Let the quest begin!

The purpose of this blog isn't simply to post a list of negative threads. It's more an effort in highlighting the very best places to eat, drink and be merry. All experiences are my own, or with my family. There is no connection between myself or any of the establishments other than as a paying punter. If you take exception to any post, please feel free to offer your own comments. This is meant to be a fair an honest opinion of where we've eaten.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Langon Beck Hotel-Upper Teesdale

Travel the lonely road from Middleton–in-Teesdale, that winds past High Force looking out across the rock and grasslands of Upper Teesdale, and eventually tucked in the corner of a bend in the road, you happen upon a tiny small hotel by the name of Langdon Beck. Frequented by locals and travellers, I’ve often wondered what Sunday Lunch might provide in such a beautiful, if isolated resting house. Familiar as I am with the location and even the establishment, it took some courage to finally drive the 90-minute journey from our home to risk Sunday lunch. I wanted this place to prove itself worthy so much, that I’d put it off for an age in the fear it might let me down. How wrong I was! Without doubt, the best Sunday lunch I’ve ever had outside of my home.

We arrived at 12.30 on Sunday 8th November on a day determined to shift from autumn to winter. The surrounding hills were white with snow. I asked if children were allowed into the hotel and was greeted with a kind ‘yes’. I stepped back outside to give the family the nod, and we quickly ordered Sunday lunch for two, along with two childrens. The portions were huge! The vegetables all crisp and well cooked coming as; mashed turnip, mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrots (long), parsnip (roasted) peas, roast potatoes. Phew!, Huge crisp Yorkshire Puddings, a half roast onion, delicious, tender roast beef and a big jug of gravy. There was complete silence as we (the family of four) devoured our dinners with gusto! Had we been dogs at the bowl, we’d have snapped at your fingers had you dared to interrupt our feeding?

Fabulous, and £7.50 x 3. Never fear if your journey brings you this way. The Langdon Beck is a fine rustic, traditional hotel that serves good food with no frills and at price families might enjoy. When it comes to eating out, I’m as fickle as they come with both food, service and the bill. The Langdon Beck Hotel in County Durham is a winner!


Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The White Horse & Griffin-Whitby, North Yorkshire

I should start by saying ‘the White Horse & Griffin is a very nice restaurant in the centre of Whitby-North Yorkshire’. We’ve enjoyed several meals here, some with our young children and we’ve always found the food and service to be very good. So when my wife and I, found ourselves looking for somewhere to eat, on a wet, November afternoon in Whitby, we decided on the White Horse & Griffin because it was a safe bet. I’m always cautious with lunchtime menus, but was easily persuaded by the simple ‘Cod &Chips’ sign in the doorway.
I do remember having the same meal in the same establishment with the entire family and it was wonderful; crisp beer batter, fresh fish, great homemade chips and mushy peas that were piping hot and almost liquid. That was during the summer; in November things had obviously changed somewhat. We were the only two punters in the restaurant during our meal (no surprise for a mid week I suppose-at least they were open!) The extremely professional waitress did a lovely job on the service front. It was just the food that let them down.
They do have a nice trick up their sleeve by serving you a small taster of the day’s starter. On this occasion a small bowl of pumpkin soup, which was delicious. The main course proved a disappointment. The batter was wet and stodgy; the fish inside the stodge was almost non-existent. The chips although home made were few, only the mushy peas made an impression. Should I be surprised or even disappointed for a midweek meal? Well, just like everyone else, we work hard for our money, and for £20, this was well below the standards we’ve come to expect from this place. My wife thinks the fish was from a box, although I’m too sure! Was it bad enough to complain? -I don’t think so; although the only thing it achieved was to make a wet day even more miserable. Sorry, I don’t like leaving negative feedback and this was after all, only one bad meal out of several other visits that were really good!
£20 for two including drinks. Not too expensive, but we won’t hurry back out of season. However, on its day, it’s second only to Greens. I should mention the queue outside the Magpie was down the steps.