An historic inn close to the main street of Albany, the Earl of Spencer serves up generously sized classic pub style meals – if you are going along, as we do on every trip down this way, be sure to bring your appetite – the servings are not for the faint hearted.
We went for dinner last week and found a spot inside one of the two dining areas – these are separated by the bar – there is also a very pleasant outdoor area at the back, with long tables and plenty of shade. The only drawback is the smoking area on the front veranda where the dying breed congregate to blow their foul smoke over anyone trying to get in – but once past that, the ambience and friendliness of the pub takes over.
As I said the food is classic pub grub – and we went for fish and chips and what was called prawn hot pot but was actually garlic prawns. The serve of fish was substantial, was well cooked with luscious flesh inside crisp non-oily batter; the chips were top notch, floury and moist, with a lovely crunch to the outside. Salad added a healthy touch.
The prawns also were cooked well – a welcome firmness to the bite, the oil clean and fresh, garlic adding both flavour and aromatics. Chips, salad and bread rounded it out.
From the wine list – and I reckon this could do with a bit of a refresh to include a lot more local drops and some rosé– we enjoyed a bottle of Plantagenet Three Lions Cabernet Merlot.
The Earl is one of a kind in Albany, well-cooked, well-priced pub food for those with hearty appetites, historic charm, and helpful and friendly waiters. Well worth a visit or two!