THERE must be some kind of special sensor at the Ferryhill House Hotel because whenever I set foot in its beer garden the sun magically disappears in an instant.
Even in my fortnight off work, when I figured I’d get at least one afternoon of sipping ice-cold beer in the sun, the weather was less balmy and more baltic.
When we arrived at the Ferryhill, the sun most definitely had its hat on, but within minutes of taking our seats outside the clouds rolled in and we started ending every fifth sentence with the words: “Is it spitting?”
Hip hip hip hooray.
Fortunately the clouds did have a silver lining, because moving inside meant we could take advantage of their eclectic dinner menu.
I say eclectic because it clearly seems to want to cater to all possible tastes, be it Thai, Mexican, Italian, Scottish, African or Cajun.
To start I went for the Thai crayfish salad (£5.35). While the seafood was succulent and moist, the dressing had no zingy oomph (something of an accomplish-ment given that it contained lime, chilli, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and coriander).
My wife went for crispy filo-wrapped tiger prawns (£5.45) which certainly weren’t lacking in the taste department, as they came accompanied by a jalapeno jelly.
She let me taste one – but I could have easily finished the lot. By the time our main courses arrived, the weather sensor must have been tripped again because the sunlight was now pouring through the window. Typical.
Electing to put my healthy eating plan on the backburner for another week/five months,
I plumped for battered haddock and chips for main course (£9.95). Any guilt I might have harboured went out the window the second I tasted it.
Golden batter, soft, moist fish, tangy tartar sauce, crispy chips and, best of all, not a trace of grease.
Why can’t all fish suppers taste this good?
My wife was also impressed with her chosen fish – rock turbot (£12.95) – but was less enamoured with the accompanying puy lentils and pesto cream sauce.
She felt the cream and pesto combo tarnished what had been a perfectly cooked piece of fish.
As we prepared to leave, surprise surprise, the heavens opened once again and quashed our beer garden plans for good. But even that couldn’t take the shine off the very reasonable bill – £43 including a couple of soft drinks and a couple pints.