Friday, 17 August 2012

Relaxing in Ross-on-Wye

Recently The Scouser and I visited Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire. It's a beautiful part of the world, all sleepy villages and lots of local food to discover. We ate out as well as in to avoid bankruptcy - but we definitely made the most of all the food on offer.

We got there and went around the different shops to fill up the fridge. First stop - Andy Callwood's butcher shop for the famed ham hocks. These are the best ham, without doubt, you'll ever eat. They cost £2-3, worth every penny. It's like a knuckle of meat, the bone in and they cook them for hours - then you can just slice some off when you fancy. So much better than that horrible pre-packed sliced ham from supermarkets! I also got some amazing tomato & basil sausages and bacon that could be used as a doorstop (but much much tastier).

Next stop, my favourite - the delicatessen called Truffles. This place isn't cheap, but it has a mass of cheese and exciting things in jars like chutneys and jams. I got some of the local cheese called Hereford Hop which is tastier than cheddar, as it's coated in hops which give it the rich flavour. I also got Black Bomber cheddar - this is the best cheddar ever. Ever. It's not local to Herefordshire, so if you see it, buy it. I also got some of my favourite pate made by family company Patchwork Pate - excuse my raving over everything, but this is the best pate and I would love to be able to get mine as good as this. They have all kinds of flavours, mainly with booze like tequila - sounds vile, tastes amazing.

Back we went with the haul to feast away...

This lasted us for the four days we were there which is shocking considering how I cannot resist cheese if it's right there every time I open the fridge.

In the centre of Ross on Wye there aren't that many nice cosy pubs - when I say nice, I'm talking good lager on tap and a good wine list, because we are massive snobs. Maybe when we win the lottery, we'll go and open what would be our idea of the perfect pub in the town centre. Anyway, we got a taxi to the Kilcot Inn to find the kind of pub we like.

It was a lovely pub, nice and cosy. The menu wasn't massive, but we had the 'love it or hate it' Welsh Rarebit. It was the most cheesiest thing I've ever eaten and that is saying something. Surprisingly, we both had steak for main - just for a change... Mine was cooked rare, and really tasty. I'd definitely go back here - we even got to watch Mo Farah win the 10,000m race and Jess win her Heptathlon.
We also went for dinner at Wilton Court, a riverside restaurant with rooms. Now this might be one of the strangest places I've been to eat. We walked in to an enthusiastic welcome from a guy who loves his job and rushed around all night - then chatted to us for ages after our meal! Something us city people aren't used to... The decor in this place is more than a bit weird - bright yellow walls that remind me of the 80's. But the conservatory is nice and the food was really really good.

To compensate for all this eating, we went to Symonds Yat, a village in the Forest of Dean with a very steep hill (I would say mountain) that we walked up. I was exhausted but the views were amazing. We probably ruined all this exercise with a cream tea when we got back down to earth. I don't have a sweet tooth unless it involves a scone, clotted cream and sticky jam. If only Broome Farm had been open for one of their notorious cream teas - more cream and jam than you could shake a stick at.

Ross on Wye, we'll be back!
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