What our mystery diner thought of The Boat Inn, Cromford

The Boat Inn, Cromford
The Boat Inn, Cromford

A hearty selection of home-cooked dishes - but are they any good?

I do love a good pub theme night - and on this dank March evening there seems no better culinary prospect than to head for a regular special at the Boat Inn, Cromford - Monday’s Pie & Pint night.

Pie night

Pie night

I’ve not had the pleasure of visiting this eatery before - it’s tucked away on Scarthin, just off the main market place.

However, it’s clear to see why the owners describe it as ”Cromford’s Best Kept Secret” on entering as most of the tables are full and we feel relieved to have booked ahead.

The traditional decor and beamed ceilings scream “proper pub” and we’re soon settled in leafing through a varied home-cooked menu offering hearty treats such as Smoked Haddock Rarebit, Cumberland Sausage and Mash alongside lighter, veggie and kids options.

But after craving some pie goodness in the hours before my visit, it’s difficult to sway my choice now an I opt for the steak and onion in red wine sauce, washed down with a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord Ale.

My dining partner opts for the Cumberlands, straying rebelliously from the theme.

During the short wait for our fare to arrive, we notice there are also curry and steak nights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, along with quiz nights and regular live weekend entertainment and were already starting to make plans for a return visit in the summer to bring in the dog and take a stroll along the High Peak Trail.

The view of the mill pond on a sunny day with a pint from the beer garden would also be a sight to behold.

It’s not long before we’re presented with the object of my desires, a ballooning light pastry covered pie which is rich and filled with tender cuts alongside chips and peas.

I devour the dish rather inelegantly and am soon sitting upright groaning for extra room in my belly as I mourn its loss.

The slender £8.95 bill for my pie and pint, however, helps my contentedness avoid turning to indigestion and I’m wondering why I spend so many weeknights cooking when there is value and quality such as this on the doorstep.

Verdict: Eight stars out of ten