by Stephen Wallis
On a beautiful sunny Bank Holiday Monday we visited the Royal Standard of England set in the small village of Forty Green near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. This Public House is the oldest free house in England.
On arrival we were overwhelmed by such a busy bustling atmosphere, with the garden overflowing with guests and their families on this lovely day. We were taken to a table near the window. Every detail of the furnishings and the original wooden beams reflected the age of this establishment. We were welcomed with a nice bottle of Azzillo Prosecco and shown a good choice dishes on the menu. I opted for the French Onion Soup Gratinée with white onions, Gruyère cheese melted on crouton (£5.50), and my partner chose the Gin Cured Salmon (Gravlax) beetroot and horseradish sauce and bread (£5.50).
For the main course I was kind of hoping for a roast dinner – thinking it was a Sunday! However, we were not disappointed with our choices. My partner went for the Welsh Lamb Shoulder from Elwy Valley with puy lentils (£16.50) and, seeing myself as a bit of a steak man, I chose the 10oz Beef Rib Eye Steak with pepper sauce, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and chips (£22.00).
The Royal Standard has been there for over 900 years and has a wealth of history and the inevitable ghost stories! They say it is owned ‘by the people’ that use it today and those that have used it over the centuries. It has been said that there is occasionally the sound of a drum beating from the car park – the alarm from a young drummer boy killed by the Roundheads in 1643. There is also a mention of a ghost that walks through the walls and the bar and there are different interpretations of this story.
We may not have experienced either of these manifestations but we did enjoy a delicious meal in the relaxing, homely atmosphere of this beautiful historic building.
Had we had enough time we would have explored the walk that is mapped out in the car park, something we aim to do when next we go to Forty Green to revisit the Royal Standard of England pub.
The Royal Standard of England
Forty Green, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 1XS
Tel: 01494 673382 Website: www.rsoe.co.uk