The Red Lion, Little Compton

Any mayonnaise for yourselves at all today?

A lovely long walk today, in the Bank Holiday sunshine. This well planned walk took in yet another Cotswolds Red Lion pub (allegedly the most popular pub name in Britain). We were around halfway round our walk today, and had planned to take this pub in for lunch. It has a lovely big beer garden, but you will need to duck your head when you go inside, as there are lots of low beams. Very nice to enjoy a pint of Donnington Gold in the sunshine.

And with triple pork nirvana at stake, it had to be the sausage baguette. That portion of chips was a little stingy, as was the salad, but the sausage was very tasty, a perfect walking lunch.

However, the real highlight of our visit was the waitress. Have you ever seen this character from The Catherine Tate Show?

Well, today she was in action at the Red Lion. We were falling about with laughter. For this, and the beer, and the tasty sausage, The Red Lion earns MOFAD approval.

Campfire Paella

Another in the occasional series of recipes, again cooked on our Anevay Frontier stove. This weekend we had a “come camp with me” night, where everyone brought something along that they cooked on the camp site. As we usually use a paella pan to cook on top of our stove, there was a fairly obvious choice, an interpretation of paella.

There are loads of different recipes for paella, and this campfire one was adapted from the one I normally cook at home. The constraints of cooking on camp call for some adaptations, most of all, using pre-cooked fish. So here is the campfire adaptation of paella, which should serve 4-6. You will need:-

Tablespoon of oil
1 500g packet Valencia rice (this is the classic Spanish paella rice, but another short grain rice like arborio/risotto rice works just as well)
Some kind of paella spice mix (you can get these in all sorts of places, or make your own with paprika, salt, saffron, dried or powdered garlic, dried chives and a little cayenne if you like a bit of warmth)
Onions, finely chopped (1 or more depending on size)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Glass of white wine (optional)
Around a litre of boiling water or stock
Wild garlic (optional, and included just because we had found some out on our walk today)
1 jar Peppadew peppers (your choice of hot or mild)
Chopped or sliced chorizo (your choice of hot, sweet, smoked, etc.)
Cooked fish (this is the cheat part, cooked mackerel, prawns and squid make life easy)

Off we go. Put the oil in the pan and heat. Add the finely chopped onions and cook over as low a heat as possible until they start to go translucent.

Next, add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes until it starts to release its flavours into the pan. The photo is from an indoor version of the recipe:-

Now add the rice and cook for a few minutes until all of the grains are coated in the oil. The photo is from an indoor version of the recipe:-

Add the glass of wine if you have it, or some water if not. Cook for a minute, then add your spice mix and cook for another minute. Then add the can of chopped tomatoes and combine with the items in the pan. Finally add the boiling water or stock, give everything a good stir and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the pan.

When most of the liquid has evaporated, add in your cooked fish and Peppadew peppers, and give everything a quick stir, and you are ready to serve. If you do have the optional wild garlic, sprinkle it on top. And it will look something like this:-

A bit of a blurry photo, but I was hungry and had just been cooking this for everyone!

Buxton Brewery Bonus

I mentioned yesterday that we picked up a few beers to take home when visiting Buxton Tap House. Here are those beers:-

Not the most varied of selections perhaps, but a couple of my favourite styles in there (I am a self confessed hop head). The Red Raspberry Rye is something a little different. The Tsar Bomba is an indulgence (a late self birthday gift), a special edition Russian Imperial Stout, and the Pomperipossa is a stout brewed with sour cherries. Finally, two hoppy items, the Imperial Black IPA and then Ace Edge, a limited edition version of the Axe Edge IPA with Sorachi Ace hops added. Look for reviews of all of these in the future, time permitting!

The Soldier Dick, Furness Vale (4/4)

Just one more visit. After our earlier trip to Buxton, we came back to Furness Vale to try for a bit of a walk. As soon as we parked up, the heavens opened, so we returned to the camp site instead. After a short break, the sun came out again, so another quick walk was banked. After that, our final wander down the hill for dinner.

Back in the Soldier Dick again, and they have a different Sunday menu. But unlike so many pubs, they don’t just restrict themselves to three or four roast meats on Sundays. There are also many other options to choose from. However, today we all opted for a roast because it was that kind of a Sunday. The roasts were all very good, with a nice selection of veg, and good Yorkshire puddings. The only niggle is that the mustard is just in your standard little sachet, whereas I would prefer a little portion of something made fresh from powder. Just a minor niggle though.

Not enough turn over on the ales over the weekend, so tonight I had three repeats, a Sharp’s Atlantic:-

a Wainwright:-

and an Exmoor Gold:-

Our study was concluded after 4 visits, and with consistently good food and drink, The Soldier Dick is 100% MOFAD approved. MOFAD card left!

Buxton Tap House, Buxton. Utter beer heaven.

Staying in Furness Vale for the long weekend. As you might have read, yesterday we got a bit wet on a walk, and abandoned the second half of it. Today’s forecast kept changing, but wasn’t looking too promising. So we decided to have a morning pottering around Buxton and then maybe try do to the abandoned second half later on in the day. As it turned out, the sun came out for a nice little trundle around town.

I suggested the Buxton Tap House as a suitable lunch stop, as I’m a fan of their beers, and I’d heard that they do good food. I was right. We wandered in around 1pm and managed to find a table. On Sunday lunchtimes, they serve full roasts, or just a roast in a bap, with roast potatoes, parsnips and gravy. This was a perfect choice for all of us.

Time for a drink or two whilst waiting for the lunch to arrive. For Mrs MOFAD it was a Pure North Fusion cider. I found it a touch on the vinegary side, but it did work well with the food. My first choice was a Moor Top, a lovely mixture of floral hoppy bitterness. And then some more bitterness. American Chinook hops and a hit of grapefruit. A great session pale.

Next up a Wild Boar, another floral and hoppy ale, this time with hints of mango. Very good indeed.

As this was going down with great ease, the food arrived, and it tasted as good as it looked. Very nice beef, a good and hot horseradish, good spuds and a really tasty gravy (if no-one else had been watching, I would have downed that too)…

As we hadn’t got too much planned, there was just time for another, this time a Jaw Gate, an American IPA made with NZ hops. Now, I’m very picky when it comes to IPA, because so many (this one included) do not understand that the P stands for PALE. Apart from the lack of paleness, it’s very good indeed, another one that you could drink all day.

A quick stop at the bar on the way out, to buy a nice little selection to take away. These lovely people will also let you taste a few more if you’re trying to make up your mind, so there was an opportunity to have some Pic Tor, a passion fruit sour which was pretty amazing. Will definitely get some of this next time, maybe they’ll take some to Thornbridge in July (please folks?).

It’s fair to say that the Buxton Tap House is 100% MOFAD approved, and a MOFAD card was left. Find out more at

The Soldier Dick, Furness Vale (3/4)

Just a few hours later, and we find ourselves back in this lovely little pub. Whilst here for lunch, we booked ourselves a table, and we were glad that we did as it had got that bit busier compared to last night. I’d already worked out at lunchtime what I’d be having tonight, so it didn’t take long to order and settle in with a pint. First up tonight, a pint of Thwaites Wainwright, something I’ve had a few times in bottles, but never from the pump. It’s a classic golden ale, very easy drinking. Mrs MOFAD opted for a Weston’s Old Rosie, which brought back many memories of drinking in the Swan in the Rushes in my pre-ale days…

As I say, my choice had already been made earlier, chicken breast stuffed with brie and wrapped in bacon. With new potatoes and a rosemary infused gravy, served with seasonal veg. It was another nice plate of food, and a very good combination of flavours.

No need for any pudding tonight, so it was time for another pint of Sharp’s Atlantic, and then a good few games of cards…

The Soldier Dick, Furness Vale (2/4)

Back again!

Today was our first walk, and it just so happened to be a circular walk from the camp site which had this pub as a lunch stop. The weather wasn’t quite as kind as it could have been, and we had a few showers on the way round. And we hadn’t quite got our calculations right, so we arrived here for lunch, just before 3pm. But this is a sensible pub, which serves food all day, unlike so many that will stop serving after 2pm and leave you starving until 5 or 6.

So we had earned our lunch today, relaxing first with a pint of Sharp’s Atlantic. Whilst you might think Sharp’s are a lovely little independent Cornish brewer, they are in fact a part of the Molson Coors empire. The Atlantic is a nice pint, but does NMH (that’s needs more hops, something you’ll see me say a lot).

Mrs MOFAD chose a jacket potato with prawns:-

I opted for a bacon cheeseburger:-

to keep the dream of triple pork nirvana alive. The burger was excellent, very tasty with nice cheese and bacon to top it off. Chips were good, as was the little bundle of salad. A proper pub burger. And the onion rings (so easy to mess up) were lovely.

As we had opted to abandon the second part of the walk (as the weather wasn’t showing many signs of improvement), I took the opportunity to have another Exmoor Gold.