Friday 16 October 2009

The Cannon, Earsdon, Tyne & Wear

The Cannon is an old-fashioned, well-kept pub surrounded by stone nineteenth century houses, opposite a distinguished church in the endearing village of Earsdon. Inside, there is maroon upholstery everywhere, while the tables can be cramped and the stools small, so be choosy about where you sit. The walls are lined with prints of very dated paintings of pastoral scenes in ornate gold frames. But what pulls in the dozens of elderly regulars is the keenly-priced food and hand-pulled beers. The real ales include Directors (a fine, smooth pint) and Pedigree, while there is the usual array of lagers.

Proper mushy peas
Most of the main courses (around six to eight pounds) are served with a choice of chubby chips, decent new potatoes or a jacket potato. On a Saturday lunchtime, the corn-beef hash pie sells out quickly, but the hungry will find the mediocre Highland sausages, served with melted cheese, bacon, proper mushy peas, onion rings and sweet corn, is quite an appetising combination. There are also several different variations on fish, chips and mushy peas. The fish tends to be wrapped in light and relatively-healthy batter, while the flesh inside is succulent. Or you can opt for a large, crisply-cooked baked potato with a prawn mayonnaise topping, a substantial side-serving of tuna, and stacks of fresh salad. There aren't any children's meals and, oddly, the staff insist that you pay in cash straight after your food arrives, rather than when you order. 7/10