They say the sign of a good pub is how busy it is.
And if that’s the barometer we’re using to highlight how good the Royal Oak is at Hurdlow, then you won’t find many better.
I’d heard many stories of how it’s one of the best in the Peak District and a personal favourite of many and, as I and my dining party found out for ourselves, those tales were far from wrong.
On arrival it was clear to see just how popular it is, entering a cosy, welcoming atmosphere with families and walkers alike enjoying the fayre on offer.
My first impression of the Royal Oak was one of a charming, intimate country pub, with its small dining areas and open fire providing the perfect backdrop for eating fine food.
The menu is packed with a plethora of locally-produced food to suit all tastes and diets.
So much so, it’s impossible to list them all here.
After spending what seemed like an age deciding on what to have, my wife and I both opted for the beef and Stilton pie with chips and vegetables from the pie menu.
This set us back £13.95 each, which was more than reasonable when the dish was brought to our table. My first impression was ‘wow, look at the size of the pie’. It was huge, piping hot and tasted delicious.
The taste of Stilton was the dominant feature, which was just perfect for me as I’m more than partial to cheese.
My wife enjoyed her meal just as much as myself, but was unable to finish it because of its sheer size! It’s safe to say, if you like decent-sized portions and you’re a pie lover, you’ll enjoy the offerings available at the Oak.
My mother-in-law opted for a dish from the specials’ board, enjoying shepherd’s pie and vegetables for £10.95, while my teenage son went for his usual, safe selection of cheese burger and chips with coleslaw for £11.95.
Unfortunately, no one in our party had dessert because we were all full - but they are priced at £5.95 and include a variety of ice creams. Free WiFi is also available for those who like to spend time looking at the small screen instead of talking to their nearest and dearest!
But there is plenty, and I mean plenty, on offer to enjoy at the Royal Oak. Why not try it for yourself, you won’t regret it.
HOW TO FIND THE ROYAL OAK
The Royal Oak, Hurdlow, near Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9QJ.