The White Lion, Ambleside, December 2016

A two part story this one. Not for the first time, we arrived at The White Lion to find that we couldn’t have dinner. We have been here plenty of times before, but they do often seem to have problems with their kitchen or their chef. Tonight they were having kitchen issues, so were only able to honour existing bookings and couldn’t serve food to anyone else. So we wandered elsewhere for dinner and then returned.

Because there was a pub quiz on. Which is why we wanted to be here. It was time for another outing of the minimal version of My Pointless Friend Richard, which consists of me and Mrs MOFAD.

No pub quiz should be attempted without refreshement, and as the quiz had already started before we arrived (before its advertised start time), Mrs MOFAD rushed to the bar to grab some drinks, including a pint of Dave for me:-

This of course leads to much sketch quoting. Hello Dave! Is that Dave? Is Dave there?

Dave the beer is described as a dark, red bitter brewed with chocolate and Crystal malts and English hops. I found it to be more more mild than bitter, but malty and pleasant.

And it certainly helped with the quiz, as we were joint winners, winning a £10 gift card, which will pay for some of our dinner on another night I suspect!

The Queen’s Head, Ambleside, December 2016

An unplanned dinner. As mentioned in my White Lion post, they were having kitchen troubles again, so we needed to find somewhere else to eat before our assault on the pub quiz in the White Lion (which is why we had come out tonight). We’ve been to The Queen’s Head a few times before over the years, so it was a simple decision to nip across the road and dive in here for a quick dinner. A creamy and smooth porter to refresh the palate first (although nothing interesting for Mrs MOFAD) :-

Plenty of pub classics to choose from on the menu, and we both opted for the chicken breast wrapped in bacon and served with a creamy mushroom sauce, chips and “seasonal veg” which included this rather anaemic looking cabbage.

I like my cabbage to be a vibrant dark green and full of irony goodness. This cabbage wasn’t that, very stalky and crunchy. The parnsips and carrots were nice, and the chips were great, crispy on the outside and floofy in the middle.

The sauce was lovely too and it made for a very nice meal – we were in and out fairly quickly but that is exactly what we were aiming to do. On another day we could have lingered a little longer and had dessert and a pudding beer, but there was a pub quiz with our name on it across the road, so we headed back out into the dark night…

Tweedies Bar, Dale Lodge Hotel, Grasmere, December 2016

We’ve been here before. Quite a few times actually, as we almost always incorporate a trip to this lovely bar into our winter walks. It’s only 363 days since we were last here.

One of the best things about coming here is the beer selection. When there are loads of great beers on, but you have to drive home after your walk, sometimes your heart sinks a bit. Tweedies have the solution – the beer bat or beer paddle, or beer thingy, or wooden bat, or any other name that you care to give it. This give you the chance to try three individual beers served in a 1/3 pint glass. No need to miss out on the chance to explore lots of ales.

Those three beers were (from left to right) Convive Blonde by Box Social Brewing (a hoppy pale delight, supremely sessionable), Southern Summit by Loch Lomond Brewery (yummy sessionable bitterness and delightfully pale) and Northumbrian Blonde by Mordue Brewery (another great session pale ale).

With such a great selection of ales available on cask/keg, you would hope they would also have a good selection in bottles. And they do. Including Sleeping Lemons by Wild Beer Co, which is like a brewed cloudy lemonade – zesty and refreshing.

Now on to the food. A posh fish finger sandwich for me (served the way I serve it, without the bread cut in half), with a nice dressed salad on the side, and some fries (not pictured).

It was very tasty, a nice hand made tartare sauce inside. Mrs MOFAD opted for the rarebit (total cheese fest!) with a nice chutney on the side. It was warming and delicious, and went well with the zingy Sleeping Lemons which cuts through the richness of the cheese.

Another lovely trip to Tweedies, it’s as good and as popular as ever and should be incorporated into any walk in the area wherever possible!