Sitting on top of the fantastically-named Puddling Pie Hill, the Fox and Goose in Wigley offers sweeping views over the Derbyshire countryside.
Fortunately, on our visit to the pub on a cold December lunchtime, the dishes produced from the kitchen looked every bit as good as the fabulous surroundings.
To start, we opted for the homemade bread and dips which included a variety of breads and grissini, olive 0il and balsamic vinegar,
flavoured butters, red pepper hummus and roast garlic aioli (£3.95, adding in the optional olives for an additional £1). The breads were deliciously salty and the dips proved surprisingly moreish - the prettily-presented slate platter was soon wiped clean.
On the chef’s specials board, something suitably festive caught my eye.
It was the game of the week – whole roasted partridge with sage mash, sauteed bacon, sprouts, chestnuts and red wine jus (£15.95). Sounding good enough to grace any Dickensian Christmas table, it was a very modern take on winter classic.
For those who find chicken bland but pigeon a little too gamey, partridge is the ideal compromise.
Small birds can be easily over-cooked, producing meat that’s tough and dry; at the Fox and Goose it was roasted to perfection - flavour-some and moist.
The bacon added a smoky, earthy, note while the chestnuts were a lovely festive touch.
Across the table, the water buffalo burger was also going down well. Made with a 6oz buffalo burger, beef tomato,little gem, – gherkins, smoked onion mayonnaise and smoked bacon on seeded brioche (£12.95), it came with chunky chips that were close to perfection - soft and fluffy on the inside, crisp and crunchy outside.
There was just about enough room left for the pub’s signature dessert, the pudding pie – the Fox and Goose take on a Bakewell pudding, served with custard (£7). There was a slight delay with it arriving, explained because it was made to order - and well worth the wait: perfect pastry and a sweet, comforting filling. The ideal end to a lovely lunch.
To book call 01246 566335 or visit www.thefoxandgooseinn.com