As the sun is finally starting to appear (and we haven’t had any snow for five minutes), it’s finally the time of year I start really venturing out. I’ve got visits to Buxton, and even Glasgow planned, but recently I took advantage of the lighter evenings and hopped a train over to Marple to the Midland pub for dinner.
Given the setting, you’d think you were far further out into the countryside than you are, surrounded by lush green and the River Goyt running right past the side of the pub itself. In fact we were so early for our dinner, we popped over the road to another pub nearby, for a pint in front of a peat scented hearth.
It’s the kind of place you visit for a little space, a bit of greenery – I can imagine a lazy Sunday, hop on the train, bring the dog with you, wander the country park nearby, or if the weather isn’t kind, just sit, cosied in the pub, dog at your feet, watching the rain on the window. And as I mentioned before, close enough for you to finish work, take advantage of the lighter evenings and simply walk from the station down to the pub itself. I mean after a day at work, you don’t want to over exert yourself, right?
And of course after work, you can take advantage of their midweek treat menu. £22 for two courses, £26 for three. Not so shabby after a day in the office.
My date and I split the options – I went for the midweek menu, and she for the more expansive every day menu. In truth, she had been ogling the menu the day before, and had pretty much decided on what she was going to have, whereas I had saved myself for my arrival. I like to live a little dangerously.
Onto the starters.
We both went for fish options. Me for the scallops with pea puree and bacon, my date for the kiln smoked salmon tacos. Two pretty dishes.
The scallops were perfect – soft, sweet, just done, the fresh pea puree sweet and green, the bacon balancing both with it’s smoky saltiness. The tacos were a balance of soft flatbread, creamy smoky salmon and plenty of crunch, and a little astringency from the pickle.
When it came to mains, my date had her eye on the fried chicken – not only with a thick southern fried style coating, but also stuffed full of nduja sausage adding a gentle kick of spice, and served with an apple salad, sweet potato fries and lemon aioli.
And I went even heavier on the meat, with a 9oz 28 day aged rib eye steak, served with twice-cooked chips, crispy onions rings, grilled mushroom, confit tomato, and dressed baby kale. Yes, this beauty is on the discounted midweek menu, and is well worth it. The steak is done to your choosing, along with chips that are to die for and I added a little side of sauce, with a dainty pan of beef dripping, and between us, something green and fresh with the green beans in walnut butter. Crunchy, fresh, with a richness from the walnut.
Onto dessert, and despite us not quite being close enough to summer for these to be from our own shores, I was drawn to the frozen yogurt with strawberries, served with rhubarb and rose flavoured curd. A little sharp, a little sweet, and perfect after such a heavy main course.
My date was in the mood to indulge her savoury tooth with the cheeseboard, and it was plentiful. Shepherds Purse Yorkshire Blue sat alongside Lubborn Somerset Camembert, Belton Farm Red Leicester, Isle of Man vintage Cheddar, with biscuits, grapes, celery and chutney. The platter was happily demolished (I may have assisted).
The Midland at Marple Bridge is genuinely a little gem, and well worth a visit.
Anybody lend me their dog?