When I was a kid it was a big deal if Mum took me to the ‘boozy bar’. It would usually be during the summer months, and we’d visit pubs with outdoor play areas so I was entertained while she had her bitter lemon. Times have changed since the 80s with the majority of bars serving food welcoming Dinky Drinkers and Diners (Coke, natch) with open arms.
One such establishment, believe it or not, is The Cluny. Bolt hole of my student gig going days, I’d heard decent things about their grub. Having visited Seven Stories with Dinky we decided to call in, especially as we were told they’d be able to rustle up something vegan for Mr. Canny.
Not the most glamorous of drinking establishments, The Cluny is probably what my Dad would class as a proper boozer. I imagined the food offering was going to be standard pub grub – burgers, curly fries and maybe some sarnies. Instead I was impressed with a fairly comprehensive menu which included homemade pizza, chilli, salads and desserts. There is also a bog standard kids menu that features chicken nuggets and the like, but Dinky won’t be partaking in any of that for quite a while yet.
It appeared that vegetarians and vegans were well catered for by the options, which is something that surprised me. That said, we’ve had such positive experiences with Central of late (also owned by the Head of Steam group) we shouldn’t be so surprised that local pubs are welcoming those with specific dietary requirements. I’ve even heard that Wetherspoons have vegan options on their menu, but it’ll be a dark day before I set foot in one of their pubs, that’s for sure!
Dinky wasn’t impressed with Daddy’s beery kisses, it would appear! Mummy was very impressed with The Cluny’s non-plasticky Quorn Dog (£5.95) though, which tasted better than the usual veggie sausages I’ve encountered of late. Topped with cheese and onions, I have to say it had a better texture and taste to some meaty hot dogs I’ve had over the years!
Mr. Canny ordered the Moroccan Tagine, (£6.95), which he said was of an average standard. Having eaten authentic Tagine while travelling he does get his boxers in a twist if it isn’t served with bread or cooked in a specific way. In his opinion, and I’d agree, he was served a glorified Ratatouille. There was no kick from the listed Harissa paste, and his conclusion was it was bland. The chef came out after the order was placed at the bar to discuss what he could & couldn’t eat, which I thought was a nice touch. We felt confident that what he was eating was free from dairy and animal products. Their Spinach and Chickpea Chilli may have been a better option for Mr. Canny instead.
My in-laws shared a 12 inch handmade Pepperoni Pizza, which came served with rocket. At £6.95 it isn’t going to beat Pizzeria Italia in Four Lane Ends, but it’s a decent enough effort to eat with your ales.
Food is served at The Cluny between 12-9pm. I can’t imagine you’d want to stay late with the rugrats as there’s nothing to entertain them here. We saw a toddler watching his dad play on the fruit machine, but I don’t suggest for one minute that’s appropriate 🙂 The pub starts to fill up when the Ouseburn offices empty, so that would act as another deterrent for hanging round. We might return solo to try out their Sunday lunch offering, but I personally don’t feel it’s as child-friendly as they assert. While I don’t demand every establishment that serves food also have a Giants Den affair out back, I feel they need to offer more than just a baby change facility in the loos to warrant this claim.
Thanks for reading,