Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A long, and foodie, weekend

It was the BBC Summer Good Food Show in Birmingham last week. Way back at the beginning of February I bought tickets for it and booked Thursday off. (I booked the Friday off as well, just because)  We went to the Winter show a couple of years ago on a Saturday and, while we thoroughly enjoyed it, we did not enjoy the crowds and the people running you over with their shopping trolleys and the other people who just shoved you out the way if they wanted to get past you. I thought maybe it would be less fraught on a Thursday. It is also cheaper!

We were right.  It was less fraught on a Thursday.  Still loads of people around but nothing like as crowded. Also, to our surprise (I hadn't looked at the tickets all that closely!) the tickets to the Food show also let us into the Gardeners' World show.  Two of my very favourite things gathered in one exhibition centre!!  Much to our surprise, we came home with loads and loads of gardening things and just a few food related things.

Our tickets entitled us to go to one master class in the course of the day. I had got tickets to the Great British Bake Off master class with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. And it was extremely interesting.  Mary Berry made an orange cake which I will certainly get around to trying at some point.  Paul Hollywood made a savoury brioche couronne.  And this is what it looked like when I had a bash at home:

It's extremely tasty - but very very buttery.  I'm going to have another go at it later and see what happens if I put lots less butter in it!

So.  Friday saw us at home and mostly out doing useful things in the garden. We were driven inside at lunchtime by a very heavy shower, so got changed and washed and took ourselves off to The Nettle for lunch.  Fortunately, the shower was brief so when we got home we worked off our mighty lunches with more useful things in the garden.

On Saturday we were heading to Barb's place in Warminster.  The intention had been that we, along with Barb and her brother Greg would go to a small steam fair near Semington, which is not far from Warminster. Although it was quite showery, we decided to drive out and see what it was like when we got there.  Alas, the showers were heavy and prolonged. We would have braved a field of steam things in drizzle or light rain, but torrential downpours weren't particularly enticing.  So we went to the Somerset Arms in Semington instead. I would have to say that my burger was extremely disappointing - they assure me that the burgers are made in his shop by a local butcher but it was extremely salty and in my view made with processed meat.  I didn't eat it.  I put the chips inside the burger bun instead and had a rather nice chip butty.  And my onion rings were amazing.  In the interest of fairness, I must say that everyone else really enjoyed their lunches.  It was just the burgers.  I don't really understand why they don't just make their own.  It's not that difficult or time consuming to buy some minced beef and bung a few burgers together!!

Excellent onion rings. Nice chips. Lovely tomato relish. Pity about the burgers 

Anyway.  Back to Barb's for a lovely chicken and sausage curry in the evening. Which Greg missed out on. For some reason he took himself home after we got back from our abandoned visit to the steam fair and before we had the curry.

Watching the cricket at Barb's place. That's not Marlo. We didn't take him with us. That's Polly
Sunday saw us  out for a stroll in the park in the morning, before we and Barb (but not Greg who had other plans)  headed into Salisbury to collect The Builder's mother to take her out for lunch.

Strolling round the little lake in the Warminster Park - and look what landed just ahead of us

 Our mate Matthew has, for the past few months, been running the White Horse in Downton, a ten minute or so drive from where The Builder's mother lives, so we went there for lunch. And a very pleasant lunch it was too.

Barb and Gwen checking out the menu

The Builder pondering what to have for lunch

Look - I'm there too. (The wine glasses aren't all mine!!) Photo by Barb

A lovely plate of roast beef for me

while The Builder had roast pork

The chef makes his own, extremely tasty ice cream. Must dig out my ice cream maker!
And then we took Gwen back to her place, Barb back to her place - and us back to our place, where Marlo was quite pleased to see us.  I don't think he'd missed us much, though. He was out, lying in the sunshine by the pond when we got back.

It was a lovely, long weekend. Thanks to Barb for her hospitality.

Back to work for me today. It's not a particularly onerous week though. I'm off to London for a meeting on Thursday!

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