The traditional first breakfast of a holiday is a full English, or maybe I have always hung around with people that think "I'm on holiday, so I can indulge". So apart from the inevitable fried tomato I indulged in the full works. Not that I'm surprised but the sausage and bacon were exceptional quality and much to much to my delight they also serve the very local Drove Orchard apple juice we rather fell for last year. Come lunchtime I was hungry but mindful if got a seven course tasting menu tonight I thought I should choose a light option and opted for the Plaice - Cockle Butter, Cucumber, New Potato.
It was a fine choice, the plump golden tinged plaice with those little nuggets of the sea cockles tumbled over the succulent fish. There are refreshing strips of cucumber and a dinky rubber sealed glass pot full of herby butter doused new potatoes. It seems unconsciously that the moment I arrive in these parts I'm always immediately eschew my regular menu choices and enjoy marsh samphire, cockles, crab and much more fish. But that makes perfect sense local, bang in season food always sings more than food that has been forced, held back or travelled much further than me this year. After speaking to Eric Snaith, the head chef here at Titchwell Manor I know how passionate he is about provenance, partnering with and promoting the local food providers and carving out that crucial symbiotic relationship. And then simply cooking it perfectly and plating it oh so beautifully.
Comfortably ensconced in the Eating Rooms admiring the sepia seaside shots with the french doors flung open to the airy terrace it seemed a shame to move. So I watched the Celebrity Masterchef final (Lisa was a worthy winner, I hope she believes she's a good cook now!) whilst enjoying an artful and scrummy tartly palate cleansing Lemon Meringue, Lemon Sorbet, Popcorn.
I could have happily stayed here all afternoon but the fiftieth birthday party revelers from last night seemed determined that I shouldn't remain perfectly peaceful in my solitude but should join them in their exuberance. There seemed to be a bit of 'special birthday' oneupmanship and I was regaled with tales of £150 tins of caviar served in a provocative and inducive manner by the cunning Russian women on the train journey between Moscow and St. Petersburg. It was a very decadent trip it seemed! And here a little closer to home the good stuff was flowing abundantly and the hotel is ringing with stories of some of their party returning this morning at six and not being able to open the door so stumbling through a window instead. A small group seem determined that I blow off my tasting menu in favour of joining them for a barbecue. This is so not going to happen and I'm grateful when an opportunity arises to slink off back to my herby room and away from beery clutches. I hope for their own sake that whoever is in charge of the barbecue hasn't been drinking quite so enthusiastically as the rest as I predict either charcoaled or overdone steaks and what a waste of a good cow that would be!
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