A glorious autumn afternoon in rural Derbyshire - what better time to treat yourself to a late lunch?
It appeared as though the rest of the county had thought to do the same on the last day of the school holiday. Going from eatery to eatery, we found they were either full or had little on the menu to tempt us...one of the downsides of turning up on spec and failing to do our homework beforehand.
We decided to give it one last shot and popped in to The Old Black Swan at Crich just an hour before they stopped serving on a Sunday.
This lovely hostelry was busy but the staff bent over backwards to find us a table - in the cosiest part of the pub, next to a wood-burning stove.
This traditional village pub oozes olde worlde charm with ceiling beams, bunches of dried flowers suspended from the bar area and subdued lighting.
A colourful clientele included adults in Halloween costumes and little girls making model figures while their dads chatted over a pint of Derbyshire’s finest ale.
Sadly, the pub’s famous pies had all been devoured before we got there - but there was still plenty on the menu to tempt us.
My partner opted for the traditional roast - a large, thick slice of prime melt- in- the-mouth Derbyshire beef, served with giant Yorkshire pud, two hearty helpings of mash, a couple of roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, leeks, cabbage and carrots.
I opted for a whopping 8oz chargrilled burger which truly was a work of art. Stacked high with cheese and salad, it was topped by a tower of onion rings and accompanied by tomato relish, and homemade chips. This was one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.
Even though I was full, I couldn’t resist trying out a dessert. The sweet menu was extensive and included my favourite, sticky toffee pudding, yet there was no way I could manage that. I opted for a modest portion of delicious salted caramel cheesecake and cream.
Our tasty food came to £26.16 which was great value for money. We’ll be back - and, hopefully, in time to try out those legendary pies.
The Old Black Swan,
tel. 01773 856406