At the weekend, whilst travelling, I stopped for my midday meal at the Fountain Inn at Parkend in the Forest of Dean. The meal was very enjoyable and tasty, but didn’t quite live up to its billing on the menu. I went had the steak and ale pie, ‘A rich, old-fashioned pie, topped with puff-pastry.’ Well, rich, yes, though a little runny — it would have benefited from the gravy within being a little thicker. It’s also true to say that it was topped with puff-pastry, but that’s the problem, it was only topped, no sides nor base. For me, ‘old-fashioned’ when applied to pie construction implies that the pastry encases the filling, not just tops it off in modern mass-catering style. It was very tasty, freshly prepared stuff, but more like chunky steak-and-carrot soup with a puff-pastry lid on than a real pie.
The inn clearly does plenty of business from the local railway and the welcome was friendly and the beer good. It’s well worth a visit, just don’t expect the food to be as authentically traditional as the website menu suggests.