Reservoir Inn (formerly The Jolly Fisherman), Thornton, April 2018

Another springtime stroll. I’ve said this before enough times, but when we plan walks on Sundays, it’s very hard to find ones with pubs on that don’t just serve up full plates of roast dinner. If you run a pub, there’s a very easy way to rectify this. Do what the Reservoir Inn do. Offer baguettes with roast meat in, a small bowl of roast veg (lovely crisp parsnips and potatoes in this case), and if you’re really doing it properly, a little jug of gravy. Like this:-

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This was a fantastic lunch, the veg were lovely, the gravy was thick and meaty, the beef was nice and the horseradish was delightfully piquant. The baguette was slighty under baked (this phrase is always spoken in Paul Hollywood’s voice now) and probably didn’t need any butter, but apart from this, the perfect Sunday lunch time meal.

The Reservoir Inn is a cracking little village pub. It’s slightly confusing, as everywhere you look there seems to be some Steamin’ Billy Brewing Co branding (a local pub chain who don’t actually brew despite their name). Indeed, my beer choice today was Sky Diver by Steamin’ Billy (great lacing, a touch of malt, but not much more).

However, it’s not a Steamin’ Billy pub, just a great pub that we will come back to again. Walkers are welcome with muddy(ish) boots and/or wet dogs in the bar area on the left hand side. Recommended.

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Meet the brewer – Neon Raptor – The Needle & Pin, Loughborough – April 2018

Another meet the brewer night at the Needle & Pin, we’ve had some good ones already this year. Tonight’s features Neon Raptor, who have been fast gaining a reputation as one of Nottingham’s big names. They have been brewing on a small scale since April 2016, moving in to Sneinton Market.

Tonight we started with Pinball Holiday, a super juicy session IPA with lots of fruits and pine in the background. If only more session IPAs were like this. It would be a perfect summer pint.

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To follow, New Construction Options, a DIPA full of sweet malt and fruit, with pith and pine. And Command and Conquer too (that’s where the name comes from).

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Into darkness next, with Somewhere I Belong, a porter with 7 malt grains and flaked oats, conditioned on toasted coconut to bring flavours of dark chocolate bounty (that’s a good thing). Big toasty flavours, dry finish. Easy drinking.

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More fruitiness to finish up, in the shape of Very Naughty Luggage, another DIPA. This one was fruity, juicy and dank. You know when you’ve been tango-ed.

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A great way to finish off another great evening of beer and brewery chat. There’s always loads of stuff to chat about, from nerdy beer and brewing stuff to East Midlands bants and just general chit chat. Can’t wait for the next one.

The Needle & Pin craft beer club – dark beer selection box #8 – April 2018

No time for preamble, I’ve got loads of posts to catch up on. You must know the score by now. Six new beers, a couple that will get drunk soon, some others that will be laying down for a while…

Brooklyn – Black Chocolate Stout – 10%

This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. In the 18th century, Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, ordered a stout to be sent to her from England. This beer was brewed strong and hoppy to survive the sea voyage, and it arrived in perfect condition. Soon “Russian Imperial Stout” became the toast of the Russian aristocracy.

Brewed since 1994, the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout has become heralded the world over. It achieves its dark chocolate aroma and flavour through the artful blending of six malts and three distinct mashes. Properly kept, it will improve in the bottle for many years, in a cool, dry spot away from light sources.

Malts: 2-row, caramel malt, malted wheat and a blend of American roasted malts
Hops: Willamette and American Fuggle

Cloudwater – Baltic Porter – 7.2%

The first Baltic Porter from Cloudwater, brewed with a rich malt base featuring caramel, Vienna, Munich and Carafa Special malts. They used WLP833 (yeast) for fermentation and 6 weeks of lagering, and the resulting beer was brightened up with a very light dry hop of Ekuanot.

De Struise – St Amatus Oostvleteren 12 (2013) – 11%

Saint Amatus, also called St. Aimé, was a Benedictine monk. He took the defecse of the lesser man who was exploited by the Merovingian king Thierry III. Oostvleteren in Belgium is the only parish to patron St Amatus as saint. De Struise started brewing at Deca in Vleteren in early 2006, and started their own micro brewery in Oostvleteren during 2009.

A strong dark quad aged on Woodford Reserve barrels from Labrot & Graham in Kentucky. A complex character of prunes, plums and raisins combined with Belgian yeast and hints of chocolate, with a warming caramel malt body. Brewed in 2013, bottled in 2016, this will age effortlessly for many years.

Marble – Lost Your Marbles – red wine barrel aged – 10.4%

An imperial stout aged in Pinot Noir barrels containing cherries, blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and redcurrants. What else needs to be said?

North Riding Brewery – Choc Fudge Brownie Stout (Ski Sundae edition) – 7.4%

The original Choc Fudge Brownie Stout was brewed on the request of the N&P and appeared in the February 2018 selection box. Hot (ish, it’s still only spring) on its heels comes the Ski Sundae edition, with added raspberry and vanilla.

Old Sawley Brewing Company / The Needle & Pin – Plummeth the Hour, Plum Crumble Porter – 4.5%

The very first N&P collaborative brew, brewed at Old Sawley. A plum porter, with plums on the nose and a big hit on the palate, with a finish of muscovado sugar and vanilla, as the crumble overtakes the plum. An imperial version is already in the planning stages.

Attenborough Nature Reserve cafe, April 2018

Another in that series of quick lunch posts. We popped over to Attenborough for a spot of bird watching and to try out my new spotter scope. It wasn’t the most pleasant of days, but we had to try out the new shiny.

We’ve had lunch in this nice little cafe a few times, so it was not a difficult decision to come back for lunch before playing with the new toy.

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The usual for me, ham and cheese panino and a few token bits of salad. It’s hard to get this wrong, but some places do. No problems here though, a tasty bit of lunch.

Coach House Cafe, Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire, April 2018

We want plates. Today was the perfect example of why. On to the that in a moment.

We were in the area doing a few bits and pieces and decided to stop here for lunch and then maybe a bit of a wander around the grounds. It’s certainly worth staying a while to get value for money from the car park fee 🙂

So, on to plates. As you can see, the food below is served on a silly slate, not a plate. If you look closely, you might spot three halves of panino. Two of those halves are from the second attempt at making one. The other half is from the first attempt, and its counterpart never made it onto the slate, slipping down on to the floor with great speed. A plate would likely have stopped this, saving the cafe time and money, and the person who dropped it embarassment. The hungry customer (me) did rather well, as I got 50% extra free.

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The moral of this story is very definitely to use plates to serve up your tasty ham and cheese panino (it was very tasty indeed), because then you don’t waste money. The large thimble of coleslaw wasn’t much to write home about, but the rest was very nice.

A good place for a spot of lunch, just a shame that the weather didn’t hold out so that we could explore more of the grounds…

Longshaw Estate Cafe, April 2018

After finding that the Fox House was not serving any food due to a water shortage, we back tracked slightly, and made our way to the NT cafe at Longshaw for the second time this week.

It doesn’t have the most elaborate menu in the world, but they knock things out pretty quickly. As we had arrived after peak lunch hours there was no problem getting a table. However, it was a different matter when it came to pork products. No bacon sandwiches. No sausage sandwiches. We were not as well prepared as when we visited Tegg’s Nose cafe for breakfast, and they cooked our bacon. So today I had to resort to a ham roll and some crisps. Not the most exciting lunch ever, but enough to fuel the rest of our walk back up to Burbage Bridge.

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The Fox House, Longshaw, April 2018

This is another of those “nothing to see here” posts. After a lovely morning walking across Hathersage Moor, we had options for lunch. We chose The Fox House, as we’ve been here a few times before (in pre-MOFAD days). After extending our route a little bit, we arrived at the front door.

Oh dear. No food is being served due to a problem with the water supply. Given the amount that has fallen from the sky (or melted) in the last week, this seems a curious thing, but sometimes these things happen. We walked away, and down the hill to the Longshaw NT cafe…

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