Full marks to the steak and ale pie at the Wheatsheaf in Old Glossop, it took me back to the very first Freshwalks when this was the final destination. Superb piece of work.
No complaints about Nandos in Stockport either. But it's just a Nando's, right?
Antonios in Ashton was a real surprise. No disrespect to Ashton town centre, but this was a quality Italian and a cut above what I expected. I anticipated Pellicci and got a neighbourhood Piccolino. My canneloni was rich in tomato flavour, the garlic bread of similarly high quality to Rudi's Pizza, and it was a lovely friendly atmosphere. It stood up nicely next to actual Piccolino, where I was delighted to be asked back and I hope we can do some business with my host after our excellent calamari, followed by chicken and gnocci. It's slightly busting the budget rules though.
Also in the foody hot spot of Ashton was the absolute beast of a Morroccan / Lebanese mezze platter from Mozaic. On any other month it would absolutely smash this competition out of the park. But it was a cold draughty day and though the food warmed us up, it wasn't as transformational as this month's close run winner.
The lunch of the month was actually an all day full Derbyshire breakfast from the Old Hall Hotel in Hope at the end of a glorious Freshwalks sunrise walk. 20 of us arrived and were served promptly, efficiently and with great humour. The bacon was thick and cured, just as I like it, the eggs done to perfection with deep pools of warm yoke to dip the sausage and black pudding into. The oatcake was a curve ball, if I'm honest, but gave it that point of difference for the local twist.
Maybe I'm also slightly biased, because I've had breakfast on my mind this week as Dave Angel reminds us all that pancakes are on Shrove Tuesday, with lemon, and sugar. And that a full English is the one thing at which we rule the world.
Well done everyone.