As part of Farmhouse Breakfast Week, confirmed carnivore Eleanor Gaskarth takes her love of meat to the logical next step – making her own sausages.
If you’re not in the mood to play animal lucky dip each time you consume a meat product, you seem to have two choices. Either buy from a trusted, reputable, preferably local producer who takes pride in the quality of their goods (and knowing exactly what’s in them)… or make them yourself.
The very lovely people at Kernow Sausage Company in Cornwall have very kindly given Foodies South West some goodies to give away to mark Farmhouse Breakfast Week, which started yesterday.
If ever there was weather that makes you hanker after a good filling breakfast it is this snow and ice sweeping the country.
The Westcountry may have missed out on the worst of it this time but you should still finally listen to your mother’s (or father’s) advice and leave the house only after something more filling than depressing muesli or, urgh, a Kellogg’s Pop Tart.
Sometimes little things can be the most heartwarming.
Personally I am a big fan of old school gentlemanly conduct – holding doors open for ladies/the elderly, helping mothers with their prams etc. It helps offset the fact that on a daily basis I swear like a trooper with Tourette’s (which must be a bloody awful affliction incidentally).
I experienced one of these heartwarming moments the other day when I visited Tart, a cafe and foodstore on the Gloucester Road in Bristol. Jane and I popped in one Sunday morning for breakfast – it does decent locally sourced fry-ups, excellent pancakes with bacon and truly superb cheese scones – and it was heaving.
This is a good sign on its own but made all the better because Tart has squatters next door.
It’s a classic strong-arm attempt by high-street bullies. When the appeal comes before the planning inspector they want him/her to think “Well, it is open now, may as well let them stay”. Which would be bad.
But there is a happy ending to this first battle (the war still rages). While Tart does a roaring trade, Costa, to my eye, is struggling with only a handful of people in every time I walk past.
And to warm the cockles of even the most seasoned of hacks, when I paid the breakfast bill in Tart and said how great it was that they were busy and Costa empty, the waitress replied: “Yes, we’ve actually been doing better business since it opened.”
When I was driving to work yesterday morning the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. As I sat at the lights, waiting for the lights to change and trying to avoid breathing in too many bus fumes, my mind wandered to where I might rather be on a morning like this, were my life different.
It was quite a long list, despite the short time I was at the lights: Tahiti, the Maldives and Barbados all said hello, and closer to home, the Evenlode Valley on the edge of the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire near where I used to live is great on a sunny summer day.
Naturally, the South West was there in force.
But I am at heart a realist, and given that one needs a full-time job to survive, my mind fluttered towards places I could nip to for a nice coffee in the morning before work. One place that leapt into my mind was The Terrace.
Known to most Plymothians I’m never sure whether it is really on the tourist trail or not. If you head past the Citadel on the seafront road up towards The Hoe, it is off to the left, near the steps leading into the water that mad people use to get in the Sound for a swim…
The food is pretty standard cafe fare – that’s not to day it is bad, my parents loved it when they came to town – but the best part of the place is the view, a panoramic vista over Plymouth Sound, Mount Edgecombe, Drake Island and the sea. A great place to sip a drink, have a bite to eat and just watch the world go by on a bright and cheerful day. If you’re on the Barbican it is worth a schlep up the hill to.
Here’s a salute to everyone stuck in an office like me today -there in body only…
A gentleman amateur food and drink lover celebrating the best the South West of England has to offer.