Survival shepherd’s pie

This ought to be in every student’s recipe book. It’s quick, easy, and very appetizing. I brown the lamb mince first in a pan, spooning off the fatty liquid and replacing it with a little hot water. Then some ground pepper, a little cayenne pepper even, and to bring out the flavour of the meat, […]

The opposite

A strange letter appeared in the Times on Tuesday: Sir, My wife and I enjoy drinking wine but are finding it increasingly difficult to find acceptable bottles. Why are producers increasing alcoholic strengths from 12 per cent to 14 per cent and beyond? It means we can no longer enjoy drinking a bottle leisurely throughout […]

Lapsang Souchong

I tried green tea and found it flower-like and fragrant, but don’t think I’ll make it my regular tea. It seems weak by comparison. My regular tea is the premium supermarket line, drunk black, without milk or sugar. For special occasions or when the whim strikes me, I drink Early Grey or Lapsang Souchong. Wikipedia […]

Duke William’s stable

William, Duke of Normandy, sailed from Dives-sur-mer in 1066 with over 600 ships. The town enjoyed that reputation for hundreds of years. Then on June 6th 1944, six thousand ships opened fire at dawn to herald a somewhat larger invasion a few miles down the coast. Now everyone wants to see the Normandy beaches rather […]

Dinner at the East India.

My club is the East India club, but as I have mentioned before I am more often in the National Liberal Club (NLC). However an American friend and his father were eager to see the inside of this English curiosity. We went in and after the briefest of tours we ended in the American Bar […]

The Stuff of Legend

After I flew a couple of kites above Cabourg beach, a cormorant provided entertainment at Dives harbour by diving for fish. It came up with one glittering and wriggling in its beak, and it took three tosses of that long neck before it gulped the fish down. Then it was time for La Passerelle which, […]

Sparkling bubbly

I was fortunate enough last evening to try a real Champagne made by André Diligant and his sons. It was a typical 12%, brut and from Bar-sur-Seine. It poured beautifully in that it took about a minute and a half to pour two glasses because it was so amazingly fizzy with very fine bubbles. It […]

Les Vapeurs

Over in Deauville on Saturday to check arrangements at the airport, we decided to pop into Trouville for lunch at Les Vapeurs.  Deauville and Trouville are effectively one, but divided by the harbour and estuary.  There is an engaging ferry service which connects the two on a five-minute trip which costs about a euro, but […]

A dry, slow pint

Yesterday I had the honour of trying Old Bill’s Cider at the Live and Let Live pub in Cambridge. It’s a local cider, brewed from Cambridgeshire and Somerset apples, this time in the Cambridge blend. At 7%, it packs a fair wallop after a pint (and isn’t expensive), which is a good job because it […]

Food value excellent, vin ordinaire

The fixed price menus are among the nice things about eating out in France. They can offer extraordinary value. At Cabourg’s La Belle Epoche on Friday, my fellow diner opted for the 21 euro three course set menu, with a choice of four or five dishes for each course. That’s about £14. The warm goat’s […]

Cheesy chips with bacon

Healthful eating. Really. Originally uploaded by dynamist. I know, I know: This looks and sounds nothing like the sort of thing you should be allowed to eat on any kind of healthful eating plan, but I assure you, you can. I can also assure you that it tastes even less like something you should be […]

Pretty Cool Moules

At the Bistrot du Port in Dives-sur-Mer they are proud of their mussels, and deservedly so. They offer them done with cream, paprika, curry, and other things, but the basic staple is moules marinières, done with onions, butter and Muscadet. Moules frittes is the same thing with fries alongside. Many of the locals use the […]