Thursday, 17 April 2014

Beer ride - Halfway House

A beautiful wednesday evening, bright, warm sun and hardly any wind - ideal then for my first beer ride of this year - a relatively easy trip to Donisthorpe, North West Leicestershire and a rendezvous at The Halfway House.

I opted for shorts and a tee-shirt - even though I knew I'd be cold riding back in the dark, the prospect of enjoying the sunshine on the outward ride was too much to resist.

Donisthorpe is a smallish village on the border of Derbyshire and Leicestershire - very much a 'mining' village and home to Donisthorpe Colliery until the pit closures of 1991. The character of the village has changed radically over the last decade. The local shops have closed down and the pit site is now a housing estate.

The Halfway House is trying hard - I remember it when it was 'The Turks Head' - a name I prefer. It looks quaint and inviting from the outside, well cared for and tidy. Inside the layout is quirky interconnecting rooms, a bar area with bar stools and a fireplace, a comfy old leather chesterfield and a chose of real ales. The landlord has incorporated a unique ale tasting system. Just in front of his range of beer pumps is a small shot glass filled with whatever the guest ale is - no ned to ask about the beers - just try a shot!

We opted for Burton Bridge 'Spring Ale' and another pale ale called something like 'Stara' - The Stara was slightly lighter in colour but both beers tasted remarkable similar.

The pub seems to have a busy trade with people appearing the whole time we were there - always a good sign. There are clear gastropub intentions here and from what I could see there is plenty of trade to support the idea. The dining area looks sleek and stylish (at a glance) and was at least half-full.
The menu is ambitious for a village local - daily blackboard specials include,  Poached roulade of lemon sole, tandoori lamb cutlets, pan fried sea bass and sorrento chicken. From the menu there is pan fried bacon and black pudding, crayfish cocktail, and chicken liver pate.

We stayed until around 10.00pm - 5 of us in total - and then the cold ride back! - thankfully I had the foresight to bring my arm warmers - very welcome. I rode well with an accompanying full moon, after a few miles I stopped noticing the cold and enjoyed the peaceful silvered landscape. Home for 11.00 - 26 miles covered.

No comments:

Post a Comment