Gourmet review: The Angel Inn, Blyth
The village of Blyth is a pleasant place to be on a summer afternoon - especially as it has more than its fair share of appealing country pubs.
As you drive through the village there seems to be an attractive hostelry on almost every corner.
And none look better than the Angel Inn, with its bright, white exterior and array of hanging baskets full of colourful flowers.
The pub is on the main road through Blyth close to the crossroads and opposite the village church.
It must attract a fair amount of custom from the nearby A1 and also people visiting Hodsock Priory.
And it certainly seemed to be doing a roaring trade when I headed through its doors one weekday lunchtime recently.
There were plenty of couples dining as well as families enjoying the six-week summer holidays, regulars and retired couples.
I was greeted by a pleasant lady behind the bar and chose a table to the side.
The pub has a largely traditional decor with a few more modern adornments, such as a sign reading: ‘Facebook is the only place where it’s acceptable to talk to a wall’.
The Angel’s staff are clearly proud of the venue’s history and there is a warm welcome from the landlord by the side of the bar.
When I first checked out the menu I was intending to order a starter as there were any number of tempting options, including garlic mushrooms, pate and toast and homemade soup.
But having seen the size of some of the portions I decided it would have to be just a main on this occasion.
But there were still plenty of decisions to make, with a mouth watering variety of options available.
These included home made lasagne, lamb, liver and onions or a bacon chop.
And if you fancied something from the griddle there was even a helpful diagram of a cow to show you where each type of steak hails from.
There was also a range of fish options and in the end I opted for haddock and mozzarella fish cakes with chips and garden peas.
I placed my order, and along with two small bottles of Coke the final bill came to a reasonable £12.95.
If I’d not been driving I would certainly have been tempted to try one of the ales or lagers on offer
I only had a to wait a short time before two piping hot fish cakes arrived, along with chips, peas, salad, a slice of lemon and a delicious spicy tomato sauce.
The fish cakes were crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.
While the haddock was tender and complemented perfectly by the mozzarella.
The chips were also deliciously crispy, while the salad was small but much better than the afterthought you often get at the side of pub meals.
For those with a sweet tooth, there were a range of tasty looking cakes and gateaux on display - but I was simply too full after my filling main course.
Overall, my meal at the Angel Inn was excellent and more than I would have expected for the price.
I was also impressed by the range of options on the menu, which would outdo most country pubs I have experienced.
And the Angel also caters for those with smaller appetites and children by providing less hearty portions and options for youngsters.
The staff were also polite throughout, from the warm welcome I received to the presentation of the meal and the cheery goodbye I received when I departed.