Inn’s good food let down by service

NDET 27-9-12 TW 6 Miners Arms Milltown
NDET 27-9-12 TW 6 Miners Arms Milltown

Acclaimed essayist Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote: “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”

Acclaimed essayist Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote: “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”

Such was the case when we journeyed to the Miners Arms Inn in the picturesque hamlet of Millthorpe, near Ashover, for Sunday lunch.

We were expecting to find it rammed, which it was, having turned up without booking the previous month only to find no room to eat at the rural retreat.

This time we’d booked a fortnight in advance to ensure a place. On arrival, we were told by a bar tender where to find our reserved table.

With no sign of a menu in sight in the small room off the main bar area, we asked to see the dishes on offer and a blackboard was brought to the table. The choice was extensive and at £15.95 for three courses competitively priced.

We waited and waited until 30 minutes later we could wait no more and asked a waiter where our first courses were. The answer came, along with profuse apologies, that our starter orders had been mistakenly crossed off.

Ten minutes later, our first courses arrived and both were heavenly. I’d opted for the aubergine and tomato bake, which came dressed with a delicious cream and cheese sauce. My partner chose the spinach stuffed mushrooms, which were accompanied by a zingy, fresh tomato and basil sauce.

For mains, we plumped for traditional roasts. My companion chose the tasty topside of beef, which was partnered by Yorkshire pudding, I went for the roast chicken, accompanied by stuffing. While the chicken breast meat melted in the mouth, the leg meat was a little pinker near the bone than I like, so I left most of it. The six vegetables were cooked to perfection and additional roast and boiled potatoes contributed to generous platefuls of food.

For dessert we were spoiled for choice with a dozen tempting dishes. I chose the banana and toffee flan, rather like a banoffee pie but on a sponge base. My partner opted for trifle which was bursting with blackcurrant and peach, the sponge shot through with sherry.

Following the mix-up with our first course, we were given coffees on the house, which was a nice touch. What wasn’t so good was the fact that empty glasses were never cleared away in the two hours of our meal.

The bill, including glass of wine, half of Brampton Brewery ale and two juices came to £42.38.

All in all, a good meal let down by sloppy service.

Rating: Three stars

Miners Arms,

Oakstedge Lane

Milltown

01246 590218