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Friday, 1 November 2013
The Cricketers, Kew
Warm beer and cricket on the village green: it was John Major's English idyll - only, here, my beer's not warm and a storm has caught out the would-be willow whackers of Kew. What to do when rain stops play? Doubling as unofficial clubhouse, the old Rose and Crown is the place to shelter. Following a major makeover, re-branded under new management as The Cricketers, its smart terrace is ideal for armchair umpires when the weather behaves itself. Indoors, the low-beamed old girl has been gussied up. Cosy postmodern pink and mink tweeds tie in with a string and dead salmon paint job that will appeal to Farrow and Ball snobs (note to young homemakers: Leyland will mix a-near-as-damn-it alternative for pounds less.) Ales include Portobello pilsner, Sambrook’s, Eton and Windsor, London Black Cab and Innis and Gunn. Wine from £15 includes Chablis at £25 and food prices are not OTT. Expect to stump up £12.50 for confit duck leg, sweet potato and red cabbage on a lunch and dinner menu that also has Portobello mushroom, tomato and feta in filo; share platters from £10; and old school puds. The only downer, is the out-of-place coffin dodger couple on the next table. She, of the Torremolinos tomato tan on skin the texture of Dunlop tyre tread, does not seem like someone who would take an interest in the government's energy policy. "Fracking this and fracking that' as the soundtrack to my lazy lunch? It's just not cricket!