After 5 years in Mellor, the turnover of pub licensees is now complete. John & Liz Longworth are to leave the Devonshire after 14 years to become stewards of New Mills Golf Club. We wish them well and thank them for all the Boxing day Stomp & Chomps, The Quiz nights, the New Year’s Eve Dinners, the cartmel race days and the unique marketing concept of increasing beer sales by building huge log fires in the bar…
Since 2005 then, Mike and Tracy left the Royal Oak to go to Heaton Mersey, the Devonshire is about to change as described above and the former Jewel in the Mellor crown, the Oddfellows has had a minimum of 7 different names above the door since Robert left in 2005. The big problem of course being the current pubco ownership with all the encumbrances and financial constraints they bring. The latest licensee Phil has certainly a sense of style and has spent a good deal of money improving the interior of the pub to a very high specification, a sort of fin de siecle decor in the upstairs dining room.
We have only eaten a bar meal here once since it opened and it was no more than OK. The menu reads well but you are left wondering can the cooking match the writing! The owner is certainly trying hard in a difficult climate and it was time to try again.
We went for Sunday lunch yesterday, took a chance and didn’t book although we had heard that it was now enjoying good trade on a Sunday because of a sensibly priced Roast and a pianist. We arrived at 2pm , no pianist, no punters, not even any post prandial debris. Hmmm.
We took a seat in an alcove by the blazing log fire, made our choice from the menu and took this to the bar to order. A request for a pint of Adnams and a bottle of Australian Shiraz was met with the offer to bring it over. Thank you, very nice. Almost 10 minutes later I went back to the bar to ask about the drinks to be told they were just coming. It was not looking good at this point. The wine had still not appeared by the time the starters arrived, but from then on it all got better. Our first choice Shiraz was not available but another, more expensive one was offered at the same price. The starters of King Prawn Cocktail and Crab & Avocado were well presented and did the job. Roast forerib of well hung beef with Yorkshire pudding, Duck fat roast potatoes and home made horseradish was promised by the menu and duly delivered! Excellent meat and all the trimmings cooked to perfection.
We managed to force down a shared portion of Apple and Stem Ginger crumble with calvados cream to finish off what turned out to be a very satisfactory Sunday lunch. All this from an owner/chef who has only recently recovered from a bout in hospital – well done.
2 starters, 2 sunday roasts, 1 shared dessert a bottle of “The Black Shiraz” and a pint of Adnams bitter – £51.