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.

The Flower Pots, Cheriton, September 2016

A classic sleepy village pub in Hampshire.

We were camping down the road (a familiar story over the summer time) and given there were very few facilities on the camp site, pub dinners were in order. We don’t really need an excuse to go to the pub for dinner as you know, but let’s just say that’s what it was 🙂

The Flower Pots is a classic little village pub. You’re not going to get people drinking out of jam jars with straws, or things served on slates, bread boards, skateboards or anything other than a sensible plate or bowl.

Beer is served directly from the barrel which are all racked behind the bar. No pumps, no sparklers, no nothing. Straight from barrel to pint glass. Oh, and they have their own brewery too. So there are no beer miles here, just beer yards as the barrels are transported across the car park from brewery to pub. Lots to choose from too.

I started with Perridge Pale, a light and hoppy delight to refresh the weary traveller.

As you might expect, there are also ciders available and Mrs MOFAD enjoyed a couple of these.

Time for another round before dinner arrives, this Gyle 1500 red ale. When a beer tells me it has 15 hops, I’m going straight for it. Sadly I couldn’t find the evidence of these 15 hops (as a lover of the hop), but it was a nice red ale which worked well with dinner. Let’s move on to that.

This is an uncomplicated place, and that’s reflected in the menu. All food is freshly prepared and they will even stop taking orders for a bit if they can’t get them out in a reasonable time. Simple food done well isn’t something we see enough of in places like this, so it’s always nice when you encounter it.

There were several stews on offer (so easy to do and so tasty when you get it right). Mrs MOFAD had one of those, and dining (& camping) companions Chris & Caroline also did. The stews were very tasty indeed, and the garlic bread accompaniment was also well endowed with garlic.

There was another option on the menu, which echoes my sentiment about simple things done well. Steak and chips. No messing around with trying to get you to pay another 2 pounds for a peppercorn sauce, onion rings, or some garnish. Just simple steak and chips. Meat from a local butcher. Simple, brilliant. It was delicious.

We stayed on to drink some more and play some card games. A pint of Goodens Gold was a good and hoppy golden ale.

What a lovely pub. Simple food done well. Great beer brewed just yards from the pub. Dog friendly (we met several nice dogs). No bookings, just turn up. Food is served 12:00-1:45 every day, and 7-8:45 Monday to Saturday (no food Sunday evenings). Wednesday night is an exception, where curry is served from 6:30-8:45

Recommended!

Return to The Alma, Wandsworth

A return visit to this lovely little London pub. As with the previous visit, I was staying at the Holiday Inn Express just over the other side of the railway.

Tonight’s visit had three purposes.

  1. Something to drink
  2. Something to eat
  3. Watch the Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla

Let’s start with (1), which started with a Pumphouse Pale Ale, from Sambrook’s brewery, just one stop down the line in Battersea. This was a delicious pale ale with hoppy notes and a hint of biscuit. Add some more hops and it could be a world beater.

IMG_5099

We relaxed into the evening, bagging a good seat with a view of the projector screen ready for later. Dinner was ordered, another pint arrived. This was a Young’s Special which is a malty bitter, which went well with dinner…

IMG_5100

That dinner was this delicious rump steak. Sometimes, you just can’t beat the classics.

IMG_5102

A rare rump steak, with shoestring fries, lambs leaf lettuce, a fried mushroom and tomato, with garlic butter on top. There was also some perfect English mustard on the side – an essential with steak! It was utterly delicious and devoured with vigour.

IMG_5103

Another drink to accompany the football, this Young’s Bitter was very tasty, but could not take away the bitter taste of defeat, as Sevilla won the game 3-1, in a classic game of two halves, with Liverpool dominating in the first half, and then forgetting to turn up for the second.

Lovely to be back at this lovely London pub with its wooden floors, lots of wooden panelling, a bright and airy dining room at the back and a tiled finish on the outside. Last time I said I hoped to come back and try the food, and I’m glad I did. Great pub. MOFAD approved!

The Horse, Shepshed, September 2015

A pub that we have passed numerous times in its previous guise as The White Horse. Situated on the A512 which links the M1 to the A42 (and then M42, road fans), it is on our usual route to Birmingham or the south west. It’s also on a walking route that we use a few times.

In its previous guise, it never looked all that inviting or welcoming, so we never went in. In 2014 the pub was taken over by a new team who changed things around, making changes to the bar and restaurant areas with greater emphasis on the restaurant side of things.

In April 2015 The Horse re-opened with an extension, almost doubling the original size of the pub, using local contemporary stone and light oak beams to give a fresh feel. There is also a feature fireplace with wood burning stove for the cooler months.

Tonight was our first visit to the newly refurbished pub, after a little walk in the area. We grabbed a table and then ordered. A pint of Ausome IPA from Nene Valley brewery for me, hoppy and sweet, it was a very nice IPA, a limited edition brew apparently.

horsepint

Dinner soon arrived, in the form of this very tasty steak, a rare ribeye served with triple cooked chips, roast vine tomatoes, mushroom, watercress and pink peppercorn sauce.

horsedinner

It was a great example of steak and chips, a simple dish that works so well when you get it right, but which is a dog’s dinner if you get it wrong. Here it was oh so right. The peppery watercress works with the peppery sauce, and the acidity of the tomatoes cuts through the richness of the sauce. A lovely dinner.

The newly renovated Horse is a great pub, relaxed and comfortable for the casual diner, but with something to offer if you want a more formal dining experience. Recommended!