The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

London, the meet and Canterbury

The Wildfood London New Year Meet 2013

I had arrived in London on Friday afternoon, and having booked into the cheapo hotel at Clapham, nothing spectacular but it served my needs, it was on the tube line up to London Bridge and the George, so I popped up to see Jason and we went out for a few pints across the road. Bloody hell son, it was 10 quid a pint, good job they don't tip in the UK because they would have been disapointed, it was then back to Clapham and bed.

The morning started off with a short tube ride from Clapham Common where I had spent the night (not on the actual common but in the hotel on the side of the common). I then went to drop off my baggage at the George and popped over the road to meet up with friends (board name Suffolk and her husband).


I had plenty of time, so went to take some pictures along the Thames, and up into the air to the new London skymark, The Shard.

 I went to the small graving dock that holds the Golden Hind, it takes one back to when this part of the river was full of wharfs, docks and the pubs and low life that frequented such places, the original Clink is to be found here.

I had a cup of coffee and used the free Wi-Fi in the adjacent coffee shop. Then went across the road and met up with my friends and another friend also came along, it was her first visit to Borough Market and her first London meet having come all the way down from Edinburgh, well done Trish.

We traipsed the market stalls, I bought a few odds and ends and then bought some partridges (on the red list in NRW) at one of the game stalls. It was next across the road and then into Neal’s yard to buy some decent British cheeses for our Cookery Club New Year’s dinner.

Next it was across the road to the George for the wildfood boards New Year meet it was a very nice meet indeed, lots of well known and some new faces, but I think everyone enjoyed the afternoon, I know I did and look forward to some more during the coming year. Picnic anyone? 

In do believe all enjoyed the food!

I went out for a couple of pints with Jason and Scott the manager of the George on Saturday  evening, so decided to drive straight down to Whitstable and collect some kippers and have a breakfast of shellfish, whelks and crab sandwich.

From there I headed to Canterbury I had booked into the Falstaff again, for three main reasons.

1.       It is a very nice hotel at a reasonable price.

2.       It has plenty of free parking within easy walking distance of the centre of Canterbury.

3.       It is across the road from a fantastic seafood restaurant, Chapman’s.

I parked up and was of course far too early, this didn’t matter as I wanted to do some shopping and wander through Canterbury taking in the atmosphere before having a spot of lunch.

So this is what I did. Walking first through the West Gate Gardens set out along the river bank, though it was mid-winter it was very interesting, primroses just starting to appear and the interesting shaped trees, one of the most spectacular being the pot bellied plane tree being at least 200 years old.

The remains of the old city walls broached by a Norman arched gateway standing as they have for many hundreds of years.
There is also the fine Tower House built with the local flints, the whole area has such a nice calming place, which allows time to meditate.

I then walked past the old Guildhall

 and then wandered through the wonderful middle-aged streets and had lunch at the Old Weavers House a half-timbered, low beamed and as its name implies an old weavers building on the high street alongside an arm of the river Stoure. I have dined here previously on a prior visit, so in I popped and saw on the board that they had duck breast on the daily board. This looked very nice (someone was tucking into a one on a neighbouring table) so I ordered my duck. It came and was very tasty, though a little too well-done for my liking of less than medium done taste in meats.

I then went back to the Hotel and was able to get into my room, as it has been in the other visit, it was in the main building. Very nice, very clean and just as I have become to expect in the Falstaff. I had been expecting to have my evening meal at a wonderful fish restaurant across the road, Chapman’s, this was unfortunately closed over the New Year period. I therefor went around the corner to the Westgate Inn, a Wetherspoons, I had a pint and then looked at the menu, well it was Sunday, so I had the Sunday Club roast, roast beef, with all the works and another pint , the whole shooting match was less than 10 quid, boy is that value for money, not the fine dining I had aimed for, but as always in Wetherspoons good food at great prices.

I then went back to the hotel and had another couple of pints and read the Sunday Newspaper (free), then went up to my room and watched a bit of TV before sleep.

Next morning had the Falstaff fantastic breakfast, full English, but with poached egg just to keep it a bit healthy, then it was down to the ferry and across to Dunkirk and then on to visit friends just north of Paris, but that is the next blog.

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