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!


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