The Lazy Trout, Meerbrook, April 2017 #3

Our final night at The Lazy Trout. It’s been our dinner venue all across the long weekend, with plenty of choice for everyone each night, and even different things for our resident vegan.

After another good long walk today, we were looking forward to a satisfying dinner. First up, a pint of Arbor Light from Whim Ales, a pleasant and light golden ale.

As it is Sunday, I opted for a Sunday roast, which is rare when going to the pub because I usually think that I can do it much better at home. Couldn’t resist this tasty roast pork tonight though, although a lack of apple sauce was a bit of a let down 😦

Mrs MOFAD treated herself to pudding again today, a creme brulée and some tasty home made biscuits. A proper size too, not just a tiny ramekin of cream!

It has been great coming here each night, so much good food and drink to choose from, friendly and helpful staff and a lovely atmosphere, a mix of regulars and visitors. A lovely village pub that deserves a visit. Great views over the Roaches out in the beer garden too!

Recommended!

The Crag Inn, Wildboarclough, April 2017

It’s another Peak District pub post. We are in the Cheshire bit of the Peak District once more, in the small village of Wildboarclough in the Macclesfield Forest. Our walk today took us past The Crag Inn, so we popped in for lunch.

This was a pint of Beartown Best Bitter, a good solid bitter.

Lunch next. Whilst we were enjoying some spring sunshine, the kitchen were working overtime with a busy Sunday lunchtime stretching out ahead of them. As well as the usual Sunday roasts they were also serving soups, sandwiches, burgers and more. Big queues at the bar, but we managed to get our orders in and they come out reasonably swiftly. A posh KFC – fried chicken goujons in a bun with some salad, sweet chilli sauce and good fat chips, but once again I have to say we want plates!

We were also visited by a very friendly pub cat who was in search of fuss not food, and rewarded us with head boops. A pleasant pub lunch in the beer garden on a sunny April Sunday afternoon. A nice pub in the middle of a very quiet little valley. Walker friendly, so definitely good to arrive on foot.

The Lazy Trout, Meerbrook, April 2017 #2

The second of our three visits. We had booked in for each night, as this was the best pub that was close to our camp site. We had wondered if this was a bit of a gamble, but the food and drink were great last night so it was looking very much like a winning bet.

Tonight I started out with a Wojtek from Beartown Brewery, a beer named after a bear who was officially drafted into the Polish army during World War 2. A very interesting story (Google it) and a very easy drinking golden ale.

My turn for pie tonight. It was a cracking pie again, simply served with chips and veg. Delicious.

Mrs MOFAD also had another tasty dinner, topped off with a nice crisp piece of bacon.

I accompanied my dinner with this Corke’s IPA, which was a decent ale but absolutely not an IPA.

After a good day of walking, we treated ourself to this rather tasty meringue nest. A bit early in the season for English strawberries, but this was a sweet and tasty pudding.

Another lovely visit to The Lazy Trout – very happy that we’re coming back again tomorrow night!

The Hanging Gate, Higher Sutton, April 2017

We had a bit of a longer stay in this pub than we had planned. Today we had a linear walk, which started out just next to the Wincle Brewery, and finished here at The Hanging Gate. This was all carefully planned out. We had two cars. Mark parked his car here at the Hanging Gate (with permission from the lovely staff), and John drove Mark back to the start point for us to begin our walk.

We arrived here at the end of the walk as planned. However, the best laid plans don’t always work out. Mark had left his keys in John’s car, back at the start point. We ordered some drinks and then tried to order a taxi to go and retrieve the keys. That proved too tricky, so one of the lovely bar staff offered a lift back down to the starting point, and the keys and cars were retrieved. Above and beyond the call of duty, and most welcome!

Whilst we were waiting I was enjoying a pint of Yeaster from Hydes brewery, a bitter red ale.

We will be back tomorrow when we are doing the same thing in reverse, starting here and finishing down at Wincle. Let’s just hope there are no more key related issues.

A lovely little pub up on the moorland, well worth a visit if you are passing. There are fantastic views all around.

Wincle Brewery, April 2017

What’s the best way to start a walk? By visiting a brewery to sample some beer, and then buy some beer. It’s not every day that you manage to achieve this, but today we did. Our walk started just over the road from Wincle Brewery, and whilst we waited for some logistics to fall into place, we popped over the road to chat to John “the butcher” in the brewery.

I’ve encountered their beers before, at Bakewell market back in July 2015, enjoying Old Oak and Old Hag the most, but they have all been good.

We had a good chat with John, talking about beer, and then sampling some, as well as some cider (Mrs MOFAD particularly enjoyed that). The team were working away in the background, preparing some new beer. I departed with 4 bottles of beer that I’d not had before, and walking and drinking companion Mark also picked up some bottles to take away. Looking forward to sampling these soon.

Wincle open every day except Christmas day, from 10am until 4pm. Unfortunately we got back to the brewery too late the next day, so couldn’t do any more shopping. You can always buy online if you want to try some out.

The Lazy Trout, Meerbrook, April 2017 #1

The Lazy Trout in Meerbrook is our “home” for the next three nights. We are camping just down the road, on the outskirts of Leek. With Suzy the Ninja Hound joining us this weekend, we needed a dog friendly pub nearby. This was the closest and best one on our radar, so we decided to book in each night of our trip (it’s not the right time of year for BBQs, so pub trips are in order).

First up tonight, a Rye Pale Ale from Shipyard (another Marston’s empire brewery). How on earth can you call this a pale ale though? Barely a hint of hop inside this glass. That’s no surprise from Marston’s though…

An interesting cider option for Mrs MOFAD, a Fire Dancer from Lilley’s Cider (and their 1990s TFI Friday fonts). A lightly sparkling cloudy cider.

Dinner arrived soon afterwards, the Friday classic of fish’n’chips for me, a whale of a fish, lovely crispy batter, great chips and some nicely smashed up peas and home made tartare sauce. Pub poisson perfection.

Mrs MOFAD opted for one of several pies on offer and was not disappointed by this delicious pie with the same tasty chips and seasonal (ish) veg.

Another drink to accompany dinner, Burke’s Special from the very local Wincle Beer Co, a classic malty bitter.

No pudding tonight (we haven’t earned one yet), so we supped our drinks and played some card games for a while, enjoying the warmth of the fire.

When your first trip to this lovely little village pub is so good, it has to be a good omen for the rest of the long weekend…

Harvester Wilford, April 2017

“Have you ever been to a Harvester before?”

“Yeah, loads of times.”

Although not so much recently. We live just 300m away from one, and used to go there a bit in our younger days. Times move on, people move on. I can’t remember the last time we went there together, although I’ve been there once or twice for work lunches, as it is close by.

Tonight, someone else had organised a get together at a pub outside Nottingham, which happened to be a Harvester. We trotted off up the newly widened A453 and soon found ourselves at the Harvester in Wilford to meet friends and catch up on what’s been happening recently.

The evening opened with a shock, a Marston’s beer with an actual hop profile. I hope you were sitting down when you read that.

This was 61 Deep, their newest beer, named after the depth of the well at the Burton brewery. Five American and Australian hops were needed for this, but you can at least taste some of the hoppiness. It’s probably my favourite Marston’s, which isn’t saying much, but it is a pleasant pint. You’ll spot their new branding on the pint glass too, the result of a one million pound rebranding project at the end of last year. I’m not convinced by it.

On to eating. The most famous thing that most people know about Harvester is the free salad bar when you order any meal. You can return to serve yourself with as much salad as you like. It’s not just tired bits of iceberg either, a good selection of salad items to choose from. You can spot tomato, beetroot, sweetcorn, pineapple, olives, tomatoes and the always popular crispy onion bits and red devil sauce. Some things have not changed!

The main menu has loads to choose from, ribs, burgers, the famous rotisserie chicken (available in various combinations with other bits of chicken and ribs etc.), fish, steaks and vegetarian and vegan options.

My choice was the peri-peri chicken burger, a grilled chicken breast with peri-peri mayo, smashed avocado and Monterey Jack cheese. With a chilli on top. I crunched this first, and it was nicely spicy.

It was a decent pub chicken burger, not spicy enough to put off the average palate, but with just a hint of piquancy. You can always slap on some more spicy sauce from the sauce bar. Decent chips too, and it was actually served on a plate (hiding underneath that horrid wax paper stuff).

A quick and convenient chain pub/restaurant, ideal for catching up with friends.