Beer of the month, March 2015

This month is an emotional choice, because it has been an emotional month, perhaps the most emotional month. My dad passed away towards the start of the month, so beer was one of the furthest things from my mind. However, just a week later it was Mrs MOFAD’s 40th birthday, so we took a short break from events to return to our home and celebrate as best as we could. The support of family and friends were the key to March. Part of this involved a trip to town for a “day before the birthday” Thai meal with friends. Afterwards the two of us retired to the pub (The Swan in the Rushes, a long time MOFAD favourite which appears on the map) for a quiet pint and some quiet contemplation.

This pint just happened to be the possibly aptly named Salvation, by the recently opened Charnwood Brewery (our newest and now most local brewery). A nice, hoppy golden ale, and just the thing that I was looking for. We raised a quiet toast to a departed Dad.

IMG_2623

Advertisements

Pub of the month, March 2015

For exactly the same reasons  as the beer of the month for March 2015 (my dad passed away), the pub of the month is an emotional choice, because beer and trips to the pub were one of the furthest things from my mind.

March also saw a happy event, Mrs MOFAD’s 40th birthday, which involved a meal out with friends – family and friends were the key to March. After a lovely meal at the Thai Grand, we popped next door to The Swan in the Rushes, a long time MOFAD favourite which appears on the MOFAD map for a quiet pint and some quiet contemplation.

This pint just happened to be the possibly aptly named Salvation, by the recently opened Charnwood Brewery (our new local brewery). A nice, hoppy golden ale, and just the thing to raise a quiet toast to my departed Dad.

IMG_2623

A proper review of the Swan will follow later in the year, because we will definitely be back.

Another mundane sandwich post :-)

As promised, this is not all just about amazing food and beer festivals. Today’s post is just about the sandwich I’m having for lunch. The sandwich has been much derided in recent times but it’s what I usually turn to for lunch. 

When out and about, there are many options, and a Ginsters sandwich is usually my “go to” option. Often found in service stations (where they are convenient but over priced) you can always rely on the chicken and bacon sandwich for a tasty lunch. 

So today, what is this I spy? A smokey BBQ limited edition of that same sandwich? Yes please! A little BBQ sauce generally improves most foods 🙂

  

Sadly, the idea of capturing this for posterity came after I had finished… It was a very good sandwich, with the usual cucumber replaced by some lettuce. I’m sure I will seek it out again. 

St Joseph’s Tearoom, Whitwick

After a lovely sunny walk around the Charnwood Letterbox trail, there was time for a cream tea. There should always be time for a cream tea, but so often you arrive somewhere after a walk to find them closed. This is known as the Linda Smith law of tea rooms, as this is something she famously bemoaned. Who would want tea and cake at 5pm? Oh, just about everyone.

Anyway, no such problems today, as we arrived in plenty of time for a cream tea, and there was plenty available.

IMG_2617

There is often much debate about the correct order of jam and cream on your fruit scone. The illustrated order (jam first, then cream) is the correct order. Sorry Devonians, you are just wrong.

This was a very nice cream tea, good home-made scones and good jam. And the retro tea sets just make the whole thing perfect.

Lunch al desko

So this is not all about amazing food and drink from pubs and restaurants. Most days just involve normal things for lunch and dinner, maybe cheese on toast or a ham sandwich or a Sunday roast. And on an average day, there could be a quick trip down to the cafe to grab a sandwich for lunch. Today was one such day, and this was today’s distinctly average sandwich:-

IMG_2614

The inclusion of chorizo should enliven any sandwich, but that relies on it being some decent chorizo, as opposed to something mass produced without any care or love. Distinctly average, and I won’t be seeking this one out again.

The Tap House, Smisby

If there’s a chance of a visit to a pub that is attached to a brewery, you should always take it. Beer that has only travelled about 50 yards across a car park is a rare thing to find, and should always be sampled if possible 🙂

Tonight, such an opportunity presented itself, with a trip to The Tap House in Smisby. Not too far away, but somewhere that I’ve never visited until now.

The Tap House use lots of local ingredients on their menu (meat from nearby Owen Taylor’s butchers, eggs from Riverdale Farm). They also have plenty of options, from a traditional carvery (available 10-4 on Sundays and 12-2:30pm and 6-9pm Monday to Saturday) to a full main menu (3-9pm Monday to Saturday)

Several people in the group had the carvery tonight and were impressed by the quality and the portion size. I’m more traditional, and save roasts for weekends, so opted for the Tap House burger (being a big burger fan).

IMG_2611

The burger was clearly hand made, delicate and juicy. There was cheese, leaves and a gherkin inside that brioche bun, alongside excellent chips and onion rings. One of the best burgers I’ve had in a while.

The sausages and mash were also very tasty:-

IMG_2612

with proper onion gravy. And all of this was washed down with a very local pint of Ashby Pride:-

IMG_2610

a golden ale with a touch of hoppiness (although it looks darker than most golden ales). A great night of food and drink, and a couple of pints to take away too:-

IMG_2613