The Beehive, Combs, Derbyshire, July 2017

Firstly, a note on pronunciation. Combs is pronounced “combs” like the thing that you use on your hair, as opposed to “coombs”, which many of us may have mistakenly called it. Maybe.

On to food and drink. We find ourselves back here again, finishing off a circuit of walking circuits that we started back in May 2014. We were last at the camp site up the road in September 2015, doing some of those walking circuits. On that occasion we came to The Beehive for dinner on both nights. It was good. So we are doing that again. Once again, we find ourselves in the bar area where dogs are welcome, as Suzy the ninja hound is with us as usual.

Tonight began as the previous nights began, a quick photograph of the specials board so everyone in our party could find out what was on it.

Whilst they perused, we were ordering some drinks. As well as some dull and predictable Marstons, there always seems to be a good guest ale or two. Tonight that guest ale was Route 97 from Mobberley brewhouse. It was a delicious hoppy pale ale. Refreshing and good Chinook hop profile.

Food next. Last time several of us had the seafood platter. We were pleased to see that it was still on the specials board, and several of us had it again. It wasn’t quite as good as last time, the bread seems to have been downgraded to a slice of Hovis Seed Sensations instead of a nice chunk of fresh granary, and the fishy offerings were less. Not as many leaves as last time, and more sliced peppers I think.

Mrs MOFAD opted for duck breast, with sweet potato and rosemary mash and a Cumberland sauce.

Although we hadn’t yet earned one, we had to have a pudding, having spotted the chocolate and candied lime tart on the specials board. This is an important lesson – if you see something on the specials board that you want, have it, because it might not be there the next time you come. This handy poem will help you to remember:-

Never put off what you can do today,
For it may lead to sorrow.
If you do it today and you like it,
You can do it again tomorrow.

The chocolate and lime choice was absolutely spot on. Lovely rich chocolate, reasonably crisp pastry and the candied lime was absolutely divine. As you may have already gathered, I love lime.

Somewhere in between courses, another pint of that tasty Mobberley ale appeared to accompany proceedings. We hung around for a while with drinks and a few games of Uno, as per. Another pleasant evening in the Beehive. Lovely people, lovely pub.

The Red Lion, Sibbertoft, May 2017

Another camping/pub post. We were camping just down the road, and wanted a nearby pub for our Saturday evening dining. A bit of googling found us The Red Lion and we rang ahead and booked a table (always a good idea on a Saturday night at a village pub).

Proceedings kicked off with a pint of Sharps Sea Fury, a decent malty bitter that should replace Doom Bar in all pubs that sell that tired old ale. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but it’s a reasonable pint.

A lovely main course here, cod wrapped in parma ham on top of a creamy risotto. This was absolutely lovely, one of the best dishes I’ve had in a pub this year. Fish can often be a dull choice but I’ve had some lovely fish dishes out and about recently.

Another pint of fury from the sea, and it was time to choose a pudding.

If I recall correctly, there was no chocolate option, and I wasn’t opting for the “Eaton Mess”, which sounds like it comes from Derbyshire instead of Berkshire. Instead, I chose this fruits of the forest pavlovian interpretation, sharp berries, crisp meringues and a dollop of fresh vanilla ice cream.

This is a lovely little village pub, really good food, very reasonable prices, and reasonable macro ale. Ideal for a Saturday night dining experience, and I suspect that they do a great Sunday roast too.

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 almost 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.