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Bottle and Thyme Chesterfield

Bottle And Thyme Chesterfield Review

Bottle And Thyme Chesterfield I have visited Bottle And Thyme Chesterfield on numerous occasions. On a night out with friends, with the kids on a Saturday afternoon. My favourite at the moment is on a Sunday to sample the sharing platter. I cannot say enough good things about our experiences in the Bottle And Thyme. Oh and there is also live music if you like that gig.

The owners are always happy to listen to your comments and learn from them. I know, unusual people that genuinely  care about the customers and just don’t pay lip service. No wonder they were winners of the Best Customer service award and should be in line for another win in 2018.

Bottle And Thyme Chesterfield


Winners Of the Chesterfields Best Newcomers Awards in 2017 & The Best Customer Service Award. See what the Star has to say about these deserving winners.

Gavin Grainger, joint owner of Bottle & Thyme, said: “ We hope we’ve brought something different to Chesterfield’s nightlife. We want to appeal to to a range of ages with our cocktails and live music.”

Bottle And Thyme Cocktails

I must confess that when we visit we may partake in a few cocktails. Sometimes a couple just to sample the flavours and keep the mixologists familiar with the recipes. My personal downfall is the Expresso Martini, the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee is to die for. Then the addition of something a little alcoholic added to the mixture stimulates the nose some more. Between us all I think we have covered a large portion of the cocktail menu. Yes they have all been very good.

bottle and thyme expresso martini

Espresso Martini


The Sharing Sunday Tapas

Now this is great value for money, it comes with a couple of different cheese’s. Olives, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and some great freshly baked bread. Not just bread but artisan bread (as good as mine) and with a selection of charcuterie. It is all absolutely delicious and yes we usually have 2 with our good friends, Mr & Mrs W. One comes with a bottle of red and one with white.

Bottle And Thyme Chesterfield Review

Bottle and Thyme The Rest Of The Menu

I haven’t had the pleasure of the breakfast menu but it does look good. If the quality is the same in the morning as it is in the evenings then it will be a treat. We have been in for lunch a few times during the day with our 3 kids and even if they are busy they will squeeze the kids in somewhere. Even if a couple of them have to sit on the windowsill. The burgers, the only problem is they are to big. No seriously they are good. We haven’t experienced a bad meal in there so we will continue to keep going back.


Looking for Other recommendations to eat in Chesterfield

The Peacock Cutthorpe (coming soon) excellent food

The Brampton Manor

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tickled trout Barlow review

Tickled Trout Barlow Review

Babysitter booked and another night out in hope of some great food and wine. We had heard lots of positive things about the Tickled Trout Barlow so we were a little excited and expectant. So ourselves and our besties squeezed into a taxi, yes squeezed as it was a Ford Focus. Not to worry wine and food was to follow. As we entered the Tickled Trout Barlow it wasn’t overly busy and the place looked fresh clean and appealing. The first drink of the night, what would we have. I spotted a large selection of Gin’s (not for me I had a bad experience on it many years ago) for the good lady. So a Rhubarb Gin was ordered with added dehydrated rhubarb in the glass. (it was good but not that good). Tickled Trout Barlow Review.

Tickled Trout Barlow Bar

Of course us boys took a little longer to decided on what we would be drinking. We eventually decided on a bottle of Rioja as we were told we could add it to our table bill. Sorted, they dropped the bottle on the bar with 2 glasses, then I realised it was DIY and had to pour my own first glass. Hmm not overly impressed, the other good lady had a glass of Pinot Grigio. All set, shortly afterwards they approached and told us our table was ready. So we all grabbed our glasses (and the bottle) and set off to our table. We were sat right next to the specials board, result. It meant that we didn’t have to get up and try and remember what was on the specials board. They all looked fantastic so it was difficult to decided on what to have.

Tickled Trout Barlow Review

Tickled Trout Barlow Review  Starters

The ladies asked to see the wine list while we decided what we would start our culinary adventure with. For myself it was a split decision on the pigs cheek or the Cornish cod brandade. The choice for my good lady was simple, Squid one of her favourite ever dishes when done correctly.  Eventually I made the brave decision to go for the pigs cheek, Mrs W had the same and Mr W went for the Cornish Cod Brandade. Oh and we asked for the wine list Again when they came back to take our order.

Tickled trout Barlow review

The Cornish Cod Brandade was unlike any Brandade I had ever seen before, I think the chefs poetic license was on overdrive the day he named this dish.  Mr W was a little disappointed that the quails egg yolk was hard and it was barely warm. The wine list arrived and the ladies ordered a bottle of white.

Tickled Trout Review

Cornish Cod Brandade

The Squid, sorry Dusted Calamari came out in a quaint miniature deep fat fryer basket. Unfortunately it was quite greasy and the Tickled Trout Tartare well. The tartare, the usually sharp salty capers in tartare were virtually tasteless. I can only presume that they had made it some time the previous week and the flavour had diminished into nothing. The good lady was starving so we remained quite and ate on.  The waitress returned to the table to ask how the starters were, we said ok and we asked where the wine was.

tickled trout Barlow review

Dusted Calamari


Tickled Trout Barlow Review The Pigs Cheeks Tartlet

Well when the tartlet turned up I was a little, hmm surprised to the actual tartlet. Again I can only guess the poetic licences used, so it must have been a deconstructed tartlet. On the bottom was some crispy overcooked pastry, stuck to the plate with some celeriac glue. On top of that was some more celeriac puree, well thats what it said on the menu. The pigs cheek on top. It looked beautifully constructed dish, very small but nevertheless beautiful. The eating, well the plate wasn’t very warm and the food was just warm.

The puree was under seasoned, one of the reasons I ordered the pigs cheek is I love celeriac, especially my celeriac and turnip gratin. The pigs cheek, tender cooked well but, Arghhhhh just warm under seasoned and dam average. Wait a minute I looked up at the board and the price of the pigs cheek. Not average, it was very poor for the price. I don’t usually mention the price of food because I don’t mind paying for quality.

Tickled Trout Review

Pigs Cheek Tartlet

The Pigs Cheeks

Pigs cheeks is a cheap cut of meat that is becoming  fashionable again because of the great taste and tenderness. It can be a succulent tasty and a joy to eat if done correctly. However on this occasion the under seasoned pork cheek on tasteless celeriac puree on a burnt pastry disk was expensive. There must have been about 80p worth of pigs cheek that was going to cost me £8.50. What a mark up, banging profit for the Tickled Trout. On the positive the apple did taste nice and sharp. The other positive was that the ladies wine turned up after asking 3 times. It was a cheek to even dare call it a tartlet.

Tickled Trout Barlow Review Mains

Again it was a difficult choice for us all as they all sounded so tempting. Lamb, beef or Quail. I am a certified carnivore so I love my meat. My lovely lady went for the Sea Bass with a soy & honey dressing, mussels, and samphire I was nearly tempted. I did taste a sliver of the sea bass. It was meaty, tasty but if I was uber critical maybe slightly overcooked. The big down side was that it was just warm. Perhaps the presentation meant more to the people at Tickled Trout Barlow rather than serving hot food.

Tickled trout Barlow review

Sea Bass @ Tickled Trout

Mr & Mrs W had the Highfield House blade of beef, which did look rather nice. What I did not know at the time was that the beef dish was going to be right in front of me. The W’s said it tasted very nice but just warm enough to eat, the plates were just warm so that didn’t help. Yes and it took an age to actually get to the table. The boys had to ask for the bottle of wine again we had ordered earlier, Its always nice to have a glass of red with your main, especially if you are having red meat.

blade of beef Tickled trout Barlow review

Highfield House blade of beef @ The Tickled Trout Barlow

Tickled Trout Barlow Review The Lamb

Lamb, what a beautiful tender piece of meat and I was luck I was getting 2 different cuts of lamb. Cannon and shank, bring it on, more meat and it had to be better than the pigs cheek tartlet. How could it not be.

Tickled Trout Barlow Review The Lamb

Derbyshire late season lamb £17.95 sounds fantastic. So the plate arrived and it looked great. I could not wait to get stuck into the lamb, where to start the cannon or the shank or the veg. So me Mr carnivore went for the cannon of lamb, the first thing I noticed as I cut into the lamb was the effort it took. Yes it was overdone, slightly pink in the middle a little disappointing. No worries lets go for the shank, where is the shank and was this large white tower a fondant potato. No the large white tower was in fact a suet pudding filled with the lamb shank, brilliant. So I cut into the suet tower of lamb shank, tasted and the meat was delicious bit the suet.

The suet was undercooked, stodgy more like the texture of wallpaper paste. I do like e my food and quality food so I remained silent for while. I asked the better half if she would like to try some. She did so I gave her a little of the suet of shank and within 2 seconds she said the suet isn’t cooked. Mrs W was a little shocked as the experience so far had been a little flat.

tickled trout review of the lamb

Derbyshire late season lamb £17.95 Cannon, shank, celeriac

So it starts, the waitress pops over and asks about our mains. No there not great “the suet is undercooked” Mrs W. I added that the cannon was overcooked. So they take it away and ask what would I like. The same lamb dish please. Then she returns to tell me that the chef thinks the lamb is not over cooked and the suet is cooked. Well I have cooked in a pro kitchen, I have eaten in a lot of restaurants around the world and it appears that I am wrong. Oh and the next statement get better. She adds that the chef would not like to get the lamb wrong or me be wrong again. Could you pick something else, ok the Quail.

The Tickled Trout The Complications

So the quail ordered and the rest of the table carried on eating at my request. Shut the front door, the waitress returns stating the quail will take some time to cook. Mr W leaves the table and proceeds to the bar to talk to the manger. Of course if my main is going to take time I would be eating alone by the time mine arrived. So take the rest of the meals back and serve them at the same time. The waitress said that they could serve the beef within five minutes. So I said yes bring the beef and I convinced the rest of the crew to carry on eating their Luke warm food while I waited.

The Review of The Blade Of Beef

Blade of beef tickled trout review

24 hour Blade of Beef @ Tickled Trout Barlow

The blade of beef was the same temperature as all the food, just warm, not hot. So I tucked into the blade of beef, yes it fell apart with just pulling it with the fork. It had been cooked for a long time, rich, very rich in taste and the sauce that surrounded it was real good. The smoked field mushroom was an inspiration of taste adding flavour, yummy.

The garlic roasted  veg, well they must have forgot the garlic as it tasted of just lukewarm veg. The smoked cauliflower under the rich sauce was just a puree without flavour. Creamy mash potato own the side, can you remember Smash potatoes, well thats the only type of mashed potato that I could relate it to. Not nice at all, more like wallpaper paste, stodgy glupey. The nice rich beef would have benefited of something sharp in the dish to cut through the sweetness. At the end of the dish I was feeling full and a little overwhelmed. Address the balance of the dish and you have a winner.

Tickled Trout Barlow The Peace Offering

When they did bring my beef, the red wine eventually turned up. They offered us free deserts and coffees to make up for the shortcomings of the main. So we did, the ladies went for the tarte au tatin. The gents went for the cheeseboard and at £12 wasn’t cheap so obviously we were in for a treat. Coffee we had and the deserts came eventually, we were there for over 2 hours before the last course come out. The tarte au tatin was nice, not exceptional but nice with ice cream and clotted cream. The cheese board, seriously £12 I am glad that we didn’t pay for it at that price or it would have gone back for what we had.

review cheese board tickled trout

Chees Board @ The Tickled Trout Barlow


Five different cheeses and not much of each of them. A blue cheese, a rather strong goats cheese, I presume brie, along the lines of a stinking bishop. We wasn’t sure about the other cheese’s and they were not exactly to our particular palate’s. That wasn’t the problem, it was disgusting that there was a few pieces of celery, No apple , no grapes, no imagination with the accompaniment’s to a twelve pound chessboard. The chutney was well below average, the biscuits very hard, in fact I nearly cut the roof of my mouth on them. Where was the butter, biscuits and butter come on people this board costs a fortune. The only saving grace was the quince jam (I presume it was quince) as we were never told what was on there.

Tickled Trout Barlow Review The Final Word

Overall it was a very disappointing experience. The ambiance of the place was nice the staff seemed nice, maybe a little undertrained. The waiting time was horrendous, luckily we were with our besties and we can talk crap for hours. The delivery of food and wine took to long. Yes there was a private party upstairs but they should have planned to cater for a large party upstairs and not at the expense of poor service downstairs. I stated before that I never worry or mention the price of good food but it was expensive for very average food and service. Should we have a drink whilst we wait for the taxi. No not after seeing that the original single Gin nearly cost £9. Goodbye and unless there is a change of management or a guaranteed good chef we will not be going back there again.



Great places to eat in Chesterfield Bottle & Thyme  or if you want a Branded eating place there is always Frankie & Bennies 

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catch 22 Chesterfield

Catch 22


Replaced by Drinks & Dough

I have not had the privilege of eating there yet but when I do of course I will let you know how it was.

It was a typical English June night the air around was  warmish but of course it was pouring down with rain, all dressed up and a soggy run from the taxi to the restaurant door, We had made it, ready for a good night out as it’s not that often we can book a baby sitter for 3 kids and an over excitable boxer dog. Yes mothers do come in handy especially when they do a spot of ironing, the homework the reading with the kids.

Catch 22 is a newly opened ” fish “restaurant  in Chesterfield

catch 22 night out crooked spire

So through the door we went, a newly opened restaurant in Chesterfield Catch 22. There they were all near the bar waiting expectantly for the customers to arrive. We were greeted with beaming smiles and a very helpful attitude. The ladies had a glass of Chardonnay each, one large and one medium , the boys (grumpy old men) fancied a glass of red so I asked what they had to offer  he told us 2 types and then was stuck for the rest so he reached for the wine menu for me to peruse over. I guessed the bloke behind the bar just couldn’t be arsed to learn about what he was supposed to be serving, a little harsh I know but !

We opted for a bottle of Malbec as it seemed that it didn’t come by the glass and the wines that did I didn’t fancy at all,  after all its only once a month if we are lucky

Catch 22 was decorated pleasantly not to over fishified ( I know its not a proper word) but they hadn’t overdone the fish/nautical theme. They even had some nice fish wallpaper.

So we were escorted to the table and just before the ladies sat down they noticed water dripping down onto the table and upon looking up you could see the water squeezing through the plastic looking roof , yes I did say plastic, it looked like a lean to at the back of the restaurant  , ok it was pouring down with rain outside and perhaps on a normal day they wouldn’t need buckets on the floor to catch the water at Catch22. On a positive note it was the poshest decorated lean to that I have ever seen.

Oh did I mention we had to take our own drinks and the half bottle of wine to the table ourselves or am I just expecting too much of Chesterfield

The menus are mini newspapers, you know like they used to wrap up your fish in chips in before health and safety and the European parliament. There were also a specials board and little specials card. The menu was quite varied and a good selection to be fair. A little perplexed that in a “fish” restaurant there was a section  with exotic  meats .With so much choice it just made it difficult for me to choose because I do love my food and I am always the last to order always wondering if I have made the right choice,

Catch 22 The Starters

The waiters were attentive at first and asked us on 2 occasions if we were ready to order and on the second occasion we did order, to start with the ladies went with slat and peppered squid and carpaccio, the grumpy old men opted for the Moules  Mariniere

catch 22 monkfish


Moules Mariniere £6.90

Fresh mussels steamed in white wine and served in a creamy garlic sauce


Beef Carpaccio £7.50

Thin slices of peppered fillet steak, served with rocket and parmesan salad


Salt and Pepper Squid £6.50

Deep fried squid rings, served with garlic mayonnaise


Now all the above starters can be cooked in less than 10 minutes but we were left waiting watching the rain drip through the lean to onto the other table we turned down for about 40 minutes. 40 minutes and my Moules  Mariniere was well disappointing to look at, the muscles were very small shriveled dark things in the shells The sauce was tepid and not seasoned at all so I had to reach for the salt and pepper  to give it some flavour.  I did try wifeys salt and pepper squid which was delicious so I had chosen the wrong dish again. The waiter did do the standard procedure and asked if everything was good whilst we were eating but I remained silent as I didn’t want to spoil the night and I didn’t want to wait another 40 minutes for a bowl of under seasoned little muscles.

A few more people came into the restaurant and went toward the back of the establishment past the lean to part to a more solid structure. It wasn’t full or busy in Catch 22 and it wasn’t  empty  just enough people to create a little ambiance so I wasn’t impressed that we had to wait nearly 30 minutes for our plates to be removed from the table.

Catch 22 The Mains

IMG_2755The mains, the girls went for a special monkfish wrapped in parma ham and served on a bed of tagliatelle, it looked ok but the plate was not that warm and wifey informed me that the tagliatelle was luke warm and the monkfish overcooked. I had the surf and turf, a very nice succulent fillet steak cooked perfectly blue, well-seasoned juicy and delicious served with a scrawny half lobster with the taste of seafood sticks. The surf and turf came with a little bucket of handmade chips and they did look scrummy, however looks can be deceiving and it was, obviously the oil was not hot enough as the fat had seeped into the potato making them very greasy indeed. My good friend Lee went for the wild menu item of Elk, well it must have been a midget elk as the portion size was very small. We had to ask them to remove the finger bowl from the starters so we had enough room to get the mains on the table.

Catch 22 The Dessert

well we decided there would be no harm in looking so back came the pretend newspapers, very limited choice and not enticing before but there was an offer on for a free dessert and as I had the surf and turf I qualified. So we had the jam roly poly which came after a 20 minute wait, not sure if it was because they were deciding if I qualified for the freebie or because they had to wait for the microwave to become free. The sponge and jam were boiling hot and the custard on the plate was cold and claggy. Everyone except myself thought the actually Jam roly poly was absolutely fabulous

Catch 22 The Verdict

Well it was a bit of a roller coaster really some excellent food and then some pretty poor food, service both good and bad, perhaps the weather didn’t help, not sure and I did mention this to the manager whom never left the side of the bar/till all night long. He did comment that he would pass my comments on to the chef and that was that as he handed my receipt. Off we went into the wet night in search of our next experience. Certainly not a disaster but I doubt that we will be going back again . That’s just my personal opinion your probably best of trying it for yourself after all I am a closet food snob. The Catch 22 website, the prices differ from online to whats actually in the restaurant

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The Mossbrook Eckington

The Mossbrook Eckington 


Well we are out again, actually it doesn’t happen that often when you have kids under the age of ten so when you go out you do hope and pray that when you do everything is good, So we had heard good things about The Mossbrook Eckington. We originally wanted to go to the Sitwell arms but as we were going with friends we decided that the Mossbrook it would be.

Customer Service

We arrived a little late (table booked at 6pm on a Friday) so we got there at 6 mins past Six. We could not see are friends so (they were late the last time) so we stood at the bar and thought that we would get a drink whilst we waited. Wait we did, not particularly busy but we waited and waited. No service then we had a text from our friends they were already sat at the table (the wifey of the friends is 8 months pregnant so I guess she needs to sit).

So we walked through to the restaurant side (they have bar meals  as well) we walked past the desk for reservations all they way down and found are friends. Chating away and then I tried to order a drink as we had already waited at the bar for nearly 10 mins to no avail. Looking around I did see 2 waitress’s  chatting , and after 5 mins of intense staring, coughing and whoopong eventually I caught their attention . Finally I was able to order a drink,   OK maybe we were there only for 18 mins without a drink but it wasn’t busy

The Website Fish & Chips

Mossbrook Eckington


10 mins later our drinks turned up,  we decided that we were not ready to order the food as we were chatting but when we were ready we had to flag down a waitress again to order the food. It seemed they were busy not doing much at all. So to order what  would we have, well none of us really fancied any of the starters to be honest so I suggested the sharing platter to start with between us all.

The mains, my wife went for the rump steak medium and the fat chips with a sauce, I went for the rump steak blue with the normal chips and with the sauteed prawns on the side.

Mossbrook eckington fish and chips

Fish and Chips


Our friends ordered, J had the fish and chips and his wife had chicken, pulled ham and leek pie. Sorted

The Mossbrook Eckington

So what actually came and how did it taste

The sharing platter consisted of

  1. tasting platter £11.95
  2. brie and onion marmalade brûlée, chicken in a paprika
  3. crumb, pork belly fritters, beer battered mushrooms, lamb
  4. meatballs and crusty bread with mango and pineapple salsa
  5. caramelised garlic and parsley mayonnaise

The chicken goujons were crispy but very dry  not good at all. Minced balls were tasty but a little on the dry side. The pork was OMG succulent delicious and moreish, then there was the brie and onion chutney and that was fantastic. Soft doughy bread was good, especially with the dips of pineapple and onion & garlic dip. The beer battered mushrooms were tasty as well so overall not a bad choice and quite a tasty platter. I didn’t take many photos as the lighting was very dark where we were and just cast horrible shadows making the food look worse.


Mossbrook Eckington Rump

The Rump Web Version


Main Course At The Mossbrook Eckington

Well disaster struck here, my steak came out and all was ok apart from the prawns looked a very sorry state and did not have much taste at all. The steak was cooked well (blue) it did contain a little fat but it was rump,after all. Poor  peas looked and tasted a little sad (probably reheated in the microwave)however the the onion rings were fantastic with proper crispy tasty batter surrounding them.

The Mossbrook Eckington Prawns and Steak

Rump Steak with Prawns & Crispy Onion rings


Then the other plate came with the steak, the WRONG steak it was a ribeye steak and as the waitress pointed out it was more expensive and they would not charge us any extra.  Well to start with it was overcooked there was no sauce which the wife had ordered. Normally we would have sent everything back but pregnant ladies need to eat and when they do they need it now. The only good thing about the plate of food was gourmet chips they were good,.J and his heavily pregnant wife got what they had ordered and commented that they enjoyed it. Nearly forgot as they did, we had to get up and ask for cutlery for our main courses

The Mossbrook Eckington Desserts 

I opted for the cheese board with a nice glass of Rioja.  J and the wife had between them ultimate Chocolate Brownie tower £5.95.

Double brownie layered with caramel and cookie dough. Served with chocolate fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream and it did look rather nice.

The Cheese was presented nicely on a wooden board with celery sticks. Cheese was very good but the biscuits disappointing. I would have been nice to have apples or grapes on the plate. However the Rioja I will be ordering myself a case of that Marques De Riscal Vina Collada Rioja 2010 (6 X 75cl ) I am no wine buff but that was fruity crisp and no after taste of any tannin. So a case for xmas it will be, or even before that.

The Mossbrook Eckington 

Will we be going again ? well we will not be in any hurry to return, the food was ok, the service was pretty poor. The tables were pretty cramped obviously aimed at getting as many people through the door as possible, a little disappointed really

The Mossbrook Eckington Update

We did visit again, it was near the bank holiday and a lot of the pubs were quiet busy.  We just wanted to relax as the good wifey had just spent 3 days roughing it at a guide camp.  She deserved something tasty and warming to eat. The Mossbrook do not do kiddies packs to keep them entertained and we know because we asked. !However  the waiter said give me 5 minutes and he came back with some old menus and some coloured pencils. The kids were sorted, excellent service above and beyond this time. The waiter was also great with the kids asking them lots of questions about what they liked to do at school, favorite food. When the food arrived it was absolutely great. No complaints at all. We will go back again when we have saved up a few pennies

The Brampton Manor Review 

The Coal Car and Grill Review 

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coal Bar and Grill Sheffield

Coal Bar & Grill Sheffield

Well we stumbled across this by accident really, we were due to go out (very rare occasion) with the eldest daughter and boyfriend to physic show in a near by bar but they had no tickets left “Sold Out” nope we didnt see that coming. Anyway we had the babysitter booked (Gran) and its not very often we do get out so we decided to take full advantage and as soon as Gran arrived we left the building. We trundled down the motorway to Meadowhall so we could  do a little window shopping. (I call it window licking as we spend all our money on the kids) After a stroll around the shops we walked around the food part of Meadowhall and out of the many only 3 of them appealed to us.


The Coal was 1 of the 3 that appealed to us and as we have never tried it thought we would give it a go. It was quite obvious from the branding and layout that it was a chain, not always a bad thing but then if its anything like Jamies Italian then its bad as I have been in 3 around the country and they all have been poor, I digress. So we were shown to a table quite near to the semi open kitchen. So far so good.

coal and grill bar



It didn’t take to long to ask if we wanted a drink so as it was the first time in what seemed like an age we order a drink to savour. I ordered a large glass of Rioja with was 5p short of £7 so quite expensive I though, especially when I can get a reasonable bottle for around £5. After a good clout around the head from the wife I got over it and enjoyed the wine gliding down as we perused over the menu.


After a little deliberation we decided to go with the small plate option as I do like to taste as many different things as I can when out. Small plates were either £4.25 for one or £11.95 for 3 so we settled on, Fried Calamari, Warm Chorizo and Red Pepper Houmous hoping that would be more than enough for the two of us. The trio of dishes were served on a triple cake like stand and did look pretty good. It did give it a sense of theater but the top dish was a little to high to see exactly what it was.

  • Fried Calamari
    • With chipotle mayo
    • Very nice indeed, big crispy batter around the calamari and more importantly the calamari was not overcooked and chewy. The mayo had a little edge to it and with a squeeze of lemon (and a pinch of salt) the dish was memorable for all the right reasons
  • Warm Chorizo
    • in garlic oil
    • Well I thought the warm referred to the chorizo as in warm just out of the frying pan, nope NO it did not it must have referred to Warm and Bloody Spicy. The after kick was so much that the wife had 1 piece and then no more. I did battle on and have a few more but it was just a little to hot to enjoy so I wont be having those at Coal again.
  • Red Pepper Houmous
    • with warm flat bread
    • This was the top dish on our trio tower, eventually I took it of there so I could see it (doh yes that simple lift it off the stand) Anyway it was very nice scooped up with little pieces of warm pitta bread. The red pepper taste wasn’t overpowering but just enough to give a well rounded balanced flavour to the dish. A big tick in the box.

The plates were duly cleared away without to much waiting, however after that I wanted another drink but it seemed that everyone was rushing past so fast to pick orders up from the grill and then to the tables that I didnt get a chance to order a drink until the main course was brought to our table.




Choices choices choices, again the menu at the Coal grill looked good for the mains and one of the reasons we parked our bottoms in there. In the end after a little deliberation we decided on Coal’s Famous Firesticks. Yes we went for the diversity of 3 Firesticks for £20.95. Chicken, Beef and Tiger prawns


They served us with our mains, an impressive looking stand with 3 large industrial looking skewers and a flaming hot skillet with chargrilled sweet peppers (only green and not cooked) courgette (only 4 thinly sliced pieces) Mushrooms (can not remember seeing them) Tangy tomato sauce (tasted like plain squeezed tomato puree) and a pile of fire roasted onions, and fired was the word (lots of burnt bits). The Skillet was served on its own tower again a sense of

Chicken Breast and Chorizo
theater but for me it was to high, above the eye line and this was definitely  to hot to put at table level. The skewers were removed one by one from their impressive stand and the waitress wrestled with the meat (and more burnt I mean charred green peppers and onions) and just managed to place it on the warm towering skillet. There was a few times in the wrestling match that I thought the meat would come flying off and hit me in the face but we just manged to avoid 3rd degree burns. Well we did, the waitress burnt her hand on the handle of the giant skewers. I know surprising they were hot after being on a charcoal grill which are food was rapidly cooling as she popped back to get a towel to save the skin on her hands. (perhaps the chefs just heat them a little for their entertainment) Oh nearly forgot a big bowl of chips, I had about 3 of them because there was plenty else to eat.

    • with chipotle mayo
    • All very good and tasty, the meat was succulent and the chorizo wasn’t to bad with the chicken, unfortunate there was only 4 pieces among the ever increasing green pepper pile
  • Prime Chargrilled Beef Rump
    •  with a blue cheese sauce
    • The beef was pretty good 4 pieces but unfortunately the blue cheese sauce was very watery and lacking in taste.
  • Succulent Seared Tiger Prawns
    • with sweet chilli sauce
    • The prawn were juicy tasty and even better when dipped into the chilli sauce, fabtastic.

All in all it was a pleasant and enjoyable experience, the food over all was good, the atmosphere and ambiance agreeable. The staff were all pleasant and presentable and we would probably go back there to eat “BUT” I could not help thinking for the money I could do a better job at home. Loved the concept along with the whole idea but with a few tweaks could be fantastic and I will do it for friends one night with a post dedicated to it on here.

Definitely give Coal Bar & Grill Sheffield a visit,

The Mossbrook eckington 

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F and B Frankie and Bennys

Frankie & Bennys Chesterfield Review

It was a funny old day (03/05/15) Bank Holiday Monday, As it was a 3 day break from work it kinda felt you should be doing something but it was terrible rain in the morning and just miserable. Eventually we dared to leave the house in the afternoon out and we happened across Frankie & Benny’s Chesterfield. Cheer ourselves up with some good food, well that was the intention.

Frankie & Bennys Chesterfield in the door and not very busy great, show straight to the table, all the family has sat down except myself and there wanting to take our drinks orders and any pre-starters. Talk about up-selling my bum hadn’t even touched the seat never mind look at the menu. So we sat down arranged the kids with their play packs and then the waiter was back already. We ordered the garlic cheese bread and our drinks. He then asked if we were ready to order and we explained we hadn’t still looked at the menu so could we have a few more minutes. So he left and never to return again. Eventually after a long 15 minute wait someone came across to take our order.


The Garlic and melting mozzarella turned up a large cheesy garlic pizza, the kids loved it we loved it, it was so nice there wasn’t enough. So far so good now just waiting for the starters to come




I went for the spicy wings with a blue cheese dip. The wings themselves were cooked very well but for me the spicy sauce was just to much for me and spoiled the starter a little bit as my lips were burning all the way through and for about 10 to 15 minutes after. So I wont be having that again. The Mrs had the skins with cheese and bacon, well what can i say its a baked potato with cheese and bacon on it, not particular tasty, just warm and stodgy.


In the distance on the kitchen pass under the warming lights I could see our order all nicely lined up so we cleared the table of the kids play packs and waited, and we waited and waited watching all the waiters just keep passing the plates of food on the pass, after 10 minutes I think the guilt got the better of them and the waiters stopped their chatting and started to send out the orders. Luckily it was not busy or we could have been in for a real long wait.

The Mrs had Grilled Chicken Pitta and take a look below at the picture, I think this is what is supposed to come to the table, unfortunately when it made it our table it wasn’t exactly the same. The wife was kind enough to share some of her main meal. The chicken was very dry and tasteless apart from the sauce that was poured on, it tasted like it was cooked earlier in the day then placed in warm water to remove all the taste of chicken possible along with making it dry and stringy. A few mouthfuls was more than enough for anyone, we did not inflict this on the children and so far no one has been seriously hurt during our visit to Frankie & Benny’s Chesterfield.


Grilled Chicken Pitta

I was going to have the steak and chips but I thought as we were having a treat I would have the 80z sirloin steak. I like my steaks blue and perhaps in hindsight its not the best cut of steak to have blue but hey what could go wrong. There was a slight sear on the steak but apart from that it was very pale. As i cut into it, it was very raw in the middle which is how I like it, it was a shame that the middle of the steak was cold and completely uncooked. I suspect that the grill was not hot enough to sear the outside of the meat and carry a warmth all the way through the meat, I ate most of the meat after I trimmed of all the fat. Disappointingly under seasoned and not worth £10 and defiantly not worth the £16.95 I paid. Not even with the pile of chips, the mushroom (unseasoned) watercress and the poor grilled offering of a tomato.


The kids had the kids menu I know perfect and at £4.25 looks great value,Blue twin had chicken bites, very crispy, that crispy in fact that any 5 year old with above average knife skills would still struggle to cut them in half. I think the professional term for the crispness is “overcooked”

We love kids! We have two delicious menus for kids up to the age of 11, starting from just £4.25 for a main course, a dessert and refillable soft drinks. All of our childrens’ meals come with an optional side of vegetables, side salad or Heinz baked beans – free of charge! Just ask your server. Plus every child gets a fun activity pack with games and puzzles! Free apples available for children!

Pink twin had sausage and mash. There must have been about 3lbs of microwaved mash potato (seriously for a 5 year old) which tasted, well warm stodge. The sausages with a another 30 seconds of cooking would have made perfect drawing implements, charcoal, yes seconds away from being inedible. pink twin did eat them as she was starving and sausage is her favorite food. Oh nearly forgot she also decided to have the vegetable option as well. A few peas and two big pieces of limp broccoli. Broccoli is our eldest favourite veg but it was to limp and cold even for her to eat. The eldest had the cheeseburger and a few pounds of chips as well. The cheeseburger seemed  ok apart from it looked like it had been throw onto the plate by a quarter back from 50 yards across the kitchen.

The Menu page

Frankie and Bennys

F & B Chicken


The service was pretty poor considering that it was empty, when we asked for the kids drinks to be topped up it took over 10 mins, I was going to ask for another drink but they were never at the table long enough to actually ask, they did come to the table to ask if everything was alright and the kids said yes but before we had a chance to voice our opinion the waitress left. Eventually the wife called over the waitress to complain about the diabolical chicken, the rest of us had finished what we had manged to force down by the time she came over, she did say why didn’t you say earlier when I asked and as the wife said you didn’t actually stop long enough for me to tell you it was poor. So of she trotted to tell the manager and on her return she said that that meal would be deducted from our final bill. So after we complained we had 3 visits to the table by staff and not ONE of them actually cleared the plates away. After 15 minutes of waiting with dirty plates on our table we could take no more, we were not even prepared to stay (much to the disappointment of the kids) for the kids ice-cream that was included in their meal.  So off I went to one of the tills (the main chatting point for the staff) and asked to pay for our food. (I think it was the manager) When I was presented with the bill the chicken dish was still on there so I said ” I thought they were taking the chicken dish off” she replied “ok” printed out another receipt without asking why or even if we had enjoyed our meal. Did they care for the customer experience. I  felt like we were more of a hindrance to their little chat club at the till and the fact they are employed to serve the customers probably never enters their heads


We will not be visiting again, after a £5 voucher off and then £10 off for the very poor chicken dish we paid over £50, not a fortune but then again a few quid and I expect a little more in service and certainly  in taste  especially when I can cook much better at home for less then a quarter of the cost. Mass made food, probably cooked by boil in the bag cooks. Promises so much but delivers so little.

Places To Eat In Chesterfield Tickled Trout . Bottle Thyme are  great host and have great food.  If you are far afield and like Fish and Chips try Rick Steins in Padstow 

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Brampton manor review

The Brampton Manor Review

The Brampton Manor was renowned for its posh middle class dining many years ago.

It was a last minute decision on a Friday night to book a table at the Brampton Manor on a Saturday for 6 PM. Yes I know its rather early but some of us have to occasional work on a Sunday.  Luckily it wasn’t me andI was looking forward to a little gastronomical indulgence. Brampton Manor 5.30pm as we pulled up the drive the sun was shining.

starters Brampton Manor

Bread with Balsamic and pesto & Bread with Hummus and Olives

As we parked the car and strolled up to the Brampton Manor the first thing that struck me was the noise. mainly from all the kids playing outside on the climbing frame and generally running around everywhere, we had luckily secured our favorite trusted baby sitter (my Mum) for a few hours and the last thing I wanted to see was pesky shouting kids, I suppose the good weather has its positive and negative influences, I suppose that you have to let the kids out of the cage occasionally. Irresponsible parents leaving their kids to run havoc around strangers, but that’s a rant I will save for another day.


Bar at Brampton Manor Chesterfield

Limited bar space at the Brampton Manor

It was pretty packed and we walked in and waited to be seated, they asked if we would like to sit outside, why not a glorious day so the ladies went to the table why we got the drinks at the bar, for such a big building the bar space was somewhat limited and we did have to wait for a while. Eventually we did get served around £20 for a large glass of white Chardonnay, large glass of Rose (for those who cant decide) 1 Pint of cider and 1 pint of Perroni, not cheap but not extortionate.



Brampton Manor Chicken and Chorizo

Chicken and Chorizo

Walking outside into the warm sunny glow I thought what a pleasant night this should be, but then I noticed the large upside down plant pot on the table as an ashtray and a number on it. A number can only mean one thing, bar service, so form posh to basically self service another little disappointment. (a silent grrr under my breath as I don’t want to appear to much of a snob in-front of friends). A quick perusal through the menu (an old clipboard with single pages clipped on there, can not decide if its trendy,chic or crass and common.)  There was quite a few choices on there and in the heat of the night I wasn’t sure if i wanted a full meal so I was happy to see a selection of sharing boards,


Inside it looked very small compared to its vast exterior, We could only see one small bar space witch at times was probably 4 deep with people waiting to be served (yes you had to order your food there as well) It was some what tired in places but then had some new modern seating,dinning areas. The exterior was very tired and in need of a good lick of paint and general tarting up but we were here for the food.


Inside brampton Manor

Newly furnished Interior Brampton Manor


We walked back into the bar and eventually when we wrestled our way to the front and began our order and then we were told that food would be at least an hour (so booking a table for 6 pm was pointless, and very misleading, might as well be a brewers fayre.  Dissapointment and a silent grumble again. Ah well the sun was still shining so a large glass of Rijoa was in order to sip whilst the food was being cooked.

  • Manor Tapas £15 / £8Stuffed Field Mushroom with Goats Cheese, Pan Fried Chorizo and Patatas Bravas, Bruschetta with Brie and a Basil Pesto, Breaded Calamari with Garlic Mayonnaise and an Olive and Sunblushed Tomato Salad with a Wholegrain Mustard Dressing

  • Cajun chicken breast £10.95 

    • Served with Tomato, Field Mushroom, Onion Rings, Homemade Chips & Dressed Leaf
  • Chorizo & Chicken £6.95 X 2 Strips of Chicken Pan Fried with Chriozo & Topped with a Pesto Mayo

    • A Choice White Rustic Ciabatta or Sunblush Tomato Focaccia. All Served with Dressed Leaves and Slaw. Add Chunky Chips for Just £2

This was for 4 people along with a few snacks

Nibbles: Seletion of Breads with Balsamic & Olive Oil £3.50 Additional Portions £2.00 Warm Bread Hummus & Olives £4.50 Additional Portions £2.00

We had one bread with balsamic and olive oil, and 1 bread and hummous

The Brampton Manor Full Menu


Manor Tapas

Manor Tapas


Well after expecting an hour for the food we went back to the front line which was the mini bar area, this time we opted for a Malbec (sorry a little disappointing and expensive), upon returning back to our table outside, it was there “the food” it was only 30 mins since we ordered but the ladies were well on there way munching into the delights. (grrrr).

The Breads and bits at the Brampton, bread not bad at all, tomato infused. The pesto was fresh tangy and very tasty so I had quite a lot of that. The olives were very nice, mild and non offensive, even the non olive lovers said they enjoed them, I think it was to the brine they came in taking away any harshness of flavour. The balsamic vinegar was very thick, gooey and stick, I think they had reduced it a little in a hot pan but what did delight was the after taste of walnuts ( I will be trying to make that at home very soon) THE HUMMUS !!!! well the colour looked a little odd to

The Brampton Manor Review Chesterfield

Side order Onion rings Brampton Manor

start with but the taste was buttery,creamy lushness, moreish and quite velvety. Well worth the visit alone. The Cajun chicken was very tasty but bordering on the dry. The chicken and chorizo looked very scrummy but I didn’t have the privilege of trying any (You know who you are and if you read this please think on and give me a nible next time).  My dish the Tapas !! well the mushroom with goats cheese was simple and averagely tasty.  The Bruschetta with brie was tasty but a little grumble as I would have liked the cheese all over the bread and not just the middle. Potato Bravas, tasty but it seemed like they had new potatoes and chorizo, put them in a pan at the last minute and reheated them., ideally they should have been steeping together for a long time to allow the flavour to infuse into the spuds. Salad and mustard dressing was ok. CALAMARI very very nice indeed, crispy on the outside soft and flavorsome on the inside with a garlicky mayonnaise.

Brampton Manor Review


After the ups and downs at The Brampton Manor we will be visiting again, we are even thinking of going in December for Christmas dinner. A very pleasant night out, not overly expensive and the food was very tasty.

The Mossbrook Eckington

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Fish and Chips Rick Stein


Rick Stein Fish And Chips

This may not come under the strictest of terms for a cheap dinner idea as it was a little expensive but fish and chips is no longer cheap,espeically Rick’s Chips anywhere. Anyway we’re away in Cornwall in October / November and its no surprise to us that the weather is a little cold, wet, windy and dismall, after all it is the UK and even our summers are that way. So to break the day up and try the weather somewhere else along the coastline its off to Padstow and off course as a treat we tell the kids were having Rick Stein fish and chip.I know the kids(twins 3 eldest with us 7) haven’t got a clue who Rick Stein is. One of the kids kept shouting from the back ” Yeah Ricks chips” . The treat was of course for us grown up types having fish and chips at the seaside.


The fish and chip shop (10), the restaurant (10)(fish and chips) and the Stein Deli (12) are next to the Padstow Cookery School (11) and

9) and they are all located on Riverside at Padstow.Yes you have just walked into Stein world, no kidding his other shops and restaurants are in the town as well. I will let you tick off the rest of the numbers on the map that belong to Mr Stein

rick stein map of area

The queue for the restaurant was at least 20 deep but the queue for the takeaway was only a mere 6/7 deep. The fish and chips are made in the same fryer for both the takeaway and the restaurant so it gets a little bit hectic behind there. I have a secret, I know why the queue is so long for the restaurant side, seats! yes seats as there is no benches outside at all so the only place to sit is on the floor next to the harbour wall to sit and enjoy your fish and chips. At the end of this post I will share a secret location where you can find some benches that are usually always empty.


Hold tight and please sit down before fully examining the menu as it is expensive and a real treat which we would only perhaps in every one to two years. Ready ! go on take a look
Rick Steins Fish and Chips_TAKEAWAY_Menu


We went for the Cod and chips thrice,for the adults with 2 lots of mushy peas and a helping of the tartare sauce. The kids one portion of chips and a portion of cod bites (which come with chips) and a round of bread and butter. Yes a hefty price but was it worth it ? . Well the kids devoured theirs including the cod bites and that was the first time they had fish in batter (no fish fingers don’t really count). The adult portion comes in a little cardboard box as above with a slice of lemon and a sprig of parsley for the posh touch. The chips were just okey as some were a little hard and undercooked. The fish (Cod, I prefer the chunky meaty texture of cod) was absolutely gorgeous deep fried in beef fat and the home made tartare sauce was a delight which enhanced the flavour of the fish, oh nearly forgot and best you don’t forget, squeeze that lemon on the fish as that lifts the flavours and intensity of the fish. The mushy peas(added salt n vinegar) were pretty good as well and all in all everyone enjoyed the experience Worth the money ! well just about and the next time we

Rick Stein Secret Benches

Quiet benches to eat your fish and chips in peace

pass that way we will share a portion between us as there was plenty and we just happened to stuff it all in as it was delicious.

Oh the secret eating area, leave Rick Stein Fish And Chips shop walk straight ahead until you can walk no further then turn right and walk along past the bike hire place keep walking past the car park and you will come across 4 benches that are usually empty as no one goes that way, everyone else goes in the opposite direction to the town of Padstow,its less than 5 minutes walk and the fish and chips have been freshly cooked so its all still piping hot to eat.


Rick Stein Fish And Chips is now available in Falmouth and I am sure its as delicious as the one in Padstow.


Rick Steins latest cookbooks 

Rick Stein Fish And Chips, did you think it was worth the money

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