OK, so as I have already mentioned, I didn’t get to many restaurants this year so I decided to expand the ‘restaurants’ category to ‘food’. It’s a bit rubbish, I know, but whatevs, yeah? Here’s five-and-a-bit highlights of 2019.
Several years ago I planted three trees in the garden. A damson tree that now produces huge amounts of fruit, a cherry tree that went a bit weird and had to be pruned to the maximum (and is slowly making a recovery, I think) and a plum tree that did nothing, nothing at all, until last year when it produced half a dozen plums. You can’t do a lot with six plums. It’s not exactly a crumble’s worth. But they were good and who knows, maybe this year we’ll get a couple more.
Todmorden added a cheese shop to their cheese stall and their cheese. It’s a good one too, with excellent cheeses and customer service to match. It’s called the Calder Cheesehouse and you should pop in if you are passing.
Have you had a bar of Tony’s Chocolonely yet? They are about £8000 each and absolutely delicious. My transition last year from, ‘I’m not paying that for chocolate!’ to, ‘Who wants to buy a kidney so I can buy more chocolate?’ was swift and shocking to all who witnessed it.
I am at least three years behind everyone else as far as the restaurant scene goes. I haven’t even tried a Greggs vegan sausage roll yet. (Although that’s mostly because I don’t like sausage rolls, and while I’m sure a vegan sausage roll will be an improvement I can’t see it being a revelation). Anyway, the best plate of food I had in Manchester last year was from the Fusion Lab in the Arndale Food Market (although technically it was in a box not on a plate). Unhelpfully, I didn’t write down what it was but I’m pretty sure it was their take on a poutine. It definitely contained fried chicken, halloumi, chips, quite a bit of spice, and some other things. It was bloody lovely.
Puddings wise, there was an apple cheesecake in Six by Nico that hit the spot very nicely.
But my number one food experience of 2019 was afternoon tea at The Langham. Finding a restaurant experience that is special to both two adults who love all food and a six-year-old who is a slightly fussy eater isn’t the easiest task but afternoon tea ticks a lot of boxes, what with all the cake and everything. And, being absolutely massive, London has quite a few afternoon tea options that take children into account. The Langham’s is book themed, with children invited to choose a book to accompany their meal. Not only does this make the meal more special, it hoovers up all the children who would rather read a book than run around tables screaming about the Paw Patrol. There were a dozen or so children present when we were there and they were all impeccably behaved. Good for them, eh? Good for them.
The food was superb too. Excellent sandwiches, the best scones I have ever had, and perfect cakes. Children get jigsaw piece shaped sandwiches, a build-your-own dog cake (with a chef’s hat to wear and a tube of caramel for sticking the various bits together) and a huge chocolate cake to take home. The food just keeps coming. I ate more than I thought was possible. We were there for about sixteen hours and I never stopped eating. I weigh thirty stone now. I have no regrets.