Tonight I’m with Gino and we are heading out for dinner but, if we can, we want to find a pub with a vacant dartboard. Although I spend an unreasonable amount of time in pubs, usually I’m simply eating and drinking. However, tomorrow I am playing a darts match and I really need some practice.
We head to the Fox & Hounds – partly because I’ve discovered that it has been refurbished and the new tenants have introduced a more interesting menu and partly because the landlord is a keen supporter of darts. When we arrive the place looks bright and smart and there are several sets of darts on the bar. There are also players – tonight is a darts league night. Gino and I both order a pint of Hoperation, a decent IPA with good hop flavours and a smooth finish.
Darts will have to wait a while and we target the menu instead. We both fancy the smoked haddock scotch egg with home-made tartare sauce. We hit double top! A beautiful bread-crumbed smoked haddock outer layer with a perfectly runny egg centre, served on a bed of fresh salad with scorched lemon and three arrows of tartare sauce. Fabulous!
Our main courses are more typical of current British pub food. Gino aims for the burger with tomato relish, smoked bacon and cheddar cheese. I check out the Arkells beer battered fish with minted peas. Both dishes are served with proper chunky chips – presented in baskets almost as though they have just been lifted out of the hot kitchen oil. The salad comes in slightly impractical cups and the minted peas in a small iron pan. I’m not a big fan of food served on boards but the kitchen scores highly for presentation. It terms of delivering traditional pub food – the chef has hit the bullseye.
Following dinner, Gino and I take flight to the Carver’s Rest – just down the road, where they have a barrel load of beer varieties and two dartboards. The beer is great but both dartboards are in full use!
So, no darts but a great evening out with Gino. I’m sure I’ll be back at the Fox & Hounds before too long….Rock needs to get on the oche and try their food.