The Hanging Gate, Higher Sutton, April 2017

We had a bit of a longer stay in this pub than we had planned. Today we had a linear walk, which started out just next to the Wincle Brewery, and finished here at The Hanging Gate. This was all carefully planned out. We had two cars. Mark parked his car here at the Hanging Gate (with permission from the lovely staff), and John drove Mark back to the start point for us to begin our walk.

We arrived here at the end of the walk as planned. However, the best laid plans don’t always work out. Mark had left his keys in John’s car, back at the start point. We ordered some drinks and then tried to order a taxi to go and retrieve the keys. That proved too tricky, so one of the lovely bar staff offered a lift back down to the starting point, and the keys and cars were retrieved. Above and beyond the call of duty, and most welcome!

Whilst we were waiting I was enjoying a pint of Yeaster from Hydes brewery, a bitter red ale.

We will be back tomorrow when we are doing the same thing in reverse, starting here and finishing down at Wincle. Let’s just hope there are no more key related issues.

A lovely little pub up on the moorland, well worth a visit if you are passing. There are fantastic views all around.

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…

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…

The Cheshire Cheese, Hope, April 2017

It’s another trip to The Cheshire Cheese. After last night’s disappointing lack of pub quiz at The Old Hall Hotel, tonight we had another chance of a pub quiz at one of our favourite pubs round these parts. We came second on our previous visit in 2015. Could we go one better tonight, despite “My Pointless Friend Richard” being halved in size?

Hydration for the brain first, a pint of New World Bitter from Intrepid Brewing, a classic caramel bitter, although I’m not sure what happened to the hops that are alleged to be contained within.

Brain food next. I’ve not seen cajun chicken in a pub for a while. Maybe not even since it was spotted on a menu listed as “cajan chicken”. It’s something that’s also easy to get really wrong. The seasoning can often just be just loads of cayenne pepper and random herbs which then get burnt and go really bitter.

No such worries here. Although it is described on the menu as “blackened”, they haven’t gone too far, and it’s just nicely roasted. The minted yoghurt sauce works really well with the gentle spice of the chicken, a really decent portion of salad, and a nice bowl of chips (not pictured). It was really nice and might encourage me to seek this out in pubs a bit more.

Mrs MOFAD had the venison haunch steak, served with a red wine gravy, dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal vegetables. This was also delicious.

This lovely food was being washed down with a pint of Bakewell Best from Peak Ales, another classic English bitter which had almost disappeared by the time I got round to photographing it.

Game on. The quiz began. We groaned when the picture round featured local breeds of sheep (because some local agricultural types had complained in previous weeks). We were doing pretty well as things moved on. A little more refreshment was needed, an Abbeydale Moonshine which is almost always on here. It is one of my favourite local pints.

Sadly we didn’t win, a few too many tricky questions tonight. It was great fun though, and we also got a go on Play Your Cards Right. You don’t get anything for a pair, not in this game. Although it did mean that this was going through my head for the rest of the week:-

Another great trip to the Cheshire Cheese, always a great night out.

The Old Hall Hotel, Hope, April 2017 #3

We keep coming back. Tonight we came back for the pub quiz. You might have already worked out that we love a pub quiz.

First up a Peculier Pale Ale from Theakston, a cold, smooth and inoffensive keg ale from Theakston. Very middle of the road.

Food arrived soon afterwards. Tonight I went for the Derbyshire bacon and cheese steak burger, with red coleslaw and skinny fries.

Just one small problem. The bacon and cheese were missing, much like parts of yesterday’s lunch. And yesterday’s plates have been replaced with boards and a silly basket for the fries. It was a very tasty burger and a nice coleslaw, just a shame that there were bits missing.

It was accompanied by another Theakston brew, the Peculier IPA.

How on earth can you call this an IPA? In the same “class” as Greene King so called IPA. Ou est le hop? A pretty poor excuse for an IPA, just a very dull keg ale, all malt and no hops. If this was your first introduction to IPA, you’d never bother going back and be missing out on some stunning beers. This is not an IPA. Back to school for Theakston.

A nice dinner at The Old Hall, I think they just need to tighten up a bit in the kitchen at the moment as there appears to be a lack of attention to detail on the meals that are going out. It’s still a lovely village pub.

Oh, and the very worst bit? There was no pub quiz. It was cancelled for a private event. So we went back to the cottage instead.

Church Inn, Chelmorton, April 2017

We’ve enjoyed a lovely lazy Saturday with Kerrie, Andy, Hazel, Matt, Janette and Steve. We’ve already taken in Beer District and the Buxton Brewery Tap, as well as chilling out in the sunshine and a stroll along the Monsal Trail. We had no particular evening plans, but as we strolled back along the Monsal Trail a plan to go to the pub formed, and we phoned the Church Inn to book a table. They were reluctant to reserve a table for 8 at first, but we managed to convince them that it was a perfectly rational thing to do.

We drove over and settled in by the roaring fire (it’s April so it’s still cold!) We perused menus and the bar and ordered up some food and drink.

A Thornbridge Wild Swan for me, which I last had at the 2014 Thornbridge beer festival (the one before it got too big for its location). A good summer time light ale with enough flavour to keep you interested.

Mrs MOFAD had a Westons’ Rosie’s Pig, a nice light cider.

My dinner was something that I never usually have when out and about, fish pie. I love fish pie and make it at home a lot, but rarely have it in pubs or restaurants because they can get it so wrong.

This one was a good fish pie, good sauce, nice chunks of fish and a good cheese and crumble topping with some standard veg. A hearty pub meal in a lovely village pub.