Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Hurdles, Droxford, 28th August 2014

As Pieman was unable to attend this month's trip to The Hurdles in Droxford, mini Pieman (also known as Porky Pie) stepped into the breach to bring to you news of our latest venture!

The Hurdles has a very good reputation in the area as an excellent Bar/Restaurant so we felt it was about time we paid them a visit to savour their pies.

So, Nick, Paul (tall), Paul (Lord North), Doug, Eric and Trev met outside the BW Tandoori to board our taxi for the short trip to Droxford. The taxi was spot on time, thank you driver Tony, so we arrived at the Hurdles in plenty of time to sample their beers before the main event. Gordon, a new member, who has recently moved to Meonstoke joined us there. There was some discussion between some of the members whether Gordon should be allowed to join as he does not live in Bishops Waltham but if nothing else we are a fair bunch and respect equal opportunities for all so we welcomed Gordon into the fold. Also 2 other members live out of the area!

We received a friendly welcome when entering the pub and we were all highly impressed by the pleasant ambience.

There were two real ales on offer, Bowman Ales Wallops Wood 4%  and Goddard's Fuggle Dee Dum 4.8%. Tall Paul went for his usual Guinness and the rest of us opted for the Wallops Wood, a beer we were all very familiar with and always in good 'nick'. Unfortunately, the beer was not in good 'nick' and after much patience by the barmaid it was discovered that it was the end of the barrel and she scuttled off to put a new one on. In the meantime we settled for a pint of Fuggle Dee Dum which was fine. The new barrel of Wallops Wood was also fine.

We were very pleased to be offered a choice of pies, a Steak and Kidney Suet Pudding or Chicken and Chorizo. Three of us went for the former and four the latter. The pies came with cabbage and mashed potato or you could opt for large chips or french fries as an alternative to the potatoes. Additionally, individual jugs of gravy were provided, which we like.

Steak and Kidney Pudding

Chicken and Chorizo

Both pies were substantial with very good fillings. The Chicken and Chorizo pie had a short crust pastry bottom and sides with a flaky pastry top which was excellent. When you cut into the pie it was a bit surprising to see a 'flood' of gravy pour out of the pie! However, this did not have a detrimental effect on the taste of this pie which was very good indeed. Those who opted for the Steak and Kidney Pudding were rather surprised to see it arrive with a baked suet crust rather than the traditional soft suet casing and felt it did not really work with this type of pie. However, most of the plates were cleared and after a beer break we duly moved on to the pudding menu.

There were a good choice of puddings and the group went for the following selection:

Bakewell Tart with Clotted Cream

Banana Crumble with Ice Cream

Cheese and Biscuits

....and especially for Nick a very interesting looking Mint & Chocolate Chip Ice Cream!

Everyone agreed the puddings were excellent and we just had time to finish up our beer, pay the bill as our taxi arrived. On returning to Bishops Waltham some of us retired to the Crown to contemplate life!

Scores (max of 5 in each category, 25 overall):
  • Pastry 3.5
  • Filling 4.15
  • Beer 3.25
  • Ambience 4
  • Value 4.25
  • Overall 19.15

An enjoyable time was had by all with excellent service. The score of 19.15 out of a possible 25 is a good score and may well have been higher if there had not been for an initial hiccup with the beer and the steak and kidney pudding had had a traditional casing. However, as always, this is down to personal taste. The lunchtime offer of 2 courses for £13. 50 is excellent value for money.