THIS was a weekend for eating and drinking rather than walking. A covering of ice on the car and a threat of snow on the ground made us think twice about striding out around Newmillerdam near Wakefield.
It’s a shame it wasn’t a degree or two warmer for the Lakeside Path (30 minutes) or the Causeway Route (30 minutes) would have set us up nicely for a pint and a bite to eat at this rather underrated pub.
I’ve been here before a couple of times and always thought it to be good value, especially for the carvery which is two for £11 before 8.30pm. Not only is it affordable but it’s excellent in quality too.
This pub isn’t perfect, though, and news that some titivation is on the way is welcome. It closes on Sunday January 21 at 6.30pm and is due to open again on February 8.
It is already a neat, imposing building, full of character but perhaps a tasteful revamp will be welcome. I for one will await the new-look Dam Inn with interest. As it was, we were booked in for 6.30pm on a Saturday night and we – my wife and I and two friends - beat the rush. It’s a substantial pub with plenty of space. It’s on the busy Barnsley Road, just a few yards from the dam itself and close to one or two decent restaurants and pubs.
Now one of my bugbears about pub restaurants is when they don’t have what’s on the menu. Surely, if you have popular items listed it doesn’t take too much forethought to make sure you don’t run out. Sadly, this establishment failed us twice. I felt quite sorry for the waitress. Whoever was to blame, it surely wasn’t her fault. And it wasn’t late in the day – were arrived at 6.30pm.
French onion soup? It’s all gone, she said, so that was three of our starters sunk before we had begun. One of our friends went for carrot and coriander soup (£3.79) as an alternative and my wife and I shared nachos. Now the soup was fine, but the nachos (£6.49) were less than impressive. This was meant to be a sharing platter but to be honest one of us could have demolished it without too much trouble. It was tasty and well presented but not enough of it.
Never mind, the main courses more than made up for it. One of our friends had the carvery (£6.95), which was excellent. A choice of turkey, beef or gammon and all the trimmings. We also had beef pie (£10.49) made with shortcrust pastry with chips and peas; my wife had a rump steak (£10.49) and I had the turkey, gammon and leak pie (£6.49) with the biggest puff pastry lid I have ever seen. The steak was the best choice - the meat was lean and tasty and it came with mushrooms, tomatoes, chips and salad.
Our meals were washed down with pints of Barnsley pale ale (£3.60) and four glasses of a rather remarkable pino grigiot (£5.50 for 250ml and £3.80 for 125ml), bringing the bill to £76.75.
Address: 669 Barnsley Road, Newmillerdam, Wakefield.
Telephone: 01924 255625