Tonight we are meeting my good friend and former colleague, Louise, and her husband, Peter, for dinner at The Farmer’s Arms. The Farmer’s brands itself as a family run free house in the centre of the lively market town of Ulverston.
Louise, Rock and I all start with the crispy duck spring rolls with salad and hoisin sauce. The pastry wrapper is crispy and the sauce is good but the spring rolls have only had a brief introduction to the duck. They need to be filled with far more crispy duck to be a headline starter. Peter enjoys his crusty bread with olives, tomatoes & garlic hummus.
Peter and I are working our way through the variety of beers on tap. My personal favourite is the Atlantic Hop from the Westgate Brewery in Wakefield. I have a main dish with an unusual spin on Indian spiced lamb. It is served on a very long hanging skewer and it is full of good flavours. It comes with rice, a poppadum, mango chutney and curried tikka sauce. Peter has a tried and tested favourite – a traditional American cheese burger with bacon, jalapenos, pickles and barbecue sauce all served in a brioche bun. Louise has the Cajun chicken – slices of chicken breast marinated in Cajun spice, served on a skewer and a widespread coverage of creamy Cajun sauce. Plus basmati rice and homemade chips. Rock, as usual, has fish. It is a pan-fried white fish served with sautéd potatoes and watercress but she cannot recall what type of fish it is. It is cooked well but overall the dish is a little too greasy for her.
Peter and I have not been given any form of embargo on drinking, so more beers have been drunk and more are ordered. Peter and Louise share an Eton Mess deocrated with a fresh strawberry and a chocolate straw set at an angle. Meanwhile I lobby Rock and persuade her to share an apple and rhubarb crumble with custard. And then more beer….
Evaluating our evening in the Farmers, I would say that the food was not bad at all. The beer, the service and the atmosphere were all very good. However, if there is one key message I want to broadcast, it is that the very best part of the evening was the company. It was simply fantastic to see Louise again and to meet Peter for the first time – we had a great laugh and a great time!