Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Restaurant Review - The Golden Fleece, Ruleholme, Cumbria

My friend and I wanted to try somewhere we had not been to for our meal out so we chose The Golden
Photo from The Golden Fleece Website
 at Ruleholme near Carlisle in Cumbria.

It is a traditional country inn, with natural stone walls and wood beams. It has a nice outside area with tables and benches which would be lovely to sit at in good weather. Inside there is a bar, a small lounge where you are seated prior to your meal to peruse the menu and nibble on warm party sausages, toasted bread with a lovely pate and crisps. it was different and a nice touch.  I was pleased to see that this was a restaurant where you could get those small bottles of Prosecco, ideal if you are driving.

The eating area consisted of a few small rooms, with large tables (with old maps of Cumbria on them) and plenty of space between them ensuring lots of privacy. It felt cosy and comfortable. There was some bread and butter and a bottle of water on the table when we were seated.

I chose the Fleece burger, made from rump steak, topped with goat's cheese and red onion marmalade, onion rings, thick cut chips and garlic mayo. The meal was presented on a wooden platter. The onion rings were the biggest I've ever seen and lovely and crispy. The burger was tasty and juicy as were the chips and the portions generous..

My friend chose the gammon with pineapple, fried egg, and chunky chips. The pineapple was fresh and the slice of gammon huge and it was served on a granite slab. Like me she was very happy with her meal.

We were quite full as the portions were generous and could only manage ice cream for dessert. I had a scoop each of raspberry pavlova, chocolate and vanilla.  It came in a large cone sitting in a cone-shaped glass with a little container in which there was a small amount of sprinkles, chocolate pieces, hundreds and thousands and fizzing angel dust. The ice cream was very creamy and went down easily.

Our bill came in a little wooden chest accompanied by two decadently delicious chocolates. The service was friendly and efficient, and the food was served quickly. It cost us just over £40 for two alcoholic drinks, two mains and two desserts. Not cheap, but not over expensive either for what we had. We'll definitely be going back and if you want a pleasant atmosphere with good food try it, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Fin Dac, Street Artist

On Facebook today I came across this mural created by the Irish artist Fin Dac in the Gibson Hotel in Dublin. It is pretty amazing, full of energy and movement and what a scale. This photo shows the artist beside the painting and shows how huge it is.

Fin was self taught and originally hails from Cork but is mainly based in London and has created works all over the world. You can view more of his art here and there is a short article about him here. It looks like a visit to the Gibson Hotel is definitely on the cards on my next Dublin visit!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Review - The Plough Inn, Wreay, Cumbria

The Plough Inn is a place I have been going to for years, it is a country pub, with a warm ambiance and excellent food. Recently I heard that the pub had been taken over by new owners and tonight my cousin Glen and I went there for a meal - this was their first night serving meals. I must admit we were both a bit worried that it would not be as good as it had been previously.

The pub itself looks exactly the same, traditional with a modern twist and a pleasant atmosphere. The menu was much more extensive, but that's not always a good thing, it's easy to over-extend in this business. The menu told us that the chef was from the Seychelles and had 22 years experience.

We shared a pate starter, the pate was homemade and lovely. For our main courses Glen chose a chicken curry and I went for the duck marinated in cinnamon, honey and lime with mash, veg and red wine and red currant gravy.  My duck was tender with little fat and the subtle flavours were delicious and were like none I'd experienced with duck before. Glen loved her curry, in fact she said it was the one of the best curries she had ever had. Neither of us had room for a dessert!

The chef, Winston, came out to speak to everyone, he was very pleasant and seemed happy that we had enjoyed his food so much. Later one of the owners, Jane, came across to speak to us. She said that the pub would serve food  Wednesday-Sunday. Monday they would be open for drinks and homemade burgers and a quiz night. Tuesdays again it would be drinks with a live music night. So it sounds like there will be a good variety of events at the pub in the future.  I thought it was really nice personal touch that the chef and owner came out to talk with the clients like that. There are also going to be special nights with a Seychelles buffet which sounds like it will be brilliant.

Judging by the fare tonight I know that we will be continuing to visit The Plough regularly and I have  no hesitation in recommending it.