Monday, 9 May 2016

Birthday Weekend Away - Part Two

As we pulled into Whittington, the village where we were staying, we instantly fell in love with it.  We pulled into the car park of Ye Olde Boote Inn, where our B&B had private parking spaces and surveyed the village.  The castle and water were opposite and we crossed our fingers that our room was one overlooking it.  We grabbed our bags from the car and went to check in.  

Fitzwarine House and Ye Olde Boote Inn from Whittington Castle

We received a warm welcome from the owner Debbie, who then took us up to our room.  The house was  old, and full of character.  Wooden doors and creaky floors and a set of stairs that I had to go up and down sideways on (because I have stupidly large feet...).  The room was lovely and spacious, and the view hit us straight away.

Quite possibly the world's most comfy bed

Who could ask for a better view?

We unpacked and freshened up, before heading next door to Ye Olde Boote Inn for our dinner reservation.  I had browsed the menu online before deciding we'd eat there, and seen that they served beer battered plaice.  I love beer battered plaice and haven't seen it anywhere for years, be that while out or in a supermarket, so I knew what I was having.  The pub was really big, plenty of places to sit, and large tables outside overlooking the castle.  

We bought ourselves a couple of well-deserved pints.  I decided to sample the Wizard beer and Mr G had a long overdue Guinness.  Mr G decided he would have the rib eye steak.  Service was prompt, really prompt actually.  Our meals came out and the plaice was massive, I wasn't expecting it to be quite so big, nor thick.

Beer battered plaice

Rib Eye steak

Although the meal itself was exceptionally good, we were both quite taken with a couple of the extras.  The cherry tomatoes on Mr G's plate were lovely, we asked the waitress how they made them and she said they came to them that way, in some sort of garlic oil.  We'd never tried them before anywhere, so Mr G is on a mission to hunt them down.  The tartare sauce that came with my fish I think had been made with a touch of mustard in it too, so that was a new one on me (but one I will be attempting to replicate at home myself).  The chips were skin-on chips and they were lovely, and the red cabbage - although cooked, tasted pickled too?  Really interesting.  Everything was absolutely spot on, we are incredibly lucky wherever we go to eat, we usually have a good meal, or a great meal, but Ye Olde Boote just upped the ante slightly.  I'm really glad I stuck to my guns and opted for the plaice, or I'd be kicking myself right now.   Mr G's steak was cooked to perfection after advice from the man who took our order, I tried a tiny piece and it melted in the mouth.

After eating we went outside and sat on one of the large tables.  There was a bike race going through the village so there were a few people milling around watching from the roadside.  It had been an incredibly warm day, and we had a couple more pints before the temperature cooled slightly and Mr G started juddering.  Remember the new coat he had hunted high and low for?  In the car a few steps away.  Car keys?  In the hotel room.  Again, a few steps away.  

So, we went back inside and had one last drink.  I could see Mr G was getting a bit giddy, while I was stone cold sober (for a wonder!).  He came back with a half pint for me, and a pint for himself, a pint of extremely strong beer.  A 5% beer called 'Double Hop'.  Took one sip of it and said 'Oh, you're going to have to help me with this'.  


And at a very respectable 9 pm, we walked the few metres back to our B&B, and after watching the last half of the rugby on my iPad, we both went straight to sleep.  We're hardcore, us two.  Rock and roll ;-)

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