Lovely local lunch – Salthouse Clevedon

On boy do I enjoy simple, well cooked food! Just had a lovely lunch with Alec, Blanche and Rex at the Salthouse in Clevedon.

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Lovely pub nestled into Church Hill Clevedon, just beside the Marine Lake.

I had a beef and shiraz stew with dumplings, the boys had beef and Ale pie and Blanche went for scampi and chipe. Not a complaint amongst the three of us and I don’t know when I’ve had such a lovely winter dish as my stew.

Great atmosphere and friendly service. Really – what more can you ask for?

 

Out and about in Bradford on Avon and Clifton

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I’ve had a lovely Easter weekend, thank you for asking, with my son, daughter and daughter’s boyfriend visiting. We picked them up in Bristol on Saturday afternoon, and following a beautiful sunny walk along the Clevedon seafront enjoyed a pint at the Moon and Sixpence followed by a delicious meal at Junior Poon’s on Hill Road. Strolled home under a star-lit sky, chatting all the while.

On Sunday we headed out towards Bradford on Avon, although the weather forecast was less promising than we had hoped. However, the road over the Mendip’s was gloriously misty and atmospheric, and we saw the herds of goats used to crop the plants on the cliffs that otherwise would overwhelm the natural rare species and character of the gorges. I hadn’t been to Bradford on Avon before, even though one of my ancestors was born in the town, and I must say I loved it. I have included just a couple of photos to give an idea of the character of the place, but it is just lovely. The same golden stone that you see in Bath, interesting shops, and great walks, boat rides and cycling along and in the Kennet and Avon canal.  It poured with rain, so we dived into a very quaint coffee house for shelter and refreshments. Then we drove back to Clevedon via Bath and Bristol.

This morning we popped into Clifton across the beutiful suspension bridge, parked up and spent sometime strolling around Clifton village. My son had to head off to Temple Meads for his train, but the rest of us had lunch on the pub terrace at the Avon Gorge Hotel overlooking the gorge, basking in the beautiful warm sunshine. I saw a raven, but was the only one who was really impressed!

If you don’t know North Somerset, Bristol and Bath, I would recommend a visit. The countryside is beautiful with lots of good walks, and there are so many villages with welcoming pubs, so don’t just drive through on your way to Devon and Cornwall. Stop and say hello!

Regaining health

There’s an aspect of health and happiness that I have been strongly reminded of, and that is the central place of food and appetite.  Cue picture of home-made soup!

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From child-hood – well, from birth actually – the sign of good health and thriving is a good appetite and eating well.  We all too often have cause to focus on the evils of being unable to control your appetite and the dangers of over-eating, but when someone is ill and loses their desire for food tremendous emotional pressure is felt by the patient and by those looking after them.  Everyone feels that if only they can come up with the right tempting offering, the ill-one will be able to eat and enjoy a meal and everything will be all right.

My dad is very poorly at the moment – I won’t go into details at the moment – hence this subject for the blog.  I went shopping for some bits and pieces for mum and dad at the weekend, and while I was out browsed for tempting, healthy food that could appeal to him.  Easy enough to find things like full fat fruity yogurts, but he fancies warm food at the moment.  It must be easy to digest, so we fell back on soups.  We were given a great recipe for a delicious chicken soup which I’d like myself.  All you do is poach a chicken breast in stock, and add some vermicelli (or fine egg noodles, as there wasn’t any vermicelli handy when I shopped) which you have browned (in this case by lightly frying in butter).  When it’s all soft, add some fresh lemon juice and seasoning, and blitz for a smooth finish, or shred the chicken with a couple of forks.  Nice!  I also added a tin of cream of chicken soup, but really didn’t need to.  Quite calorific, with the frying in butter and all, but great for an invalid. Dad certainly liked it, even though he couldn’t eat much.

After eating, mint tea – just made by infusing dried mint leaves in boiling water – helps with the digestion.

If you have any restorative family recipes, please do share!  And if you are trying to tempt someone back to health – my very best wishes for success.

London Town

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We had a long overdue visit to see my daughter Louise and her partner Max in Hackney earlier this week.  Always a treat and one that is more difficult to schedule in than you’d believe, as they both work in restaurants so weekend time is at a premium.  However, I’m currently working from home, so have the luxury of working when it suits me. We travelled up on Monday.  Trains were all great, and very reasonable when booking ahead, so no complaints there. Our visits are always centred on food and drink and being in the business they know some great places to try.  Max looks after Brawn on Columbia Road in Shoreditch:  where we have enjoyed ourselves on several memorable occasions.  This time we had a great lunch at Caravan, Kings Cross (tapas style dishes) a delicious dinner at The Green Man and French Horn in St Martins Lane (food and wines from the Loire).  The other culinary highlight was the traditional Turkish meal at the Hamam restaurant, on Crossway in Dalston.  Lovely, but no website to direct you too.

Otherwise we wandered around, taking the Thames River Bus down to Greenwich (where we had a less than average pub lunch, but least said soonest mended).  The picture at the top of the page was taken from the ferry, and although it doesn’t give a complete shot of Tower Bridge does show how good it is to see the Shard in close conjunction with a piece of history.  We bought singles, but I thought £15 for a hop-on-hop-off all day ticket was pretty good value, as you could also go west past the Houses of Parliament to the Embankment, and see all the sights in between.  The Globe, Tower of London, St Pauls, Tate Modern, Cutty Sark, Golden Hinde, London Eye …   so many things to look at. And a walk round Borough Market, where I bought some hot smoked paprika.

When we travelled back the crowds were gathering at Paddington for the trip down to Glastonbury.  All smiley faces and pristine wellies, and I’m watching Kenny Rogers at Glastonbury as I tap away.  Chilly weekend on the coast, but not too much rain and wind for them.  Did you see the hairdressing salon on telly? This is far too civilised – not festival going as I remember it.

I should add that Louise is more designer than restaurant worker these days as you can see from her website.

Well, that was London.  Different every time I visit, which isn’t often enough.

Advance apologies – another little blog is following soon!