After a spectacular day gliding with the Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club we were keen to find somewhere nice where we could sit outside and make the most of the warm summer evening whilst eating dinner.
We travelled back up the road towards Hathersage, in the direction of a lovely looking inn we had spotted on our way gliding. Country pubs generally have much the same menu but this place looked the part and had numerous secluded spots outside to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat while the sun slowly set on what had been the hottest day of the year so far. That ticked enough boxes for us so we quickly decided to park our bottoms down at The Plough Inn and order some bits off the menu.
We opted for a starter of flash fried whitebait served with a pink peppercorn and lemon mayonnaise to share while we made our minds up on the mains.
But before our starter arrived we were surprised with some canapes. Little shot glasses filled with the most velvety, creamy mint and asparagus soup. Extremely flavoursome yet not too rich, with only the subtlest hint of mint in the background. They were enjoyed immensely.
Just as we put our empty soup glasses down our little fishies appeared on the table. And quite a generous portion they were too! We tucked in happily, mopping up all the delicious tangy peppery mayonnaise while finally deciding what to choose off the mains menu.
Peter opted to go for the Plough Steak Sandwich which came with char-grilled steak cooked to your liking, topped with red onion marmalade and smoked applewood cheese, served with a side of fries and salad. I really wanted to go for this too seeing as it was an incredibly hot evening and fancied something a little lighter but as I can’t eat rare meat at the moment I decided to let Peter be the sole enjoy-er of this dish. I may have pinched a chip or two though…and all the cucumber out the salad.
There were so many choices on the menu that I wanted but I finally made the decision to go with the rump of lamb, which was served with Lyonnaise potatoes, nicoise beans and a black olive jus. And I am so glad I did.
I am normally one to take my time with food and enjoy taking in the flavour of every mouthful. I haven’t wolfed my way through a meal in a long time, but this plate was empty before Peter was even half way through his. Everything worked so perfectly well together. The rich notes from the meat, the sweetness from the Lyonnaise potatoes flecked with onion, the subtle tang from the tomato, the crunch from the beans and the saltiness from the olives. I wanted more. I was silent the entire way through eating except for the occasional mmmm of enjoyment. Ideally I would have had the meat a little pink but even though I couldn’t, this lamb was still incredibly tender and full of flavour.
After two such lovely courses we didn’t need to think about whether or not to stay for dessert. When asked if we would like to see the pudding menu the answer was a very quick yes please!
I fancied something cool and light so chose the panna cotta with peach cooked in honey and lavender. The peach could have been softened a little more for my liking but the flavours weren’t to be squabbled at. I was a little worried that the use of lavender, as such a big bold flavour, would overpower and dominate the dish but I was surprised at how subtle it was.
Peter felt the same about not going for anything too heavy on such a warm evening so opted for the passion fruit cheesecake with a mango sorbet. Having sampled a teensy bit I can say how refreshing this dish was. There was just the right amount of sharpness from the passion fruit which was balanced out so well by the creamy buttery layers below. And the mango sorbet I could have eaten a bowl of.
The Plough Inn exceeded our expectations of what to expect from ‘a pub’ menu. I can’t fault the food and the service was prompt, polite and very friendly. Can honestly say that I will be paying this one a visit again in the future.