I don't go back to many restaurants regularly but I must admit if anyone suggests we visit The Hop Pole I will never try to change their mind.
This time was no exception. My wife and I were invited to the restaurant by our daughter and her husband, unfortunately my wife was unwell so I decided to accompany them on my own. It was one of their evenings with live music, a Wednesday. The evening was advertised as Country and Western, music provided by Grey Wolf and Deborah Rose. Grey Wolf mostly grizzled older blokes on fiddle, banjo, and guitar, Deborah Rose a dainty young woman with a clear bell like voice well suited to the genre. Most enjoyable.
As for the food, I had poached pear with blue Shropshire cheese and a salad for starter and medallions of pork, both of which were excellent. My daughter had tomato soup and the pork and my son in law a shank of lamb. Once into that he didn't come up for air he was enjoying it so much.
The decor of the restaurant continues to improve, it was never sparse but somehow it seems to get more homely.
Some of what a restaurant does is in the small things and here the heavy pepper mill that ground out lots of large pepper granules was appreciated. At the end of the meal I tried them out with a request for a tooth pick. Now, in many cases this request will be solved by the offer of a cocktail stick but not here, oh no, the waiter brought me several proper picks in paper pockets. Many moons ago these used to be made from the quills of large feathers but nowadays they are plastic.
So yes, once again Daren and his team did an excellent job. Well, I say 'Daren' advisedly, I'm beginning to think he's left the country, the last time I went he was sleeping off tiring session of Six Nations Rugby on the settee, this time he was in the Isle of Wight with Louise and the family. So there you go he can delegate well too!!
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