Strines Inn @ Bradfield Dale

HEARTY walks, as everyone knows, lead to hearty appetites and Strines Inn is perfectly placed for some whatever-the-weather British exertion in expectation of a rewarding feast.
Being deep into the Peak District, walkers seeing this as a beacon for lunch or dinner would have needed to walk a very long way indeed to take advantage of one of the house specialities – the “mammoth mixed grill” .
“Steak, pork chop, lamb chop, gammon, liver, kidney, sausage with egg, mushroom AND chips.” All for £12.25. Phew! That’s a marathon of a meal however far you’ve strolled.
Not being quite that hale and hearty we made it to this 13th century former manor house in a horseless carriage. Although far removed from the metropolitan centres of both Manchester and Sheffield, this seemingly remote location is less than an hours drive from either and gives the city dweller a chance to escape.
On a bright day, peacocks pecking outside welcome visitors up the winding lane from Snake Pass, eagerly hoping to beg chips from the dinners sitting outside rewarding their travels with the high views over the reservoirs 1,000 ft below.
We settled to look at the menus having failed to work up anything more than the usual greediness in the journey from the car to the door. It’s a pub that’s high on tradition with a selection of grills, sandwiches and giant Yorkshire puds as well as having a daily fish and pie option which caught our eyes.
I went for the whole trout (£9.95) while he plumped for a very meaty steak and ale pie (£8.40). After seeing the other menu items we rightly anticipated large portions. My perfectly pan-fried trout came with real chips. If you remember chips that see off the vinegar into trickling rivulets, refusing to get soggy and retaining their mouth-blowing hotness for extraordinary length of time, this is the pub for you. Made me wonder how exactly those oven cousins have so successfully usurped their country brethren.
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Between sampling a glass of Jennings Cocker Hoop ale (after taking an age to decide between that house ale and the guest beers on display) he tucked into the satisfying pie which was far more steak than gravy under a crisp crust of melting pastry.
Having been relatively restrained(sic) with our choice of mains we contemplated the dessert menu while taking note of how many sets of eyes were upon us. The traditional interior of the pub seems to have been decorated following a closing down sale at Manchester Museum and there’s barely a wall or window sill which isn’t displaying stuffed game birds and creatures.
Regardless of their staring opinion, I selected an indulgent treacle sponge (£3.60) with custard much to the consternation of a visiting American drinking in the bar who considered this traditional delicacy an abomination of “molasses”, whatever that is.
He went a bit modern with the chocolate sundae (£3.65) which proved to be an extravagance of chocolate ice-cream, chocolate chucks, a chocolate flake and cream. He was defeated.
Obviously time for a hike to walk all this off. A very, very long one.
Strines Inn is at Bradfield Dale, near Sheffield off the A57. Call on 0114 2851247 or use the postcode S6 6JE for sat nav.