Blakeney with Pardha

Picked Pardha up this morning and drove out to the coast in the pouring rain, for a typical winter seaside experience. The rain stopped just as we arrived in Blakeney (20 mins later that predicted because of my poor navigation). We had a stroll down the spit, which was pretty muddy and it was warm and mild with the coastal wind on our backs. I was thinking as we strode forward that the return journey would be a bit more of a battle. So we turned around even before we could see the sea 🙁 But then that’s the Blakeney experience! The weather was great in for the walk—the sun burst through and it even felt warm at times.

Blakeney

Blakeney, Pardha

Pardha bought us lunch in the Manor Hotel, which is a lovely place. I had crab salad (with chips!) and Pardha managed to find a baked potato with beans and cheese amongst all the meaty options. Spiced berries J2O was interesting….

Had a walk through to the Flint Gallery in the village, and was very taken with a photograph of a stand of winter trees that had been cropped and edited to make it look more like an etching. Good value at ÂŁ250, but a bit early to buy myself a Christmas present.

Blakeney

Wet in Titchwell

Michael booked us up for a night at Titchwell Manor Hotel, where we had a great time in December last year. We drove out to the coast after a lazy start on Saturday, stopping for lunch at The Feathers Hotel in Dersingham, which had a great atmosphere, and we were surrounded by locals having lunchtime pints at the bar.

Dandringham Bar at the Feathers Hotel, Sersingham The Feathers Hotel, Dersingham

We then stopped in Old Hunstanton for a walk in the wind, down to the beach and then up to the old lighthouse. Michael only had four layers on and wasn’t quite warm enough in the freezing, stiff breeze! By 3pm it was already getting dark.

Beach at Old Hunstanton

The Titchwell Manor Hotel is quite luxurious and we had a good relax with the papers, pampering ourselves in the bath and then, a wonderful dinner. I had Brancaster cockles, poached in their shells with a cream sauce (very exciting) and Michael had the Brancaster mussels: both were beautifully lightly cooked. I had Gressingham duck, with an orange jelly, and Michael had venison with various sauces—really lovely. We finished our wine in the lounge (it finished us off) and then tippsily wolfed down quite a few petite fours (just to try the lovely selection) with some coffee before bed.

Titchwell Manor Hotel

We’d come with walking in mind, so after kipper for breakfast (clearly I didn’t learn my lesson last time), we headed out with the intention of having a long walk to the Jolly Sailors in Brancaster Staithe. The weather was awful and the rain was lashing down at times. So we ended up having brisk walk down to the beach, to the Club House of the Golf Course, and back again: about 90 minutes. We weren’t alone completely alone: there were half a dozen people in wetsuits kite surfing—they were very brave indeed as the wind must have been 25–30 knots.

Graham, Near Brancaster Michael near Brancaster

Michael, on the beach

Lunch in Norwich

Michael and I took the train out to Norwich today to get out of Cambridge and have a nice lunch somewhere. The weather was wet and cool when we got there and in fact it rained all day! Grabbed a slow taxi to the Market Square and had coffee and tea at Caley’s Cocoa Cafe in the 15th C Guildhall on the Market Square. The teacakes are very good there and it’s a very pretty building.

Market Square, Norwich

We walked up to Brummells Seafood Restaurant, off Colegate, for lunch. As we had phoned for a table, the owner had opened the place up and we were in fact the only cusmtomers there. We had a lovely lunch:

  • BRANCASTER MUSSELS IN CREAMED CHAMPAGNE SAUCE
  • SEAFOOD PANCAKES, TOPPED WITH ILCHESTER ALE CHEESE, LACED LIGHTLY WITH A GREEN PERNOD SAUCE AND GARNISHED WITH LUMPFISH CAVIAR
  • GRILLED HALIBUT STEAKS WITH WILD MUSHROOMS AND BASIL COMPOT
  • CHAR-GRILLED TUNA LEFT PINK IN THE MIDDLE WITH A COMPOTE OF FRUITY CURRY MARMALADE (which was a winning combination)

A nice sorbet in the middle, and washed down with some white rioja ‘Azabache’ which was very nice, with a good punch of oak. The meal was lovely, the halibut particularly good. However, it was overpriced for a lunch time.

Had a stroll in the rain to the Cathedral , and through the cathedral grounds to the river, along the river to a new leisure ‘zone’ which was out a box, then getting a bit fed up with the drizzle, jumped on a train back to Cambridge, where it seemed it had be dry all day.

Norwich Cathederal

First night of the Beer Festival

2008 Cambridge Beer Festival Logo Rather chilly first night of the 35th Cambridge Beer Festival run by CAMRA, so the tents were popular. It seems that the area is slightly bigger this year and the Festival moved to a new location on Jesus Green.

Graham Tried:

  • Fat Cat , Where’s the Cat?, 4.1%, which was a bit like Green King IPA, from the famous Fat Cat pub in Norwich
  • Hebridean, Seaforth Ale, from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, which was described as a continental style golden beer. Very nice!

Michael tried:

  • Fox, Heacham Gold, 3.9%, from Norfolk.
  • Woodforde’s Sundew, 4.1% pale golden beer from Norfolk (again!)
  • Milton Brewery, Worts and All, 6.5%! which isn’t mentioned on their web site so is probably a festival special. It was rather strong and sweet as you might expect

We also had a nice meal as always: pork pies (which apparently only get sold in three places—The Beer Festival, the Live and Let Live pub and Harrods—they are very nice), scotch eggs, lovely cheese and this year I tried some tasty smoked eel from River Farm Smokery in Bottisham. Had dinner with Rob and Craig from the Free Press. Also met Andy from work and Anna from Engineering. A very nice if chilly evening.

Michael Beer Festival on Jesus Green

Misummer Common at Dusk