Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Welsh Food Adventures, August 6th 2014

It's over a month now since I got home from my overseas holiday but I have been very slack on blogposts after I wrote the 2 part Iceland adventures posts.  But there's more to tell! 

From Iceland we flew to Manchester and then drove into Wales for 3 days of exploring our family roots in mid Wales. The first thing I noticed was the huge difference between the somewhat sparse range of fruit and vege in Iceland to the huge selection on offer in Tesco's in Welshpool. We stayed in an AirBNB apartment attached to a stately home near Abermule, tucked away up a little road through the deep dark wood. It was fantastic, with baby grand piano looking out the bay windows to the lawn tennis court! Still self catering, it gave us the opportunity to find special treats in a local butchery, bakery and farmers markets. One night , after a visit to Bob the Butcher in the town of Rhayader where our dad was born, we ate home made Welsh lamb pies which were delicious. We also tried some local treats from the bakery- Bara Brith and an Elderflower and Strawberry Cake. This gave me the idea for when I got home of using my homemade Elderflower syrup in a Raspberryand Elderflower cake. Pouring the hot syrup over the cake as it came out of the oven gave it a great flavour and was so popular at a work morning tea that there were only a few crumbs to bring home!

One night we treated ourselves and dined at a one Michelin star restaurant in the tiny town of Montgomery. We arrived on time for our booking at The Checkers despite losing our way following the Google maps directions. We sat on the terrace for canapés in the lovely summer evening. The canapés were pretty spectacular and probably the highlight of the meal. Beetroot macaroons, quenelles of salmon mousse with quail eggs and prawn crackers with a delicious dipping sauce were a great start to the experience and went very well with a glass of cider.

We shared 2 entrees of a  Smoked Blaenavon cheese soufflé with a Granny Smith and almond salad  and a Duck assiete with cherry and hazelnut dressing. Oops I forgot to take a photo of the soufflé until it had almost been all eaten up!
Next we shared four main courses. I ended up choosing the best of them. It was a local pork belly with pomme mouselline, caramelised pear and braising jus. It was beautiful. The other choices were Celtic seared beef with a smoked creamed potato, braided oxtail,and antiboise sauce, Roasted Welsh loin and cutlet of lamb, smoked bacon, flageolet beans aged tomato and a garlic balsamic jus and finally fish but not the one on the menu so I can't remember what it was. They were all nice  but I think I expected something a bit more mind blowing to have earnt a Michelin star.

By the time we got to desserts, I forgot to take any more photos so you will just have to imagine the tasty praline creme brûlée and chocolate and raspberry cardinal that we finished off our meal with. It was still twilight when we left the restaurant and made our way home, not the Google maps way but a much quicker and easier route.

Still time for a little tinkle on the ivories before bed.

1 comment:

PalumaPrint said...

Now waiting for the Prague instalment