“ Address: The Three Horseshoes, Long Lane, Dalbury Lees, Nr Ashbourne, Derbys, DE6 5BJ „
Three Horseshoes Pub, Long Lane Village near Ashbourne, Derbyshire
WHERE IS THE PUB?
This village pub is just six miles north west of Derby and about 5 miles from Ashbourne but is off the main road and right on Long Lane which the village is named after.
This pub is just a few miles from our village and is one we go to regularly as they have a quiz every Tuesday which we love. Apart from our weekly visit we do go and enjoy meals there e from time to time too as it just has a really lovely friendly, true English pub atmosphere about it.
A BIT ABOUT THE PUB AND VILLAGE
This pub is unusual in that it is owned by the village and this is probably why there is such a lovely atmosphere in the place. A few years ago they were going to close it and the village residents and customers clubbed together to buy the place. The pub dates back to 1750 and was originally a grain store and beer was brewed there for the Blacksmith shop next door.
Long Lane Village is rather lucky in many ways as it still has its little village school; ours closed way back in the late 60s. Children go to this school who do not live in the village as their parents like the village atmosphere. It is a strange village in that in spreads along quite a busy thoroughfare. It is only a lane but it leads to several villages that have no other access to main roads so it does get a fair bit of traffic. The road called Long Lane is actually an old Roman road and is typical of these roads in that it is very straight. However despite this they not only have kept their school but also still have their village pub as a real pub where you can go for a drink. Sadly our local pub has become a restaurant so that local people rarely go in there for a drink as there is nowhere to sit.
This pub has kept its true village pub atmosphere and clientele and is open daily for drinks and it also serves food from 12.00 to 6.00 pm daily. The evening menu is served from Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm. On Sunday the lunch menu is served and not the evening menu. On Tuesday as I have mentioned there is a quiz from 8pm and then you get a small plate of chips or pasta with a hotpot type meal usually a spicy sausage casserole which is really tasty.
THE QUIZ NIGHT
There are no fixed team sizes and sometimes we go as a four, sometimes as a team of six and sometimes we split into boys and girls and play as two teams of three depending on the numbers. The cost is £1 a head. The quiz is varied and fun and the atmosphere is just that, fun not bitchy or unpleasant. The winning team gets a gallon of ale which is actually a card with eight stamps on it and you can have beer, wine or soft drinks, one per stamp. The losing team gets a bottle of Babycham as a booby prize. As part of your £1 you get the plate of food as well. The £1s are all put into a pot and at the end of the quiz a ticket is drawn out and that person gets to play "Play Your Cards Right" or higher than lower than with a giant set of cards. The jackpot for that has been as high as £350 but we have never had any luck with this part of the night. We do quite often win the gallon of ale though and we are most competitive when we split our group into two teams!
The atmosphere is friendly which is helped by the quiz master who is witty and gives great clues if you are listening. The evening usually ends just after ten which is perfect as we have been to some quizzes where they drag on towards midnight which is hard work. The music round is always a big challenge to us and we either do really well or make a complete hash of it depending on who has chosen the music.
THE DINNER MENU
The food served in the evening is excellent quality while still managing to maintain the price to a reasonable level and keep the pub atmosphere. The service is once again efficient and friendly without being in your face and fussy.
The food is usually served in a room off the main bar which has about five tables in it but you can choose to eat where ever you like. There is usually a lovely open fire in the main bar area while the restaurant area is warm but there is no fire which can get rather too hot if you are sitting next to it.
The last time we went I had 'Sea in a jar' or something similar which was a seafood cocktail with crayfish and prawns served with sauce and salad in a Kilner jar which was novel. It was really fresh and tasty and not as hard to eat from as I thought it might be. I was tempted with the garlic prawns but was going out the next day in public so thought I better not! Others tried the Moules marinere, a pate and a black pudding dish and all were happy with their choices and each was beautifully presented. We all guzzled the fresh bread that came before the starters too.
My husband chose the fish and chips with fish done in a beer batter and it was huge, it barely fitted on the plate. I had a sea bream pan fried with lovely fresh steamed vegetables. The steak looked good as did the pork fillet which were the dishes chosen by our friends.
As well as the printed menu there is always a 'specials' board. No one chose anything from that on this occasion but we have in the past and they are just as tasty as the menu options.
Normally we don't go for three courses but it was my birthday so I had to check out what was there. Most of the desserts come in the pudding category and are therefore quite filling. You get options such a Bakewell pudding, apple crumble, Sticky Toffee pudding and the like. Sadly there was no crème Brule (I shall have to suggest they put that on the menu before we go again) so I ended up choosing a selection of ice creams as I wanted something sweet but refreshing rather than too filling. My husband went for a cheese platter while others had the Bakewell pudding and a chocolate pudding option.
I think if I had to be critical I would say the deserts are not my thing. They are too much like home cooked comfort food. I like fresher lighter options but this is a farming community and the men do like their traditional English puddings so they are catering for their customers I suppose.
We haven't been for a lunch on Sunday or otherwise but if the evening menu is anything to go by then it will be good. The bill for four of us with three courses and a couple of drinks each was about £85 which I think is very good for the sort of food and service we had. We didn't use our free drinks cards either!
If you are the Ashbourne area then i would strongly recommend finding your way out to this lovely local village pub. The staff are always really friendly and welcoming and there is always a lovely cosy atmosphere in the place. In summer you can sit out on the grass in front of the pub as there are several tables with umbrellas out there. There is also a marquee at the back and they cater for functions. They have fairly regular hog roasts there at weekends especially in the summer. We haven't managed to get to one yet but often see the notices advertising them when we are there.
I believe that the chef and others who work at the pub have an outside catering business with the hog roasts and you hire them for functions.
This pub gets my whole hearted recommendation as a lovely friendly place with really tasty fresh home cooked food.
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