); (winter) 6.30-8.30 (Sa 9.3, Su 7-7.30). Alc main dishes 5/6 to 17/6. Cover 2/6. Seats 24. Restaurant & residential lic. Car park. No dogs in d/r. B&B from 30/-. STABILISED PRICES
GOOD FOOD AWARD