Tuesday 18 January 2005 10.43am
A pedant writes:
I think that there is confusion in the copy...When I read it, I had to re-read it two or three times, and I think that part about mass catering is supposed to be relating to the pub he tried to get turned into a gastro pub.
I think somewhere in the subbing process the brackets were closed too early and the Hartley was named where it shouldn't have been, because in the next sentence after the mass catering remark Rayner talks about the Hartley sourcing their meats from the ginger pig, and not being like the mass catering gastro pubs he describes in the previous sentence. It's a very confusing review...and if I were the Hartley I'd be looking for a retraction on the line about getting their food from mass caterers.
I've cut and pasted the review below, so you can see what I mean about the piece contradicting itself.
The presence of that dish - and many others - on the menu at the Hartley, a gastropub on a rather less than lovely drag just south of London's Tower Bridge, was reassuring. (A couple of years ago I brazenly attempted to use this column to get a pub just down the road from my house in south London gastro-ed, but I failed.) Previously, the Hartley was a grimy old boozer with framed rugby shirts on the wall, frequented by a few blokes who would stan
It is a massive improvement, thoud about the bar sucking on fags in what, for them, was God's waiting room. Now the walls have been stripped back to brick. There are hefty leather sofas, subtle lighting and a list of Kiwi and South African wines. gh the menu is a disappointment. By their own admission, many of the dishes are brought in from those mass-catering companies who pre-charcoal-grill chicken breasts, so the barbecue marks have a startling uniformity. It was proof, if proof were needed, that the gastropub can be as much a pre-packaged affair these days as faux Victorian boozers were in the Seventies.
, with its red-painted walls, its half-open kitchen and its commitment to serious meats - great pork sourced from the Ginger Pig butchers, roast Longhorn beef on Sundays - is evidence that they can still be what they originally were: eccentric ventures of character, set up by people with a commitment to good food served outside the restaurant setting. No, it's not exactly pub food, but it has a solid, big-fisted feel which suits the solid, big-fisted surroundings.