Pub of the month – August 2016 – Ye Olde Mustard Pot, Midhopestones

Another month of pub visiting.

First in this month’s round up, The Quorndon Fox, in Quorn. The Quorndon Fox was a fox specially bred for hunting wild Quorn in order to feed vegetarians.

Vintage Inns are another example of a good chain of pubs. We’ve been to them around the country, in Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, Derbyshire and probably some other shires too. You know what you’re going to get, which is usually decent food and a good few ales on the bar. The menu is the same up and down the country, and they change them regularly throughout the seasons.

August’s visit (we’ve been here in pre-MOFAD days) provided an example of those good ales – Abbeydale Moonshine, a classic session pale ale, light and hoppy.

You can also keep it light food-wise with a simple sandwich menu, offering things like chicken BLT – grilled chicken breast, bacon, gem lettuce and tomato. There’s also chargrilled rump steak with horseradish mayonnaise, beer-battered cod goujons and samphire tartare sauce (posh fish fingers), prawn and hot-smoked salmon, Taw Valley cheddar and pickle or Yorkshire ham and grain mustard. These are all served with “straw fries” (Stringfellows for all you 80s frozen chip children).

The aforementioned chicken BLT came in a good bap with good chips. And served on plates!!! The little chip bowl had been heated up to keep the chips warm, so it served a purpose but I still tipped them out anyway.

On warm summer evenings there’s also a nice beer garden out the back to enjoy. We were dining in the garden, and you get to go and raid the fridge for condiments. No tiny sachets here, go and grab a jar of mayonnaise or tomato sauce or whatever from the fridge in the little shed and spoon yourself some out. A lovely pub.

The next two pubs come from a Bank Holiday weekend away.

Next up we have The Royal Hotel Hayfield. Just up above the village of Hayfield is a very nicely kept Camping and Caravanning Club camp site, which was to be our base for the weekend.

On the Friday and Saturday nights we found ourselves wandering down into the village, and to The Royal Hotel, where we’ve eaten on a few previous visits to Hayfield. Good beers available as per previous visits. On the first night I started with 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 had 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, instead a little bit watery. Another 5 minutes of reduction and it would have probably been about right. A bit under seasoned too.

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

Just 24 hours later, we were back. After a rainy day out on the bikes we decided that a nice quiet evening in the pub was required. We had popped in to The Sportsman Inn but they were absolutely rammed, so we walked down in to the village again, and back to the Royal Hotel. First up a pint of Longdendale Lights by Howard Town Brewery, a good session pale ale:-

Dinner was well earned, despite a curtailed ride. For me it was the Royal burger (beef and horseradish), topped with bacon and cheese and served with a salad garnish and chips, whilst Mrs MOFAD opted for the burger sliders – three mini-burgers of pulled pork, beef and chicken served with chips.

The sliders could have done with something else to accompany them (I donated my coleslaw), and the rolls were a little dry, but the fillings were all good. My burger was nice also, just a hint of horseradish, and a good brioche bun. Despite the silly mesh bucket, we did get plates, and a hint of salad garnish. A very nice burger.

The Royal Hotel is definitely worth popping in to if you’re in Hayfield. Although they do stop serving food at 7pm on Sundays, which is slightly annoying on a Bank Holiday weekend!

Our winner this month is somewhere that we’ve never been before, Ye Olde Mustard Pot in Midhopestones, on the outskirts of Sheffield.

Bank Holiday Monday must involve some kind of pub trip right? You would think so, but so many establishments seem to give their chefs the day off and stop serving food. Great for the hard working chef of course, but what about the hungry customer?

On this particular Bank Holiday Monday we were in transit from our camp site for the weekend to a family BBQ. After a nice drive across the northern edge of the Peak District, we were on the look out for somewhere near to Langsett Reservoir, where we were planning on having a little stroll in the summer sunshine.

Whilst driving around, we chanced upon Ye Olde Mustard Pot in Midhopestones. Despite the massive car park looking a little empty, they were in fact open and doing food (until 4pm), so we parked up and found a table in the bar (there’s a patio with benches out the front and also a beer garden around the back).

We ordered some sandwiches and then sat back and waited. There was a bit of a delay because it was a busy Bank Holiday lunchtime, but we were in no particular hurry. It gave us time to listen to the story of a nearby table who had recently seen a concert at Jodrell Bank, home of the Lovell Telescope and home since 2011 of a few live music events.

The gentleman on the table mentioned the name of the artist in question and it was all I could do to not burst out laughing. He had apparently been to see “that John Michael Jar”. I wondered if this was some kind of Jean Michel Jarre tribute act from the north, but further description suggested that it was the real JMJ, just beautifully mis-pronounced.

Anyway, enough of this local dialect amusement. On to lunch. We had both ordered the same thing, a roast chicken baguette with chorizo and smoked cheese.

It was absolutely delicious, probably the tasiest thing of the whole month. The baguette was stuffed to the gills with filling, loads of chicken, plenty of chorizo and no skimping on the smoked cheese. Proper home made chips and a decent bit of salad on the side. One of the sandwiches of the year.

A lovely cosy pub serving great food. There was also a good pint on (Bradfield Farmers Blonde) but there was lots more driving to do, so I passed. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area and a worthy winner of pub of the month.

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