Sometimes all Friday needs is a local pub and good friends. Stew & Oyster is just that pub. The bar is stocked with interesting local brews, and the simple menu is hearty and delicious. All you need is some sparkling company and you've got everything you need to get those warm fuzzies that only a couple of glasses of wine and contentment can bring.
The decor is pared down: blackboards advertising the menu, some squishy sofas and a handful of chairs and tables. On the walls are a collection of posters which could either be effortlessly cool or pretentious, I'll let you decide.
Given the name of the place, I felt that I couldn't leave without at least trying an oyster. After consulting my workmates and Twitter buddies, I was very apprehensive about my first oyster. It was definitely the minority singing the praises of this strange delicacy, with others warning me off about the bogey-like nature of these sea creatures. They don't help themselves by looking like this:
Nick bravely went first, as the relative connoisseur amongst the group. Declaring it safe, and in fact, delicious, Helena and I went next. This was a mistake. It was too large and slippery, and I did not enjoy it at all. The taste was okay, it was the general experience that I couldn't get on board with. Ugh ugh ugh.
Other than that, however, the food was gorgeous. Nick and Helena shared this Mediterranean smorgasbord, whilst Paul and I opted for stews. His was a traditional beef and ale number, whilst I went for a garlic mushroom version. Other than being piping hot (burnt tongue!) and the bread being a little dry, it was a triumph of a stew.
If you're looking for a low-key place to hang out with friends, enjoy a few beers and chew the fat (or the oysters), I can definitely remember Stew & Oyster. A relaxed atmosphere where you can easily get a table (winner) and talk about everything and anything under the sun. Plus, they let dogs in. Dogs in pubs is one of my favourite things.
Where's your favourite Friday night hangout?