900th post!

It’s been just over 5 months since 800, but I think that has something to do with the fact that I still have 90 posts still in draft. There’s a lot to catch up with, but I’m determined to get up to date at some point. It might be in 2020, but I will do it!

Let’s do the usual quick round up then. April saw lots of pub trips in the Peak District, and a very welcome surprise when we got back home, in the shape of the Reservoir Inn, Thornton. Walkers welcome, and lovely Sunday roast baguettes (if you only do roasts on Sundays, stick them in a baguette!)

img_8893

May saw the arrival of the first of the Brewdog fanzines, an interesting idea where they send 3 cans in the post for a fixed price. No delivery issues with couriers and the promise of interesting beers. That hasn’t quite panned out over the months, there have been a few of interest, but also some utterly dull things. With Brewdog’s recent stunts (beer.porn being the worst), it’s becoming increasingly difficult to continue supporting their endeavours.

There have also been a good few Needle & Pin selection boxes, some lovely sours and some big dark beasts like Marble’s Decadence, a double mashed Russian Imperial Stout, barrel aged for nine months, so that it gives a satisfying viscosity with dark and firm bitterness, Black Forest fruits and a hopped aroma.

Quite a few camping trips have resulted in numerous takeaway posts – we’ve had a lot of fish’n’chips over the summer, almost exclusively *from a van*.

May saw another trip (only one this year though) to The Lazy Trout in Meerbrook. After a 14 mile walk, this burger was massively deserved and incredibly tasty, nice crisp bacon and big flavoured cheese added to the experience.

img_9036

Not long after this, we had chaos theory demonstrated by the Planet Pavillion Cafe at Jodrell Bank. They took your order for items on display. You paid. And then you go to your table, drop some stuff off, and go back to pick up your order. Which is still sitting in the cabinet, so other people could be ordering it, not knowing if they are going to be able have it, because one or more people could have already secured it ahead of them.

The usual summer trip to the Lake District saw us defend our title at The Pack Horse Inn (three in a row so far), as well as plenty of other pub trips. And the usual June camping trip saw the first of our “bottle share beer festivals”. That same trip also saw the crowning of the worst Wetherspoons award, with The Catherine Wheel in Henley being tagged with #avoidthisspoons.

Three trips to London have generated a fair bit of content. Interestingly, Brewdog in Camden was my World Cup watching venue of choice, accompanied by burgers and beer.

img_9242

July was about long hot summer days and camping, more takeaways and the second “bottle share beer festival” of the year. The next one is just around the corner. Some good pub trips, mixed with one very dull one. The kind of pub where you have lime and soda because you know that all of the beer that you own has been looked after far better than the dull casks delivered there each week.

August saw Yorkshire, and the completion of the Yorkshire Three Peaks. This was also celebrated with fish’n’chips *from a van*, as well as Northern Monk Patrons Project Ingleborough, the most appropriate beer for someone who has just been up and down Ingelborough.

After camping in West and East Yorkshire, the end of the month found us just outside Great Malvern, and after more fish’n’chips *from a van* on our first night, on two other nights we were visiting The Swan Inn in Hanley Swan, a fantastic village pub with well kept beer and really nice food. This steak was utterly divine…

img_9566

The final instalment of the Rainbow Project brings us right up to date with posts. A quick peek at visitor statistics show visits from exotic places like Ethiopia, Slovakia and the Isle of Man. I still seem to have one of the only web sites where you can find information on Midway Fast Food (fish and chips) in Hastings, New Zealand.

img_9599

So time to stop procrastinating and get back to writing blog posts. Next up – the big 1000!

 

Advertisements

The Swan Inn visit #2, Hanley Swan, Worcestershire, August 2018

I’ve said pretty much everything I need to about this pub with Saturday night’s post. We booked the table tonight whilst we were finishing our dinner on Saturday night, which pretty much sums things up. Before we have a quick gander at tonight’s dinner, a quick note on poncy menu pricing. I’ve mentioned this before, but if something costs £6.50, please display it on the menu as £6.50 not 6 1/2. I don’t want to be told that a pudding is 7 3/4, it is £7.75 – why the need for fractions? What does it achieve apart from annoying people?

Anyway, on to dinner, and another beautifully kept pint, this time Butty Bach from Wye Valley Brewery, a classic malty bitter. And in a proper dimple pot too.

img_9573

More amuse bouche crisps soon came our way…

img_9574

For main course, something a bit different for me, hot smoked salmon nicoise salad. After the glory of Saturday night’s steak, I had to make a hard decision not to have that again, but it was a good decision as this salad was also glorious. And that’s not something I often say about salads!

img_9575

Mrs MOFAD had rack of lamb with polenta (another first) and that was also delicious.

img_9576

Another pudding was in order after more exertions on bikes and on foot today, so this dark chocolate and seville orange fondant with walnut and hazelnut granola and grand marnier and orange ice cream was an indulgent delight, melting in the middle.

img_9578

A second great meal at this great village pub. If we’re ever in the area again we’ll come here again.

The Swan Inn, Hanley Swan, Worcestershire, August 2018

A pub not far away from a camp site is something to always be explored. The Marton Arms in Thornton (Yorkshire) is probably our favourite “close to camp site” pub, given that it was just a few minutes walk away from the site.

The Swan Inn is about a mile away from where we were staying, but it had been recommended by regular MOFAD companions Karon & John, and looked really good on the web site. We had booked online, a quick and easy process, and they even e-mail you on the morning of your booking for you to confirm it. Very efficient and modern – I heartily approve!

We arrived a little early and ordered drinks from the bar. A very friendly barman handed us drinks and menus and we waited a few moments to be shown to our table. We had a nice little “mini booth” in the corner. We sipped our drinks and perused the menu, lots of nice things to choose from.

A waitress came over, looked at us drinking our drinks and reading menus, and asked us if we wanted to order drinks. Errrr, no. We’d like to order food. Oh, ok, I’ll get someone to take your order. She goes back to the bar, puts down her notepad, picks up a different notepad, and then comes back to take our order. Odd.

I continued to sip an excellent pint of HPA from Wye Valley Brewery. Really nice to see that a “foodie” pub is also capable of looking after their beer and presenting it in tip top condition.

img_9563

A little “amuse-bouche” arrived, a small basket of freshly cooked crisps and a little pot of salsa. This was a nice surprise, a freshly cooked crisp is a rare sight, and it was a pleasant little mouth pleaser. The salsa could do with a bit of a reduction though, rather watery tomato.

img_9574

On to the main courses, and most excellent they were. Mrs MOFAD opted for the asparagus risotto which was very flavoursome.

img_9565

After 10 miles of cycling and 5 of walking (both of which involved plenty of uphill), I needed some big tasty protein, in the form of a lovely bit of sirloin steak.

There was a time when I would almost always have steak when out and about. Now, it’s something that I only have only rarely (and always rare). Rareness (or lack of it) is one of the reasons why, it seems that it is a struggle to find places that cook steak to your liking (and it’s a personal preference which should be easy to honour).

img_9566

This one was cooked to perfection (for me) and was really tasty. Classic accompaniments of triple-cooked chips (we do love a bit of a triple cooking nowadays), a mushroom, roasted/grilled tomatoes and a few leaves on the side (with interesting parmesan shavings bringing another flavour into play). With the addition of some nicely warm English mustard, this was a perfect plate of steak and chips. More like this please!

After the exertions of the day, it’s fair to say that we had earned ourselves a pudding, and given there were plenty of lovely options on offer, we decided to indulge.

Mrs MOFAD had apple and cinnamon crumble with a scoop of ice cream. It was quite tart and might have benefitted from a spoonful of sugar. There was also a lot of cinnamon, which is exactly why I avoided it. Keep cinnamon out of my puddings 🙂

I had the roasted peach pavlova, which was a sweet delight. A very firm meringue, half a peach, nicely whipped cream and some cheffy squiggles along with some micro leaves, a couple of flowers and some fruity dots. It was lovely, although some more peach wouldn’t have gone amiss.

img_9567

A really nice dinner in a lovely pub. Whilst we waited for our plates to be cleared, I booked online for Monday night too. A fantastic village pub!

Fish’n’chips, Blackmore Camping and Caravan Club, Worcestershire, August 2018

A soggy start to our Bank Holiday camping adventure. A little bit of rain when we were setting up camp, and then quite a lot more rain when we cycled up to Great Malvern to have a bit of an explore. In the end, we just explored Caffè Nero to warm up and wait for the rain to stop.

We got back to the camp site, dried off a bit and then made our way over to get fish’n’chips *from a van*. This is a long running joke when camping. In fact, the van was a converted horsebox, not the first one that we’ve come across either. On a soggy Friday night, they were doing a roaring trade, with plenty of captive campers taking the easy option for Friday night dinner.

We chose fish’n’chips and mini fish’n’chips. They were both good but the mini fish’n’chips was a bit of a rip off, as they just chopped up a bigger bit of fish and gave you a much smaller portion of chips. If it was half the price for half the food, you might understand. At 75% of the price for about 33% of the food, it feels like a massive con. A child’s portion at an adult price.

img_9556

This weekend I have also come up with a new Camping and Caravanning Club motto. “You can’t spell leisure without rules.”

Bull’s Head, Thringstone, August 2018

Only the second ever appearance of Thringstone in these hallowed electronic pages, and both have come this year. The weather forecast this morning looked promising for the evening, so we decided to venture out for a short walk before retiring to the pub for tea.

Due to rather black clouds gathering overhead after the first part of our walk, we decided to cut it short and dive in to the pub a little earlier than planned.

The Bull’s Head has had a number of incarnations over the years. It’s somewhere we regularly pass on the A512, and it comes as no surprise to see it with new branding once a year. It’s now a Stonehouse pub, which means that it specialises in pizzas and carvery (it had been a carvery in a previous life). It was fairly busy for a random Thursday night in August, probably a reflection of the competitive pricing.

We took advantage of that, with the Thursday night deal of 2 pizzas and a bottle of prosecco for £20. This was quite welcome, given that the beer on offer was awful, and there was nothing interesting in bottles. Despite being on the outskirts of the village, this is very much now a “food pub”, not a classic “village pub” where you would expect to find a friendly landlord proud of their well kept cask ales.

img_9505

That said, it’s a reasonable food pub. The pizzas were good, a decent crisp base and a good amount of topping (not skimping and saving on the more expensive crispy duck to keep profit margins up). Free salad too, in a classic Harvester/Pizza Hut “go and help yourself” style.

Good post-walk fodder to keep you satisfied. And I do love to see a crispy duck pizza on the menu, even though I suspect Italians are self-combusting at the thought of such a thing!

Dinner Box (Chinese takeaway), Boroughbridge, August 2018

AKA the place that seems not to exist on the internet. Apart from food hygiene ratings (good) and a couple of random pictures on restaurantguru.com (which I’d never heard of until now), this place seems not to exist. However, we can confirm that it does because we rung them up, placed an order, and then went out and collected it (they don’t deliver). The name doesn’t really give you a clue as to what they do, a Chinese takeaway that also has a few Thai dishes on the menu.

A varied selection from our party as usual, although a few of us went for the Kung po chicken, which is my “go to” dish, and it was a very warm one. Lots of red chilli in this to give it a proper spicy kick, and I think a little too hot for some of our dining companions who ordered it. I suffered no ill effects though 🙂 A lack of pineapple, and not enough cashew nuts, so not a perfect KPC, but very tasty.

No photos as this was another occasion where hunger overtook the photo instinct!

Inglenook Fish and Chips, Ingleton, August 2018

Yorkshire three peaks. Done! After a long descent from Ingleborough, and then a detour to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, we weren’t in the mood for a pub trip tonight, so stopped off in Ingleton to pick up fish’n’chips from Inglenook before heading back to the camp site.

We had popped in on Sunday afternoon so that Mrs MOFAD could confirm that this was yet another Yorkshire establishment that doesn’t serve Yorkshire fish cakes. For those not in the know, a Yorkshire fishcake isn’t mashed fish and potato, instead a slice of fish is placed between two slices of potato, battered and then deep fried. That’s purely academic though, because Inglenook don’t do them.

What they do instead is a classic portion of fish’n’chips, as well as some rather nice fish goujons which Mrs MOFAD had to make do with, due to the lack of the aforementioned Yorkshire fish cake.

A rather untidy photo, because if you’ve just finished the Yorkshire three peaks (spread over three days), eating takes precedence over food styling…

img_9477

Wainwright always liked to have fish’n’chips after his fell walking exploits, they are very good for refuelling. A Yorkshire classic on Yorkshire day.