Thirty minutes and thirty years from Sydney is a pub where strangers talk to one another, and Bar Manager John Mundy uses common sense and conversation to enforce the rule of law. Over a malty pint of Old Speckled Hen ($11.50) you might enquire after his glass jar of Pickled Eggs ($1.10/each). You can eat “the manager’s hangover cure” doused in Worcestershire and Tabasco at the bar, or experiment with John’s “English breakfast in a bag” by dipping them into pork crackling pounded into dust. It’s the kind of pub you’ll feel right at home in, whether you’re a regular propping up the bar, or a city slicker on the back verandah, cooing over sunset reflected on a neighbouring house across a field of swaying paspalum, while live act Imogen Clark warms up. Staying next door at Atura, I also wandered up during daylight hours for lunch. While I tucked into traditional Toad in the Hole ($21), baking three good-quality English pork sausages into a Yorkshire pudding, with mash and onion gravy; my dining companion flexed his cooking prowess on their new, high-tech grill. Balancing James Squire The Chancer ($9/pint) in one hand, he perfected grill marks on his Grass-fed Sirloin ($27/250g) with a wide grin. Grain-fed beef and Snags ($20/3) are also available.
Royal Cricketers Arms
Cricketers Arms Road, Prospect
Ph: (02) 9622 6498 mycricketers.com.au
Pub Bistro, British $$-$$$