With an abundance of public parks, countryside views and the Peak District right on our doorstep there are a lot of options if you’re looking for a country pub out in the sticks serving great food, fine ales and offering a nice roaring fire.
One such destination pub well worth a visit is the Admiral Rodney that sits nestled in the scenic Loxley Valley.
The pub’s location means it can be enjoyed in equal measure across all seasons.
The front-facing beer garden is a perfect place to sit and idle away an afternoon while nursing a pint or two of ice cold cider and marvelling at the rolling hills.
Likewise in autumn or winter the pub is a perfect place sit back and relax while watching the burning embers dance away in the grand fireplace.
The decor is pleasant, looks recently refurbished and has a bit of a maritime theme – unusual for a country pub two hours from the sea in either direction.
This unusual link with the high seas obviously derives from the man whom the pub is named after – George Brydges Rodney following his defeat of the French in the Battle of Saintes in the West Indies during the American war of Independence in 1782.
It may seem strange to name the pub after someone who had no connection with Sheffield but this derives from a tradition dating back centuries in which pubs up and down the country were named after our naval heroes – regardless of whether they had a link to the place or not.
The pub has a long history itself in the area and the current incarnation was built in the 1950s, next to the site of another pub called The Rodney that had been open for decades.
Now, onto the most important bit – the food.
We took advantage of the Valentine’s menu offering three courses for £24.95 per person.
For the starter, we shared a melting Camembert topped with sesame seeds, drizzled with truffle oil and honey, served with sourdough to dip and an apricot and ginger chutney.
Wow, what a way to start.
The cheese was baked to perfection and we made sure the plate was empty, using the warmed bread to soak up every last bit.
Onto the main, and I opted for the house burger topped with spiked maple-glazed pulled beef brisket, streaky bacon, a mature Cheddar cheese sauce, red onion and mayo served with homemade onion rings and triple cooked chips.
The burger was well done – just how I like it – but the brisket on top of the patty made the difference here. If you like beef burgers, then topping it with more meat is always going to be a winning combination.
We couldn’t decide what to have for desert so defaulted to the trio of tasters in order to put an end to our indecisiveness.
The vanilla crème brûlée, double chocolate brownie and lemon meringue roulade was a taste sensation.
We washed down this combination of very rich food with a refreshing sauvignon blanc from South Africa, aptly named Secret Admirer, that was bursting with tropical fruit flavours.
The pub is definitely what you would call an ‘eating place’ and the venue pretty much emptied out by about 10pm once diners had indulged in the culinary delights from the kitchen.
For those wishing to stick around and enjoy a night cap there are plenty of comfortable sofas and wingback chairs to lounge in across in the bar area.