Buxton Brewery Tap, April 2017

We’ve been here before. In May 2015 to be precise. Ever since that visit we’ve been wanting to come back. It took almost 2 years, but we made it 🙂

After a leisurely morning of strolling around Buxton, including a little shopping at Beer District, we were ready for some lunch. There was only ever going to be one place we were going to go. I had been singing the praises of Buxton Brewery Tap for a while, and with MOFAD drinking companions Matt & Steve as well as Mrs MOFAD, Hazel, Janette and Andy and Kerrie all in tow, I was hoping that there would be something for everyone here.

There was.

My choice was Myrica, a tasty session IPA with oaty smoothness and hazy hoppiness

Mrs MOFAD opted for the Sky Mountain Sour, a collaboration between Buxton and To Øl which has resulted in a nicely balanced sour ale. Mrs MOFAD was a fan of this.

Matt & Steve both had a Rednik Stout which was right up their street. Kerrie tried the Lemon Meringue Pie, which both Mrs MOFAD and I really like. She was not a fan, but surprisingly Hazel (the queen of tea who is not a beer drinker) liked it, and ended up with a bottle to take home.

On to that lunch, I had a buffalo burger with potato wedges, which was very tasty and a perfect portion for lunch. Mrs MOFAD opted for chicken souvlaki, marinated in yoghurt, mustard, lemon & oregano and served with sautéed peppers, tzatziki, sunblush salad & pitta breads. This which was also very nice. My burger came from the specials board, so it might not be available when you visit. Perhaps plates will be though, as this burger appeared on a board.

On then to the shopping. You can’t come here and not take away a bottle or two. Or ten. You’ll spot the “Belgians” on the left, a Bourbon Skyline (barrel aged Berliner weisse), another Sky Mountain Sour and Lemon Meringue Pie for Mrs MOFAD, a Trolltunga (just another gooseberry sour IPA), a Superluminal (sour IPA) and one more.

That last one is Bomba Generation 4, the sequel to Tsar Bomba Generation III which was almost beer of the year for me in 2016. Generation 4 of the Buxton Brett fermented Imperial Stout has been born. The yeast strain from 1978 is alive and well and has chewed relentlessly through the regular Russian Imperial Stout to bring us the Great Grandson of the original batch. This one will go into storage for a while, and come out on a special occasion. If it’s as good as Generation III then it will be rather special.

Matt & Steve also did some shopping, although none of us could convince the nice people behind the bar to thrown in a free glass, despite the amount that we were all spending…

Another great trip to the Buxton Brewery Tap. If you are ever in Buxton, go there. You will find good food and great beer to drink in and take away. End of.

Walmgate Ale House, York, April 2017

Another place that was on our “to go” list for York. Walmgate Ale House and Bistro is housed in a 17th century listed building on Walmgate. It was originally opened in 2001, as Melton’s Too, by Michael and Lucy Hjort. Their family has owned and run businesses in York since 1990. Before the Hjort family took over the building, it was owned by Ellerker’s. From 1795, Ellerker’s sold saddles, harnesses and rope. Ellerker’s was commissioned to make the hangman’s nooses for York Prison (now York Castle Museum). This led to the phrase “For me there is no hope – was Ellerker’s made this rope.”

Walmgate Ale House and Bistro has kept the horse’s head at the front of the building from the Ellerker’s days as a symbol of pride in the building’s heritage. The interior also reflects the history of the building with ropes, saddles and old photographs from the days of Ellerker’s.

Downstairs is the bar area, and you wait at the bottom of the stairs to be shown to tables upstairs in the restaurant area. There was a table free (we hadn’t booked) and so we were taken upstairs and sat down to order. I had a pint of Flummoxed Farmer by Ainsty Ales, a good session pale ale, hoppy and bitter, but light.

Mrs MOFAD had Yorkshire Cider from The Great Yorkshire Brewery, a pretty standard cider.

My choice was a fairly easy one – the pulled pork burger which was simple and tasty, with some good chips, and a little bit of slaw on the side. And on a plate, although it was made of wood like some medieval trencher.

Mrs MOFAD had the standard burger, which was less good.

We had more places to explore so asked for the bill. And then asked for it again, since someone else’s drinks had been added to it.

A pleasant enough meal in characterful surroundings, but with so many great places to choose from, you don’t have to settle for pleasant enough.

York Tap, York Station, April 2017

The team at the York Tap are dedicated to serving the very best in British and continental ale and craft beer across 32 lines. You will find traditional local cask conditioned ales, and European pilsners sitting alongside American craft beers. The tap is perfectly situated on platform 1 of York station (also accessible from the street).  It’s very hard to miss the lovely listed Edwardian building, with very attractive stained glass windows and skylights. They also offer a range of carefully selected fine wines, spirits and soft drinks alongside a small but perfectly formed nibbles menu.

If you have timed your journey to arrive on a Friday lunchtime (like what we did), then you can get straight off your train, head across to plaform 1, and straight into the Tap. Park your suitcase at a table and then head off to the bar and order.

Loads of beer to choose from, all of those aforementioned lines, as well as lots of bottles and cans. First up I opted for the wonderfully named “Lime in the Coconut” from Bristol based Arbor Ales, who are fast becoming a favourite of mine. A very solid IPA with very subtle hints of lime and coconut. Easy drinking on its own but I think this would be wonderful with a Thai green curry.

Mrs MOFAD opted for Floris Passion from Brouwerij Huyghe, also very tasty and very easy drinking, with subtle passion fruit flavours.

Food next, and we opted for a couple of slates (they are at least honest in telling you that you will be getting slates instead of plates). Mrs MOFAD had the pate slate with melba toast and mango chutney, all of which were delicious and worked well in combination.

I chose the meat and olives option, with added manchego cheese. It was an end piece of manchego, so it needed a bit more shaving to eat it. All very good ingredients, tasty meat, nice cheese and very good olives. A simple and tasty lunch.

This was accompanied by Thornbridge Galaxia, not an 80s Space Invaders game, but an Australian pale ale made with the Oz hop Galaxy.

It is certainly a classic Aussie pale, hoppy and delightful. I could have stayed here all afternoon working through all of the taps, but we had things to do and places to explore, so headed out of the door and off to our hotel. We might just pop back in on Sunday evening though 🙂

The perfect introduction to York for any train traveller, and the perfect excuse to let the train take the strain (other British Rail advertising slogans are available).

The Priory, July 2016

I’ve been moaning for almost a year (since they reopened) about The Priory and their use of stupid bread boards and copper cups. This kind of thing:-


Every time I’ve been, I’ve talked about the tasty food (it’s really nice). But there has always been a moan about those silly boards. One year on, and there is good news.

The boards and cups are gone!

Does this mean that plates are finally available?

No. Now we have silly metal trays instead:-

The kind of thing that should be going into ovens to cook food on. Not the kind of thing that you should be serving food on. The kind of thing that dissipates heat quite well. Ok, the chips are at least out of the pointless cup (which always made them hard to season) but it’s an opportunity missed.

You could say it’s a step along the road to plates, but must try harder! We want plates!

The fish finger sandwich was nice!

The Priory, April 2016 #3

Another Priory moan? Coming right up! Lovely fish finger sandwich today. Once again, silly bread board and silly copper cup. We want plates!!!

No local beer on yet. There are so many options to choose from. So why are we still stuck with Deuchars IPA, the IPA that’s not an IPA. Which is not local.

Plates please!

Local beer please!

The Priory, Loughborough, April 2016 #2

It’s going to be another predictable Priory post. Once again I’m going to moan about these stupid bread boards that they serve your (very tasty) New York pastrami burger on. And the stupid copper cups that prevent you from seasoning your chips correctly.

And I’ll moan about their beer again. Still nothing from any local brewery, still just the variable Deuchars “IPA” that’s nothing like an IPA.

Come on guys, sort this out. We want plates. And we want local beer. Your food is good, you just need to seal the deal with plates and local pints.

TPN 2016 #3

A weekend away is always an opportunity for another triple pork nirvana.

Breakfast was a tasty affair at the Marquis Cornwallis:-


Lunch was a ham and cheese baguette in the Natural History museum cafe.

Dinner was predictably pork and even more predictably pulled, with these pulled pork sliders (a slider is an American term for a small roll, typically around 3 inches in diameter, often used in reference to hamburgers, but now with things such as pulled pork, brisket etc.)


A very tasty triple!

The Filly Inn, Setley Plain, Brockenhurst

The Filly is somewhere we’ve been a few times before, most recently for lunch on a cycle ride in 2013 and dinner with friends last year. Today we were doing a very similar cycle ride to that one in 2013, so this was the obvious choice for our lunch stop. A handy bike rack to lock your bikes to outside, and a new covered seating area outside. A bit too cool for that today, so we went inside.

Lots to choose from on the lunch menu (12-3 on weekdays) including a selection of sandwiches and salads, as well as everything on the main menu such as burgers, steaks, pies and the catch of the day. First though, some refreshment – a pint of Cydonia from Vibrant Forest brewery, a newish brewery just down the road outside Lymington. The perfect hoppy lunchtime refreshment on today’s cycle ride…

So, back to that menu. For me it was an obvious choice, the pulled pork burger with salad and skinny fries. The Filly have opted to do their pulled pork differently, concentrating on the Cajun spices, rather than some overly sweet and sickly BBQ sauce that you might find in other interpretations of pulled pork. A nice level of spiciness, balanced by some richness from the melted cheddar and a touch of sweetness in the sauce. This is a very good pulled pork. Mrs MOFAD had a posh fish finger sandwich which was also very good.

Mrs MOFAD also ordered some fries to go with her sandwich. Unfortunately, this is where we have to involve We Want Plates, because they arrived in a plant pot. Plants come in plant pots, lunch does not. By all means chit your potatoes and then pot them on, but don’t chip them and put them in a pot.

Despite this minor crime, The Filly Inn is MOFAD approved. Just put those chips in a bowl next time and put the pots back in the greenhouse 🙂 A great place for lunch on a cycle ride, or a relaxed evening meal later on.

The Priory, Loughborough

It’s been a long time coming.

The Priory has been “in flux” for the last few years. Changing tenants more often than some people change their shirts, it was hard to keep up with who was in charge, and what would be available. There was some good food from time to time, but it was often deserted. The owners (Star Pubs and Bars) didn’t seem to know what they were going to do with the place. Eventually they managed to find someone who would know what to do with it, in the form of the new lessees, local pub company Distinctive Inns, who have 2 other pubs in Nottinghamshire.

Between them, they have apparently  spent £650,000 on refurbishing the place,  transforming the function room, bar and dining areas, and installing a new kitchen. They have also worked on the exterior, installing new signage and putting additional seating outside.

The first sign that this was working was the car park. On some previous visits, you could pick any space, or park across about 6 because there was no-one else there. Now there are cars here, and they belong to customers, as opposed to builders working on adjacent properties.

And then there were customers inside, and plenty of evidence of that investment. The bar has been reshaped, removing the old one that stuck out into the room, and everything has been refreshed.

There’s an extensive new menu, loads to choose from, including tapas, burgers, sandwiches, fish’n’chips, pies and salads as well as puddings. There’s also a breakfast menu, and a Sunday roast menu.

As today was the first visit (I’m suspecting of many), I opted for one of my yardsticks when trying out a new venue – a burger.

And very tasty it was too, with good chips and a small pot of slaw, although they have fallen into that modern trap of not using plates, serving food on boards and in tin cups. It’s not the worst offender in this regard, but we want plates! It’s hard to get a good covering of salt and vinegar on chips when they are served in a narrow copper cup.

The other thing missing is a local ale. We have several very local breweries, but none are represented here, with an unchanging selection of Abbot, Old Speckled Hen and Deuchars. There are some interesting craft ales in the fridge from further afield, so that’s the place to look if you want something different.

It’s good to have the Priory back, and it is MOFAD approved.