Food Hall

I love food!! Food is great. It has to be decent food though. So I thought to myself, Bimbo it is about time you started writing down all the restaurants you have been to that had an impact. Not just that, any fabulous deli or butchers, booze outlet or green grocers. Any contribution to beautiful food is going in here. So let’s start with restaurants. These will obviously be mostly in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Browns: I ate here years ago. My then boyfriend was the second chef and this is where my passion for food started. I was 18 years old and at possibly the poshest restaurant having a freebie meal. It was divine especially the asparagus soup. mmmm. I went back to browns on a number of occasions whilst I was still with the aforementioned ex but have not been there recently. It is expensive and it is also a touch pretentious.

Saffron’s: I have been going here for years and also the ex has head chef here for a bit. It is definitely the place I have eaten in most in Worcester. It took a bit of a dip after he left and sometimes you can still get a dodgy meal there. It seems to be especially on a Monday or Tuesday. Now I know these are the days the head chef normally has off so maybe that is the issue. Went there once on a Tuesday night and basically got Sunday dinners warmed up veg, (which were very unseasonal too!!). And my steak was over cooked, I like it rare and it wasn’t even pink. We didn’t go back for about 9 months then gave it another try and it was fabulous. That was quite recently so hopefully they have sorted themselves out.

The Old Rectifying House: It never ceases to amaze me how quiet this place is on a week night. And through no fault of their own. It is quite possibly the best food in Worcester, and I’m not getting paid to say that or owt. The food is good quality, seasonal and fantastically cooked. We actually went there last night and were the ONLY people in the restaurant dinning. They deserve more business especially as they took a bit of a knock when it flooded back in July. I haven’t tried the bar food upstairs but I will soon and update this post.

Ostlers: Once again two stories here. I have eaten there twice. the first time was amazing and the second not so. The second time however the place was extremely busy and there was only 1 waitress on. She was rushed off her feet. Once again they are guilty of unseasonal food. I know it is difficult to get a completely seasonal menu but there is NEVER an excuse for mange tout and sweet corn to come out as veg in the autumn. What is wrong with good locally produced stuff, this is Worcestershire, the freaking allotment of Britain. It does have a very good wine menu.

The Glass House: Been there a few times in both it’s incarnations. It serves very good food and is not at all pretentious. It can be difficult to get a table so book a fair way in advance. The only small gripe I have is the wine menu is mostly French.

The Stag at Titley Going further a field now. The Stag was the first pub in the country to get a Michelin star and is still the only place in Herefordshire to have one. It is to be quite honest the best place I have ever eaten. I have never had a bad meal there and I think I ate my favourite thing ever there. Pigeon breast wrapped in pancetta bacon. All of the food is locally sourced and there is a big board in the bar telling you where it all comes from. The cheese all comes from a 50 mile radius of the pub. It manages to retain its local feel even though it is full of dinners too which is very well done. I happen to know Steve and Nicky as my ex was trained by Steve and went back to work here before finally giving up catering for ever. Steve was trained by the Roux brothers and is just great, (and very tall).

Bringewood Hotel
Nice converted barn with huge wood burner and high ceilings. It is in the middle of no where on a big hill. I had gorgeous chicken, chorizo and ham terrine to start and beef for main. The main course was bit disappointing and they were a bit tight on the veggies, which is a bit of a pet hate of mine. It was also a bit pricey for what it was, £25 for 2 courses. Not sure I’ll go back to eat but it may be worth a trip just to se what the view is like in the daylight.

The Half Way House, near Powick
This place was an accidental find. It was between Christmas and New Year and we fancied going out. We stopped her and all 4 of us had a steak. It was fabulously cooked and we had a big trough of veggies too. I’m not sure what it would be like if it were more busy but it was excellent when we went.
And she goes international.

Changi Beach Hilton, Singapore
The story about how we ended up on our way home from New Zealand and back to the ’sunny’ UK is sad so I won’t talk about it. However to try and make ourselves feel better we booked into the Hilton on our stop over. The restaurant here was just fabulous. Singapore food seems to be a mixture of Thai and Chinese. I can’t remember the exact dish, (it was about 4 years ago) it involved beef. Anyway, it was great and cheered us both up.

Surreal, Queenstown New Zealand
I LOVE this place, it was rather experimental and this was before Heston Blungthingy had started to his bizarre stuff. We went there lots of times and it was always great. The milk chocolate mouse with szhean pepper was really nice.

Muzzi, Wanaka New Zealand
Now we stayed just up the road from here on our way down to Queenstown. There was always a queue out of the door to get a table and we had heard they just do the best roast lamb which is quite a claim in NZ. One day we braved the queue, (well actually we walked straight in coz we ate at 6pm to avoid the queue). We still had to share a table with some other people. There is 1 thing on the menu, roast lamb with mint gravy and veggies all for $6, (£2). And yes it was amazing. Nuff said

Kaikora Hotel, Kaikora New Zealand
I’ll have to check the name of this place but it was a ‘hotel’ as in the antipodean term. They used to have to provide rooms in the past if they wanted to sell alcohol so basically it was a pub and had plastic orange chairs and plastic tables, (like a community centre). I ordered the lamb, (I became obsessed with the stuff and have been ever since) Bob had a steak or something. It was just great and beats Muzzi on one small factor. Afterwards we sat outside overlooking Kaikora bay in the late summer sunshine. Soz Muzzi.

Other foody type stuff Butchers:

Legges of Bromyard in Herefordshire. I love this place, I get all my meat and some of my veg from here every week. It has locally produced free range stuff and a board telling you where it is all from. The pork is especially good, it’s from Shortwood Farm in Herefordshire. It also has a very good cheeses counter with stuff from all over but I really do recommend the Black Bomber from Snowdonia. It also sells veg, cider, chutneys, cold cuts, homemade ready meals and other stuff that I’m sure I have forgotten.

Knightwick Butchers: On the side of the A44 between Bromyard and Worcester. Once again an excellent butchers. The bacon is especially good and so are the Scotch eggs. It also doesn’t close until 6 so is very useful to stop at when driving home.

Dayhus Butchers in St-Johns, Worcester. Lovely butchers, lots of local meat and I recommend the pork. The Scotch eggs are also very good. Try and supoort your local butchers especially the 2 in St-Johns, (Narroways being the other). Sainsburys is about to be built at the back of this shop. Don’t buy meat from the supermarket it’s generally pants.

Broomfield Farm Shop.
This is on the road between Ombersley and Holt Heath in Worcestershire. It’s really good, loads of REALLY local veg and eggs like a couple of hundred metres away from the shop. There is also loads of organic condiments, crisps, and just about everything you can imagine. Fabulous find.

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