Keyworth Tavern, January 2019

A winter wander today. We’ve not been to Keyworth for a good few years, but a walking event brought us here to explore with friends. First things first though, lunch. Eventually.

We found a table, had some menus delivered and ordered some drinks. I was pleasantly surprised to see an Adnams Sloe Storm on the bar so I opted for that.

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I’m not certain that it has been well looked after, as it was a bit meh. Important note – don’t believe all of the beers that have been checked in here on Untappd – you won’t find any Patrons Project, Het Uiltje or Evil Twin here, despite what someone is trying to convince you. Back to lunch…

One of our party was running a bit late due to sat nav issues, so we waited until they had arrived to order food. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. The first half of West Ham v Arsenal had been and gone. Eventually our lunches turned up, but how long should it take for a few sandwiches and jacket potatoes? Not as long as it did.

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It was lovely when it did arrive, a pulled pork melt on a Spanish baguette (lovely and crisp), and some token salad. Just a shame that it took so long, as that had a knock on effect on the rest of our day.

A nice village pub, in a village full of pubs. We’d definitely go back, just as long as we weren’t in a hurry.

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Thornton Nurseries, December 2018

What do you do when you go to the pub, only to find that it has shut down and is going to be turned into flats? We went to The Reservoir Inn in April, and had a lovely lunch. We had a pre-Christmas stroll around Thornton Reservoir this morning, with crisp winter skies presenting some good photo opportunities along the way.

As we knew the lovely pub was only a few minutes away, we decided to pop in for some lunch. Only to be greeted by a pub in darkness, and a planning application on the door. Another village pub that will no longer be a pub, just even more accommodation to attempt to satisfy a never ending demand.

So we needed emergency lunch. Just a few hundred yards back in the direction we came from sits Thornton Nurseries, a bit of a back to basics garden centre in a world of Dobbies and Wyevale who are hoovering up independent places faster than you can blink.

The cafe inside (just a small paved area with a counter and a few seats and tables) is very much along the lines of back to basics, with the simplest of menus from a bygone era. No superfood salads, smashed avocados or sriracha chicken wings here. Ham, cheese, tuna, bacon, sausage and not much else in a roll. Keep it simple is definitely the theme.

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Sausage bap, brown sauce. Can’t get much simpler than that, or much cheaper. Did the job for me today, along with a good old fashioned can of ginger beer. Mrs MOFAD was less impressed with her lunch, but as an emergency food stop it was ok by me.

Perks coffee, Hyatt Regency, Denver, November 2018

A hotel coffee shop. Not the usual thing that you find featured here, but it’s where my lunch came from on my last day in Denver. A sandwich isn’t the most exciting of subjects, but this was a massive unit of a sandwich, stuffed with turkey and cheese and some token salad, with a pot of mustard garlic mayo for you to apply liberally across it.

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If you’re paying five quid for a sandwich, make sure you’re getting value for money. This was definitely value for money.

Falls Cafe, Ingleton, July 2018

A rainy Sunday morning (which is exactly the same situation in which this is being written up). The forecast was for it to clear up a bit later in the day, so we decided to do the Ingleton waterfalls walk this afternoon, as it was just down the road from our camp site. It’s all on private land, so you have to pay to get in and do the walk. Before we started, we decided to have lunch in the cafe on site, as it was very convenient.

A classic visitor centre cafe, with that air of disorganisation about it. Bits of the serving area were closed off for some reason, despite being a busy Sunday in July (plenty of people were sheltering from the rain). The usual selection of sandwiches, panini and specials. And staff who weren’t quite sure what they were doing at times.

I opted for the chicken goujon roll with chips and salad, something warming (token side salad excepted) for a gloomy summer’s day. It was reasonable fodder for an afternoon of exploration, nothing ground breaking, just enough to be going on with.

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The Planet Pavilion Café – Jodrell Bank – May 2018 – chaos theory in action

When you are surrounded by such awesome science, you might expect the simple things like a cafe to be equally good. On a scorching bank holiday they were very busy, but that’s not necessarily a sign that they were any good, being possessors of a very literal captive audience (there are no other options for a good few miles unless you bring your own).

A reasonable queue, but one which was moving along nicely. The reason for that became clear as Mrs MOFAD ordered. They took your order for items on display. You paid. And then you go to your table, drop some stuff off, and go back to pick up your order. Which is still sitting in the cabinet, so other people could be ordering it, not knowing if they are going to be able have it, because one or more people could have already secured it ahead of them. It was chaos theory in action. Orders were coming out seemingly at random, and there were just not enough people around to organise this chaos.

Eventually we did get some tasty lunches and enormous portions (although you would expect these sizes for the price paid), but the overwhelming flavour was of chaos as opposed to coronation/lightly curried chicken. And there was a lot of celery in the salad. Who wants that? Celery is not MOFAD approved.

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It seems they are trading on the rather good views you get of this thing…

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Must try harder!

Longshaw Estate Cafe, April 2018

After finding that the Fox House was not serving any food due to a water shortage, we back tracked slightly, and made our way to the NT cafe at Longshaw for the second time this week.

It doesn’t have the most elaborate menu in the world, but they knock things out pretty quickly. As we had arrived after peak lunch hours there was no problem getting a table. However, it was a different matter when it came to pork products. No bacon sandwiches. No sausage sandwiches. We were not as well prepared as when we visited Tegg’s Nose cafe for breakfast, and they cooked our bacon. So today I had to resort to a ham roll and some crisps. Not the most exciting lunch ever, but enough to fuel the rest of our walk back up to Burbage Bridge.

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The Ale Cellar Tea Room, Lyme Park, April 2018

More National Trust action. NT membership means that you don’t have to pay their extortionate parking charges, and each visit to an NT car park “pays off” the membership fee each year. Nowadays it doesn’t take all that many visits for membership to be worthwhile.

Today we were back at Lyme Park for another walk, finishing off one we started over 2 days in 2014. The weather forecast was essentially overcast, an improvement on yesterday’s rain and mudfest, but still not the spring that we are waiting for.

The last time that we came to the Ale Cellar, they had run out of ale. No such problems today, but there was not a great deal of variety on the menu, and the portions were vaguely adequate at best. You’d expect some big doorstop sandwich rather than just some posh sliced white with a few crisps and token salad tossed in.

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It’s fair to say we were underwhelmed today, not really adequate sustenance for a dank and dreary April stroll. In summary, meh.