Pasty Presto, Bowness

I think it’s important to be open minded about things. Which is why this blog will be about a fast food establishment, well, it’s sort of fast food. Also, I don’t like Cornish pasties. Which probably leaves you thinking “why has he visited a place that does Cornish pasties”, well the answer is simple and twofold, it’s the Cornish pasties I don’t like, I am open to other fillings, but, I saw this sign outside the establishment in Bowness (a small town on Windermere in the Lake District)…

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My response to that is “I’ll be the judge of that”, so in I went, with my dad, to face one of my least favourite foods. Simply put, if they make a Cornish pasty I enjoy, I’ll agree with the above statement.

Pasty Presto is for want of a better phrase, a fast food establishment, but when it comes to selling pasties, you’re not expecting to sit down to a heaving plate of food, it’s just a case of grabbing a bite to eat, and getting back out to being rained on (this is in the Lake District, after all.) At the Bowness Pasty Presto, you order your pasty downstairs, where they are all on display in a hot cabinet…thing (I’m sure they have a technical name), alongside sausage rolls, and in the chilled section, cold pasties, and sweet pasties, I spotted a banana pasty there, too! We got our pasties, and took them upstairs to the eat in dining area, which is stylish and modernly decorated, including a mural on the back wall of what I assume is a jetty on Lake Windermere.

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There were some comfy chairs in the corner by a window, so we sat there. I’m such an old man, I can’t resist a nice comfy chair. Footrests would be nice in the future, and a roaring fire (somebody fetch me pipe and slippers.)

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Your pasty is put in a paper bag and popped onto a plate. With a slight amount of trepidation (I was worried about not liking it, and having to go hungry/spend money on different food), I unsheathed my pasty.

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A proper D-crimped Cornish pasty. This is how a Cornish pasty should look, if it’s flat and rectangular, or crimped at the top, it’s not a Cornish pasty. This is a fact. (See also : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty#Cornish_pasty.) One question I would have, is that there were signs in the dining area saying that the pasties are made every day, which I am curious about, as the PGI denotes that pasties have to be made IN Cornwall, and can then be baked anywhere, to be considered a Cornish pasty.

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I began tucking into the pasty, and I was pleasantly surprised. This was delicious, the filling was savoury, soft and peppery, and there was distinction between the different ingredients, but best of all was the meat. My irrational hatred of Cornish pasties comes down to them being made with anemic, grey, minced mystery meat, which just melts down to nothing, turns the veg grey and tastes bland. However there were chunks of meat in this pasty, and where some of it had escaped the protection of the pastry during the baking, it had gone a bit crispy on the edge and super tasty. My only criticism would be the pastry, which was a bit soft and chewy from sitting under the heatlamp, but given the nature of this place is no big concern, you can’t have freshly baked and fast food at the same time, things are going to have to sit under the heatlamp.

Another small issue I have was drinks. The choices of soft drinks I was presented with were, Coca Cola, Diet Coke, water, sparkling water, and Feel Good drinks, all of them were quite pricey, and I would have liked more choice in soft drinks. I would have gone for a pot of tea, but the teabags they were using were Tetley. When I rule the world, the standard tea will be Yorkshire Tea. As is proper. It is the only acceptable blend of tea.

Despite soft pastry, expensive drinks with a lack of choice, I quite liked Pasty Presto, and when in the south west on holiday next month I will have no problem popping into one there for a bite to eat, it was tasty and all natural ingredients at not too bad a price, if maybe a touch expensive. Perhaps a meal deal option would be a nice touch, that keeps it below £5.

We were fed, and we were ready to go continue to be rained upon in the Lake District, eat some ice cream and see John Craven filming something for Countryfile on the pier for the boat back to Lakeside where we’d started our day.

Cost 

Regular Cornish pasty and Feel Good Cloudy Lemon drink : £5.50

Score

Completely acceptable, would like to see drink choice/prices improved and I think a meal deal would be a good idea, and would also help bring people in : 7/10

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(Wooh, I got to go on a boat)

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