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Gastropubs: Everything You Need to Know About This Trendy Dining Concept

Gastropubs: Everything You Need to Know About This Trendy Dining Concept
The pub sector has been a key principle of British culture for as long as we can remember, with around 50,000 gastropubs spread across the nation today. In our previous article, we discussed How Gastro Pubs Are Redefining The Hospitality Experience including its unique qualities. In our eyes, a gastropub is seen as a typical pub to meet and catch up with family and friends. However, gastropubs also have an interesting history that many people may not know of. Continue reading as we give you the lowdown on the brief history of the popular gastropub and everything else you need to know about this trendy dining concept.

The History of Britain’s First Gastropub

Britain’s first gastropub was founded in the early 90s by Mike Belben, a restaurant manager and David Eyre, a chef. According to sources, the duo met when Belben and Eyre worked together in a restaurant in Covent Garden, London. Eventually, they ended up managing a restaurant together. However, their dream was to open their own business.  They purchased a venue on Farringdon Road, which was originally a small brewery and later renamed it to The Eagle pub. It opened its doors in January 1991, but Belben and Eyre were on a tight budget, so their friends offered to work for them in return for food and drink. The concept grew in popularity as people were curious about dining in a pub which served affordable, restaurant-quality food without having to make a reservation.  Sources also say the term ‘gastropub’ was first used by the late Charles Campion, a well-known TV personality and food journalist, when he ate at The Eagle. Many other gastropubs opened in the UK and even in the US after being inspired by their concept and following in their footsteps. This year, The Eagle celebrated its 33rd year in business. 

What is the Difference Between a Gastropub and a Regular Pub?

So, one question remains – what makes a gastropub different from a regular pub? Before gastropubs, most traditional British pubs only served alcohol and soft drink beverages with little emphasis on food. In the 1930s, pork scratchings were offered to pub-goers in the Midlands. Local butchers would make them by frying leftover pork rind at low costs. Over time, pork scratchings had become an iconic pub snack. Their crunchiness and saltiness complement a pint of ale or beer. On the other hand, gastropubs offer a far more extensive food menu, consisting of gourmet roasts, pies, burgers and much more.  Regular pubs are known for their familiar selection of beers, ales, spirits and wine. Gastropubs still offer these alcoholic beverages, along with more creative options such as cocktails. Finally, regular pubs have a casual and relaxed atmosphere with a traditional and rustic interior with limited bar stools. Gastropubs, on the other hand, offer a more lively atmosphere with sophisticated and stylish interiors. In addition, they usually have plenty of comfortable seating, making them a family-friendly option. 

Stop By One of Derbyshire’s Best Gastropubs

Now that you know everything about gastropubs including their rich history, you may appreciate them more than before. If it wasn’t for Mike Belben and David Eyre, this trendy dining concept may not be as we see it today. So, why not make the most of your local gastropub?  If you are based in or are travelling through the Derbyshire region, you can stop by one of Derbyshire’s best gastropubs – The Boars Head Hotel – located just outside Sudbury. Our gastro menu is available from 8am to 9pm daily for all tastes and preferences. We also have a roast menu, which is served every Sunday from noon to 9 pm. Follow up with your meal with a dessert or bring something from our drinks menu. Fancy a night of smooth jazz music? Visit our live music page for dates and more information.  Our talented chefs and friendly bar team are eagerly waiting for you! Book your table with us today!  
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Allergens and Intolerance

This website is to be used as a a best faith effort to inform you of our allergen and intolerance policy,  and may not be 100% accurate, or may be out of date at the time of reading, you should always advise your server on any dietary requirements, including intolerance & allergies. All our dishes are prepared in our kitchens where allergens are present. We therefore cannot guarantee that all our dishes are free from traces of allergens.

You must assess your own level of risk, based on your personal circumstances before consuming any of our food or drink.