Time waits for no man, so they say, and it should be the motto on any coat of arms designed for the Yorkshire Bridge Inn.
Basking in the glorious Bank Holiday weather we called into this attractive looking establishment. Set high on the edge of the Ladybower Reservoir with seating outside, we finally flopped after some strenuous cycling and their interesting bar menu caught our eye.
Specials including crab salad and chicken supreme looked tempting but then we saw it listed – Barnsley chops. The fresh air hunger had given me my first pangs for lamb since the ill-advised Damascene special sheep experience and fond memories of the perfectly cooked Barnsley chops served up at our favourite Yorkshire café tempted us to order an early dinner and a spot of reminiscence about all things Yorkshire – even though this pub is actually in Derbyshire.
But notices all around informed us food didn’t start until 6pm so we settled down for an hour or so’s wait with some liquid refreshments accompanied by the constant refusals of food orders eminating from behind the bar.
All around tables of hungry walkers, thirsty cyclists and sunned-out drivers sat anxiously with their menus waiting, consulting watches, looking hopelessly towards the stern-faced bar man.
At 6.50pm, a brave family took the menu to the bar, returning to the table shortly afterwards looking pleased. Following their lead I waded through the crowds to place my much-anticipated order. “I’m sorry, we don’t start food until 6pm”. The official clock above the bar was showing four minutes to go.
“Would it be possible to place the order now and then you have it ready for when you start at 6pm?” I inquired, fainting with hunger and gripping the nearest walking stick for reassurance.
Back to the table, I was instructed.
Three more minutes passed and then the inevitable – every table in the place formed a scrum to place their orders just as the clock turned 6 – presumably leaving the kitchen staff flooded with requests which would just as surely be followed by a long lull until every table in the place had been vacated.
I thought bars and restaurants had stopped telling their customers when they could eat years ago – after all whatever happened to the customer always being right? If you want a sandwich for breakfast or your tea at lunch-time why shouldn’t you be able to?
Oh and the chops weren’t up to much no either. Fatty and overcooked to the point of incineration and served with soggy veg and uninspiring onion gravy.
Had we not built up our hunger for quite such a long time, the meal could well have been sent back.
Ah, see there is a method in this clock-watching madness – gratitude to see food, any food.