Friday, 4 July 2014

Anchored In Worthing: Piefest South

Not Mrs Miggins, but the lovely Debs with Pie
Georgio and I last weekend enjoyed the delights of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We stayed in Worthing about 20 miles away. On our last visit to Sussex we found the delightful Anchored in Worthing, our first micropub and run by the bewhiskered genial host Nigel. Small in size but big on hospitality.

So just before we set off some new pies were purchased from S J Bebbington Butchers, for lunch and also to introduce to Nigel/customers at the Anchored in Worthing

So we had the very new creation, Cheshire Cheese Spring Onion & Chives Pie which was delicious and well received (9/10). The other offering from Bebbingtons was the Pork Pie with jelly. Is there any other? The fact that it stated Jelly with it was slight different to give it a try. Now as with all Bebbingtons tasted so far the meat is of very high quality and the pastry is good. Not too thick and moist. I personally was just a tad disappointed with the jelly content as my anticipation levels were high, hoping it would be oozing with jelly but not so (8/10). However it is still a very good pie and better than the majority. 

Nigel MicroPub Master @Anchored in Worthing
We had arrived in Worthing pretty tired and a bit later than expected but the welcome was fantastic. Nigel and partner Debs had arranged for a fresh delivery of their own favourites from a local bakery/cafe "The Pantry Bakery" in Worthing. Handmade and fresh what a joy. So as well as the two types we had brought we had a huge sausage roll (9/10), a Chicken Wild Mushroom & Tarragon Pie (8.5) and finally  a Lamb Carrot and Thyme pie (8.75/10) to taste.  

Add to this Nigel's current menu of locally sourced beers and ciders.....OH HAPPY DAYS !! We fell in love with the Black Pig Orchards, Perry Cider. Big thanks to Nigel, Debs, regulars and irregulars for some great evenings. Pie, chat, impressions and laughter with no TV, jukebox, bandits or louts !!

Cheshire Cheese Spring Onion & Chive Pie and Pork Pie with Jelly

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Status Quo at CPOP 2014

Rick Rifftastic - Status Quo at CPOP 2014

To complete an almost perfect day the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power organisers laid on the mighty rifftastic Status Quo to end the day supported by the RPJ Band and Toseland. Our party was slightly slow to join the crowd as we were distracted by a barbecue and the odd libation. But with the weather holding off, we wandered across to a sell out, but not packed out, arena to grab a spot.

We opted to stand rather than take a chair which many had, to take advantage of the natural slope of the arena area. We arrived just as RPJ finished and they seemed to go down well. They sounded alright during rehearsals earlier on. Toseland, led by former World Superbike Champion James Toseland, were pretty dire though. 

Quo however were as ever fantastic. Mr Rossi moaning about the cold, Mr Parfitt grinning from ear to ear and the band as a whole determined to have a good time. 

This attitude coupled with some top songs makes for a great time which the crowd were happy to join in with. Sales of blow up guitars and atrocious long wigs were going down a storm, just like the band. 

They played a fairly mixed bag of songs from throughout their career including some recent stuff as well. Obviously a high spot for certain pie eaters was hearing the Chicken Song in all it's glory, otherwise known as "Whatever You Want". Listen to the intro and you'll understand !! It did rain a little bit towards the end but made back to the Beefmeister Wagon before it rained full on.

Monday, 23 June 2014

CPOP Pie Tasting

The day before CPOP we had been attending a wedding in Yorkshire and briefly stopped in Skipton en-route, following a recommendation on Pies. Spoilt for choice we bought four from two purveyors of pies ( J Stanforth Butchers and Farmhouse Fare ) and decided to have a group tasting for the best feedback.

Pie Panel limbering up for tasting session - CPOP2014
A definite plus to our visit this year was the Beefmeister Wagon in attendance , which meant that meals (inc a Barbie) were enjoyed in some comfort and libations could be had with no driving compromising any one.....Happy days !!!

It also meant we could give some serious attention to some pie tasting. Four pork Pies had been selected from two exceptional providers, existing no more than 50 yards apart. From both we chose a Pork & Black Pudding Pie to compare. We also had a Pork & Cranberry (Farmhouse Fare) and a Pork & Chilli ( J Stanforth Butchers) offering to taste. Below is a summary of a group impression of each

Pork and Black Pudding Pie - Good pie and the black Pudding element was tasty and moist. A frequent observation when Black pudding is in a pie, is that it is dry & crumbly which this definitely was not. However the Pork was a little bland by comparison. The pastry was ok and jelly was present. 7.5/10

Pork and Chilli Pie - The seller did, as we were leaving the shop, issue an understated guide that this was a tad on the warmish side !!! Wow it was hot. It does come with a warning on the outside as a Skull and Cross Bones is raised up in the pastry! We liked it but the over riding experience was heat which again overshadowed the Pork element, considerably in this case. An excellent Pie for bonfire night or at football match in the bleak midwinter. 8/10

Farmhouse Fare
Pork and Black Pudding Pie - A good Pie, nice pastry, tasty pork, jelly present but an underwhelming Black Pudding experience. Not a lot of it, dry, crumbly and little taste.  8/10 

Pork and Cranberry Pie - A mixed response from our panel. I liked it, it was moist and tasty, sweet and savoury. But not for everyone. 7.5/10

Overall we thought if you could combine the two Black Pudding pies you would be close to perfection. The Pork & Chilli was hot, very hot which helped build a thirst! The Pork & Cranberry is very much down to whether you like the combination. To see some close ups images follow the link to idreamofpies facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Idreamofpies

Obviously we look forward to tasting more from either emporium as the standard and devotion is high. Chatting to the guy in Stanforths he informed me that they sold and made on site 10,000 of their little beauties a week. We presume they have a thriving wholesale side to their business or Skipton residents munch more pies per person than any other place in Britain! Which is understandable after trying these.

Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2014

Lamborghini Aventador - CPOP 2014

We had been looking forward to this years Cholmondeley Pageant of Power event, quite a lot and we were not to be disappointed. It was great to go as group but we did miss a couple of friends at the last minute. This year the weather was superb and the only problems encountered were sunburn, overheating and hay fever.

As ever the track action was great. Getting around the paddocks to get up close to some amazing vehicles, was as ever, brilliant. The theme was Italian this year hence the beautiful Aventedor pictured above amongst a number of other, 4 and 2 wheeled delights.

Chevrolet Camaro BRUT FORCE - CPOP 2014

We were particularly taken with the Classic Scrambling though, which had two sessions and was captivating to say the least. Although here as a demonstration event, it was still competitive and somewhat dangerous, including some broken ribs.

One Handed ! - CPOP 2014

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Gods Own Pie Shop, Skipton

I sat pondering as to which route to follow to go to a wedding in Ripley, North Yorkshire when a message via flickr alerted me to, it claimed,  a mighty fine Butchers that is "God's pie shop". That decided it, over the top via Skipton, with perhaps a brief stop if time permitted .......


J Stanforth Butchers, Skipton

The pie recommended to me was a Black Pudding and Pork Pie from J Stanforth Butchers, Skipton. However what this fellow Pie muncher did not tell us was that another award winning pie emporium was located just 50 yards away around the corner called Farmhouse Fare Pies & Sausages, "Supreme Champion Great Northern Pork Pie Competition".


Farmhouse Fare Pies & Sausages, Skipton

Wow I couldn't believe my luck, two mighty fine producers of pies within a hop skip and a jump of each other. Now there may be more lurking about but we didn't have time to explore further so more reason to go back to the lovely town of Skipton. As to the Pies well read on for the full report on our four purchases.

Ripley Castle with Tom & Michelle

Ripley Castle & Gardens, Beautiful
Big congratulations to Tom and Michelle, on getting married and choosing such a wonderful place as a Ripley Castle and Gardens, which was truly fascinating. 

We had a great time witnessing your special day and hope you had a memorable time too. Particularly liked the string quartet playing Bitter Sweet Symphony by the Verve, most excellent, the sweets, the view, the service, the guests ....

Tom & Michelle, Beautiful

Monday, 16 June 2014

Recovery Pie

Chatwins Steak Pie
To aid recovery after 34 miles of walking a day off was booked, which in hindsight was an excellent idea. It allowed us to keep moving slowly but moving, as sitting for any period and then moving was painful. Possibly a better decision was to call in at the local Chatwins for a recovery pie. Something reliable and tasty.

Their Steak Pie was chosen and as ever, was of an excellent high standard. A little bit on the pricey side for the High Street but it is consistently good, warm or cold and on this occasion (8.5/10).

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Pie, Precipitation and Parkinson's


Over the course of the first full weekend of June, in the company of good friend Georgio Dragonslayer we walked the Sandstone Trail to help raise funds for Parkinson's. I am pleased to say that we completed the task and have raised approaching £700.00 in the process with donations still being received. 

The walk starts in Frodsham not more than 100 yards from the front door of Sue Coward's home made pies, so a Pork pie each was purloined to fortify us en-route.

The weather was atrocious and we started in lighting, thunder and heavy downpour. We just got into a rhythm, heads down and steadily made our way through the soaked first few miles of the walk. Eventually we needed a break and sheltered under a dripping tree. We decided it was Pie time. Unable to give  a detailed report on the normally high quality pies from Sue Cowards due to the fact it was wolfed down rather quickly and I can't remember !!!

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so via this JustGiving link http://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Knight7

Monday, 2 June 2014

Pork & Apple Pie: S.J. Bebbington Butchers

Pork & Apple Pie, S.J. Bebbington Butchers

A treat from SJ Bebbington Butchers, selected and provided by Mrs Pieman, though not sure what we'd done to deserve it? What an  excellent choice. Perfect size, nice moist pastry, excellent meat, some jelly and a topping of sliced apple cooked to a great finish.

Not the first time we've had the combination but often the apple is a mush, tasteless or quite sharp. This was very tasty, very nice and definitely a 9/10. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Elvis Fontenot & The Sugar Bees: Swamp and Sweat

Cajun/Zydeco excellence from the Bayous of Staffordshire

Another intense night of pleasure and delight as Elvis Fontenot & The Sugar Bees rip through two sets at the Old Brown Jug as part of the Newcastle-Under-Lyme Jazz and Blues Festival. The evening doesn't start well with the previous band overrunning and delaying the set up for the band. They rip through a sound check quickly with the venue filling rapidly and the temperature rising. The sound is excellent and well worth the wait though.

As ever the band appear to be on tip top form and the night is lively but cramped! The venue's decision to leave a huge dining table and chairs right in front of the band was odd to say the least. With the crowd even busier than the last time we saw them here and dancing/viewing room at a premium, it was a shame.

The band went through some familiar tunes of their own, some covers and some new songs giving a nice mix, cranking the audience up to a lather. The second set saw them into their stride. The songs, sound and performance by all the band is infectious with the Fontenot effect kicking in all over the pub. Even from those who couldn't see, with jigging/singing/tapping/shaking/dancing breaking out all over.

Particularly taken tonight with Caroline and the appropriate, given the atmosphere, Hot Tamale Baby.

I cannot recommend going to see them more highly, prepare to be stung. If they don't put a smile on your face and a spring in your step,  then seek medical advice !

Elvis Fontenot & Sugar Bees. The Old Brown Jug. Newcastle Under Lyme