#oneaday, Day 33, Nice, but not amazing

Yesterday I went for lunch for my mothers birthday at the Lambert Arms. This venue was picked because a) it is about half way between Peterborough & Chippenham and b) came up on a quick Google search when I was looking for a possible venue.

It seemed to fit the bill, looked nice and was in the Michelin guide in 2010. So we went, had lunch and it was good. I would however, suggest to the proprietors a few ways top make it even better….

1) Make sure staff know what is going on. There was a wedding going on, and when . When we arrived it was quite hectic. The Lambert offers accommodation, and people were checking in at reception. We walked up to what appeared to be the entrance to the restaurant area. ‘Can I help you?’ said a stressed looking woman. ‘We have a reservation.’ I said.’ Oh you need to go to reception and see them there.’ Needless to say one man’s reservation in the restaurant for lunch is a stressed waitresses people without luggage checking in.

2) Put the heating on. We were in the restaurant. It was cold. Simple one really.

3) Make sure staff know the food. Our waitress was a young girl, maybe just with a Saturday job, but it got grating that she had to go and ask in the kitchen a lot.

4) Do better pastry. My game pie, filling wise, was lovely, if not a bit peppery. The pastry was like cardboard. And I like a pie top have pastry all the way round – this was a stew with a lid.

Like I say, little things. Could make it a wonderful place.


#oneaday, Day 9, Tom yum soup rules!

First of all, hello to my subscribers, and also to my casual readers. I was very happy to have start moderating comments today, and I hope you found my answers useful.

It’s been a busy weekend readers. Worked late on Friday then had a few drinks with the neighbours. Saturday was breakfast with a hungover wife, then the quest continued to obtain a Wii controller with which to play GoldenEye. Following my post on Friday about needing to find one, I searched every conceivable shop in Devizes where I work to no avail. There is no games shop in this small Wiltshire market town, but I tried electronics stores and supermarkets (3). Nothing. I found this very frustrating, but I don’t live there. Surely Chippenham would give me better success?

Stop one – PC World/ Dixons. Nope. Sainsburys – no. Thankfully, a quick trip into town and the small (but pricey) independent games shop yielded success – and GoldenEye is much more playable with this controller – even if 007 Classic mode is very hard. I moaned  a lot about the poor shopping experience to my wife, who understood – she is from a rural community, where as me, I am used to big city living!*

Sunday morning we got up and went off  ‘to do something’** and so we trundled off to look at a White Horse – a peculiar feature of Wiltshire. Carved out of chalk hills, although the one we visited was actually white painted concrete.

Westbury White Horse

Westbury White Horse

It was breezy up on that hill, and as we headed home in time to do some grocery shopping (I never said we got up early) I was desired for the ingredients for Tom Yum soup – a very fragrant Thai soup, which requires lemongrass, galangal, birdseye chillies, kafir lime leaves, fish sauce, spring onions, lime and coriander. Aside from the galangal and maybe the kafir lime leaves, I was confident I could get all this stuff in Sainsburys. HOW WRONG WAS I?

The answer is – a bit. No fish sauce. No galangal no kafir lime leaves. I was mildly peeved. However, they did stock a Tom Yum soup paste, which it turns out makes a pretty good version, even if I do say so myself. Wife also impressed – good job!

I would still like to make it from scratch, and I did add fresh lemongrass and coriander. and the lack of decent shopping where I live is beginning to disturb me. Could this actually mean that they were right in the 80s, and Queensgate, Peterborough is the capital city of shopping? A disturbing thought for us all….

* Well, Peterborough. Small city living.

** My wife’s favourite thing to do to stop me playing computer games