Archive for January, 2009

The Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival runs January 21 – 25 at venues on both sides of the Delaware, and like any respectable local celebration it features a variety of events intended to show off the skills of local chefs. They include:

  • A Twin Town Tasting on Thursday, Jan. 22, where you can sample food, beer and wine from a variety of area establishments, including Unionville Vineyards, Triumph and Riverhorse breweries, Lambertville Station, Hamilton’s Grill Room, and Marsha Brown. Held at Lambertville Station from 7 – 8:30 p.m., and tickets are $40 ($30 without alcohol) .
  • A “Beef ‘n Brew” on Saturday, Jan. 24, serving hot roast beef sandwiches and Triumph beer, along with music from Class Act. It’s held at Triumph from 2 – 4 p.m., and tickets are $40 ($30 without alcohol).
  • A Chili Cookoff at Occasions in New Hope, Sunday, Jan. 25, from 1 – 4 p.m. Chili, with River Horse beer at the ready in case it gets too hot, made by Jamie Hollander, Havana, Baker’s Treat, the Stockton Inn, to name just some. Tickets are $45, $35 for those under 21 or not drinking beer.

There’s also a pancake breakfast at New Hope-Solebury High School on the 25th, from 8:30 – 11 a.m. All you can eat for $6.50, less for children. (Personally, I think pancake breakfasts are worth braving winter mornings for. And did I say it was all you can eat?)

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Finally, we’ve made our way through the piles of laundry, e-mail and regular mail, restocked the fridge, and have resettled into our cozy home in Wycombe. England, specifically the Cotswolds, was relaxing and fun, especially from a culinary point of view (that’s all you’re really interested in, isn’t it?). Mark decided he loves pubs and English beer in particular. Lynne got her Cream Tea (clotted cream, jam and scones – yum).  While you may not get to England any time soon, we thought we’d share our food highlights, in the hopes you can one day visit.

  • The Spice Merchant in Malmesbury (Wiltshire) was great Indian food even by English standards (and there are a lot of good Indian restaurants in the UK).
  • The Green Dragon Inn, a gastropub in Cheltenham (Gloucestershire, England – not Pennsylvania). Our friends Sarah and Dino are regulars, and after spending several hours eating and drinking there we understand why. The menu features everything from pigeon to beef steak, venison to lamb, all well-cooked and beautifully presented. Rooms are available if you care to spend the night. We had a great meal, for a reasonable $50 per person (plus beer).
  • The Twelve Bells, a local pub in Cirencester (Gloucestershire), with good food. It was recently named the best pub in town, and though it was all-but empty on the Monday night we visited, we can understand why: The owner, cooks and regulars are all friendly, the food is good, fireplaces abound.
  • The Thames Head Inn, another Cirencester pub, though this one’s on the outskirts of town. It’s more contemporary than the Twelve Bells, and a bit less rustic. Still, it’s a comfortable place to have a drink on a chilly night. And, yes, the great Thames River begins its journey as a small creek nearby.
  • The King’s Hotel in Chipping Campden. So, here’s the story: After a day ranging around the countryside, Lynne was determined to find a good cream tea. When we inquired at the King’s Hotel, the Maitre D’ apologized for not having scones, but said he’d put something together for us. With our brother-in-law Alan, we settled into the bar and had a fine time over excellent tea, cakes (in lieu of scones) and clotted cream. When the time came to get the check, the Maitre D’ declined to take payment. Apparently, if he couldn’t offer a proper cream tea, he wasn’t going to charge for it. Establishments like that deserve thanks and praise. Such kindnesses aside, the hotel’s restaurant offers an attractive menu in a comfortable dining room, in the midst of a lovely village. Chipping Campden’s the kind of place we’d like to spend more time in.

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