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BITE user comments - GeofB

Comments by GeofB

The Rutland, Chesterfield

Aug 2019 Now closed and up for sale/lease/rent

30 Aug 2019 13:19

Yates's, Chesterfield

They've tried to shake off the old Yates image by doing it up inside and renaming it "The Burlington" but it's still much the same with regard to food and clientelle

24 Mar 2016 17:21

The Nettle Inn, Milltown

This pub is now closed down, been turned into private housing

24 Mar 2016 17:16

The Trout at Barlow, Barlow

Taken over and turned into a gastropub with high prices

28 Mar 2015 22:35

The Cock and Magpie, Old Whittington

Good food and drink at reasonable prices. Rear conservatory for serious diners. Comfortable bar for drinkers and bar snacks.

17 Nov 2014 20:44

The Elm Tree, Heath

Essentially a restaurant with a bar selling four cask ales. You'll not be welcome if you're not going to have a meal. Good quality food and beer but expect to pay high restaurant prices for it. Unfortunately there is no other proper pub in the village. Very popular, with plenty of car trade though. The huge car park is always quite full even mid week.

31 Oct 2014 08:38

The Wanted Inn, Sparrowpit

I called in again today for a mid hike pub lunch, two years after my last visit, and it's better than ever. Now a free house so the bland Robinson's beer has been seen off and replaced by decent local cask beers. Food and drink are good and at sensible and very reasonable prices.
The new landlady told me they don't have any intention of going "posh", that they are content to cater for walkers and local farmers, confirming what I had deduced about the place two years ago.
So it's risen up on my favourites list for Peak District pubs and how refreshing to find an exception to the insidious gastro-isation trend of the Peak's pubs.

28 Aug 2014 20:58

Waggon and Horses, Louth

Good chef, offensive landlord

18 Aug 2014 21:22

The Grouse, Longshaw

Still a proper pub despite pricey food if you define a pub as being a place you can
go in just for a drink without subtle (and sometimes not so subtle pressure) to order a meal.
Just called in during a hike on a sunny Thursday afternoon and I was gratified to find it mainly full of elderly retiree hikers like me, - all knobbly knees and baggy shorts. Oh How we feel sorry for you work slaves! And what took me back 30 years - a friendly old black pub labrador lazing in the sun with legs in the air having its belly scratched.
My huge bowl of soup was still delicious. Landlady friendly and obliging and beer reasonably priced compared to its neighbours.

16 May 2014 21:52

The Plough Inn, Hathersage

Used to be an asset to the area with its campsite and normal prices. Now it's just a pretentious restaurant. I don't mind fools being parted from their money easily but I do resent a local useful facility being turned into a mere parasitic money making business. This place desn't deserve the honourable title of "pub". Clip joint would be more appropriate. To update, beer is now £3.90 a pint.

5 May 2014 09:54

The Boat Inn, Allerton Bywater

New owners have taken over this pub and they are trying very hard to build up custom. The food is good and reasonably priced. Plenty of beer choice and prices also normal. They had a singer on as entertainment. I think they're still trying to find their feet as service was a bit slow but then it was full of people on Saturday night in the Christmas/New Year interim period. As they get things sorted I think it will get better and better.

31 Dec 2013 16:55

The Old Hill Inn, Chapel-le-Dale

Well, they've scrapped the daft "tapas" evening and improved the heating. Suspect the food is still pricey though from what my mates told me but the bar ladies were friendly enough and beer prices were around £3.10 (at least for my pint of"Spitfire"). The landlady, on seeing us walking up from the nearby bunkhouse at 6pm rushed in from attending to her horses and opened up early, even invited us to serve ourselves at the pumps whilst she took a shower. Turned down my offer to scrub her back though.

10 Dec 2013 19:22

Arkwright Arms, Chesterfield

What's wrong with Northerners ?, Get thyssens back down south lass if tha dunt like it up 'ere. It's sign of how good this pub is if it's full.
Previous reviewers say this place is expensive. I always judge the rip-off scale of a pub by how much they charge for a bowl of chips. Here it's £1.60. Try the Derwentwater Arms at Calver where they charge £3 per bowl or the Peacock at Rowsley where it's over £4 per bowl or most of the other Peak District tourist traps where it's always over £2.50. CAMRA continue to put this pub in their nominated lists for best area pub of the year - What more to say?
The beer range,quality and price are superlative. Food is inexpensive and good quality. Decor and seating are a bit spartan but only southern softies expect plush seating as if in some Parisian brothel.

29 Nov 2013 10:00

The Trout at Barlow, Barlow

Just to update this pub. It is very much alive and kicking. Taken over by an enthusiastic friendly young couple and selling decent food and Jennings beer at very reasonable prices.

29 Nov 2013 09:36

Rising Sun, Matlock

For an up to date review I can only confirm what other reviewers have stated accurately. It's still as good as previously described despite a change of ownership. Nothing has changed except the four cask ales on offer - a very good pub , one of the best I've been in on my hiking travels.

15 Nov 2013 23:37

Grouse and Claret, Rowsley

Ignore all the previous reviews they're years old. I would have liked to have met the "dragon" but I think she must have met her St George. She sounds like the sort of campsite proprietor you need judging by the puerile protests of a bunch of spoilt drunken brats who had their noisy late night partying curtailed.

Went in during a hike for lunch on a weekday. It's a Marston's chain eaterie and pretends to be nothing else but this. It's not a twee country pub for tourists looking for a genuine Peak District gastronomic experience. It sells good pub grub at good prices. Service was quick and courteous with lots of attentive young staff waiting on, a bit of an upmarket Wetherspoons. I immediately warmed to the place when my pint of Hobgoblin came to £3.02 and when my (2 for £10) meal turned out to be a generously sized and tasty gammon steak with egg, pineapple and lots of chips & peas.

7 Nov 2013 19:58

The Barrel Inn, Bretton

Wrote the last review nearly 2 years ago. Only fair to pop in again to see if things have changed. - Actually, I didn't have much choice as it was on our hiking route at the right point or I wouldn't have bothered.
Mate forked out £5.25 for white supermarket bread ham sandwiches with the usual token gesture of a bit of shredded salad. Then an extra £2.60 for a medium sized bowl of chips, We get better sandwiches & salad provided for free at our local in Chesterfield on quiz nights.
I paid £3.76 for an indifferently tasting and soon to go flat pint of Marston's Pedigree. I dread to think what they charge for the Hobgoblin.
Nowt's changed, my previous review still accurate. About fifteen car touroids in though. Fools and their money are easily parted.

30 Oct 2013 22:30

The Derwent Water Arms, Calver

Just another generic Peak Park gastro pub with expensive food. Loads of them about.They'll become the norm eventually.I get bored of reviewing them - they're all the same. ie boring. Usually, as with this place, the food is good quality and the beer is well kept but they're all chasing tourist money, with the same polite staff, the same nice decor, the same high prices, the same smug self satisfied belief in their own superiority.
Jesus! Just let me find a pub in the Peak that is interesting, quirky, characterful, value for money, different, genuine and not full of car borne tourists. - and yes, - I know it's me that's the oddball, most people want pubs like this.

8 Oct 2013 17:03

Local Heroes, Chesterfield

Well, it's finally died the death. Builders are in converting it into something else.

5 Sep 2013 19:34

The Bear Inn, Alderwasley

I looked it up on its website and was expecting yet another restaurant dressed up as a pub and I'm naturally suspicious of places run purely as a profitable eating businesses rather than as a pubs.
I went in with hackles raised looking for something to criticise - you have to go in at the back as the front door is strangely closed off. Tiled and wooden floors, so they didn't object to my boots or a bit of mud it seemed. Then two dogs in the bar - another good sign. A walkers welcome sign. Quirkily jumbled rooms with ceiling beams, plain furniture.
I had a pint of dark beer specifically brewed for the pub. It was good stuff and no-one was pressuring me into buying food although they're obviously food orientated. After two pints I was warming to the place and despite it being a bit more expensive for food and drink I was really enjoying my visit. Sometimes a place has a good "feel" to it and this was one of those.

16 Aug 2013 20:28

The Hardwick Inn, Doe Lea

We meet here once a year for a school class reunion.I had the carvery again and once again I found that it's not a patch on the bargain offerings at the pubs of the Crown Carvery chain both in price and quality. The veg was barely warm, the pork and beef were a bit fatty and gristly.The meal was fairly tasteless and uninspiring.
It's a nicely located and pleasant pub for our annual ritual but I don't think any pub with a small static carvery bar where the stuff could be hanging around for a while can match the conveyor belt type carveries of the dedicated pubs. If you're fancying a roast dinner go to the Young Vanish at Glapwell just a couple of miles away. If you want scenery and pleasant surroundings for an outdoor summer drink though, this place is fine.

9 Aug 2013 09:09

Ye Olde Royal Oak Inn, Wetton

Stopped here for lunch on a hike on a sunny weekday afternoon, Big bap sandwiches and salad with very generous thick ham, £4, Others a similar price. Pub meals around £8-9. Large bowl of chips (enough for two) £2. Considering its proximity to the touroid honey trap areas of Dovedale and Manifold Dale this place is a breath of fresh air. Non touristy and unpretentious, a proper village pub with non rip off prices and down to earth friendly serving ladies. Join the few elite Peak District pubs still like this and please, please, don't change.

2 Aug 2013 23:25

The Royal Oak, Ulley

Large food oriented village pub but no pressure to buy food. Sam Smiths beer was Incredibly cheap and also very good. Meals looked good quality and priced around £7-£10. They don't do sandwich snack type meals. Dogs not allowed in. Big car park. Well worth a visit.

23 Jul 2013 00:31

Church Inn, Darley Dale

What a little gem of a pub, good beer, a friendly landlady, inexpensive and good food, basic but cosy decor. A dartboard. Accepts dogs and boots. No airs and graces here. How lucky the locals are to have this one and the Grouse nearby. I highly recommend this place.

8 Jul 2013 19:46

The Yorkshire Bridge Inn, Bamford

Two friends told me they have changed their minds about this place and have stopped going now for regular meals. They sent back two inedible Barnsley chops and instead chose a greasy lamb shank which required a steak knife to remove the meat. After this, one of them had diarrhoea and sickness for 3 days.

9 Jun 2013 20:18

The Crispin, Great Longstone

Pleasant atmosphere, although the decor is a bit contrived with all the jugs and mugs on the ceiling. Expensive food and drink. Bland tasting Robinsons ale for sale. Yet another Peak District tourist haunt following the formula of surviving off the elderly car tourists who aren't short of cash. Plenty of pubs doing that - nothing different here then.

1 Jun 2013 13:04

The Kelstedge Inn, Kelstedge

From Sept 2012 this pub has been run by the experienced ex landlord from the Rutland and Royal Oak in Chesterfield and there has been a general improvement all round. Now changed to "The Kelstedge" it seems to be even more restaurant orientated but the landlord was quite amenable to my not eating and just sampling his ale. Plenty of people dining on a Thursday afternoon, unlike my last visit a year ago when there was no-one in but us and the barmaid who was selling sour Abbot Ale. There are three regularly changed real local cask ales on tap. Food looked to be good quality. Prices were what you expect for a gastro pub but by no means excessive, eg £3.10 for Black Sheep Ale,- so good that I sampled 2 pints of
it. My mates gave their bagette sandwiches & chips 8 out of 10 points.

14 Mar 2013 17:56

The Cheshire Cheese Inn, Hope

What makes you think that she ordered a plain cheese sandwich - she didn't want Stilton in her steak sandwich and she requested a change at the time of ordering - ie - before it was made. The barman, who was downright unpleasant rather than my euphemistic description, refused to pass on her request to the kitchen with the excuse I have stated already.
I dont think I'll be making a second visit.

11 Mar 2013 17:05

Parish Oven, Thorpe Salvin

Maybe I was a little hard on this place in my previous review or maybe things have improved a bit. A friend who recently called in said that a food offer of £6 for two courses was very good value with a good sized portions for fish and chips and a follow up sponge pudding and custard.

13 Feb 2013 12:17

The Bridge Inn, Calver

Riverside pub, ( a proper pub, not a gastro pseudopub) a big car park: two cosy rooms off the main door: a blazing log fire: dogs welcome in the public bar. Customers were a mixture of car tourists, grubby workmen, hikers and locals. We called as usual for lunch during a hike. Sandwiches were cheap and adequate at £3 to £4 but not of highest standard as the bread cob was a bit rubbery. Salad was included and was good. The extra chips were undercooked and not particularly plentiful. Abbot Ale was extortionate at £3.60 per pint. I grumbled about the cost and was told that price depended on alcohol content - in which case, tea and coke should be free then. Despite all this our stay was pleasant enough.I probably would go again.

4 Jan 2013 19:30

Jug and Glass Inn, Nether Langwith

Justifiably popular,it attracts hordes in summer, Spacious and plainly furnished inside, they could have succumbed to the temptation of milking the tourist trade by exploiting the pretty riverside location and its ancient looking frontage by filling it with ye olde silly twee tourist bricabrac, rewriting the menu with pretentious rubbish and then bumping up prices. To their utmost credit they avoided this falseness. No airs and graces here. There's a one armed bandit and large tv screen inside, a roaring open fire, a pool table. Meals here are generously portioned and inexpensive. Real ales are sold. Service is quick and efficient.

Oh how I love honest pubs like this after experiencing so many snooty places in the gentrified villages of the Peak district who think they are so superior as to justify charging ludicrous prices for food which is inferior to the meals sold here. Perhaps the proximity of an ex pit village has influenced this place's down to earth attitude. £3.95 for an excellent large fish & chips & peas. This says it all.

15 Dec 2012 18:01

The Eyre Arms, Hassop

Old pub with a welcoming feel to it, a roaring fire, loads of decorative bricabrac for the tourists. Plenty of car borne pensioners spending the the kid's inheritence. Food and drink were good quality but expensive. Two real ales, Swift Nick and award winning Black Sheep Ale, the former only average but the Black Sheep Ale was like nectar and probably worth the £3.50 per pint it cost.(Not to be confused with the more common Black Sheep bitter) A meal of sandwiches & salad and additional chips came to a whopping £8. Soup at £4.75 Dearest of all the pubs I've landed in so far on my hiking lunchbreaks. Excellent vittles but bring a full wallet.

8 Dec 2012 17:38

The Old Hill Inn, Chapel-le-Dale

Quaint rustic interior, Food expensive, beer is well kept and £3 plus. Friday night is "Tapas" night which seems a bit incongruous in this area in winter - means you need to spend a fair bit on separate dishes to get a filling meal as nothing else is available.
I didn't eat here because I didn't fancy tapas and had also experienced infuriating service here last time I came in 3 years ago. ie 8 of us on a table served one inadequate dish of veg. By the time the dish reached me it was nearly empty. We asked for more but by the time this came my untouched chicken breast had gone cold, so this went to be reheated and when it came back the new dish of picked over veg had cooled and everyone else was onto their puddings. The chilly interior did nothing to cool down my temper especially as the meal hadn't been cheap at the time.

2 Dec 2012 22:24

The Station Inn, Ribblehead

A friend of mine said that his "pie and peas" was a small microwaved poor-quality pork pie with a small portion of sugar sweetened peas. Costing £5 plus, he said it was the worst tasting and poorest value he'd ever had. He also said the beer and main meals were expensive.

2 Dec 2012 21:22

The Fox House Inn, Longshaw

Such a shame for this old characterful pub to be taken over by a pub chain and how the slick corporate image shows. With an ethos determined by desk-bound office experts and accountants it has followed the all too familiar fashion of turning into a "gastro" pub. Most of its labyrinthine rooms are now set out with tables to feed pricey food to the car borne touroid masses. Thankfully they must have noticed a profit opportunity from the many hikers that walk in the area, enough to retain a drinking room at the back and a few tables outside. The cask beer choice however was poor, only Black Sheep and a pale ale being available on my visit but if you like the usual keg bitter and common lagers/ciders there were plenty of these.

Food was fairly decent quality as you would expect from their prices but why offer a choice of chips OR salad to go with sandwiches - why not
provide both - the ingredients won't cost that much more on a near £6 sandwich and might make a difference in perceiving the portions as miserly
or generous. Black sheep was £3.05 a pint, again, what you expect in these clone/country restaurant pubs and this is possibly on the cheaper side. I've past reviewed a long sad list of these types of pub. Old favourites catching the moreprofititis disease like ash trees succumbing to fungus.

Despite my dislike of these pubs in general, I did notice the cheerfulness and efficiency of the young staff here.

24 Nov 2012 20:56

Kings Head, Bonsall

This is one of those handful of quirky Peak District pubs where the personality of the landlord or landlady defines the character of the place. Think 3 Stags Heads at Wardlow Mires, Quiet Woman at Earl Sterndale, Barley Mow at Kirk Ireton. They run the pub on their own terms. Real pubs run by real people - warts and all, and all the more interesting for that fact.If you don't like it there are plenty of generically "nice" clone pubs around.
Two areas - the tiled-floor bar where dogs and muddy boots are welcome and the eating lounge where they aren't and the landlady, with her forthright Australian attitude will tell you in no uncertain terms if you transgress. The bar is cosy and intimate with a limited choice of ale. Only Batemans XB on tap when we went in as she hadn't done the cellar work that morning but the XB was fine,if nothing special. Unsurprisingly the landlord wears the pinny and cooks the food.
I had tuna sandwiches,chips & salad - good food at a fair price. The beer and tea was not a fair price. �6 for a pint of XB and 2 mugs of tea. Two more tourists had regular meals which looked good, (certainly not microwave rubbish) and they praised the food as such.
The landlady on this occasion was very friendly, disposed to chat freely with her customers. She gushed over a dog we brought in, rushing over with a chew for it, (though the dog looked a bit frightened of her) and how many pubs have a notice on the outside allowing hikers to come inside out of the cold to eat their packed lunch in the pub - so is she really as fearsome as previously described ?.

3 Nov 2012 18:39

Hatfeild Arms, Laughton

Stopped here for lunch after hiking via the nearby interesting Roche Abbey site. This is a down to earth, honest and unpretentious locals pub with 1970s decor and an affable landlord. Expect whippets,pigeons and football to be the conversation around the bar in this ex mining area. The landlord was decorating the place for the Saturday night Halloween disco so one of the regular customers served our ale.
Standard beer at the pumps was John Smiths but this abysmal stuff was more than compensated for by the one cask ale sold, the superb Bradfield
Brewery Farmer's Brown Cow ale at a bargain �2.50 a pint.
As for the food, we were astonished when a beef and onion baguette, salad and chips was served up at �4.50. The baguette was overstuffed with tender beef and big enough to be used as a doorstop. the plentiful chips were home cut and cooked to perfection, the salad was a generous portion. The treacle sponge pudding was huge and overflowing with custard.The locals round here are inquisitive and friendly and one told me that the landlady was always generous with the food.
All you greedy Peak District tourist-trap landlords flogging your overpriced and "economically" portioned food. - please take note.

27 Oct 2012 20:22

Little John Hotel, Hathersage

I'm always a bit wary when a place has had bad reviews both here and on other review sites but I couldn't really find anything to fault about the place. However the reviews are a couple of years ago so things must have improved.
We went in during a hike on a Friday about 1pm. The beer prices were on the lower side for cask ale and there was even one for �2.15 a pint, the LJ bitter which wasn't a bad pint. The baguette sandwiches were around �6 for a large plate of bread,butter cheese,meat salad etc all good quality and quantity.There were plenty of chips in separate bowls. Strangely enough you had to make your own sandwiches from the ingredients on the plate. It was served quickly by a pleasant bar girl who also topped up frothy pints without being asked.
Decor was a bit "modern" for a traditional village pub but was comfortable enough.A hi-tec juke box on the wall played at an ambience friendly volume. Muddy boots and dogs were welcome.Toilets were immaculate. It wasn't trying to pretend to be something twee and touristy. I was glad it was there as the only other alternatives in Hathersage have gone gastro which of course means they caught the moreprofititis disease.

12 Oct 2012 20:32

The Old Hall Inn, Hope

Big rambling place, lots of interconnected rooms. A typically average Peak District car-tourist pub with respect to prices, food quality, beer quality, beer choice,and customer service which means that you will pay around �7 for a half decent baguette sandwich and chips, and around �3.30 per pint with a choice of 3 or 4 well kept cask ales served by professionally polite barstaff. This place is so similar to others that it is difficult to do a meaningful review of them other than bang on about minor irrelevant differences.
Considering that the average price of a pint across the country is supposed to be �2.70 and that a sandwich and chips ought realistically be more at the �4 to �6 level these pubs seem to float in a higher plane of existence with suspiciously similar high prices. If only it was economical for Wetherspoons to open a few pubs in the countryside to bring in a little competition. As the Times stated recently, a pint of beer nowadays is
becoming a luxury item.

11 Sep 2012 00:08

Sportsman, Lodge Moor

Aptly named, adjoining its own huge sportsfield, scenic views, a good place to stop for lunch during a walk as the food is excellent and relatively inexpensive when compared with the normal Peak District rip offs. Comfortable inside with a relaxed atmosphere. Popular with mature diners who drive up here from the city below. Only downside was the poor choice of expensive ale. Timothy Taylor Landlord was the best of the bunch at �3.30. Tetleys at �2.90 tasted sour in comparison. Also John Smith's Smooth bitter and John Smiths Magnet ale which I won't drink.

24 Aug 2012 14:50

Boythorpe Inn, Chesterfield

This pub has recently been refurbished as a part of the Greene King chain. I have visited twice after a friend recommended it. The decor is comfortable.Staff are friendly. Atmosphere is relaxed. The food and drink here is inexpensive and good quality.Eg Mon & Tues An 8oz rump steak with chips, peas etc AND a pint for �5.49. How do they make a profit at that price? - still I'm not complaining, I've sampled it twice and both times it was good. Puddings at around �2.50. Only one drawback - Sat night it was full of families eating with noisy kids but it was quiet on the Mon night. It's a serious contender for my weekly visits to Yates's for a cheap meal.

17 Aug 2012 19:58

The Cheshire Cheese Inn, Hope

I know that one isolated visit to a pub on an "off" day can lead to a totally unfair review so I am reluctant to make a judgement on this pub from our one hour visit.
The quaint interior had lots of pre-set tables for eating so I suspect they're concentrating on being a tourist eaterie rather than a pub. The food and drink prices were a little on the high side. The staff refused, when asked by one of our party, to swop the type of cheese in her sandwich as the cobs were "already made". Perhaps the chef was there to merely cook the few chips that came with pre-prepared cobs though I think if you're paying �6.75 for a cob, chips & salad they ought to be more amenable to the customer's wishes..
3 cask ales on offer at �3 plus per pint. I tried 2 and both were OK although the "Swift Nick" seemed to go flat and tasteless quickly. The barman seemed a bit disinterested in being sociable towards the customers as if they were an incidental annoyance to his job. Food was served quickly, Beer Garden was pleasant, The pot of tea was huge. The mate praised his cheese ploughman's lunch though to me it didn't look good value with its spongy looking cob and modest amounts of cheese and one onion & salad on a smallish plate.
I'll reserve judgement on this one pending a second visit though I didn't get a good intuitive feel for the place on this visit.

9 Aug 2012 21:29

Parish Oven, Thorpe Salvin

A relatively new pub, built in 1972, Open plan inside with the obligatory pseudo oak beams. It seems to be popular for out of village visitors but there's little going for it in my opinion. Ale choice is poor and at �2.94 a pint, relatively expensive. It has the feel of a �2.70 per pint pub. It does food offers, ie 2 mains for �10 at specific times, quiz nights, a "play your cards right" night (for morons) and other entertainment themed evenings.The food was nothing special, I heard a mate complain about the soggy chips, another one about how mean they were with the hot water for his tea. Though not particularly expensive the food quantity looked as if it had been constrained by budgetry requirements.

8 Aug 2012 23:06

Black Swan, Bowns Hill

We did originally intend to go to the Cliff Inn but the gardener at the Crich Stand monument said this place was better. It's a pleasant village pub,used by locals. Decor is a bit fussy with plenty of comfortable seating inside.
Beer choice not great, Abbot, Old Speckled Hen, Black Sheep were available but food and drink prices are on the reasonable side (at least for a Derbyshire country pub). ie most beers just under �3 a pint or a touch over Sandwich, Chips & salad �4.50. , Didn't eat here, - (went instead to the friendly tea room at the Monument - much cheaper).
Unlike some places this is definitely a pub rather than a restaurant dressed up as a pub and all the more commendable for that. I give it a thumbs up.

2 Aug 2012 23:05

Strines Inn, Bradfield

Solid old building in beautiful location,scenic views and with a nice beer garden containing crafty thuggish peacocks who chased a screaming customer and her dinner back into the safety of the pub's interior. Because of it's position I mistakenly assumed that the place would be a tourist rip-off just as certain other Peak pubs exploit their locations to charge high prices.
So apologies from this jaded old cynic. Food and drink prices were reasonable and the meal quality was good, not marvellous but certainly acceptable. Staff were pleasant and the bar-lad knew how to pull a pint properly with just the right amount of head. For what it's worth I give it my seal of approval.

27 Jul 2012 23:37

The Moon Inn, Stoney Middleton

An old pub with a dual character in many ways. It doesn't seem to know into which category it falls, whether it be a touroid trap or a local's pub. It has a large car park, unusual in itself in this claustrophobic village,and also a large gloomy beer garden at the back.
Inside it has been opened up from the conglomeration of small bare rooms it was in the late 70s when last I went in. Then it was full of hard drinking climbers. Now it caters for a few locals and passing tourists. There's some incongruous looking armchairs that would be more at home in a hotel foyer but they are set on a tough matting floor and there is a large screen TV always switched on for daytime TV. At first glance it looks like it would not welcome any but the richer tourist yet above the door a prominent notice states that dogs and muddy boots are welcome.
Pricewise it's also a strange mix as the drink is very expensive but the meals, which are generously portioned and good quality, are very reasonably priced. For example, a pint of Hobgoblin at �3.40, a bottle of Echo Falls wine for �13.95. (I can get a bottle of that along with 2 meals in Yates' for �9.95.) Yet a large beef sandwich, salad & chips is a fiver and makes a filling meal.
So, best thing to do is to go for your lunch but not a drinking session.

13 Jul 2012 20:27

The Duke of York, Pomeroy

Hiking in appalling rainy weather, so what a relief to reach this pub which welcomes people with boots and soaked feet despite a carpeted floor. The Jack Russell dog next to me also seemed to be enjoying the place as the rain fell like stair rods outside. For real ale, only �3 per pint Robinsons Unicorn was offered and like all Robinson beers, despite it's strength,tastes slightly watered down. Mate resorted to Guinness rather than another pint but I was happy with another half. Food was good and at reasonable prices. Pensioner's special 2 course menu looked good value at �6.95. Nice open fire in a cosy lounge bar. Attentive staff. Don't be misled by its slick and glossy website which makes it look posher and pricier than it actually is. People from its rain sodden adjoining campsite were in and out so they obviously don't expect you to be in your Sunday best to enter. This is a really pleasant pub with a good feel to it.

28 Jun 2012 21:44

The Vaults, Uppingham

Decent beer, decent food, friendly bar staff, prices no higher than average for this area. If looking for somewhere to eat in the middle of this slightly upmarket country town you could do worse.

17 Jun 2012 17:39

The Old Plough, Braunston

Burger & chips �8.25. Sausage, egg & chips �8.45, Ham,egg & chips �8.75, Scampi & chips �9.25, Gammon,egg & chips �9.95 Fish & chips �10.25, Pie & chips �10.50.
Transport cafe food, transport cafe quality, a decent plateful but not transport cafe prices. Nowt-special beer starts at �3.20 a pint. I think there was one real ale on tap. Plenty of folk in though sampling these offerings and the menu descriptions were a bit more flowery than mine, eg 3 sausages became "a trio of sausages" and you got a tablespoonful of salad with it but that's what it was all the same.
Then again you're not sitting in a transport cafe are you, you're in an old characterful village pub with nice rear conservatory eating area served by a lovely friendly waitress and enjoying convivial company.

17 Jun 2012 17:22

The Sun Inn, Belton

Camped here to hike in the area. Rolling hills that never quite stand out from their fellows and endless fields that all look the same. Footpaths churned up by horsey types. Pretty (but lifeless) neat villages of orange sandstone houses all with the same Disneyesque character. The most
tedious hiking I've ever done. I moan about Peak District prices but why do the locals think their boring countryside round here is anything as
special to charge similar greedy touroid prices.

There were posters to end the hunting ban and the bus driver told me that someone drew up a petition to stop the bus service going through the village as it lowered the tone so you can imagine the types that live here and what prices would be like.

The pub could have been a refreshing change from this underlying snobbery as it looked a bit run down, lived in, unpretentious and characterful.
I like slightly scruffy pubs so I suspect the previous reviewer thought that this pub, like the bus service lowered the tone of the village.
However when the barman charged me �3.20 for a pint of the rubbish that is John Smith's bitter and said that was cheap I realised that this pub
was just as tainted as the rest of the area.

17 Jun 2012 16:35

The Lock Keeper, Chesterfield

A large newish pub with an associated Premier Inns hotel. A large car park. A broken down themed waterwheel sculpture near the main door filled with foul stagnant water is fairly symbolic of the place. Inside, find yourself a table without grubby chairs.
Geared to providing meals for families so expect to find yourself eating in a kindergarten as kids run to and fro from the large �2 per hour supervised play area. Lots of gimmicky food offers and deals. Staff are professionally friendly, probably genuinely friendly - it's hard to tell the difference sometimes.
Main meals are not particularly cheap and not particularly high quality. My chicken & mushroom pie, chips and peas for �7 plus was just about edible and that's the best I can say about it. One real ale, Jennings Snecklifter offered and this was good stuff but the rest were the usual range of un-notable brownish and pale yellow liquids. I normally avoid this place but had to go due to family social pressure, it was chucking down with rain and was the nearest of its type to where I live.
If you are a family with young kids you will probably love the place but I'm an old grump and I don't.

4 Jun 2012 10:11

The Barley Mow Inn, Kirk Ireton

Having heard of the reputation of this pub I devised a hike around it and we called here for lunch. All the previous reviews are accurate, It is an unspoilt delight run by an adorable genteel old lady. Open between 12 and 2pm on weekdays selling four excellent local cask ales drawn by a jug from the barrels behind the bar with simple cheese or salami cobs for sale. All prices are fair and reasonable.
If pubs were like women it would be an innocent virgin when compared with the rapacious painted whorebags that so many of the peak district pubs have turned into.

23 May 2012 23:04

Duke of Wellington, Matlock

I couldn't really work up any passion one way or the other for this place when we visited for lunch during a hike through the nearby Lumsdale valley with its magical old ruined mills, crags and waterfalls. The pub wasn't outstandingly good or abysmally bad, just ordinary, perhaps a bit dull and average-ish.I wouldn't object to visiting again but then again I wouldn't go out of my way for a revisit. Beer on tap was Ruddles smooth and Olde Trip to Jerusalem, both OK and at normal prices. Food was OK and at reasonable prices. Staff were OK. The place was just - well - OK and happened to be conveniently located.

18 May 2012 19:59

The Wanted Inn, Sparrowpit

Called here for lunch during a hike. This pub is what all the Peak District pubs should have evolved into. It is the perfect compromise between the extremes epitomised by the money grubbing Yorkshire Bridge, Barrel, and Monsal Head Hotel types and at the other extreme, the rough and ready Three Stags Heads,and Quiet Woman. There is a "Walkers Welcome" notice by the door with boots and dogs allowed in, friendly owners, reasonable food prices with extensive menu and a welcoming atmosphere and a tiled floor so you dont feel too guilty if you trail a bit of muck in. Set in a working farming village they don't seem to want to rip off the tourist trade, just make an honest living with hikers and passing road travellers stopping for a break.The only downside was the Robinsons Unicorn and Enigma beer which although well kept and palatable enough, did not have enough bite or character for my taste but that's purely my opinion. My mate found it very acceptable. Beer prices were reasonable too. A down to earth pub you feel comfortable in.I would look forward to visiting again.Highly recommended.

3 May 2012 21:52

The Queen Catherine, Osmotherley

We visited this pub for three evenings whilst staying at the local youth hostel. It's in the centre of this pretty village with two other nearby pub/restaurants and a fish & chip shop. Very popular with locals
and tourists alike it has a down to earth atmosphere with sport events on big screens. They do B & B.
Long and spacious, one end designated mainly as a restaurant area, the other for both eating and drinking. Live music (Jazz or Blues) on Sunday nights. Food was good quality, beer was good too. About three real ales for sale I think.
Not Wetherspoon prices but then I don't mind paying a bit more if quality is good, which it was. I did not feel ripped off by the prices.
Atmosphere was relaxing. Two local gay lads made it openly obvious they were a couple and nobody minded a bit, that's how friendly and laid back the place was. One of our number smooth-talked the barmaid into giving him the pub wifi code. I enjoyed socialising in the place and left with a very
favourable impression of it.

9 Apr 2012 14:09

The Kelstedge Inn, Kelstedge

A largish pub, just off the main Matlock - Chesterfield road. Low beamed ceilings, and mainly geared to providing meals. My three hiking companions were pleased enough with the bargain �7.45 pensioners special - they had a moderately sized fish with moderately sized portions of chips & mushy peas followed by lemon sponge pudding which did indeed look tempting but the rest of the menu looked on the expensive side. Another mate had a sandwich & salad & extra chips, again a bit pricey for what it was.
Ale choice was dismal, comprising the ubiquitously awful John Smith's smooth bitter, a couple of the usual common lagers and Strongbow cider. Despite advertising cask ales, the only one available was Greene King Abbott ale. Now this is one of my favourites so I had a pint of this and immediately regretted it. It was off to the point of tasting sour. Abbott ale is normally consistently good everywhere so I don't know how they managed to get it as bad as this.Two of us persisted and drank most of it before mentioning it to the barlady who said that she would inform the manager.

Sorry, but I was unimpressed by the place.

30 Mar 2012 20:16

The Three Stags Heads, Wardlow Mires

I remember years ago before the present landlord took over this pub. Before then it was a run down extension of the farm behind it, used as an outlet for selling bacon. A kitsch mural at the back of the bar, the fireplace sealed up. Hardboard in abundance. It was so crude it transcended awfulness and was a delight to visit.
Then a middle aged hippie couple bought it with ideas of restoring it. Up came the lino to reveal the flag floors, Opened up was the gigantic fireplace in a room no bigger than a domestic lounge. The barn to be converted into a trendy pottery.
Oh Dear ! Would it now become a Disneyfied travesty of its former self. I feared the worst.
I need not have worried. Once restored it entered a time warp whilst other pubs in the area succumbed to the disease of profiteering and pretentiousness canker. Any Disneyfication has disappeared with time and we have superlative ales at realistic prices, stone flag floors, people with boots on, dogs, a roaring fire, basic crude tables and even cruder stools, the proper amount of grubbiness, a grumpy ex hippy landlord -
Absolute Heaven.
Why am I writing this. It's vital that this place be kept secret.

25 Mar 2012 09:48

The Three Horseshoes, Wessington

Currently closed awaiting a new tenant

10 Mar 2012 17:57

The Horse and Jockey, Wessington

A large pub, not a great lot of atmosphere but comfortable. A large car park and tables outside. Food prices were very reasonable eg Sandwich, salad & chips �4.45 but certain beers very expensive, eg Greene King Abbott Ale was �3.20 a pint and �1.65 for a half pint - how does that work - is there something wrong with my maths. 3 or 4 cask ales and Old Rosie scrumpy cider for sale. Barmaid topped up my pint without prompting - always a good sign.The landlord has recently moved from the nearby 3 Horse Shoes which was closed.

10 Mar 2012 17:56

Victoria Hotel, Chesterfield

Looks to be open again

2 Mar 2012 22:29

The Royal Oak, Barlborough

Called here midweek for lunch during a hike from Harthill. The bar interior was clean and newish looking although the decor is a bit minimalist with a polished wooden floor and plain walls with some photos. The main meals were �9 and upwards so we opted for the 12 - 4pm meal deal. �6.50 for a drink (a halfpint) and various types of ciabatta sandwich, a few chips and bit of salad. Not a bad price and the food was OK but average quality. 2 Cask ales were available. - Jennings Cumberland and one by Sharps. I found them both a bit bland tasting for around �3 a pint although cheaper standard keg beers ie John Smiths were available.
The only downside was the service. We were the only group in at 1pm so they seemed more interested in attending to the add on conservatory
restaurant and the bar was left deserted for ages. One of us had to enquire why they hadn't delivered his meal after a long wait and the barmaid when she finally did appear seemed disinterested, unapologetic, slightly hostile and frankly - miserable. A bloke working in the place opened a door at one side and trundled a blue bin past us through to the opposite side. He left the two doors open and us in a "refreshing" draught.
The food and service in the restaurant next door may have been marvellous for all we knew but we walked away from the place unimpressed. It's the sort of pub that is not worth making a special journey to visit. We'd have tried one of the others in the village if we had known.

2 Mar 2012 09:34

The Rose and Crown, Barlborough

Passed this today at 12.30pm and it looked closed. No cars in car park. Web site advertising it for a new tenancy so not sure of its status.

1 Mar 2012 23:10

Grouse Inn, Darley Dale

Darley Dale is not a pretty tourist village. It lies just outside the border of the Peak District and this pub reflects that status. It is a down to earth, non pretentious, working man's and a local's pub. It has quiz nights, fruit machines,a dartboard, a weekly cabaret night, football on big screens, a curry night and standard drinks for sale like Carling lager, Guinness on draught, Greene King IPA, Stella etc, some on offer at �2.49 a pint. Everything a proper honest pub should have.

There is no tourist bullshit here.

Inside is plainly furnished,spacious and comfortable without any silly bric a brac tourist decoration. It is geared to providing meals but also welcomes drinkers. There is a largish car park across the busy road, tables outside for summer. It appears to be well run with a friendly welcome to strangers. As well as all this basic normality there are three well kept real ales on offer, namely Old Speckled Hen, Morlands, and Proper Job at �3.15 per pint- perhaps a touch too expensive but their meals are as good as some of the rip-off Peak district pubs except considerably cheaper - and the barman tops up frothy pints without needing prompting.

Typical prices - �2.95 for a good sausage & onion baguette with crisps & salad. Most of the basic standard pub meals around �6.25. A huge delicious bakewell cherry sponge pudding & custard - �3.45. Sensibly sized bowls of chips �1.95.

Why does the invisible border of the Peak Park produce such a difference between common sense prices and snooty, greedy pretentiousness ?

25 Feb 2012 20:54

The Yorkshire Bridge Inn, Bamford

Someone please tell'em that it's also a pub so they stop assuming I will order a meal. Surely I can sit in the place with just a drink, a pint of Bakewell Best especially after paying �3.30 for it, 40p more than they usually charge even in other Peak District touroid pubs. They make the Monsal Head Hotel and the Barrel at Bretton look positively charitable. First in, I headed for a spare table in the "Garden Room" as the other tables were all taken up by car borne touroids, spreading themselves out, usually just two taking up a 6 chair table. A minor panic ensued as a waitress shouted, "Excuse me that room is closed" until I explained that my three mates still outside were going to order food and then it was OK. I didn't eat but my mates did. Modest sarnies, small bowl of soup, bit of salad.It looked OK but not particularly special for �7.50.

3 Feb 2012 20:26

Moorlands, Owler Bar

Called here after a 5 mile hike, had the usual excellent value carvery but don't let the gormless barman sell you a pint of cheap but average tasting beer with 2 inches of froth on top. They will if they can get away with it. I waited till it settled and had it topped up twice. This happened with every pint we bought both the EPA and Pedigree.

7 Jan 2012 09:59

Local Heroes, Chesterfield

Called in last night to check on its current status. At 9pm on a Friday night, normally a busy night in town, it had two customers. It is still as dire as ever, selling tasteless John Smith's at �3 a pint and a couple of bog standard lagers.

7 Jan 2012 09:45

The Grouse, Longshaw

Years ago,this used to be a good hiker's pub, old fashioned and a bit rough round the edges with a smelly old labrador dog and a grumpy landlord.
It's still in the middle of nowhere and they still cater for walkers with a big rear tiled conservatory for muddy-booted people but as with so many of the Peak pubs they had to change to survive. There's the addition of a big car park to cater for the car-borne masses who are oblivious to the nearby superb edge walking . No longer crisps and simple basic sandwiches for sale but meals at �9 and upwards.
That said, it hasn't entirely devoted itself to tourist fleecing like some I have reviewed and still retains a real pub atmosphere. We were glad of its cosy log fire after descending down from White Edge in an icy blizzard and I did
not resent paying �4 for a huge bowl of thick piping hot delicious home
made soup with bread and butter. Beer choice was limited at Pedigree and Bank's but the latter went down well. Staff were pleasant and efficient but I'm not sure if I preferred the surly landlord who ran the place thirty years ago. A place with too much "niceness" invariably loses some character.

15 Dec 2011 19:34

The Top Brink Inn, Lumbutts

Large and spacious,pleasant interior with a fair bit of the usual useless country pub bric a brac decoration but it seems to work nonetheless. Efficient,polite and pleasant staff. Good well prepared meals with generous portions for reasonable prices. Locals and youth hostellers from nearby Mankinholes keep the place in the real world. Superb location where cottages with narrow strip windows and hunky stonework were built to withstand the winters in these scenic hills. Excellent Timothy Taylor ales but insipid Flower's beer was on offer when I visited two days ago with thirty other friends from the youth hostel, all of whom were delighted with their food and beer.

12 Dec 2011 16:03

Moorlands, Owler Bar

Half the price of the nearby Peacock, and with better food. It was an accurate review by the previous reviewer, so what to add ? Nicely located, panoramic views outside, a pleasant trip out on a summer evening for an excellent bargain meal. The place gets busy at the peak hours 6 - 8 pm then falls off quickly. Go about 8.30pm to avoid queueing, Sometimes deserted by 9pm. They usually sell a cheap pint of Greene King IPA for less than �2 It's nowt special but you can't really complain at this price.

29 Nov 2011 19:32

Yates's, Chesterfield

The last but one review was a bit unfair on the place. You have to carefully pick your times when you go in here as it's a bit Jekyll & Hyde. Midweek evenings are best when no noisy matches are on the big screens so its not full of rough-arses and chavs. We're not youngsters (63 and 76) but we love the place. They've recently redecorated in Paris brothel style with some ludicrous fancy chandeliers. Food here is better and cheaper than Wetherspoons. We've been here nearly every Wed night for 3 years or more, (not just a one-off visit on a bad day) and get 2 tasty,generously portioned meals, 2 nice sticky puddings, bottle of Echo Falls wine, 2 coffees for a total of less than �18. It's not Egon Ronay but it's OK quality & quantity wise.. The staff are young & genuinely friendly and obviously enjoy their jobs as there seems to be little staff turnover unlike Wetherspoons. Don't come for real ale but what is on offer is cheap and palatable. We come here for the food, then at 9pm, to the Portland for the beer.

28 Nov 2011 21:46

The Bulls Head Inn, Foolow

Pleasant enough place, a cosy country pub, not yet as corrupted as the Barrel up the hill above, but probably will be eventually if they get popular enough. (They have a very slickly produced website which doesn't augur well.) Landlady is friendly but tends to neglect the bar. You might have to wait a minute or two till she appears out of the kitchen to serve you. Real ales sold, food is decent and averagely priced, (not extortionately as up the hill at Bretton)

28 Nov 2011 14:00

The Donkey Derby, Chesterfield

Place is OK for food if you like reasonably priced pub grub especially when they're doing special deals. eg recently 2 mains, a side order, 2 puddings, and bottle of wine for �20, you can't beat that. Steaks are decent too. Don't go on match days when they serve all drinks in plastic. At 8pm one night without a supporter in sight they refused to let me take a wine bottle back to the table. Dont go for the beer, just go for a good feed at a decent price.

28 Nov 2011 13:46

Local Heroes, Chesterfield

Looks like this place needs an update. It's reverted back to its former name of Yellow Lion. Used to be the last remaining semi-gay pub in town and renowned as the last "smoking " pub in town when the previous landlord refused to observe the ban. A few fines in the courts eventually put paid to that. Two new gay landlords took over but I suspect the combination of their distant, almost unfriendly attitude and the bland, tasteless and overpriced John Smith's ale, the only beer they sold, drove away the colourful characters that frequented the place - at least it did me. Last I heard it was up for sale. Maybe next review will say it's been turned into flats.

28 Nov 2011 13:31

The Barrel Inn, Bretton

Yet another premier league member of the Peak District tourist honey traps. Condemned by its stunning location, it was inevitable that this pub would be corrupted by the moneyed car-borne tourist hordes who come here and like so many others lose its soul to profiteering. Expect a facade of a friendly welcome, masking indifference by employed staff. Expect to be processed rather than served, - somewhat slowly at busy times, and be given pretentiously described food and drink at inflated prices. You will have arrived by car rather than on foot or by bike. You will be well dressed and looking for a "genuine" peak district country pub experience. You will go away thinking that you have. You will be one of the lemming like touroids that have ruined a good many of the peak's pubs. (Ironically your money has also probably saved them from extinction too.) Just as the similar Monsal Head Hotel has its Pack Horse down the road so this one has the Bulls Head at Foolow. Go there for a slightly less sterile experience.

26 Nov 2011 19:04

The Devonshire Arms, Pilsley

No longer a genuine pub just a pretend one. Not much bar area left as they try to cram in as many eating tables as possible. Trying to be a superior restaurant associated with the classiness of the Chatsworth estate. Rich red wallpaper with a stags head motif pattern.
But it was only ordinary pub grub, ie fish & chips, gammon & chips etc. Tarting food up with a few fancy leafy bits and bobs doesn't make it haute cuisine. The new money minded Duke is probably behind the "improvements". Perhaps he thinks �12.95 for steak and kidney pudding, chips and peas is good value but I don't. I suppose someone has got to pay for the renovations going on at Chatsworth. Plenty of customers though on a dull November Saturday afternoon. No locals, no cyclists,no hikers except me and my mates. The street outside was a jumble of parked cars so the usual touroid lemmings with more money than sense have taken over yet another village pub. You can't really blame pub owners for taking advantage of this lot. Beer was OK though and not quite through the �3 per pint barrier but edging close. Also my mate enjoyed his �6.95 sandwich but he queued a quarter hour to order it at the bar. Another Peak District pub that's lost its soul.

26 Nov 2011 18:50

Victoria Hotel, Chesterfield

Currently closed as the landlord is in dispute with the brewery

25 Nov 2011 19:15

Quiet Woman, Earl Sterndale

I too love this place. It's just as all the Peak District pubs were 30 years ago. A decent pint, no fancy arty-farty food except pork pies and crisps. A landlord who speaks his mind and no false pretentiousness or greed for profits. Pity they're a dying breed and being replaced by the likes of the Monsal Head Hotel types

24 Nov 2011 20:02

The Monsal Head Hotel, Monsal Head

Is it just me ? Am I out of touch with food prices nowadays?
I used to hike regularly years ago in the Peak and it was full of decent pubs selling food and drink at regular prices. Now they all aspire to be superior tourist gastro type places and because of its spectacular location this is one of the worst of the tourist honey traps. Food quality and booze here is OK but �6 - �7 for a sandwich and a bit of lettuce. A couple of quid for small pots of chips. Take a look at the food pictures on their web site, tiny portions that wouldn't feed a mouse but Oh so tastefully arranged and decorated with sprigs of artistically placed leaf. This place isn't a pub anymore, it's a profit minded commercial venture preying on the lemming like hordes who come here. There are spots in the Peak just as nice as here but the lemmings just don't know about them.

24 Nov 2011 19:45

De Rhodes Arms, Barlborough

The carvery food here is a bargain, the crowds ensuring that it is cooked fresh, with endless supplies of fresh veg and meat as if on a conveyor belt. I visit often for a good substantial dinner. Food is fairly consistent. The decor is fine but the place has a bit of a canteen type atmosphere. The cheapness attracts less well off people and without wishing to appear snobbish (but knowing that I do) the large council estates in the area provide a lot of its custom, with a fair proportion of chav families as they say. If you want a good bargain meal and can put up with hordes of kids running to the
endless ice cream machine then it's the place for you. Another Crown carvery ,the Moorlands at Owler Bar has slightly better food for the same price and a slightly more upmarket clientelle.

24 Nov 2011 19:07

The Rambler Country House, Edale

I've just joined this site and it's some time since I experienced this ordeal of a pub. I found myself reading the reviews, laughing out loud and nodding in agreement. All these bad reviews are absolutely spot on, - all true.

24 Nov 2011 15:56

The Nettle Inn, Milltown

Four of us called at this pub a week ago after a five mile ramble over fields and muddy paths, so with muddy boots and scruffy clothes we were a little daunted to find a Bentley, a Lagonda and several more high end autos parked outside.
I had picked the place by sticking a pin in a map but would it now be far too posh for the likes of us ?.
We removed boots and stepped in to a cosy characterful lounge bar with a log fire and we were as welcome as any toff might have been.
Expecting high prices we ordered food and beer with trepidation. After experiencing the rip off prices charged by some honey trap peak district pubs we were pleasantly surprised to find no rip offs here. The beer was excellent locally produced real ale at reasonable prices, the baguette sandwiches were really high quality and even a little cheaper than the average country pub prices in the national park. Despite my wearing flip flops and carrying my muddy boots in a tatty Sainsbury's bag, the barman without hesitation offered us a table in the up market restaurant area at the back but we decided to stay in the cosy bar. We had an enjoyable one and half hour stay to the point of having to make our return walk as the sun was setting.
A gem of a pub in a lovely area well deserving its place in the Times list of top 50 gastropubs.

24 Nov 2011 15:30

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