I was out with Wee Keefy and Tash tonight for Wee Fatha's birthday meal. Over the last few years his birthday meal has been at the Hardwick Inn but this time we chose instead to visit the Crispin in Ashover.
Arriving about 19.40 we found the Crispin in darkness. We headed to the Black Swan, with two real ales on, and they advised they did not do food Mondays. By this time the Crispin had opened and having got parked I went inside - to find they had 3 real ales but were also not doing food. Luckily the Old Poets Corner was.
It was quite busy, and Halloween free in the Poets. I had a pint of Idle Valley "Gnarly" American IPA at 5.6%, Koof a pint of the Yeovil Ales Winner (or similar, at 4.5%), WF a half of Ashover Light Rale and Tash a pint of the Ashover cider, which was deliciously dry and earthy. We found a table and sat down to order, WF having a Derbyshire Beef Stew, WK ham and eggs, Tash Chicken in a herb and red wine sauce and myself braised liver in a rich onion and wine gravy with mash.
All the meals were excellent, and served in large quantities, and as we progressed through the meal more drinks were ordered and supped. I had a pint of Abbeydale Black Mass, and Tash a half of the Ashover cider as a "filler" before I bought WF a double Caol Ila whisky, WK a ginger beer and myself a pint of the Pentrich Northfield Garage IPA at 6.5%. All excellent ales, and well kept.
Ashover is a great place to go drinking since overall they have 5 pubs, albeit the Nettle being in Milltown. Even then, this is a great range of boozers for one village. For, perhaps, obvious reasons, I consider the Old Poets to be the best but the above goes to show that there are other places to sup in Ashover, and I understand the Black Swan serve food every day but Mondays.
An excellent choice of real ales in the Poets with lovely food was a great way to celebrate Wee Fatha's upcoming birthday. Ashover is, indeed, a great place to celebrate that, and other events.