Are you mad?!

‘Are you mad? That’s more difficult than being vegan!’ was the response I got when I phoned The Walled Garden at Wrington, explaining that I was only eating food from within a 50 mile radius.  ‘I suppose I could make you chips. And there’s lots of cheese. But you can’t come here and eat cheesy chips- that would be awful.’  After a lot of laughter and discussion we worked out that I could eat a few things from the menu, so eating out was going to be possible after all: courgette soup, a cheese platter or a chard and mushroom bake. So we set off hungry and with high hopes. Walking up the hill from the car park it was beautiful to see such a heavy crop of rosy apples and pears weighing down the trees. Stopping to talk to the man fending off wasps and a hornet while he picked the fruit, we discovered that he was the person who made the apple juice, so I took down his details in the hope of going back to see a pressing later this month.

I chose the bake, which was creamy and garlicky, and I happily drained the dish. The meal was fantastic, and as I couldn’t eat the bread, they made a lovely salad for me with various varieties of tomato, leaves and herbs- and the apple juice was superb. My mother, unusually for her, had chosen beef casserole with seasonal vegetables, and it came in a huge bowl with mash, runner beans and beetroot. My father had the same main course as me- chard and mushroom bake, followed by lemon tart and coffee. I then bought onions and garlic (answering my plea from the earlier blog) as well as tomatoes and apple juice, so went home very happy. The staff had all been very helpful and generous with their time and efforts.

In the evening, having a Transition catch up with my neighbours Sally and Will, I was spoilt again, with local blue cheese and cider followed by a lovely mint and lemon balm drink. A good day, maybe this local food thing isn’t so bad after all…

Leaving home this morning at 7am to catch the bus into Bristol, wasn’t such a high point particularly as I couldn’t stop anywhere in town for a coffee: it felt torturous walking past all the coffee shops with wonderful aromas wafting out. The rest of the day didn’t get much better as I sat in a training room with coffee on tap and endless supplies of biscuits. I wolfed down my cheese sandwich and plums at lunch time, but was very focussed on eating asap when I got home in the evening. Only two more days of the course to go…

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