No such thing as a dear lunch

Pub lunch prices soar, says guide
Long gone are the days when pub grub meant a lacklustre ploughman's or a packet of pork scratchings. But gone too is the idea that eating in a pub is a cheap alternative to a restaurant: a "middle-of-the-road" two-course pub lunch with a glass of wine costs on average £20, according to the latest Good Pub Guide.
Depends what you mean by the 'average' pub lunch. On the Today programme this morning I heard an explanation of how this research was carried out. The methodology was not, shall we say, robust. In order to determine a 'typical' pub-lunch price the researchers took the cheapest and the most expensive items on the menus and wine lists and simply averaged them. They also chose only pub-restaurants from the Good Pub Guide. That leaves thousands of perfectly good places to eat which do not appear in their august publication.

I'm surprised that the Good Food Guide, who should know something of how menus and wine lists are put together went along with this flawed method. Many wine lists have extremely expensive items on them. There may only be a bottle or two in the cellar but it looks good on the list. The reality is (like coffins) most people choose the second or third cheapest option available. A similar situation exists with regard to menus. There will always be an expensive starter and main course which very few people order. Again most people will choose from the cheaper items (which make up the bulk of the menu) so I think this report overstates the case somewhat.

I Googled some pub-restaurants at random and it is still perfectly possible to eat a decent lunch in pleasant surroundings for around a tenner plus wine. Sunday lunches, where competition is intense, are even cheaper. A decent roast will set you back about £7 to £8.