I’m just about old enough to remember pubs before the “gastro” prefix was permanently attached. What halcyon days: a bland lasagne, curly fries and a few limp strands of lettuce - yours for just £3.99. This may sound sneering but I’m only half-joking; because, actually, it was fine; not good, but fine. Besides, these were the pre-smoking ban days, and who wants to tuck into textures of rosehips or whatever with wafts of fag smoke eddying up your nostrils?
These days, though, every two-bit boozer that opens or reopens is proclaiming its repertoire of butternut squash risottos and propa bangers and mash as “a modern take on classic British cuisine”, albeit, wait for it, “with a twist”. Always with a twist. Often there’s no twist.
Yet occasionally there are pub restaurants (let’s avoid that word shall we) that do offer something worthy of the affixation, and these places, readers, are meccas – paradises where haute cuisine meets pub grub. And deep in rural Yorkshire, over frostbitten moors and round the corner from an emphatic gothic church, I find my own personal nirvana – James and Kate Mackenzie’s Pipe and Glass Inn.