It has been a while since we took a trip to the end of the line on the Tram so we rode up to Hucknall to see what we could find for supper. It turned out that The Pilgrim Oak was the place to be on a Friday night. The pub name is apparently linked to Lord Bryon somewhat circuitously as you may or not know Lord Byron was buried in the nearby St Mary’s Church in Hucknall in 1824 and Byron’s ancestral home was at Newstead Abbey which is near Hucknall. There was a famous tree called ‘The Pilgrims Oak which once stood outside Newstead Abbey, and it is after that tree that the pub was named. I told you it was a bit circuitous! It was said that the monks at the Priory fed the poor and that “Each week 14 loaves and seven flagons of ale were set aside for the poor” and that “each day flesh and fish enough for one man had to be given away”. Now that I have read that the pub name makes a bit more of a story.
It was another Wetherspoons and another Friday night, it also happened to be Fish Friday and although I was slightly doubtful as to the outcome of this venture I put my £5.99 on the table (Table 14 to be precise) and ordered the daily special. To be honest while I am usually quite rude about eating in Chain pubs, I had seen this deal leaflet on a number of other Fridays (late on in the evening) and had been curious to see if the food would be anywhere near the way that it looked in the picture. I had said that if I found myself in this particular chain early enough on a Friday and we hadn’t eaten then I would roll the dice and see what fate dealt me. So on this particular occasion as I supped my rather good pint of beer from the Nottingham Brewery I was reminded of that fact, so I kept my word and gave it a whirl.
What can I say? Well? It was pretty good value for the price for £5.99, you got a plate of Fish, Chips and Peas with a pot of Tartar sauce (sadly no slice of bread and butter though). You also were entitled to a drink as part of the deal, now I could have had a pint of one of the beers on special, but instead I had a glass of Gin and Tonic. Seemed to be a good idea at the time (and it still was). As for the quality, well maybe I was unlucky but my Fish seemed to have spent just a little bit too long in the fryer and the frozen peas had spent a bit too long defrosting as well. The Chips? well they were one side of cheap and cheerful. I did get enough to eat and with the drink thrown in I wasn’t too disappointed as I honestly didn’t expect too much more from the experience. In the interests of fairness I am going to try the Fish Fryday special at a different Wetherspoons on a different Friday, just for quality control comparison purposes and not just as it is a good cheap deal and that there could be some beer or gin involved.
I wasn’t sure but I kind of felt that I had the last laugh on the table as Martin my erstwhile accomplice on many a food hunt occasion through Nottingham, Chicago and New Orleans decided to just have a the bacon cheeseburger with chips. I can honestly say that the plate arrived as pictured. Those are not large chips and the burger really was that size and the number of chips was as pictured. It was almost a diet burger and chips and I did question if he had ordered off the Children’s menu by mistake. Martin did say that it was quite tasty though. At least it was an honest plate, usually all of that empty space would have been reserved for some sort of unloved side salad.
Thinking about it there was probably just about “flesh and fish enough for one man’ so those merry monks had fulfilled there end of the bargain.
All in all we saw that there was life at the end of the line and most of that seemed to be in The Pilgrim Oak. Located at 44-46 High Street it is another member of the Wetherspoons family. It is about a 10 minute walk from the Tram stop onto the high street.