Lunch at the Plough and Sail, Paglesham
Just as with my last eating out experience, this one wasn’t planned. We were quite content and intent to do a Kentucky Fry (as originally planned) and at a fraction of the cost but …
We decided as a birthday treat to take an elderly gentleman friend of ours on a magical mystery tour in the car, stopping off for short walks and sit-down chats while admiring the view on the way. And the weather was glorious, which had a bearing. My wife had the bright idea of visiting the caravan park (and yes there was a reason for doing so) near Wallasea Island, before moving onto the Nature Reserve, which we did, and it was fantastic. Our friend was taken with his first visit to the Island and realised that Paglesham, where he had some past association, was nearby. Then I had a bright idea – why not have lunch at the Plough and Sail, which we knew from past visits, rather than KFC, and thus enjoy the Essex countryside a little longer. My wife and my friend were happy to go along with this.
The Plough and Sail website begins “Just a few hundred yards away from the River Roach you’ll find The Plough & Sail owned by the Oliver family since 1965. Still run as a traditional country pub set in the Essex countryside with cozy log fires, home-cooked food, real ales and a superb Gin selection. The Plough & Sail has history dating back over 300 years” and with the blurb that follows about how great the food is, does a good sales pitch without overstating the case. The food, service, ambience is more than good and the price, given what was on offer (and I was struck how much in all starter, main (traditional English leaning) and dessert departments was on offer), is more than fair. We arrived a little after 1pm and noted it was busy (we were later told that is the case most days) despite being out on the sticks. We were pleased we were given a table (inside, although outside was tempting) despite not booking.
In short, we enjoyed our whole P&S experience. The service was cheerful and efficient, in a pleasant atmosphere (just as we recalled previously), and we were all delighted with what was on offer. We ordered drinks (two lagers and a cup of tea, which was nice) and decided to skip starters so not to get over full (main portions were generous), although there was lot to tempt us. The mains promptly arrived, cooked to perfection. I went for steak and kidney pie with mash, four veg and gravy, having been wowed last time when I ordered that dish. My friend went for the roast beef salad and my wife went for the rib eyed steak (rare) and we all liked what we got (although my friend hadn’t quite expected what turned up for him and said he would order something different next time). Both me and my friend decided to go for another blast from the past – rhubarb crumble dessert, even though there were other desserts on offer, worth bearing in mind for the future. After settling up at the end, we left, reflecting that eating at the P&S was worth it, before continuing on our tour, which went through Rochford, Wakering, Shoebury and Southend sea front before taking our friend home.