Sunday 15 April 2007

Last Weekend

The Olive Branch

We've both not been feeling too well of late so it was good to get away Easter weekend. It was a delayed break that we should have taken at the end of last year but due to personal circumstances we were unable to. We were much looking forward to it.

We were booked into a B&B in Rutland called the Beech House. It is opposite and run by a pub called the Olive Branch in the picturesque hamlet of Clipsham. B& B doesn't really do it justice as it's certainly more luxurious than a four star hotel. It was perfect accommodation.

The Olive branch also has a reputation for food and on the Saturday night it most certainly lived up to its reputation. I had a wonderful mackerel starter, followed by duck, and then we plumped for the cheese board with an amazing red Leicester called Sparkenhoe. Red Leicester to me had always been an okay cheese, but just that. Sparkenhoe is just wow! All this wonderful food was washed down by a very fine Chapel Down 2003 Pinot Noir from Kent. All in all, a bloody good meal.

Sunday night's meal was a bit of a disappointment. The starter was okay, king prawns with a chilli sauce. For the main course I opted for the Olive Branch fish & chips. Not a good choice. I've tasted better from our local 'Chinese' chippy. I think they must have had a different chef on. Never mind I made a very good discovery Bellevue Kriek Beer is an excellent accompaniment to fish, especially fish and chips.

They had three ales on tap while we were there, Fuller's Chiswick 3.5%, Olive Oil 3.6% and Grainstore Ten Fifty 5%. Of course I tried them all! Chiswick is a favourite of mine, as eulogised after my trip to the Norwich Beer festival last year. Olive Oil is the Olive Branches house ale, brewed by Grainstore. A copper coloured ale, a bitter with a good rounded flavour. Grainstore's Ten Fifty is a malty, not too bitter ale, same style but head and shoulders above Old Speckled Hen.

The Olive Branch is a great place to visit. Give it a go.

Beech House

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