Hubby and I got to talking on our walk yesterday morning. What am I saying? Of course, we did – that’s the whole point of walking 5kms along a path at 6am every morning with him.
At the moment, just a few days away from leaving, the discussion is all about our trip. What needs to be packed, what needs to be on the list (he says it as if I have one), what I still need to arrange, the things that have to be finished off here before we go, instructions for our house-sitters in case the gas bottles run out or the pool needs back-washing or… yadda yadda yadda.
Yesterday though we got to talking about food – more specifically the surprisingly memorable meals on our last trip in November/December 2015.
When I say surprisingly it was because the meals that we remembered the most weren’t necessarily enjoyed in the nicest settings or had the best service or were the most expensive. They were memorable for other reasons.
And, because I’m stuck for something to write about this Thursday, and I know there’s a few of you out there who love a good foodie post (you know who you are), I’ll share them with you.
The scrambled eggs at The Star B&B in Burford. Oh, my heavens these were incredible. Cooked slooooooowly these creamy eggs were finished with smoked trout from Bibury. Plus, the breakfast room had uneven stone floors that drove Grant mad because it made the table a tad unstable. And the owner’s cocker spaniel (a proper field spaniel not a “show” cocker spaniel like our Kali) was circling beside the table in the opposite direction to the way that Kali circles. We thought it might be something like how water spirals down the drain in a different direction in the southern hemisphere to how it does in the north.
The parsnip pear and ginger soup at The Hare And Hounds just outside Fossebridge – the first of many variations of parsnip soup I was to have over the next 6 weeks.
The oysters at Borough Markets. Sure, this was a memorable oyster moment – much like the first time I tried Bluff oysters in Queenstown – but it was more about the fact that we were sitting outside in the cold, at 10am, drinking prosecco with a friend who’d come over from Lille in France to spend time with us.
This pie in York. In my humble opinion square pies taste better, but this was an accidental pie because the pub I really wanted to eat at (by the river) was under water due to floods and it seemed as though every other pub in town was full – because of university graduations that were taking place.
The lasagne at The Mermaid in Burford. Sarah still talks about this lasagne and apparently, it’s better than the one I make. #hardtobelieve
The lunch at Glenfiddich in Scotland. Grant had haggis, I had Cullen skink (a chowder made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions) and Sarah had smoked salmon.
Everything was amazing. There was a fire burning in the grate, and the women’s bathroom had its own lounge and fire too (below right).
Lunch at Rick Stein’s Bistro in Padstow – or should that be Padstein? The town was ridiculously busy on account of a good food show and Christmas festival and Santa Fun Run. Grant pushed through the crowd (my hero) and asked if there was a chance of a table. He left my number and we all thought nothing would come of it, but then came the call. The food was good, but nothing special, but this was all about eating in a Rick Stein restaurant when all indications were that we wouldn’t.
The Chinese restaurant in a pub in a village (whose name I can’t remember) just outside Chester. When we walked into this place it was like a scene out of Deliverance. Everyone stopped to look at us. That was when we noticed that everyone was eating their dishes (not sharing) with knives and forks and bowls of chips on the side. Beef and black bean with a side of fries. We asked the server if she minded if we shared and her eyes lit up. ‘Do you want bowls?’ she asked. ‘And chopsticks?’ With each answer, her smile was getting wider. When I commented that there was egg foo yong on the menu she sat down to chat about her home in Malaysia.
Hilariously all eyes were on us as we shared our dishes and ate them from small bowls with chopsticks and not a chip in sight.
The fish and chips at Lyme Regis. Those of you who know your Jane Austen will recognise this place from “Persuasion”. We huddled on a stone seat out of the wind as massive seagulls soared noisily around us.
Cawdor Inn in the Scottish Highlands a few miles outside of Nairn and about 15 miles outside of Inverness. If you’re into Shakespeare you’d know that Cawdor has associations with Macbeth (sorry, the Scottish play). What made it memorable was the snappy broccoli and fresh vegetables cooked as they should be cooked, the way we liked them cooked.
The leeky mac cheese at Mohr Fish in Callender in the Trossachs in Scotland. Sure the mac cheese was great and Sarah finally got her fried mars bar, but what made this special was the chat with the chef about mac cheese and variations on it, a grinch wandering up and down the high street as part of their Christmas festival, and the sleet and rain coming down outside.
What about you? What are the meals you remember when you’re travelling?