In recent years, eating out in Britain has undergone a quiet revolution. The gastro pub has brought us some of the best casual cooking we've ever tasted. Many of Britain's finest chefs have gone back to basics, setting up good food pubs all over the country, where they combine regional cooking with first-rate ingredients to bring us the kind of food we want to eat - gutsy dishes, such as smoked haddock with poached egg and mustard sauce, shepherd's pie, and chargrilled steak with sauteed potatoes and bearnaise. And, as you'd expect from a pub, the puddings are to die for - there's chocolate tart with blood orange ice-cream, pears in port and beer with Lanacashire cheese, and caramelised rice pudding with boozy prunes.
The style of cooking in gastro pubs is homely, the theme reassuringly local. From the West Country you'll find dishes like Cornish fish casserole, rabbit in cider, and Devon braised beef, while in Ireland there's beef and wild mushrooms in Guinness, and Irish stew. Alongside the recipes, the country's finest gastro pub chefs tell the story of this dining revolution that is redefining British cuisine.