The Castle Inn, Bakewell

It’s health and safety gone mad!

We were in Bakewell for the weekend, camping on the nearby (very near in fact) Bakewell Showground. It had been raining all afternoon, so we headed off to our intended pub (The Wheatsheaf) where there was an event on (which we were planning on attending). It was absolutely rammed due to the event so we decided to eat elsewhere and return later to catch up with friends.

We popped over to the Queen’s Arms, on the basis that they were dog friendly (our sometime companion Suzy Bonce, the extremely well-behaved dog was with us) but they were not serving food. A few steps away was The Castle Inn, part of Greene King’s Old English Inns chain, with a large sign outside proclaiming its dog friendliness. It was pretty busy (a Friday night in the summer holidays, in a town with a few hundred extra people in it) but we located a few tables for our party of seven plus dog, and sat down. We wandered to the bar, ordered some drinks, studied the menu, and then wandered back to order some food. Then back to the bar again after discovering that there was no chicken tikka. Mrs MOFAD is a curryholic, and even after a good curry last night could not resist the temptation of a pub curry. However, this was not to be. A replacement was ordered. Back to the table. And then back to the bar to order a few more drinks. Not exactly stealthy diners (this comment will make sense shortly). A pint of Morland Best Bitter kicked off the evening, standard Greene King fare:-

Followed by a Nottingham EPA, a very pleasant pale ale:-

After some good chat, our food arrived and we all tucked in. A predictable choice for the Minister, the burger topped with pulled pork, which was fairly standard stuff, but did the job:-

Mrs MOFAD opted for chicken supreme, stuffed with tarragon and brown mushrooms,
with sea-salted-&-thyme-sautéed potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, peas, broccoli, sugarsnap peas and a rich red wine & tarragon sauce. This was a very nice dish indeed.

We all enjoyed a good meal, with much debate about the spiciness of the beef chilli (Charliee maintains it was not spicy, other opinions were to the contrary). The plates were cleared away, and one of the bar staff even said hello to Suzy Bonce who was snoozing under the table. However, a few minutes later, one of the other staff members (who had served us all our meals in the first place) suddenly opened his eyes, and proclaimed that it was “against Health & Safety rules” for dogs to be in the carpeted area of the pub! Apparently they are only allowed in the stone floor areas.

Across the road in the Queen’s Arms, this is clearly stated as you enter the pub. Fair enough, no problem. Your rules are clear. In The Castle Inn, it is not mentioned anywhere, so this proclamation was the first we’d heard of it. Apparently we “should have been told this when we entered” so we must have sneaked in Suzy the ninja hound, who had been with us for about 90 minutes at this point without any problems. Apparently there would be a “big problem” if health & safety turned up. As Mark pointed out, let’s just hope they don’t make a special trip out to Bakewell on a Friday night. We carried on with our drinks, and then moved to another table to join some other friends who had just arrived. We ordered more drinks and played a game or two of Uno.

If the dog/carpet interface is such an issue (and remember that we live in the age of the Miele C3 Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner), a couple of simple signs on the wall will solve it at a stroke.

We then wandered back to The Wheatsheaf for a couple of drinks and a natter with some more friends. A good time was had by all, and the amusement of the “Health & Safety police” later gave us our team name for the next day: Team HSE!

For the odd and inconsistent behaviour, the Castle Inn is not MOFAD approved.