Ten of us met at the ice cream farm on what promised to be a glorious summers day. By consensus the Black Lion at Ellesmere was selected as the lunch destination and the group consisting of Bryan, Steve, Dave H, Tom, Petar, George, and Trevor set off with Dave & Liz on tandem leading. The initial route followed the lanes used by the Vets Hundred via Tilston, Threapwood and Tallarn Green to pick the A539 for a short distance past the turning for the Hanmer Arms which proved too much of a temptation for Bryan who had ridden to the start in the morning and had enough miles in his legs to satisfy him for the day. Very shortly after the group dived into the lanes again to head south for Ellesmere with one or two sharp climbs on the way.
The Black Lion in the centre of Ellesmere (not to be confused with the red lion another good pub on the outskirts of Ellesmere) lived up to its reputation for substantial good quality food at a reasonable price and good ales that we enjoyed under the sunshades out in the fresh air.
The route back took a short ride north on the A528 before turning right at the 1st junction heading for Penley via beautiful lanes and another steep climb. Keeping to the lanes we headed north via Hollybush, Worthenbury and Shocklach where those not wishing to stop for afternoon coffee at Hildegard’s pushed on directly to home, leaving six of us to enjoy the usual hospitality and banter at Hildegard’s in the hot afternoon sunshine.
The tandem pair and Dave H meandered back to The Ice Cream Farm to pick up their cars leaving those who had ridden to the start to head directly for home.
A glorious day for sunshine and scenery and good company. Black Lion rating – very good. Price is a reasonable £8 full size mains – half size meals available at reduced price. The steak and kidney pie lived up to its promise of being big enough for 2 but I did manage it all with a struggle.
Total distance 49 miles to and from the Ice Cream Farm.