We spent last weekend with friends in Derbyshire. After a coolish start Saturday turned out to be a perfect early March day. Made all the more beautiful by being in England’s stunning Peak District. We went for a walk along part of the Monsal Trail, which uses the old railway line that once ran from London St Pancas to Glasgow St Enoch Station. The Thames-Clyde Express used this route – the third and last to be constructed rail route from London to Scotland.
After our walk we repaired to the Three Stags Head in Wardlow, Derbyshire where back in December 2011 we had our famous encounter with a white goshawk. Again we were in luck. It was almost as though the keeper of these birds of prey was awaiting our arrival as just as we parked across the road from the pub, he came out of the Three Stags Head, took out a red tailed hawk from a safe in his car and followed us back into the Three Stags Head.
Unfortunately The Three Stags Inn is not doing food at the moment – on our last visit we enjoyed excellent partridge. Pat Fuller explained that they had been unable to get a proper chef and as she was now running the café across the road – making cakes etc. – she hasn’t time to do the cooking for the pub. Hopefully they will find a new chef soon. We tried the Brimstone and Deception from the Abbeydale Brewery in Sheffield.
Then on the barman’s recommendation we moved onto the Packhorse Inn at Little Longstone, where the five of us shared a couple of excellent platters.
I’m enjoying Bob Campbell MW’s excellent monograph entitled Reflections through a wine glass (IWFS – International Wine & Food Society). New Zealander Bob was born in 1947 and as is so often the case for people born in this great vintage he talks a lot of sense. His 60-page monograph covers terroir, blends, the screwcap revolution, the merits of matching wine and food, dealing with old wines, hints on cellaring and the MW programme.
Bob is very much in favour of screwcaps, although he recognises that we have yet to find the perfect closure. It is hardly surprising that he is in favour of screwcaps as the bottle of 1947 Cheval Blanc that he had carefully kept for years turned out to be corked when he finally opened it!