Unsure about the right thing to do? Let Saint Peacock sort out your moral ditherings!
Toxic local politics vs a lovely dinner
Dear St Peacock, while walking in Wales recently I came across an absolutely extraordinary pub restaurant in the village of Dale in Pembrokeshire.
Pub menus in little villages often stick cautiously to burgers, pie and mash, but this one was of a mind-blowing quality, even more so considering the village is just a handful of houses in the middle of nowhere.
The following morning, I mentioned how amazing it was to the landlady of the B&B, and she recounted a story of how the pub was a source of great bitterness among locals, as the new owner had banned them all from drinking there to make room for his fancy dining clientele, and wouldn’t even speak to them in the street.
His blacklisting them from the only pub in the village felt like a terrible injustice.
So given the chance to eat there again, should I take advantage of its spectacular menu or side with the wronged locals?
Dear Food Fan,
What’s their local spat got to do with you?
Once immersed in this source of local outrage, did you go and interview the pub owner to find out why he was desperate to make himself so unpopular? I doubt it.
You may have found he had his own grievances against the locals – perhaps he couldn’t stand their whining or telling him how to run his business.
Perhaps they’d done everything in their small-minded imagination to prevent his making it a success.
Or perhaps he’s the most utter cunt in all of West Wales – after all he wouldn’t be the first monster to run a restaurant (see all those operated by Gordon Ramsey).
So unless you’ve got a good reason to take sides in a local feud (and be honest, before you’d filled your boots there, you probably weren’t even aware of the village, let alone the pub) then enjoy the man’s kitchen and artistry as an enthusiast and leave the squabbles, vendettas and threatening graffiti to the people of the parish.
Bon appetit, Saint Peacock.