We took a trip out to Bakewell today for various retail reasons that will not be developed further today. I elected to go there via a slightly different route ( which mercifully avoids Doveholes ) and we made good time. It was very busy probably because of the monthly farmers market which we did not discover until almost closing time.
Bakewell has plenty to offer , picturesque buildings, very few multiples thankfully and a compact town centre. It also has some very good antique shops especially The Rutland antiques centre. We also found an outstanding deli called Thyme to Taste ( believe me the food inside is much better than the name ) which was the sort of place where common sense goes out of the window and you have spent £30 before you know it. We came away with pastrami, a Hunters Pie and some Bakewell pudding slices having resisted the beautiful breads and cheeses on offer.
The tastebuds duly tickled we decided to try out the lunchtime offer of an Indian restaurant by the river, Max’s Indian. Normally we would not do Indian at lunch but we had made a reservation at the Royal Oak in Strines for the evening expecting to eat fairly standard English food so we thought ” Why not? ” ( or should that be ” And why not ? ” )
Max’s setting is very pleasant, a period Georgian house overlooking public gardens by the river , a little dowdy inside but in a faded glory sort of way. The waiter or perhaps the owner came out to us eventually, dressed in jeans, with a laid back, studenty look . He showed us to a table by a window. Presently he brought a jug of water and some larger menus. We ordered from the £5.95 menu, popadums and chutneys, a potato dish and chicken pakoras and two rava Dosas, spicy indian rice wraps served with salad, home made coconut chutney and samba sauce. Everything was home made , quite different to the usual Bangladeshi curry house and the sort of food that would sell at twice the price in some London boutique curry house. The only slight criticism would be the length of time it took to be served but apparently there is only one man in the kitchen.
After a dismal afternoon of sport as Sri Lanka trounced England in the World Cup and their football counterparts overwhelmed Newtown Druids reserves 2-0, we ventured out to Strines to try the Royal Oak which is receiving good reports. Simple pub food would be the best description but well done. A short list of starters and main courses including 3 or 4 steaks ( Rump, Rib Eye on the special board, Sirloin and Fillet ) and some fish. Almost retro dishes , well cooked and served with chips, mushrooms, peas and onion rings. My only gripe would be the pointless salad on the side.An Iceberg lettuce cup holding; a ring of red pepper, cucumber slices, some onion and an orange segment ( why ? ) without any dressing, even offered seperately. Still , very reasonably priced food and with some nice wines on the list and the full range of Robinson’s beers , including specials Dizzy Blonde and Hannibal’s Nectar, on tap.