Ooooh - it's been a weekend of gorgeous food! Several glorious meals out and some amazing home-cooking later, and I'm surprisingly still at the same weight I was pre-weekend. I think that has to go down as some kind of success story!
I kicked off Friday with a delicious curry at Myristica in Bristol. I probably only started eating curry about 18 months to 2 years ago, so I'm still fairly cautious about what I choose, but I decided to venture and have something a little different this time, so tried a halibut tail curry with coconut and tamarind, which was absolutely delicious! There was quite a lot of booze on Friday night too, but I somehow still managed to make sure I stopped when I was pretty comfortable full and just had a small portion of rice and naan with what I ate of my curry. I have to confess that I went to bed feeling a little fuzzy-headed though.
Saturday's venison stew when we got back from the beach was a masterpiece. Tender from being in the slow-cooker and chock-full of winter vegetables, and I was particularly proud of the dumplings I made - light and fluffy and falling apart - perfect Winter food.
The walk yesterday in the Quantocks was glorious. The beech woods were in full Autumnal colour, with crunchy leaves underfoot, and the moorland up top was all russets and greens and wind-swept with blue skies overhead. And we saw deer! A whole herd of red(?) deer sprang out of the brack ahead of us and darted away over the ridge.
I nearly missed dinner in Bath, as I was still busy drinking tea and chatting in Bridgwater after the walk, and hadn't thought to check how long it would take me to get to Bath from there - I was assuming about 45 minutes, and when I checked on my phone it was more like 1hr 20 - just enough time to throw off muddy trousers, chuck on clean clothes and jump in the car - oooops!
Dinner was well worth it though. We caught a deal to eat on the terrace at the Pump Rooms in Bath. As anyone who's ever had afternoon tea there knows, the kitchens are really rather good, so the opportunity to have dinner there, overlooking the main Roman baths after dark, was really too good to miss. The food was superb too - a spiced parsnip and butterbean soup served with a warm cheese muffin (and I am so not too posh to dunk, even in good company!), a main of beef and apricot casserole with parsnip mash and parsnip crisps, one of the best dauphinoise potatoes I've ever had, and lovely fresh spring greens and buttered carrots and Brussel sprouts, and finally a warm spiced apple strudel with cinnamon marscapone on the side. Ooooh, and a glass of prosecco too (although just the one, as I was driving - the girls also sampled a local Chardonnay blend, which they said was very nice indeed).
For me, this was perfect winter food - flavoursome and filling, but with beautiful little touches lifting it above the standard of anything I could cook. Other choices on the menu included salmon with braised fennel and a mussel sauce, and a game terrine with cherry chutney, and a triple-layered chocolate mousse with marinated cherries. Everything was seasonal, local and beautifully presented. Soooooooo good.
I've managed to be a bit more organised today, and actually pulled out my yoga gear and packed it, so I could head to my lunchtime session - my god, I've missed that the last couple of weeks! After work tonight, I'll be heading to Undercover Rock for a climbing taster session .... ummmmm, should be interesting! I'm not sure I'll be any good at climbing - the last time I tried it was when we did Via Ferrata in the Alps in 2008, and I realised I had no head for heights. But that wasn't technical climbing, and this will be. Ah well - will be interesting to try! I think we're then heading for a late supper afterwards at a little Lebanese restaurant round the corner from the climbing centre .... I'm not sure I've ever had Lebanese before!
The good think about the next couple of weeks is that both the girls I'm staying with have decided that it's time they got back on their own healthy eating / fitness regimes, which will hopefully make it easier for me too. Now I've just got to stop eating out so much.
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