Our Plaice, Coniston, June 2017

A very quick fish’n’chips post. Another lovely day out in the Langdales today, conquering Loft Crag and Pike O’Stickle (proper scrambling required to get to the top of that one). The cottage (ground floor apartment) that we are staying in is overlooked (although hidden by massive trees) by Our Plaice, and sometimes the smell of fish’n’chips drifts over. It’s always tempting.

Tonight, we gave in to temptation and both had fish and chips, putting in the effort required for the 60 second walk to get there 🙂

Lovely fresh fish and chips (cooked to order, so they haven’t been hanging around under heat lamps). Delicious, crisp batter (sign of a nice high temperature in the fryers) and lovely fresh chips. As we have no dishwasher, we opted to eat straight from the carton.

A cracking takeaway fish and chip shop, perfect for all parts of Coniston. You can eat them just outside on picnic benches (lovely views of the A593) or you could take them down to the water’s edge and enjoy them with a proper view.

Recommended!

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.

The Old Horns Inn, High Bradfield, April 2017

A sunny Saturday lunchtime in South Yorkshire. Yes, we have sneaked over the border for today’s walk, enjoying a stroll around Low and High Bradfield, and putting this pub perfectly in the middle of our walk as a lunch stop. This lovely sunny day saw our first outdoor pub lunch of the year, although that does unfortunately mean you get to sit with lots of smokers puffing away…

A few different cask ales on at the bar and I thought this was a new one to me, but it turns out I’ve had Hen Harrier from Bowland Brewery before, and it was in better condition the previous time too.

Lots of things on the menu to choose from, classic pub dishes like Hunter’s chicken, steak pie, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and some amusingly named and intriguing dishes such as:-

Elvis’ Last Burger

6oz beef burger, melted cheddar cheese, peanut butter, pickle, crispy bacon & onion rings with “Frank’s hot sauce”

Today it was time for another fish finger sandwich, the “Giant Fish Finger” baguette:-

No false advertising here, that is certainly a giant fish finger. Nice bowl of chips and a few leaves on the side.

A good pub lunch enjoyed in the sunshine at a lovely village pub. Well worth a lunch stop if you’re in the area…

Ladybower Inn, April 2017

We do like a lunch time pub stop. Another day out walking today, walking around the northern “spur” of Ladybower Reservoir. The Ladybower Inn is reasonably placed for walks around Ladybower, situated as it is just on the eastern edge. A little detour on most walks should get you here.

We stopped in at the halfway-ish point on our walk and ordered some lunch. Sometimes the menu description doesn’t do justice to the plate (hopefully it’s a plate) that arrives at your table. This was one of those times. Something called “The Fish Finger Sandwich” sounds like it will be a fish finger sandwich. There’s quite a detailed description:-

“Succulent beer battered strips of haddock topped with Monterey Jack cheese and tomato sauce on a bed of rocket served on a toasted ciabatta. Served with chips and tartare sauce.”

Even that doesn’t quite prepare you for what arrives…

A whale in a mega bun. It’s a carb fest. Batter inside a ciabatta. Cheese, tomato sauce, rocket. And chips as well. It was a big lunch for sure, and would have been more suited on a more arduous day, but it went down very nicely.

You will notice a lack of beer, and that’s because there was a lack of beer on the bar, just one pump serving some very average Bateman’s which I politely declined.

The Ladybower is a lovely pub, walkers are welcome, and there’s plenty of space outside in the summer months. They obviously get a lot of passing traffic from the A57 which keeps them going.

The Bulls Head, Castleton, April 2017

Another sunny April day, and a twist on a familiar Peak District walk. We’ve walked from Hope to Castleton and back quite a few times over the years, and via quite a few different routes. Last time we did it, we stopped off at The George in Castleton for lunch.

Today we did the low level bit first, and arrived in Castleton with plenty of time to stroll around the shops (picking up a beer or two at the village shop), as well as buying some gifts elsewhere. As before, you are spoilt for choice in Castleton, as there are so many great pubs. We opted for The Bulls Head, a Robinsons pub that we have passed by so many times.

We sat down, checked out the menu and then popped up to the bar to order. This interesting looking concoction is Lucy Jack (Grapefruit Edition) from Norwegian brewery Lervig, full of juicy grapefruit goodness, although it could have even more hops and grapefruit for me. Very refreshing after a morning of walking.

My lunch was predictable, because pulled pork was on the menu. Pulled pork was ordered, in the form of this sourdough sandwich, served with salad, and we ordered some sweet potato fries on the side.

It was delicious. So often pulled pork can be sickly stuff, but this had the right balance to it, and it was a very tasty lunch. Another great Castleton pub.

We headed off soon afterwards, as we have the high bit of the walk still to come, returning to Hope via the Lose Hill ridge.

George’s Tradition, fish ‘n’ chips, Loughborough, February 2017

Good old fashioned fish’n’chips. You can’t beat it. That means that sometimes, you shouldn’t try. Tonight was one of those times. Our final night at the Leicester comedy festival for this year, and a slightly altered plan. We are looking after this lovely little ball of fluff for a couple of weeks:-

So as we didn’t want to abandon Holly for hours on end, we decided to head straight back home after the show, and grab fish’n’chips on the way.

George’s Tradition have been open in Loughborough for a few years, and have become a firm favourite in the town, regarded by most as our best fish’n’chip shop. No fuss, no messing about, just great quality food, well cooked and also well presented (a nice carboard pizza box style box). Tonight I opted for the ocean wild cod and large chips, whilst Mrs MOFAD had the battered fishcake:-

My meal deal included the pictured mushy peas, a nice addition to fish’n’chips, and this was a classic chip shop dinner. Lovely stuff, and definitely our best local fish’n’chip shop.