During our trip to the UK, we took a side trip up to the walled city of York. We rather enjoyed the city, with nice walks around the city wall, touring York Minster, shopping, and checking out the original “shambles”.
However, one of the things York is known for is having one of England’s highest number of pubs per capita, with all sorts of pubs distributed through the city.
Nicely located just about 100 yards from York Minster, and just about as close to the B+B at which we were staying, the Three-Legged Mare pub is a York Brewery pub (A “three-legged mare” is basically a hangman’s gallows, not some sort of lame horse). It’s one of those pubs that I like to call “Lunch” pubs (I’m sure there’s a better British term for this), fairly brightly lit instead of being a little dark and cozy, and have a nice little garden in the back. It’s the sort of place that makes you want to pop in and have a nice little light lunch to go with your pint.
Well, the Three-Legged Mare is a pretty good spot for this. Instead of having some of the heavier pub food (big meat pies, bangers and mash, and such), the menu mostly consists of variations on the other British pub mainstay: the Ploughman’s Lunch. It’s somewhat traditional (although some of the skeptics say Britain’s cheese industry started it) for pubs to serve a light lunch consisting of some bread, a big hunk of cheese, and some relish (err, “pickle” in British English). Sometimes a place will also add a few other items to round it out, such as a small salad, or some sliced meat.
The Three-Legged Mare goes all out on their Ploughman’s Lunch, however. In addition to the bread (a nice hearty wheat bread) and some good thick chunks of Stilton with relish, the Mare served some some surprisingly good ham, pickled onions, chutney, bread, salad, pickles, and the like. Oh, and a pork pie. Not a bad spread, indeed. It was a lunch that was hearty enough to satisfy, but light enough to not weigh me down. And it paired perfectly with the York Brewery Centurion’s Ghost Ale. A nice dark and malty bitter ale (one of my favorites on the trip).
It’s probably not my favorite pub overall, but it was certainly a great place to stop in for a light lunch.