The Pig in Muck, Claybrooke Magna

Another visit to this pub, which is on a regular walking route for us. We’ve been here a few times in the last 4 or 5 years, but haven’t done this walk for a couple of years, so it was nice to pop in for lunch today.

On Sundays they concentrate on their carvery menu, a selection of roasts for a good price. And this is proper pub carvery, none of that Toby carvery nastiness. However, they do also cater for those of us wanting something lighter (because we are cooking our own Sunday roast later on), with your choice of roast meat in a baguette, with salad and chips.

As you can see, this is still a very substantial lunch, and a very tasty one. A roast gammon baguette with a good salad and a good portion of chips. It was very nice indeed, accompanied by a pint of Pig Brewing Weiner bitter, a hoppy and bitter golden ale, very easy drinking and brewed on site too.

The Pig in Muck is a lovely little village pub, well worth stopping off at during your next walk in the area or if you are passing on the nearby A5.

MOFAD approved!

TPN 2016 #7

After the exotic Antiopdean triple pork nirvana of last month, something a little more traditional today. 

Egg and bacon sandwich for breakfast (with awesome Tiptree barbecue sauce, a peppery tomato/brown sauce cross). 

Ham and cheese rolls for lunch (with some mustard mayo). 

And then rounded off with a lovely roast leg of pork, with roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and peas. And of course, home made bramley apple sauce. All made by me. 

  
Hurrah for pork!

The Priest Hole, Ambleside

A Sunday night calls for a Sunday roast. The Priest Hole is somewhere we’ve never been able to get into before – always really busy. Tonight was their last night of service for a couple of weeks, as they take a New Year break.

The Priest Hole Restaurant and Tea Rooms are part of Kelsick Old Hall, one of the oldest buildings in Ambleside, and they retain many of the original features, some of which were discovered during some renovation work.

In recognition of great wealth of local beers (there are over 40 breweries in Cumbria now) The Priest Hole have a range of local beers to drink with your dinner, with proper descriptions and tasting notes. Although you might not be expecting such attention to beer detail in a venue like this, it is a pleasant surprise to find it. Tonight we had some Oliver’s Light Ale, from down the road in Coniston, and some more Hawkshead ale, Jingle Fells, from down the other road in Staveley. Oliver is a gentle pale ale, whilst Jingle Fells is a festively spiced ale.

Which went rather well with my venison. I’m a bit picky when it comes to roasts, particularly because I’m fairly happy with the ones that I serve up on Sundays. So I strayed away from the roast menu, and had this venison instead, with an interesting berry gravy – the tartness of those raspberries really cut through the richness of the venison. The roast shallot could have done with some caramelisation to bring out the natural sweetness.

It turned out to be a wise choice, Mrs MOFAD’s roast beef was not all that exciting.

A special mention must go to our waiter, who was the resident beer expert, and we discussed local ales, breweries and drinking spots for a fair amount of time. Friendly and knowledgeable.

The Priest Hole is worth a visit if you’re looking for classic British meals accompanied by some of the best local ales. Lots of interesting things on the menu besides the roasts.

The White Rabbit, Lyndhurst

The chain pub. You generally know what you’re getting. If it’s only been re-opened for 32 hours after refurbishment work, you’d be forgiven for being a bit less certain. Current TripAdvisor reviews are rather a mixed bag, so what’s it like after a bit of a refit?

Fairly standard chain pub stuff, but with everything not being quite ready. Pumps lacking beer, bottled beers advertised that are not yet available. Sunday roasts that don’t yet have their own menu, so you have to guess. 

A chain Sunday roast is a bit of a gamble. It will usually be quick, but quality is not always utmost. This one was quick and very average. Topside of beef was available (poultry roasts had already run out somehow), but no mustard or horseradish was offered. Luckily, when it was requested, some excellent English mustard arrived, the highlight of the meal as it brought out the limited flavours of the beef. Average roast spuds, a solitary piece of parsnip, a few bits of carrot, four or five broccoli florets and some non-descript “greens”. And a Yorkshire pudding of sorts. Mine are far superior, and I’m from a long way outside of Yorkshire. 

  
This was accompanied by a pint of Ringwood Best, overly cooled as much C&B ale appears to be. 

  
On this showing, the White Rabbit is not approved, perhaps when they’ve been open for a bit longer…

The Soldier Dick, Furness Vale (4/4)

Just one more visit. After our earlier trip to Buxton, we came back to Furness Vale to try for a bit of a walk. As soon as we parked up, the heavens opened, so we returned to the camp site instead. After a short break, the sun came out again, so another quick walk was banked. After that, our final wander down the hill for dinner.

Back in the Soldier Dick again, and they have a different Sunday menu. But unlike so many pubs, they don’t just restrict themselves to three or four roast meats on Sundays. There are also many other options to choose from. However, today we all opted for a roast because it was that kind of a Sunday. The roasts were all very good, with a nice selection of veg, and good Yorkshire puddings. The only niggle is that the mustard is just in your standard little sachet, whereas I would prefer a little portion of something made fresh from powder. Just a minor niggle though.

Not enough turn over on the ales over the weekend, so tonight I had three repeats, a Sharp’s Atlantic:-


a Wainwright:-


and an Exmoor Gold:-


Our study was concluded after 4 visits, and with consistently good food and drink, The Soldier Dick is 100% MOFAD approved. MOFAD card left!

Buxton Tap House, Buxton. Utter beer heaven.

Staying in Furness Vale for the long weekend. As you might have read, yesterday we got a bit wet on a walk, and abandoned the second half of it. Today’s forecast kept changing, but wasn’t looking too promising. So we decided to have a morning pottering around Buxton and then maybe try do to the abandoned second half later on in the day. As it turned out, the sun came out for a nice little trundle around town.

I suggested the Buxton Tap House as a suitable lunch stop, as I’m a fan of their beers, and I’d heard that they do good food. I was right. We wandered in around 1pm and managed to find a table. On Sunday lunchtimes, they serve full roasts, or just a roast in a bap, with roast potatoes, parsnips and gravy. This was a perfect choice for all of us.

Time for a drink or two whilst waiting for the lunch to arrive. For Mrs MOFAD it was a Pure North Fusion cider. I found it a touch on the vinegary side, but it did work well with the food. My first choice was a Moor Top, a lovely mixture of floral hoppy bitterness. And then some more bitterness. American Chinook hops and a hit of grapefruit. A great session pale.


Next up a Wild Boar, another floral and hoppy ale, this time with hints of mango. Very good indeed.


As this was going down with great ease, the food arrived, and it tasted as good as it looked. Very nice beef, a good and hot horseradish, good spuds and a really tasty gravy (if no-one else had been watching, I would have downed that too)…


As we hadn’t got too much planned, there was just time for another, this time a Jaw Gate, an American IPA made with NZ hops. Now, I’m very picky when it comes to IPA, because so many (this one included) do not understand that the P stands for PALE. Apart from the lack of paleness, it’s very good indeed, another one that you could drink all day.


A quick stop at the bar on the way out, to buy a nice little selection to take away. These lovely people will also let you taste a few more if you’re trying to make up your mind, so there was an opportunity to have some Pic Tor, a passion fruit sour which was pretty amazing. Will definitely get some of this next time, maybe they’ll take some to Thornbridge in July (please folks?).

It’s fair to say that the Buxton Tap House is 100% MOFAD approved, and a MOFAD card was left. Find out more at http://www.buxtonbrewery.co.uk/tap/