The Royal Hotel, Hayfield, August 2016

Hooray, hooray, it’s a bank holiday (weekend). Going camping for the duration is very much a thing we do. In 2015, we went to Settle (Yorkshire), 2014 saw cycling in Napton (Warwickshire), 2013 was Banbury (Oxfordshire), with a long detour via Dundee for me, 2012 brought Wareham (Dorset), 2011 was Uffington (Oxfordshire), and 2010 saw us camping near Eyam (Derbyshire).

So this weekend it was time for Derbyshire again, a trip to Hayfield, where we stayed at Easter a few years ago. Just up above the village is a very nicely kept Camping and Caravanning Club camp site, which was to be our base for the weekend.

Even better news is that it is just a few minutes walk away from The Sportsman Inn. However, this is a very popular pub for diners, so it’s sometimes hard to get a table.

We decided to wander down into the village (it’s very definitely down) to have some dinner on our first night. We settled on The Royal Hotel, where we’ve eaten on a few previous visits to Hayfield. We grabbed a couple of menus, found a table and ordered. A drink first, Mrs MOFAD opted for Aspall cider, which was on draught.

My first choice was DB Number One from Dorking brewery, with malts, a little hint of hop, and maybe a tiny amount of smokiness…

Dinner was soon served, and we both opted for “Italian chicken”, chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella and wrapped in¬†parma ham, served on a bed of crushed new potatoes with a rich tomato sauce.

It was quite nice, but the tomato sauce needs a bit more work. It wasn’t “rich” as described, and a little bit watery. Another 5 minutes of reduction and it would have probably been about right. A bit under seasoned too – it’s rare that you’ll find me sprinkling salt on something other than fish’n’chips! A good selection of seasonal veg, and the chicken was good too, just needs a bit more work on the tomato sauce.

This was accompanied by a pint of Byatt’s “Marvellous English IPA”. If this wasn’t labelled as an IPA I would score it higher. It is writing cheques that it can’t cash. Nice beer but not an IPA.

A lovely first night in Hayfield in a nice village pub! I’m sure we’ll be back…

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