TPN 2016 #10

Birthday triple pork nirvana! This is the first time it’s been achieved in years, due to various reasons. The missed opportunities don’t matter, all that matters is achieving nirvana when you can.

It started at Table Table in Springwood Park, with a full English:-

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Nirvana continues at the Robin Hood in Rainow, with the classic that is sausage baguette:-

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We save the best for last, with sticky Oriental ribs at the Vale Inn, Bollington:-

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It’s probably the most exotic ending to a triple yet, although the Cumbrian pizza at Dodd’s is still one of my favourites. Not the first rib-based TPN either, as this visit to the Empress of Blandings rounded off another triple in the same way. However, these ribs were probably the tasiest of the MOFAD era.

The Vale Inn, Bollington

A birthday dinner usually means a trip to the pub. This weekend has involved several, but tonight was the big night.

We needed a pub that was dog friendly as Suzy the ninja hound was with us. The Vale Inn fitted the bill nicely. Since reopening in March 2005, the Vale Inn has made a name for itself as an ale and food pub at the heart of the friendly community. A real fire was a welcome sight on a cool night.

Rather handily, they have their own micro brewery in Bollington Brewing, which means there are always lots of their ales on tap, as well as two guest ales and several proper ciders. The menu changes with the seasons, and there’s also a specials board which changes more frequently.

On to the evening. Mrs MOFAD began with a Feral Nancy by CiderBeast. Unfortunately this was overly dry and astringent, not particularly pleasant.

I started with sticky oriental ribs, sweet and spicy and delightful. It’s not often I had ribs whilst out, but with triple pork nirvana at stake, it had to be some tasty pork.

Mrs MOFAD had very tasty halloumi starter was a nice introduction to the evening, it is so often just lightly cooked and bland, this was perfectly cooked whilst retaining the essential squeak of the squeakiest of cheeses.

My ribs were accompanied by a pint of Bollington Long Hop, delicious hoppy goodness and a perfect opener.

The main course was a juicy and moist fried chicken breast burger, with a very nice and spicy mayonnaise and some crisp potato wedges. Very tasty and very filling, with some token salad inside the bun.

I  had the Bollington Dinner Ale to accompany, a classic session bitter but it needs more hops.

There was something a bit different lined up for pudding. First it was time for another drink, this time a Bollington White Nancy (named after the white sugar loaf monument that can be seen on the saddle of Kerridge above Bollington). The beer was light, fruity and very drinkable.

The pub knew I was coming, so they added some artwork in honour of my birthday.

Time for the final flourish, Mrs MOFAD’s cake creation, which tasted as good as it looked. We all enoyed some chocolatey goodness, whilst attraction jealous looks from other tables.

And if all of that wasn’t good enough, I left with a box of beers, because they have a range of bottled Bollington beers for sale. A pub with great beer, great food, and then beer to take away? You can’t get much better than that! MOFAD approved!

The Robin Hood, Rainow

The sun always shines on April 9th. It is a thing. It was shining for most of this morning as we walked along the Macclesfield canal and then diverted via Kerridge to arrive in Rainow in time for lunch.

The Robin Hood has recently been taken over by a new team and now offers home cooked food from fresh local produce, a range of traditional cask ales and wines from around the world. They promise pub favourites such as fish pie, vegetarian options and other home made pies as well as some interesting new additions like Thai green curry, lamb shanks and roasts available every weekend.

The thirsty walker needs refreshment. Nothing local on today, so it was the ever reliable Wainwright, once made by Thwaites, now part of the Marstons empire. Incorrectly served in a Black Sheep glass (this minute detail is annoying) this was still a reliable golden ale, and a great lunchtime pint.

A good selection on the menu for lunch time, several sandwich options as well as things from the main menu, so there’s plenty of choice. With birthday triple pork nirvana at stake, the choice is obvious. Sausage baguette, simple but effective, with a couple of small salads on the side. The fried onions were certainly not subtle 🙂

Just time for something before departing, the Easter classic that’s not as good as it used to be, the Creme Egg:-

One thing they do need to sort out is their web site, so that their menus are available online – there is tantalising text saying “download our menu now” but no link attached.

The Robin Hood is a cracking little village pub which is well worth a visit if you find yourself walking in the area. You’ll certainly leave with hunger and thirst quenched!

Mrs MOFAD’s cake creation

There are not many words required here. It was my birthday. Mrs MOFAD got creative with my birthday cake (chocolate of course, as all cake should be). We were off walking in the Peak District with friends for the weekend, so the cake reflected that theme. You will see a dry stone wall, a gate, grass and a sheep.

There are also a few other items that take a little more explaining. We were also Geocaching whilst out walking (using multi-million dollar satellites to hunt for plastic boxes). The little red sweet by the gate is the representation of a cache. The series of caches we were looking for had an alien theme. The yellow and white sweet is a UFO. The green bear thing is an alien.

It is a cake masterpiece and Mrs MOFAD is a cake decorating genius. Love you!

Cake!