Drayton – Cock Inn

After a rather lovely Hike Norfolk walk, we had a little visit to the pub and there was the choice of the Cock Inn operated by Marstons or the Red Lion operated by Greene King, so we went with the former. The Cock Inn was surprisingly busy with diners, so the pub trade must be picking up somewhat. There were still plenty of empty tables, but it’s a big pub and there was an organised feel to the whole venue.

There were three real ales available, Pedigree, Hobgoblin Gold and Cumberland from Jennings. A pretty uninspired selection and there were no dark ales or craft beers available. The best there is Hobgoblin Gold, the other two really aren’t very good and rate only slightly higher than Fosters on Untappd. Nonetheless, I went for half a pint of Cumberland and it was delicious if you like flavoured water with some food colouring. I think that the beer was well-kept, but it was so lacking in flavour, richness in taste or indeed anything, that it was hard to tell.

The problem with these three beers is they’re all produced by Marstons, so there’s nothing innovative or exciting there from independent breweries. But, to be fair to the pub, I’m not sure that even they would claim to offer great beers here, I think they’re more after the food trade. I do wonder whether Marstons are making pubs just too sterile, but they do attract families and they offer a safe and clean environment.

The pub’s food reviews seem broadly positive, although I was moderately humoured by the review which said:

“The chips were inedible as was one of the burgers which was sent back into the kitchen as it was so black I could have used it to draw with.”

Another customer made a long complaint about the food, alongside with some allegations about the cost of the beer which seemed a bit far-fetched, saying that they gave their steak to their dog when they got home.

The pub’s response was excellent, I do so like it when they reply, and I particularly liked their last line:

“I’m glad your dog enjoyed the steak.”

I like the pub more for that. I was disappointed though that the pub didn’t reply to the customer who got banned for returning food too often, I’m sure that there was an exciting story there to be told.

We sat in the garden and it was all well maintained, with these little cabins being a good idea. There’s a play area for kids and customers seemed to be enjoying their visit, it was all relaxed and seemingly well managed. It did occur to me after the event though that the pub isn’t operating a track and trace scheme, and it probably should be. For those with families, this is a pretty decent environment to bring them, safe and secure. I’m not sure that there’s anything that this pub offers that’s worth travelling for, but I’m sure it’s a positive addition to the local community.