[Cheshire, Kerridge] The Lord Clyde
Ooooh, this one is a bit of a find. Small pub in Kerridge which is just outside Bollington, in itself just outside Macclesfield. Half the pub manages to accommodate six tables set for eating with the other half seemingly devoted mainly to stand up drinking. On this lovely March day, hardier souls than us were eating outside.
And there’s a menu that surprisingly punches well above its weight. There’s a good range of lunchtime sandwiches but, also, a really good carte that belies the fact you are in a small dining pub.
There’s a pride in using local produce and there was none more so than in a sharing plate of “Flavours of the North West”. The Macclesfield Mezze if you will. From Cheshire, a cheese croquette, spiked with mustard, sat on some really fab homemade apple chutney. From north of the Mersey, chunks of black pudding battered and deep fried – meaty, salty, crispy, lovely; and a small pot of, erm ,potted shrimps, served with thick toast. From Cumbria, a peppery Cumberland sausage sat on a spoonful of mashed potato. Proper mashed potato, mind. None of your sloppy pomme puree. This was just potato mashed. Apparently spuds come from Aunty Denise’s farm at Peover – yep, they’re a tad keen on provenance. Oh, and there was a little air dried Cumbrian ham. This was, presumably, the excellent product made by Richard Woodall before he retired and sold his business (not sure who now owns it). Faultless – and a really good pub dish.
For mains, braised beef with a pea risotto. This was a very generous portion of good shin – very long cooked and then shredded. It topped an equally generous portion of risotto and, in great idea, was itself topped with a small handful of pea shoots. Truth be told, I didn’t expect this to work too well but was able to sneak a couple of mouthfuls from my partner’s plate to confirm that, not only did it work, it worked exceptionally well.
My own plate was Tatton Park venison, done three ways. Some perfectly rare loin. A rich livery faggot. And, the least successful, a little pie – good and enjoyable but needed a more reduced sauce and a slightly longer cooking for perfection. But it was still bloody good. There was a little cabbage, some more of the excellent mashed potato, and a few cubes of beetroot bringing a welcome earthiness to the plate. And a really good gravy.
Much too full for dessert, we waddled away to work it off with a walk along the nearby canal bank.
Well, in spite of gossip that the pub is up for sale, due to the chef/owner moving away, it’s still in business. And still turning out stonkingly good food. No poncy gastropub nonsense. Just good, honest food.
We started with a sharing plate, as last time. “Tastes of the North West” – black pudding fritters (lovely & crisp), Cheshire cheese croquettes (oozing and with an apple chutney), potted shrimps, Cumbrian air dried ham and Cumberland sausage (sat on a blob of mashed potato). Yep, that’s pretty much covered all the bases of stereotypical northwest food – and bloody lovely it was too.
Rump steak off the specials board was pretty much as expected. Decent meat, mushroom, tomato, chips. Classic.
Meanwhile, I was having a bit of a pig fest. To follow on from the starter, there was a small pork chop (perhaps a tad overcooked); some belly pork (meltingly soft meat, very crisp crackling), more mashed spud, shredded Savoy cabbage, a thick slice of fried apple, nice gravy with a hint of sweetness in it (cider?).
Friends we were dining with also seemed to be enjoying their food. They’d taken a side order of courgette fritters, coated in pesto & parmesan. I got to scrounge a couple. Very delicious.
For dessert, chocolate moulleaux. No, me neither. It’s basically a choccie fondant, although seemingly not as a rich as a fondant . There’s a light sponge with a gooey centre. Alongside, a quenelle of pistachio ice cream. One of those desserts that remind me why I don’t often order a dessert.
Service is friendly and very willing but not always that sharp. The only downside about the environment is that this is a pub and there was a “turn” playing. They were loud, which made conversation a tad difficult. Good songs, though.