Hope – The Cheshire Cheese Inn

This was our choice for food following our visit to the rather wonderful Swiss Tap in the nearby town of Edale. It’s listed in the Good Beer Guide and is a sixteenth-century building with some heritage to it. The owners of the building put stucco plaster on the frontage in 1877, but when this was removed it was evident that this was once two cottages.

The main bar area of the pub.

The same room, with a downstairs area visible down some steps on the right-hand side. There were people in there so I didn’t disturb them by taking a photo, but this was the second cottage that was once used to house animals downstairs whilst the owners lived in the upper part. I like that the pub has made an effort to explain its history on their web-site, noting:

“The Inn owes its name to being an overnight stopping point on the old salt carrying route from Cheshire across the Pennines to Yorkshire. Payment for lodging at the Inn was actually made in Cheese. The original cheese hooks can still be seen in the lower room. Today it retains a relaxed unspoiled, old world atmosphere with open fires, traditionally brewed hand pulled beer and a reputation for good wholesome food.”

There’s a small bar area to the left.

And here it is, but customers were advised to take advantage of table service, rather than trying to order in this limited area.

The menu, with primarily traditional British dishes, but an effort has been made to cater for vegetarians.

I’m going to have to admit that my beer tasting ability couldn’t cope easily with this, the Daily Bread from Abbeydale Brewery. The staff member warned me that it was a very yeasty beer, hence the name, but I couldn’t work out whether it was slightly past its best or whether the yeast was meant to make it taste like that. Since I wasn’t competent enough to know which it was, I’m assuming that it was just a strong flavour and it wasn’t unpleasant, just different to what I’d usually have. Interesting though, I like that there’s something different to try.

I had the beer-battered haddock, which was moderately expensive at £13.75. The fish was well cooked and tender, with the batter retaining some crunch and having a pleasant flavour. The mushy peas were, as they often are, pretty pointless as they were devoid of flavour, but the chips were homemade and moreish. All very acceptable though and the portion size was towards the generous side.

Back to the price, I wasn’t entirely delighted to note at the end that, despite being listed on the Amex Shop Small site, they decided they didn’t accept Amex and that meant I couldn’t claim my £5 from the card company as part of the scheme. Anyway, that aside, the staff here really were excellent and our main server was personable and helpful. It was a comfortable location and I liked the history to the pub, with the friendly staffing all adding the atmosphere. Not a bad choice of mine at all……