Portugal and Seville with John and Linda 7th July/ 13th July

We were collected at Faro Airport by J&L and within 2 hours we’d got to their villa at the Quinta de Suadade and sat at one of there long term favourites eating an annual traditional lunch of Prawn piri piri at the Palladium(Guia). The Restaurant owner Diogo hasn’t changed in years nor has this tasty dish, great to start to our gastronomic extravaganza.

Pool, sunbathing, books and kip.

Dinner was at Il Marinero another usual haunt and excellent fresh fish and lamb kebab with a good local Vinho Verde.

Tuesday 8th July. Chilling morning sleeping and reading. Lunch was Chicken piri piri with chips and tomato salad washed down with Sagres beers were just the business(O Teodossio, Guia)!

Shopping, swimming, sunbathing, books followed by a siesta…………..hard work.

Dinner was in the beautiful Marina Town of Villamoura at Pier 1. Fantastic view, chefs treat of lamb somosa’s were exquisite but G still raves about his starter mixed green salad. Mains included, steak and fish all were spot on. An excellent Portuguese Sparkling wine was a great aperitif and a great value Alentejo accompanied the meals. This is definite recommend a special place.

G&D

Ps J&L will no doubt add some more detail and maybe the tinned carrots.

To be continued…………………..

Wensleydale Heifer, West Witton, 4th July 2008

With Chester in tow we started our 3 centre holiday at the birth place of the Globe Troffers. Arrived Friday lunch and kicked off with a small taster platter and 1 crab and lobster sandwich washed down with a pint of black sheep for G and a large glass of Mamre Brook Chardonnay, absolutely delicious.

Aysgarth falls walk and a sleep by the river prepared us for dinner of Chef’s seafood platter which included oysters and fresh fish which was followed by mains of Tuna steak salad for D and stuffed seabass for G. Lots of Chablis and straight to bed. Long lie in, walked Ches and super Heifer breakfast.

Drove to Whitby and half way there started to lash down so G walked Ches along the cliffs and both got soaked to skin so we decided to share fish and chips from the Magpie sat in the car, good as Rick said!

Drove back to the Heifer with windows steamed up, had a kip and then got ready for dinner. The single Giant Lobster the chef had in special sounded too good to miss so we went for it. We decided to dine in the Bar and Chester was allowed to join us. Grappling with one of the monsters claws a large chunk of meat fell to the floor and we’ve never seen Chester move so quick or smile as much……. We opted for the Chablis which was a perfect accompaniment for a very special meal. Coffees and a cognac each followed by a good night sleep. After the excess of the last two days we couldn’t face breakfast no matter how nice it is there. So we walked Chester and set off home to wash and pack before the following mornings flight to Portugal.

In our opinion The Wensleydale Hiefer is the best Seafood Restaurant in the North of England!

G&D

Steak night

Lovely, lovely fillet steak with twice fried home made chips and Phil’s special home made ketchup (Jamie’s recipe, nice one). Huge treat for a mid week evening – well worth the effort.

Tess, Julie and Georgia made short work of the fillet and chips and then we sat around the table and put the world to rights.

Very nice Rose (Marco Maci Veneto) which Tess brought helped wash it down – apparently 6 bottles for £20. Bargain and very nice indeed.

Perfect evening!

Belper Festival of Food and Drink

Sunday saw a trip down to Derbyshire with Paul and Carol to the Belper Food and Drink Fest. Belper is a small market town on the edge of the Peak District and famed for the ‘Fresh Basil’ delicatessen which really is an aladdin’s cave of lovely foodie things.

The festival was quite small and there were some interesting local food suppliers there – I bought some Chilli infused Pale Ale (which is very good) some fabulous chocolates and some thyme and lemon olives. But the damp conditions – for that read tipping it down – meant we went off seeking lunch in a nearby hostelry in the dry.

Paul had seen a likely looking candidate about 10 minutes away, The Hanging Gate. Early signs were good: a packed car park and a healthy 30 min wait for a table. In the end we only waited 10 mins to be seated, although the food was quite slow but there were a lot of covers and the quality was good.

I shared a starter of baked baby camembert with Julie and had the calves liver whilst Julie had the moroccan lamb shank. All excellent I have to say in a large pub that I think is part of chain and none the worse for it.

Wine was very reasonable with a bottle of house Shiraz at £9.50 ( we had two, because I wasn’t driving and nor was Carol!). 

Capped the day off with coffee and cake in a victoriana themed cafe in Matlock which was just like stepping back in time. Rubbish, thin coffee and chocolate cake that beggared belief.

Curry Saffron Guisley

I visited with Dawn and my curry group to the Saffron at Guisley. The lamb chops were the best I’ve had they tasted superb and the portion was ample. unfortunately the main course wasn’t that good. Dawn had a saffron delight and I had chicken in a very sweet sauce. I wasn’t that impressed with the waiters either all one wanted to do was to sell us a discount card and the other one was  rather dismissive and kept ignoring us when we wanted something.  Visited once but wouldn’t go again.

Tess and Dawn

Chorizo

Great chorizo that Paul (aka The Calverley Crapper) brought us from Derbyshire.

Uncooked Chorizo is really hard to find, there’s not many butchers who do it. I cooked it -greedily – sliced and fried on its own with a nice glass of Italian Red.

I did find it quite salty but I suspect it was just well seasoned as I ate it with no salad leaves or bread (as I think I should have).