Sunday, 16 October 2011

North Wales part 1 - Review; The White Eagle, Rhoscolyn

A couple of months ago Manc Mike mentioned that his family had a place in North Wales that they were interested in letting it out. Never one to pass up an opportunity, I offered our services to stay for a weekend and we agreed on a date in October. It is in Rhoscolyn, North Wales and sounded just up our street with peace and quiet, quality walking/ running, water features and a local pub serving good food - more on all of this later.

So after a lovely breakfast at The Spotty Blue Teapot in Hoylake we started the 2 hourr drive to Rhoscolyn with a plan to stop on the way in Conwy on recommendation from Mum.

My breakfast plate accompanied by a flat white
 It took about an hour to get to Conwy, and we were pleased we decided to stop. There isn't a huge amount to see, but what there is is lovely! The best thing was the Conwy Castle and walking all the way around the town on the castle walls.
Joe on the pier in the harbour
Jo on the wall, with a brilliant view
 As we strolled the cobbled streets I was delighted that we stumbled on a butchers with the accolade of the 2011 North Wales Champion in the Pork Pie Category. Unfortunately it was probably the worst pork pie I have had on the Pork Pie quest - it tasted just like one that you would buy in a supermarket and was the total opposite of what I want in a Pork Pie - bland and tasteless meat (although the pastry was quite good).
The award - no idea how they got it!
 We then continued our journey to Rhoscolyn and the below is what we found on arrival. There will be more pictures on the next post, but we were both really really impressed! The house is the very last one down a narrow dirt track and is surrounded by grass, cliffs, the beach and sea - awesome!
The house we stayed in in Rhoscolyn
After a couple of hours exploring, Frenchie Dog Eyes and Sam arrived, and it was great to see them both. We have been on weekends away with them a few times now, and we always have fun and there is never any drama! 7.30pm I strapped on my head-torch and led the way as we all walked along the beach to the White Eagle pub which we had heard really good things about - over to Jo for the words here. 

One of my favourite things is finding a brilliant pub/restaurant in the middle of nowhere.  The White Eagle is in Rhoscolyn, which honestly looks like it has a maximum of 50 houses and is just down the road from Trearrdur Bay.  During the week, it opens at 6pm and serves food until 9pm, along with a range of ales and vino.
Joe and Frenchie Dog Eyes got stuck into the ale, trying brews from Llandudno, Conwy and Chester while Sam and I stuck to the rose (in a bag!)  The food on the menu is more restaurant than traditional pub, with a number of specials on offer. 

Ale from Chester
Rose in an ice bag
Drinks sorted, there were a lot of tasty sounding food on the menu.  Joe and Frenchie plumped for a warm cheese and chive scone with ham hock and leek and cheese sauce.  Although they said it was nice, the fact that it was an actual scone slightly threw them (I think they were expecting something along the lines of a potato scone perhaps...).  I had the prawn cocktail and Sam went for the coarse country pork liver pate.  Mine was lovely, and Sam's was a proper home made terrine.  A good start.
The ham hock scone - definitely a scone!!
Sam's coarse pork liver terrine, which came with gherkins which were amazing!
My prawn cocktail - a nostalgic moment
For mains, Joe and Frenchie decided to match again!  They went for a barnsley lamb chop with pearl barley risotto with chorizo (we were told it was called a barnsley chop because the meat is shaped like a B, but the more likely story is that it originates in Barnsley!).  This tasted absolutely amazing - really tender and rich, almost like a good steak, and the pearl barley risotto was a very nice surprise.  Sam opted for fish and chips, which was also really good, and I had the slow cooked belly pork with stir fried vegetables, which was also very good.  The belly pork was perfectly cooked, and went really well with a savoury soy based sauce.
The Barnsley chop
Fish & chips
Pork belly cooked in soy with stir fried vegetables.  My only slight critcism was that there was too much liquid, which was more like a broth than a sauce.  It was still good though.
Frenchie Doy Eyes enjoying his ale and lamb
Quaffing Joe
A good espresso - another sign of a good pub
And would you believe the boys even made room for dessert?  Eyes definitely bigger than their bellies, Joe went for chocolate bread and butter pudding with chocolate sauce, while Frenchie had raspberry ripple icecream in a brandy snap basket.  Admittedly, they were both really good desserts and between the four of us we did finish them both...chubby kids.
Chocolate bread and butter pudding
Raspberry ripple icecream in a brandy snap basket
The White Eagle pub - if you're ever in the area, seek it out!
And all the info you need...
Oh, and as they were not full enough after all the ale and food, Joe and Frenchie then returned to the house to finish Frenchie's Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which he has been savouring for a year now.  Boys will be boys...
Johnnie Walker's blue label, based on the original 1867 blend

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