This was my first course in a lively new restaurant called Fennel at Whaley Bridge in The High Peaks in Derbyshire. It was a bit unusual because it was smoked, poached haddock with grilled parmesan on a crumpet. I can imagine the kitchen was using the smoked salmon with cream cheese on a blini theme. It worked OK. Although crumpets should be served piping hot with loads of melting butter and perhaps doesn't lend itself to this sort of presentation as the crumpet was a bit soggy from the smoked haddock juices. Top marks for being inventive.
Here's my main course. Rack of lamb on a bed of crushed potatoes with a good gravy. I always order lamb when I'm in The Peaks because there are thousands of sheep roaming and grazing the hills and I expected it to taste good and it certainly did.
It was a great evening spent with Our Friends From The North. Lively. Plenty to talk and laugh about.
Fennel's has a sixteen -seater bus and it picks up and takes home diners whenever they want at no extra charge. Taxis are a bit dodgy around here as they often tend to charge for the journey to pick you up then add on your actual fare. Then they charge again for driving back to take you home and then again for your actual journey. I can't make sense of this at all. One weekend spent in The Peaks we were charged almost thirty pounds for a return journey to a restaurant in the next village - a fare that would have cost us a tenner here in Dorset.
So it was wonderful to be picked up at the canal-side pub we were staying in overnight by the Fennel bus (beautifuly painted in Fennel Green) at 7.30 and then six of us taken to eat and drink as much as we wanted and then driven back home again.
Well done Fennel.