Monday, 6 August 2012

The Black Horse, Edingale

I set off with the news of Bradley Wiggins’ gold medal time-trial ride pinballing around my head – it was a thorough annihilation of the rest of the field – a superb performance and a fitting finale to a perfect season for (soon to be) Sir Wiggo who is now the most decorated British Olympian of all time – Sports personality of the year 2012 is nailed on!
I was like a little lad as I zipped off, heading towards Overseal on the beer ride – I imagined being Bradley in front of a partisan crowd all screaming and cheering – I’m sure I rode faster thanks to him!
The Black Horse
Tonight’s ride takes us to Edingale, Staffordshire - close to the borders of Derbyshire, Warwickshire and
Leicestershire in an area known as the Mease Valley.

Situated in a rural setting, Edingale lies equidistant from the towns of Burton on Trent to the north, Tamworth to the south east and the City of Lichfield to the south west. In many ways Edingale can be seen as a benchmark for small rural communities - the village shop and post office have passed into history whilst the infant school is still providing an educational grounding for the new generations. And the village pubs are reduced to one – clinging on…..

Looking over the village from the top of the hill, as it has for the past one hundred and twenty five years, is the Holy Trinity Church and, as is usually the case, the village pub, our destination for the evening, is not too far away. The Black Horse has, from the outside, the look of a typical local. Unassuming, maybe in need of a tidy up here and there but generally okay – no reason why you wouldn’t pop in if you were passing and felt like a pint. But inside is a different story. Not at all what you might expect. Everything looks brand new, slate and hardwood floors, oak doors and tables, white leather covered chairs, black wrought iron chandeliers….. it’s all been done with reasonable taste - it's kind of 'Dennis and Fiona welcome discerning travellers to relax, revive, savour and marvel in an atmosphere of timeless rural elegance. No overalls, No Children, Dogs by appointment'

Somehow it all feels over the top. For a small, out of the way, village local it’s punching above its weight – it looks like a fair monetary investment has been made – I wonder whether there will be a big enough footfall to justify the expense. They are clearly aiming at diners rather than drinkers – this was demonstrated by the lack of seating other than dining tables and also the lack of beer! – Only Hobgoblin available tonight along with a dubious ‘Keg’ version of Pedigree.
As we perched on our dining chairs, looking totally awkward and out of place, we decided to order a ‘bowl’ of chips each – at £1.50 per portion they seemed a fair price. What we actually got was half a dozen chips served in a coffee mug – I kid you not. Cyclists and nouveau-cuisine chips do not go together well. I wonder what the rest of the menu is like? - I imagine it will be lacking in quantity.
I think the overall opinion was that the pub was at least trying – and a couple of us described the place as being ‘nice’ I remain unconvinced however. Although I wouldn’t poo-poo a return visit, if I’m passing through on my own I’ll probably keep going.

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