Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Black Dog, Waltham Chase, 31st March 2016

We previously visited the Black Dog in July 2014 and as it won Pie Club Pub of the year for it's delicious Sausage, Bacon & Black Pudding Pie we decided it was time to have a return visit to see if it had maintained its' high standards.

Several of our members are on a bit of a health kick, so they built up a bit of an appetite and a thirst by walking the 2 or 3 miles to the pub. On arrival we were given a warm welcome by the Landlord Peter and the Bar Staff and offered a good choice of ales which we were keen to try after the exertions of the walk!

There was the Black Dog Bitter 3.9%, Greene King IPA 3.6%, Cosmic English Pale Ale from the Black Hole Brewery (a new one to us) 4.2% and Abbot Ale 5%. We all started with Black Dog Bitter (except for our Guinness member) and it was very pleasant indeed. All the beers we tried were well kept and very drinkable.

Now for the main business of the day, the pie, which was a Minted Lamb and Spring Vegetable pie, perfect for this time of the year.

Although it was covered with green stuff, when Peter explained that this was actually pea shoots to compliment the peas in the pie, we were duly impressed with the thought that had gone into the preparation of this pie.
It was served with mixed vegetables and chips, with extra gravy served separately in a jug, just how we like it! Some of us would have liked a choice of potatoes, e.g. mashed, but it looked good and we could not wait to get stuck in!

The pie filling was delicious with very tender lamb and tasty spring vegetables. The short crust pastry was also excellent - not at all soggy. Some of us felt that the mint flavour was a bit overpowering whilst others felt it added to the taste of the pie - suppose it depends whether you like a lot of mint with your lamb or not! The vegetables were all nicely cooked, and all too soon our plates were clear.

Most of us had room for, and were attracted to the excellent choice of puddings.

We all thought the pie was excellent and standards were as high as on our last visit. Peter and his staff were very hospitable, there was a pleasant ambience and the service was very good.

Scores (max of 5 in each category, 25 overall)

  • Pastry 4.65
  • Filling  4.57
  • Beer    4.28
  • Ambience 4.46
  • Value 4.35
  • Overall 22.31
Congratulations to Peter and all the staff at The Black Dog this puts you into the number 1 spot at the present time with a score marginally below the 22.34 scored in 2014. There is a long way to go yet before the 2016 award but this will take some beating.