Monday 2 January 2012

The Royal Oak, Hurdlow, Derbyshire

Perched on a hillock in a rather desolate patch of the Peak District, the Royal Oak serves top notch pub grub in its fairly non-descript dining room and more atmospheric bar.  There is an exceptionally long menu featuring most of the pub classics. On a Sunday the selection is smaller, but you can have one of the customary roasts. If you fancy something lighter, the salmon with prawns (£10.50) is cooked with precision and served with delicious chunky, dark chips and a good salad. The fisherman’s platter (£11.95) is also impressive featuring fat, juicy mussels, prawns, a fishcake, smoked salmon and boquerones, accompanied by lots of luke warm potatoes, a bread roll and salad. It's fresh and generous. The good quality children's meals are also substantial: Your offspring might struggle to make it through the three sausages, fine chips and peas. The chicken goujons, which contain decent pieces of meat, might be a healthier option. The Royal Oak's beers include an unusual ale from a local brewery: Hartington bitter. The only real gripe is the pub's frothy cappuccinos can be tepid. But the attentive and friendly staff are happy to make you another one. The Royal Oak is a real find. 8/10