tonight I have been out for Fathers Day. Yes, I know, its not fathers Day. But Wee Fatha is as curmudgeonly and impatient as myself, hence, swarms of overly tense hyper expectant non realists makes fr a shit Fathers day n the world of pubs. Much netter than to go the day after, and more specifically to somewhere we know well.
The Hardwick Inn can hardly be called a pub in the traditional sense. The floor size of the bar is insignificant to the warren of rooms large and small for eating in but somehow that doesn't matter. Maybe if we went for just a drink this may be galling but I can't think of an occasion on which we have only gone for booze. its nearly always for a meal, and tonight was another of those occasions.
Hardwick Inn is also an anomaly in the Beefy Household because we seem only to go once a year pr twice maximum, despite having never had a bad meal or pint there. It isn't really even that long a journey from Wee Fatha's near Mosborough, so its puzzling why we don;t go more fem, apart from the fact that it usually warrants a celebration of some kind.
Tonight we found a space to sit in one of the far rooms near the kitchen and were served relatively fast considering the bar was heaving. Notable was the presence of a lot of people with sickening joviality stood around blocking access to the bar wearing suits. Or bellends, as I believe the anthropological term is - a nuisance of suits, is the group identification term.
Our annoyance was lightened when we spotted the bar - its never been a haven of small brewery excellence n here but the (perhaps now gone) Youngers signage shows you it used to be all Scottish and Newcastle, and irrespective f who now or during its numerous incarnations owned the pub it was a surprise tonight to find not one but two independent Locale's on the bar. There are five handpumps to choose from, although one appears to be a strange Black Sheep one suggesting keg through a swan neck? I shudder to think, and given that itg was the oft abused Sheep, I ignored it.
Better though was the range of Theakstons XB and Old Peculier, Bess of Hardwick Best Bitter from Brampton, and the excellent Chatsworth Gold from peak Ales.
We all started on the Chatsworth Gold and it was in fantastic nick, perhaps the best pint of their beer I have had. Alas this emant another jaunt back to the bar, picking our way through th ignorant forest of the thinking bypassed suits, to get more delicious golden ale supplies.
The meals are not too expensive and generously proportioned, and come relatively quickly - am not saying there can't be a suggestion of any reheating but if there is its incredibly well disguised because all three of our meals were tremendously tasty and entirely satisfying, which warranted further Chatsworth Gold. I had the pork steak with black pudding and Stilton and mushroom sauce with chips salad and veg. The black pudding was memorably tender and full flavoured and the pork was cooked to a tea, with a slightly smokey flavour.
After eating Wee Fatha was treated to a dram of Glen Scotia single malt from a lengthy and exemplary whisky list, before I ordered a half each of the Brampton and Peak Ales, along with another half for WF and Wee Keefy. Finishers were coffee and a pint of the Old Peculier for me.
This is a pub we never tire of visiting and despite its food emphasis, its always worth a look - especially now not every beer seems to have to come from a regional brewer. The Peak Ales Chatsworth Gold was fantastic. If you pop in after 21.30 its much more pub like and given the notable vintage of the building (16th century I understand) its well worth a visit.