The Caterer

Gastropub trend boosts country inns

09 September 2004
Gastropub trend boosts country inns

Country pubs are benefiting more from changes in dining trends than their urban counterparts, according to the editor of a new guide from Michelin, Eating Out in Pubs.

The guide, which is published tomorrow, has surveyed some 500 pubs in Britain and Ireland.

Guide author Derek Bulmer said that, while the "gastropub" was still a phenomenon by and large confined to London, they had led to a ripple effect of country pubs improving their cooking.

"Country pubs are improving their dining and becoming dining pubs, partly in response to the tougher drink-driving laws. They can no longer rely on liquor sales alone," said Bulmer.

Similarly, there was a growing trend for London-trained chefs to move out to the country - either for quality-of-life reasons or to go back to their roots - and start up fine-dining pubs.

"It is one of the cheapest ways to become your own boss.

"The public is also wanting to eat out more, but wants more informality and flexibility in their dining," Bulmer added.

by Nic Paton

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