Wainwrights’ Inn, Chapel Stile, January 2017

Not to be confused with The Wainwright in Keswick, Wainwrights’ Inn in Chapel Stile is part of the Langdale Estate, which includes the Langdale Hotel, Brimstone Spa and Stove Restaurant and Bar. We were last at the Langdale Hotel way back in June 1999, for the wedding reception of my dad’s cousin Frank & his wife Sheila. Frank has since departed this mortal coil, but as the man who introduced us to many secret parts of Cumbria, he will always be remembered.

Anyway, on to today’s visit. We parked over in Skelwith Bridge, and followed a largely familiar route up to Neaum Crag (site of our first Lakes winter holiday), skirting around Loughrigg Tarn, up to High Close and then down through Walthwaite and into Chapel Stile.

A familiar sight coming next too. Wainwrights’ Inn have also subscribed to the tasting bat/paddle methodology, which allows you to enjoy 3 x 1/3 pint glasses of different beer. We managed to confuse them by requesting Tirril Pennine Pilsner as one of the three beers, but they eventually worked out that it was a proper beer so could be included. That was a light and refreshing pilsner, and it was joined by Derwent Brewery’s Cote Light (easy drinking light ale) and Penning Brewing’s Jingle Bell Rock (pleasant session bitter with standard festive pun name).

Lunch arrived on boards (boo – we want plates!) but was utterly delicious. A warm chicken, bacon & melted cheese baguette, served with a salad garnish and barbecue sauce. We also ordered some chips to share.

A great start to a New Year of eating and drinking. Three new beers to kick off #tryanuary, and a new pub too. Can’t ask for much more, apart from lovely food, which it certainly was. Dog friendly and walker friendly, Wainwrights’ Inn is a jewel in Chapel Stile, and hightly recommended if you are in the area.

I assume that the position of the possessive apostrophe means that the Inn is for all of the 214 Wainwrights rather than just Alfred…

OX184, Cowgate, Edinburgh 

It’s 8pm. You’ve recently got off a plane. You’ve travelled from the airport on the tram. It’s not a myth, the Edinburgh tram, the butt of so many Festival jokes in recent years actually exists, and is a great way to get into the city from the airport. You’ve got off the tram and walked down to your hotel and checked in. What you want is some tasty food and great beer just a couple of minutes away from your hotel.

For me, that was Ox184. It was buzzing when I entered, a huge group had been dining. Unfortunately, they misinformed me that their queue was the queue to order food, when it wasn’t. This misunderstanding cleared up, I was shown to a table, ordered some food and a beer.

Unfortunately, the beer took ages to arrive, despite sitting on the bar for at least 5 minutes. I think that they were still a bit flustered from the large group leaving and hadn’t quite worked out how to return to normal again.

When it did arrive, the waitress was full of apologies, and the beer itself was full of hops, a Long White Cloud from Tempest brewery, which was a delicious start to the night.

Very shortly afterwards, dinner arrived, a chicken long boy, smoked chicken with roasted peppers and mushrooms, a chilli mayo and rocket, with skinny fries. You will note that plates are not in evidence, with the food being served on waxed brown paper on a tray. The photo is a little blurry as I was ravenous by this point, and didn’t want to wait much longer to get it in my belly.

Speaking of waiting, I ordered another drink, a Tempest Armadillo pale ale, which was a pleasant and hoppy pale ale. Whilst enjoying this, I observed a pair of drunkards at the bar who were a bit of a mess, falling off of the bar stool and generally being a bit rowdy. They provided brief amusement whilst I waited for the bill, which also took a while to arrive.

I think I caught them on an off night, so it’s probably worth another visit at a later date to have another go. The smell of smoking meat as you walk past is a very tempting one. Nice little touch when your bill arrives – a sweetie!

As Arnie says, I’ll be back.

International MOFAD BBQ

It has been rather a good day. It started out with that fantastic visit to Abbey Cellars/Fat Monk and took in several other wineries along the way. As we made our way back to the “city” we decided to stop at Countdown (we’ve been to one nearly every day) to pick up some supplies for a BBQ. A wonderful sunny day was turning into a wonderful sunny evening, perfect for a little al fresco dining.

Like Keith Floyd, I’m a great believer that a little slurp helps the creative cook. So let’s start with a Harrington’s session red IPA. We picked up a box of their ales at Countdown in Rotorua (I think, we’ve been to so many Countdowns). Let’s dissect this beer.

Red? Yes.

Session? Just about.

IPA? No. Needs about 3 kilos more hops. And then some more hops. All perfectly pleasant, and a very nice beer, just not an IPA. You need to be very careful when bandying these terms around!

So let’s get down to BBQ business. A minted lamb rump, 2 cobs of corn (25p each from a local farm shop also en route), grilled halloumi, a lovely fresh coleslaw and a cheese/onion bread. And a yoghurt dip. This was perfect summertime BBQ food, a great way to round off a day.

Mrs MOFAD was also enjoying a local drink, this “Red Apple Cider” from Zeffer Cider company. I continue to have to explain to cider makers that “red” is not a variety of apple, and basically means nothing when put on a label.

Anyway, it was a pleasant enough cider, enjoyed in the evening sunshine. I saved the best for last.

Funk Estate Oh Lordy Pale Ale. It is called that because it is supposed to make you say “Oh Lordy”. And it does. Here comes the hop hammer. Whichever way you turn it smashes you in the face. A superbly hoppy pale ale, which was fantastic. The photo is a little blurry, but it was getting late and getting dark.

A great way to round off a great day.