Leigh Robinson revisits a country pub where the PM’s portrait hangs over the heads of diners


The Five Alls

Filkins, nr Lechlade, GL7 3JQ

Tel: 01367 860875


or email info@thefiveallsfilkins.co.uk

Depending on your political point of view you might need a strong stomach when choosing to eat at the Five Alls at Filkins, the little village just the other side of Lechlade.

As you are shown to your table you are obliged to pass a colour picture of David Cameron, MP for that constituency.

If his presence adds any cachet to the Five Alls it’s worth noting that the last time he was seen out eating in public it was at the party conference in Manchester when he was spotted going into an Asian restaurant.

The Five Alls is one of those wonderful names for a pub. It is explained if you look at the sign outside depicting the devil in the centre, surrounded by a lawyer, who pleads for all, a parson, who prays for all, a soldier, who fights for all, and a farmer, who pays for all. In other words, all our needs are sorted, but the devil governs all.

The Five Alls has changed hands a number of times in the past few years and, according to the website, the couple who run it now came from the highly-successful Swan at Southrop, a village a few miles away, where they “continue to weave their magic.”

The last time I was at the Five Alls was almost 10 years ago when a customer complained vociferously about the food, prompting a rather large chef to come out of the kitchen to see what the problem was.

The customer paid his bill quickly, but he did have a point about the food; it was, at best, average back then.

Was it going to be any better this time?

I started with one of my favourites – potted shrimps with melba toast (£7.50), which was drowned in butter. The poor shrimps didn’t even have a chance of swimming. A little OTT.

My partner ordered carpaccio of beef but it arrived at the table as tuna wasabi. Try listening harder, Mr Waiter.

The carpaccio was fine but then, as my partner pointed out, it would be difficult to ruin a dish like that. Priced at £9 on the menu, it came on the bill as £9.50. A bit cheeky that.

My main meal was the steak, kidney and mushroom pie – the cheapest main course on the menu at £14.50.

Along with the caramelised root vegetables, it was just a little too rich and I wasn’t able to finish it even though it was not a massive portion.

My partner went for the half portion of the linguine, with crab, chilli, parlsey and garlic, which she found too spicy.

All this said, we were there on a Wednesday night and the place was packed, and everyone was enjoying themselves.

Personally, I felt it was a reasonable meal, but I think the Good Food Guide got it right by giving the Five Alls three stars out of five.

I won’t be rushing back.

We had a couple of starters, one and half main courses and a couple of drinks, and it was still just short of £50, so not really value for money.

One final thing: please get the spelling corrected on the menu. It’s just a bit sloppy.