Aldin Grange – acid test for vegetarians

Not even the fact that the Australian typhoon had apparently crossed half the planet in a matter of days could detract from a splendid visit to Aldin Grange Lakes last Friday.

As unfavourable as conditions seemed, given the combination of Biblical winds and a fishery so high, you’re looking down on Durham Cathedral, it was a mercifully mild gale and one which failed to blow the sun away until late in the afternoon.

So lines were cast and fish caught but none of it could detract from lunch and the day’s undoubted highlight.

Tacked onto a cattle farm, Aldin Grange has grown since Trout Fisherman‘s last visit and its lodge now incorporates a cafe and a butcher’s shop that would grace any high street. Meat rules here – see the beast in the field Monday, be eating it by Wednesday, is the proud boast – and after sampling the steak pie, I can confirm that you’re getting the pick of the carcass.

Eating a piece of Aldin Grange ham reminded me of the time I tried real ale in earnest; a Damascene experience over a period of several weeks that opened my eyes to the drivel that spews from most ‘mainstream’ taps in British pubs.

This was ham like I’d never tasted before. Ham that you savoured. Reflected upon. And I suspect you won’t find its like in any supermarket.

If you can spend a day here and still be content with lentils and pasta, then wear your badge with pride; you truly are veggie to the core.


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