Food cooking and eating – stories and ideas from a passionate foodie

First Saturday of hols.  Weather already global warming hot.  70 f, 21 C.  Forgot hat for this walk – never a good idea if one is follically challenged.  Very farmy walk – well, it is a bit that sort of country.  5 miles set us up well for the lunch at a pub new to us in Bampton. The Swan.  It had been totally refurbished (we found) and chef proprietor Paul (from Manchester, and Leeds United fan) had said on their menu, “Bare (sic!) with us, we are new to food serving here”  (I think he meant Bear with us, not let’s get naked together!).  There was no need to pre-aplogise. I always think it’s best not to – and just get on with it.  Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, in my view!

They did this now fairly common idea of small plates – bigger than starters, smaller than mains.  I like this a lot.  We often share starter or puds.  Sometimes, two or three small plates is all you want – and we get the taste variety too then.  I suppose it’s a nod to the spanish idea of Tapas?  Anyhow, it was a bit worrying, because it was 1 on Saturday lunch, and no one was there!  A lot of competition, but as ever, they were building clients back up after the refurb – and had only re-opened in February.  So, we were a little apprehensive with all this negative vibe.  Then, as ever, the food was excellent.  Chicken Liver Pate (one of my favourites to cook) which was served in a little kilner jar – made it a bit different.  Served with a side salad with great lemon based dressing, and a scrummy plum based chutney.  The other plate was Brixham Crab baguette with chips.  A lot of variety between the two of us. Plenty of food too, and local Otter Ale and Cider to wash it down.  A lot of devon pubs do like to serve locally produced food and drink.  Theres a lot to be said for it – look after your own community and it will look after you.

So, we wanted snack level for evening.  Leftover ham comes to the fore from yesterday now.  Put 175g of pasta spirals on to boil for 13 minutes, broke up the small portion of ham, fried 7 mushrooms in olive oil, , added a tomato and two chopped spring onions near the end, and finished it off with two table spoons of Creme Fraiche, with a spoonful of mustard to give an extra kick.  Fine simple sauce, very tasty and plenty of food to satisfy.

Bampton is pretty level!

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