The West House and what to cook
Had a lovely outing on Thursday. A friend who was bereaved six months ago was experiencing her first birthday without her much loved husband. All those firsts are always especially difficult. She decided that she wanted to celebrate that birthday well, and then forget all about it. So she and I and another friend drove to Biddenden to The West House, a Michelin starred restaurant. I do like a bit of posh now and then! The restaurant, as you might expect is posh, to do justice to the quality of food about to be received, but not in the least bit stuffy. Perfect.
I drove as I don’t drink, and I didn’t want the birthday girl to do it. I put the post code in the sat nav and it took us to a t-junction! We went to the left, then the right. Couldn’t find it, then asked at a hotel, and we had been sent quite a bit too far. When we eventually found it, parking was difficult too, there wasn’t any! We ended up parking next to the church, and as there are only 3 spaces there, you certainly couldn’t rely on it.
The West House
The West House is one of those places where a delicious morsel arrives, unrequested, and unannounced. Tiny cheesy croquettes with a little blob of gin jelly on top, and a slice of wonderful sourdough, and another of hazelnut bread, served with hand made butter and a quenelle of lard. We all chose the same dishes from their lunch menu. We had spring vegetables in broth with a couple of slices of sausage. Then hake, truffle mash, asparagus and mushrooms. Followed by a sort of deconstructed trifle. Three very small, perfect courses. Goodness, those descriptions really don’t do them justice! Then a really good decaf coffee and more unannounced goodies, a chocolate with orange in the middle and a ginger madeleine. And my friend insisted on paying for all three of us. What a wonderful treat.
I would love to go back and sample their evening tasting menu. But I’d have to go with a friend or two, as husband would hate it!
A doggy thief
A new friend was also intending to come along but her new rescue dog is a food thief and on Wednesday he stole an entire wheel of Brie intended for a dinner party and half a dozen eggs that had been boiled and set aside for her other, rather elderly, dog. She daren’t leave him for fear of what regurgitated mess she might come back too!
I’ll be going to see an open garden this afternoon with another friend. And at coffee yesterday, yet another friend mentioned that the Heffle Quilters are having their biannual exhibition this weekend. So I’ll be going out to that in the morning. And Sunday, I’ll be popping over to my brothers in Maidstone to see Mum before she goes back home to Northampton. So that’s my weekend sorted out.
All these lovely friends by the way come from my WI membership. It’s such a great way to find people to enjoy life with. Mike and I don’t go on holiday much but I barely notice as I have such a great time every day! The new friend issued an invite for lunch next Wednesday as she’d missed out this week, and my empty week, which I was looking forward to, is now almost full!
Next Tuesday, the monthly U3A group will be coming here to cook. I don’t know what I’ll be doing yet, will have to get my thinking cap on. It’s possible we’ll have a new member too. Someone got in touch who is moving to the area and doesn’t know anyone. It’s so friendly here, she will soon have more friends than she knows what to do with!
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one