If there ever was a handy phrase in the English countryside, it surely must be “when it rains, we lunch”. We deploy it to good effect today, travelling to Falmouth to visit Rick Stein’s Fish restaurant in search of very fancy fish and chips and a few cheeky wines.
It seems that everybody else has had a similar idea, after all, what else is one to do on a rainy day? Many of the National Trust places around us are protected wilderness or coastal areas – bit tricky to explore in the wet. I’ve been longing for a cinema for ages, to no avail, so lunch it is. The restaurant is bustling. It may well be that I’m not the first one to coin and execute that catch phrase.
We both succumb to fish and chips, but in hindsight, the set menu of the day would have been a better choice. After lighter French fare, fish and chips is heavy going and serves in general in the UK are huge – the concept of portion control is sadly missing. In an effort to justify pricing, portion sizes have followed the American model and blown out. Our food industry has fallen into this trap too. Office lunch is a classic example: sandwiches are the size of a doorstop, costing up to $10 to takeaway. The French really do this much better; after a two course lunch in France, you feel perfectly replete and your wallet doesn’t take a beating either. There, 2 or even 3 courses are composed in size and nature to constitute one meal. One course in England can leave you groaning.
For a nation recently pronounced the most overweight in Europe, there are lessons to be learnt from the French. It’s rather appalling to see the recent advertising campaign gently reminding people that a 10 minute walk is considered exercise. It does not bode well for the future. Anyway, I’ll just climb off that soapbox for a moment.
After lunch we brave the weather for a walk around town.
Last time we were here, the Sea Shanty festival was on. No pirates today, but there are lots of happy wet doggsies, no doubt looking forward to leaving dirty muddy footprints over everything when they get home.
It’s a really fast weather front – no sooner then I exclaim “oh! the light” and lift my camera, it’s gone, to settle into a dull grey. Still, we have fun pottering about, without the crowds that were here last. The rain rules out a walk up to the castle; something for next time.
Late afternoon sees us barreling down hedgerowed lanes towards a new site, recommended by a couple we met in Exeter. It’s run as a green site (here, the UK is streets ahead of everyone) and the blurb says they have a resident otter – there’s a river that runs though it. Much excitement.
Late afternoon brings one rainfall after the other. I’m pretty sure I can hear the otter laughing at me, safely ensconced in his river. Perhaps I should start travelling with a nice fat trout in my pocket, along with my squirrel nuts. Otterly enticing?
At least I can catch up on The Great British Bake Off. I missed last week’s biscuit episode. Quell horreur! I’m watching this new team with interest. Missing Mary, Mel and Sue, but the new guys are doing a pretty good job of it. Noel in particular, fits surprisingly well. I did wonder about the wisdom of placing a goth comedian in the Bake Off tent. It’s a great show, I love it. As a bonus, there’s the fabulously irreverent Jo Brand in “An Extra Slice” to follow. Thanks to TGBBO, home baking is enjoying a much deserved revival.