Lucy’s on a Plate, Ambleside, January 2017

A change to normal procedures. We find ourselves at Lucy’s on the last night of our holiday, instead of the first. This was by design, as we wanted to indulge on our last night, after plenty of walking.

A simple starter tonight, tasty toasted pittas with houmous, olives and sun dried tomatoes. Light and flavoursome.

Eventually some beer arrived. The Coniston brews were all out of stock (a crime given that they are just a short drive down the A593). I ordered a Hawkshead Lakeland Gold and a Red turned up instead. It had been a long enough wait already, so I had that instead.

On to the main event, a nice piece of crispy skinned salmon with saffron mash, tender stem broccoli and roasted tomatoes. Very nice indeed.

Mrs MOFAD had this very nice prosciutto wrapped chicken dish:-

You have to finish things off with a pudding here, and it was sticky toffee pudding and two spoons. Moist and delicious.

A lovely meal at Lucy’s as usual, we shall always be back. It’s just a matter of when. Another great week in the Lakes comes to an end…

The Sole Bay Inn, Southwold, Suffolk, October 2016

The final night of our 2016 East Anglian epic adventure. What an adventure it has been. We have enjoyed lots of great food and drink, some lovely cycle rides and found plenty of new pubs to relax in.

Much like last night, we tried to get in to The Nelson again, but it was full. We split into two groups, to wait for tables in The Sole Bay Inn and The Nelson, harnessing the power of the internet to communicate when we had found one.

As luck would have it, we came up trumps with a table in The Sole Bay Inn, and settled in. Hazel & Matt returned from round the corner and we walked the two steps to the bar to order. I don’t need to tell you that The Sole Bay Inn is an Adnams pub do I?

First up, a pint of Jack Brand Ease Up IPA, a decent enough session IPA, good hoppy notes, some malt, a little sweetness. It’s better on keg than it is out of the bottle.

Triple pork nirvana was at stake again today, I have passed a few times this week due to lots of lovely fish to choose from, but today, the lure of the pulled pork burger was too strong to resist. It turned out to be a good call, a decent portion of pulled pork, not too sweet, served in a good roll with chips and a decent home made coleslaw. Good work team! Mrs MOFAD had the same, Hazel had some lovely ribs and Matt went for gammon. All good for our final meal out this week.

This needed some more Adnams accompaniment, sticking with Jack Brand I went for the Mosaic Pale Ale which I also had earlier in the week. Hints of lemon, peach, mango and pine and a nice little blast of mosaic hops.

The end of the holiday should be marked with a pudding, and another tasty chocolate treat awaited here, dark and dense with a scoop of ice cream on the side.

A fantastic end to a fantastic holiday. A great little pub, with food served 12-9pm. You can’t reserve tables, but it is well worth the wait if you have time for one to become free. A lovely cosy pub, a friendly atmosphere and very definitely MOFAD approved!

The Crown Hotel, Southwold, Suffolk, October 2016

Poshing it up a bit tonight. We had tried to get in to The Nelson but as usual it was full, so we had a short stroll around and happened upon The Crown. They had a few tables free, so we requested one and settled in for some dinner.

Do I need to tell you this is an Adnams establishment? Probably not. So away we go. A pint of Cashmere IPA, which I had the other day, a very decent pale ale but doesn’t fit in the category of IPA.

Keeping with my fishy theme (we are beside the seaside after all), I had a very tasty piece of hake, crispy skin, lovely risotto with fennel and pea shoot salad.

Mrs MOFAD also had fish, in the form of steamed sea bass with noodles and pak choi, and a ginger, chilli and sweet soy broth. Also very tasty.

Hazel & Matt had pork belly and rump steak respectively, and Hazel’s request to swap out the fennel accompanying her dish was accommodated without any fuss.

Mrs MOFAD fancied a pudding, and had this Cambridge burnt cream (creme brulee with a Fens twist) with “cat’s tongue biscuit”. Both were very good.

A very pleasant meal in a very pleasant hotel. If you’re looking for something other than good pub dining in Southwold, this should fit the bill.

The Angel Inn, Wangford, Suffolk, October 2016

Pub quiz night! As you’ll know by now, we do like a pub quiz. We haven’t done very many this year so the opportunity to take on another one was most welcome. What is a holiday without a pub quiz after all? To be sure of our place we booked a table in advance so that we could eat first and ensure we were in tip top condition for quizzing.

Here comes the first shock of the night. The Angel Inn is not an Adnams pub. I repeat, not an Adnams pub. This is proof that there are a few pubs in Suffolk that the Adnams mafia haven’t got their claws into 🙂

This means that for the first time this week, I’ve been able to order a non-Adnams beer in a pub. This was an Otter Ale, from Devon, something I’ve had before, but in pre-Untappd days so not for a few years. It’s a classic malty English bitter with caramel notes. Very nice.

We ordered our dinners and sat back and waited for them to arrive. Their were a few other diners around too, all enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. Matt & I ordered steaks, Mrs MOFAD and Hazel chose chicken & mushroom pies. Two steaks arrived soon afterwards. This was mine.

Or so I thought! A mix up with our neighbours’ table meant that we got their steaks, and Matt had just sprinkled some salt on the chips before this was spotted and rectified, with the plates moving a few feet to our right. So around 5 minutes later, our dinner arrived. As you can see, presentation is pretty consistent:-

The taste was good too. I ordered rare as usual and it was cooked to perfection, although Matt’s medium-rare was very much on the medium side. Classic accompaniments of tomato, mushroom and peas and good home-made chips. A pub classic done well.

The pies were also good, a proper, complete pie, not just a dish with a lid of pastry. We did have to question Hazel’s alleged northern credentials though, as she was not putting gravy on her pie and chips.

As we were staying for the pub quiz, we decided to have some more food and drink. We cross over the border to Norwich for this Woodforde’s Wherry, another one that I’ve had before, a nice smooth session bitter.

As I keep on saying, a chocolate pudding is always the correct choice, and this was indeed the case tonight. A lovely dense chocolate mousse, rich and intense, complemented by the creamy white chocolate pieces, and offset by the tartness of the physalis (also known as the cape gooseberry, although it’s from the nightshade family). Tasty tasty chocolate.

All that was left was the pub quiz.

Except it wasn’t. Not enough people had turned up, so there was no pub quiz. Despondent, we trooped out and went home to drink beer instead. A good pub with good food and beer, certainly worth a visit.

Church House pub, Sutton, October 2016

It’s visit number three to the Church House. We were here a few weeks ago. We were here under 24 hours ago. We are back today.

After another great walk on an improving day (around 9 miles and lots of ups and downs) we had certainly earned our dinner tonight. We were expecting to be in the same room as last night (due to the lovely Ninja Hound being with us), but we had actually been “upgraded” into one of the main rooms. This was because Suzy had been so well behaved last night, and another group with a less well behaved dog had also booked for tonight.

This upgrade gave us a little more space to relax and enjoy our meals. First up some drinks, and I started with another Bosley Cloud from Storm Brewing after enjoying it last night.

As you’ve probably worked out by now, a camping and walking Saturday means that triple pork nirvana is alsmost certainly on, and you’d be right. Tonight it was finished off in some style, with spiced BBQ pork ribs, proper chips and some inconsequential bits of salad (nice attempt at a carrot flower though).

The ribs were really tender, and the BBQ sauce was just right, piquant and peppery without being cloying. Plenty of sauce to dip the chips into too 🙂 This was accompanied by another pint of Concept #14 from Mobberley Brewhouse, the fruity red ale that’s heavy on the malt and very tasty. Worked well with the spiced sauce.

You’ve probably also spotted that Mrs MOFAD can’t resist a curry, and that’s what she had here, a great pub korma.

A tempting pudding was on offer, so we gave in to the temptation of sticky toffee pudding.

Another great night at this fantastic village pub. You should definitely stop by if you find yourself camping just down the road or just passing through one day. Friendly, welcoming and with great food and drink, this is a great British pub.

The Globe, Alresford, September 2016

After a lovely day out at the Alresford show we headed off for a cup of tea at the station, then back to the camp site for a quick change, and then back to Alresford for some dinner. This pub looked most enticing, so we had booked a table. It was warm and inviting inside.

We ordered some food and drinks and relaxed. First up for me was a pint of Young’s London Stout. As sometimes happens with stouts in pubs, this was served too cold which subdued the gentle roast malt flavours. A nice pint when it warmed up.

There was some local cider for Mrs MOFAD, which we had sampled at the show a few hours earlier. Meon Valley Cider was lightly sparkling from the bottle, a classic cider with toffee apple flavours.

Dinner arrived. I opted for the pan fried fillet of hake, with watercress (obviously!), burnt pineapple puree, roasted sweet potato, ginger, chilli & coriander dressing. This was absolutely delicious, a lovely piece of fish with great flavours to accompany it.

This was accompanied by the always reliable Bath Ales Gem, a balance of malt and hops that makes for a classic English bitter.

It would be rude not to have pudding. Sticky toffee pudding in this case, with salted caramel sauce and vanilla clotted cream. Sweet and tasty.

A really nice meal at a really nice pub. Nothing was rushed, everything was relaxed, and their was a friendly atmosphere. Lots of diners on this very busy Saturday night, but the team were able to cope with everyone. Good food and good beer are the perfect combination for MOFAD approval!

The Potting Shed, Edinburgh, June 2016

Another night out in Edinburgh. I really love this city. It has all the advantages of being a city (loads of places to get stuff, eat stuff, do stuff) but without the great disadvantages of somewhere like London (crowds everywhere, can’t get a table at a pub, sweltering on the Underground in the summer).

It has old stuff (a castle, monuments, museums) as well as new stuff, like cool bars and pubs with decent local beers and food.

The Potting Shed is one of those examples of new stuff, a group of jolly characters that all came together to make the following story. There’s Angus (creator of the shed), Billy the Fisherman (fish please), Farmer Campbell (cattle please), Farmer Hamish (chickens please), Farmer Jock (pork and home brew please) and of course Morag (a dairy farmer, the apple of Angus’ eye, and the inspiration behind their desserts and cocktails).

So that’s their story, here’s the story of our visit.

As tonight was our tenth wedding anniversary, Mrs MOFAD was celebrating with prosecco – a tasty bit of fizz. You will have worked out that I would be celebrating with ales. Came to the right place for that, look at this awesome selection:-

So much choice, so little time. First up a Findhorn Killer by Speyside Craft Brewery. I quickly christened this Hoppy McHopface, a deliciously balanced ale.

Food next. As you will have spotted by now, Friday night is usually curry night, so Mrs MOFAD opted for the slow cooked spicy lamb, with coriander, coconut milk, fragrant rice and “flat breed” (that’s Scotch for bread). This was spicy and delicious, walking that fine line between spice and flavour and just about getting it right in Mrs MOFAD’s eyes.

For me, something a bit different (in terms of things that I eat when out). Half roast peri peri chicken, with red slaw and skinny fries. A simple chicken dish isn’t something I’ll often eat because it is something that can easily be done badly, but I had faith here as I’d heard good things about the Potting Shed.

This faith was well placed, juicy and delicious chicken, nice and spicy peri peri, good red slaw and crisp fries. This was accompanied by a Brave New World by Tempest Brewing Co. How to describe this? How about hops hops hops? You want more? How about hops? Piney goodness. It was lovely and perfect with the peri peri.

As this was a special occasion, and because we have walked quite a bit already and have more exercise planned tomorrow, we both opted for pudding (we will often share). For me it was Potting Shed Windfall; fruit & nut “soil”, chocolate mousse and a medley of mixed berries. This was as delicious as it looks, and I’ll forgive the plant pot, since it is jokey and there is a plate to actually eat from.

Mrs MOFAD’s eyes were bigger than her belly – a sticky toffee pudding proved to be too much of a challenge – it was delicious though because I had some in order to help out 🙂

A chocolately pudding needs the right kind of liquid accompaniment. Mine was Fathom by Jaw Brew, full of chocolate, coffee and burnt treacle flavours, although it was very thin (they might have boiled the sugar out of the brew).

A lovely anniversary meal, probably one of my favourites. And I haven’t even mentioned that they also have a pizza called Boaty McBoatface:-

Great food and beer, a nice relaxed atmosphere and funky decor. The Potting Shed is a lovely place for a meal or even just a drink or two on a night out in Edinburgh. We were also hoping for some live music as advertised on their web site, but they have struggled to get acts in recently, so hopefully that’s something you’ll be able to enjoy again in the future.

MOFAD approved and a MOFAD card was left.