Return to The Alma, Wandsworth

A return visit to this lovely little London pub. As with the previous visit, I was staying at the Holiday Inn Express just over the other side of the railway.

Tonight’s visit had three purposes.

  1. Something to drink
  2. Something to eat
  3. Watch the Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla

Let’s start with (1), which started with a Pumphouse Pale Ale, from Sambrook’s brewery, just one stop down the line in Battersea. This was a delicious pale ale with hoppy notes and a hint of biscuit. Add some more hops and it could be a world beater.

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We relaxed into the evening, bagging a good seat with a view of the projector screen ready for later. Dinner was ordered, another pint arrived. This was a Young’s Special which is a malty bitter, which went well with dinner…

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That dinner was this delicious rump steak. Sometimes, you just can’t beat the classics.

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A rare rump steak, with shoestring fries, lambs leaf lettuce, a fried mushroom and tomato, with garlic butter on top. There was also some perfect English mustard on the side – an essential with steak! It was utterly delicious and devoured with vigour.

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Another drink to accompany the football, this Young’s Bitter was very tasty, but could not take away the bitter taste of defeat, as Sevilla won the game 3-1, in a classic game of two halves, with Liverpool dominating in the first half, and then forgetting to turn up for the second.

Lovely to be back at this lovely London pub with its wooden floors, lots of wooden panelling, a bright and airy dining room at the back and a tiled finish on the outside. Last time I said I hoped to come back and try the food, and I’m glad I did. Great pub. MOFAD approved!

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300th post!

It’s another milestone post and another double celebration. Only six weeks on from the 250th post, and we celebrate 300 posts as well as 3,000 tweets.

Since the last round up, there have been several visits to The Needle & Pin, in combination with trips to The Hog Stop. We’ve enjoyed Mrs MOFAD’s awesome birthday cake creation, the comedy of The Coffee Tavern in Pott Shrigley, as well as a few more triple pork nirvana celebrations.

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A trip to Edinburgh saw visits to BrewDog, Holyrood 9A and the fantastic Hanging Bat, amongst others.

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A return trip to Settle also saw a couple of return visits to the Talbot Arms, as well as new discoveries such as the New Inn and the Black Horse Hotel, as well as another trip to The Lion amongst others.

A quick takeaway from Peter Pizza and then the most recent post about Nethergate, the caring brewery brings us to this 300th post.

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There are still another 40 posts in draft form, with a few more from the New Zealand adventure still to come as well as some from Settle and the Bollington birthday weekend.

International visitors continue to accumulate. Who would have thought there would be visits from Hungary, Ethiopia, Taiwan and Tanzania?

The Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheMOFAD is still proving popular and you can find the Minister on Twitter @The_MOFAD, where over 3,000 tweets have now made their way out into the world.

Right, time to get back to writing those posts…

Nethergate Brewery – the caring brewery

A quick one this. On the 26th of March, I checked in a beer on Untappd. I had bought it a week earlier on my visit to Calcott Hall Farm Shop. Upon opening, it was rather sour, but not in a good way (I like a good sour beer). I suspected it had gone off and that is what my Untappd review said.

A few days later, Rob from the brewery replied to my Untappd comment, asking me to get in touch. After a bit of back and forth due to a bouncing e-mail address, Rob was very apologetic about the substandard beer, and offered to send out a replacement asap.

April came and went, and I had kind of forgotten about this. But then I received an e-mail from Rob, explaining that they had sent out a replacement whilst we were away. Luckily, a neighbour had taken it in, and brought it round when we were back. So tonight I opened it, and am happy to report that it tasted much better second time around, a good chestnut bitter with maltiness, a little fruitiness and a hint of hoppy bitterness.

If only all breweries cared this much about their product! Cheers Nethergate!

The Needle and Pin, Loughborough, May 2016

Another trip to the fantastic Needle & Pin, organised by regular MOFAD drinking companion Alec. No special occasion, just a chance to get together with the boys to drink good beer and eat good pizza.

Let’s start with a drink, a Ginger Pig from Springhead Brewery. I’m a big fan of Springhead, Roaring Meg has been a long time favourite. A visit to The Bees Knees (the Springhead brewery tap) in Laneham in 2014 was a great chance to try plenty of their output and pick up a slab of bottles to take home. Their Ginger Pig stout is one of my favourites.

The “ordinary” Ginger Pig is also a lovely beer, with subtle hints of ginger, rosemary and lime, a cracking pint.

A Muirhouse brewery Choc & Orange mild followed on, with subtle chocolate and orange flavours, very nice.

Then it was time for some pizza, delivered from just around the corner by those nice folks at Peter & That’s Enough. A perfect interlude to great beers.

On to smaller measures now, sampling some of the many bottles and cans that grace the fridges downstairs. This was “Hickey the Rake” by Wylam brewery, an attack of lemons and hops, good sharp flavours.

Hickey was followed by a Speak Easy from Powderkeg, which was fruity and hoppy and had the requisite paleness required by a pale ale.

Finally tonight an N1 by Hammerton Brewery, which is more of a well hopped lager than a pale ale. And like almost all American pale ales, it’s not pale. Still a good beer though.

A thoroughly enjoyable night of excellent ales and a great pizza. Have you been to the Needle & Pin yet? Why not?

Peter Pizza, Loughborough (takeaway option)

A quick Peter post. I have visited their fine establishment to enjoy some pizza a few times, but that was in pre-MOFAD days, so no review exists yet. Although it would be a positive one, unlike the one that appears on their side wall, “Come and try the worst pizza one guy on TripAdvisor ever had”. Definitely not my experience.

You’ll just have to make do with this quick takeaway post instead. Whilst enjoying a night out with some vinyl and ale at The Needle & Pin, we ordered some pizzas to be delivered. For what is beer without pizza or pizza without beer? The Needle & Pin is a proper micropub, so no food facilities, but you can bring in food from elsewhere, especially Peter, who will deliver your pizza directly to the pub (it’s only a short distance between the two).

So a quick note on pizza number 2, Italian sausage:-

Simple and delicious. Pizza is often over-complicated and over elaborate. We are essentially talking Italian peasant food, although some people from Chicago occasionally claim that it’s American in origin. I’m quite partial to a few interesting pizzas (crispy duck, when done right, is a good fusion pizza). But you can’t beat something simple – a crisp base, tomato sauce, mozzarella and slices of Italian sausage.

Unfussy. Brilliant. The best pizza for miles around, and it has powered Leicester City to the league title if you believe the Peter Twitter feed 🙂

Royal Spice, Settle

Another quick takeaway review. Ironically, the usual reason for opting to take away doesn’t apply to the Royal Spice. We usually take away so that we can enjoy a decent drink with curry – a super-hoppy IPA for me and a decent cider for Mrs MOFAD. No gassy lagers required.

The Royal Spice doesn’t have an alcohol licence, so you can bring your own, from some of the shops in town (the Co-Op is just 10 yards over the road), or from the Talbot Arms just 50 yards away (they will pull any of their ales into 2 pint takeaway cartons, which is perfect!)

Mrs MOFAD had a delicious butter chicken dish, so often much maligned because it is done so badly. This one was very nice.

For me it was chicken jalfong, which I understand to be a dish of Bangladeshi origin. It’s a new one for me, and I like to explore new dishes. This was very tasty, a good hint of chilli and lime, although not enough lime for my liking. I like a lot of lime. If there is a curry with lime I’ll often give it a go. Good naan breads to accompany the curries.

This was accompanied by Otherside IPA from York brewery, winnings from the pub quiz earlier in the week. It is not an IPA. It’s a reasonably tasty ale, but does not have the huge hop hit that I want with my curry.

Great curries from the Royal Spice (although the sign outside now just says R Spice). Reccomended!

The Shambles Fish & Chip Shop, Settle

Can’t beat that British classic of fish’n’chips. After another nice walk today, we were ready for a takeaway, which we’d decided on last night after winning the pub quiz at the Talbot Arms.

I’m not going to win any awards for presentation, but my approach to fish’n’chips is to get it on the plate and get it in my belly.

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A lovely plate of fish’n’chips, nice piece of cod and good chips. Mrs MOFAD’s quest for a Yorkshire fishcake was thwarted once more. They do sell them at The Shambles, but as we are reaching the end of the “old potato” season and crossing into new potato territory, they don’t have enough decent sized potatoes to make Yorkshire fishcakes (a piece of fish between slices of potato). They also have pies, pizzas and burgers on the menu, so it was a chicken & mushroom pie for Mrs MOFAD tonight.

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This was all washed down with winnings from last night’s pub quiz, several tasty pints in takeaway cartons. Great fish’n’chips (and a chip butty of course) and great beer. A perfect evening in!