1) I went for an astonishingly good Sunday lunch last weekend. My God, was it good. You may not know this about me, but I’m not a fan of the roast dinner at all; I don’t mind it now and then, but I don’t hanker after it whatsoever. So I do like places that do other things to eat on a Sunday, and not just thrown together stuff to bulk out the menu, but proper, considered dishes. Everyone agreed that the Fox and Hounds in Hunsdon (Hunsdon is a gorgeous little village not too far from me) did an exceptional lunch; my friend Lee, who owns and has owned gastro-pub affairs and is a very good cook himself, declared that it was the best Sunday lunch he could remember. I have been to the Fox and Hounds before, perhaps a year ago, and it was great then, but it was just brilliant this time around.
I had a mackerel and beetroot and horseradish starter that was so good it’s given me dreams about it ever since, and then I had the hand-rolled tagliatelle for my main course.
Lee and Mr AMR shared the chateaubriand and Nicki had (if I remember rightly) cod. All of it was just exemplary, including Sammy’s children’s-portion sausage and mash. The bill with very good wine (not for me!) was around £40 per head.
They also have a whole wall of cookbooks to browse as you wait for your food, should conversation at the table dry up. (Ha!) It’s actually a very clever way of getting people’s appetites going; I went in thinking that just a main course would be enough, but there’s nothing like some cookbook reading to whet one’s appetite! foxandhounds-hunsdon.co.uk
2) From good lunches to weird breakfasts: just look at this room service order card I found in my Cardiff hotel room. Study it, if you will. Note that the guests required not just orange juice, but an apple juice each. They also ordered meat and hash browns, no eggs! Now I know that not everyone likes eggs, but doesn’t it strike you as odd that neither of them opt for eggs to complete their breakfast? Also odd: they have almost exactly the same thing, apart from the fact that one has a hash brown and sausage and the other has bacon and sausage. Nothing else – no toast or anything! Perhaps they split their pain au chocolat in half and stuffed it with the meat? All of this speculation, of course: I’ve been watching too many detective programmes I think!
3) Naughty Dexter and Mr Bear: they were chasing each other about, as they like to do every day in their “mad five minutes”, and they knocked over Mr AMR’s special Daffy statue. He found it somewhere in America many years ago and travelled back with it, carrying it on the plane like a precious vase, and now it’s in pieces. Quack.