“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bacon, Beanz, Chocs and Burgers

Today we headed off for the big metrollops of Maidstone again for a wee bit of alone time, or should I say 'alone-together time'. As well as checking out the likes of House Of Fraser, the Game shop, Lush and Poundland, we also looked in our fair share of food-related environments, so I thought it prudent to take a few pictures and report back to you lot on my findings.

Our first port of call once we had been to Lush was Chiappini's for a giant latte. It was still not quite noon and all I'd had this morning was a cuppa and an Activia yogurt. I was about to fall asleep. I needed coffee, stat!

Laura had herself a small one.
We also got some delightful nibbles...

I am not sure if you can see, but these are hazelnut wafers. Mmmm.

I had a cinnamon danish pastry...

Laura's was this amazing huge almond croissant.
After trolling round the Mall (The Chequers Centre) for a bit we went down to the 2nd floor, where we discovered an amazing thing - a butcher's shop, right there in the mall! It is rare enough to find a real butcher's shop anywhere these days since the big supermarkets have forced most of them into liquidation, but here in a big shopping centre was this amazing butcher, J.C. Rook & Sons.

I will just let the pictures speak for themselves!

Look at those gorgeous pies.

Not sure that you can really see the sign saying "Faggots wrapped in Caul Fat". Made me wonder, as I'd never heard that phrase before. So I shall tell you, now that I know. Caul fat is the fatty membrane which surrounds internal organs of some animals, such as cows, sheep, and pigs, also known as the greater omentum. It is often used as a natural sausage casing and to encase fegatelli (Italian), faggots (English), or pâté (French). Caul fat is also known as Lace Fat. So now you know.

Och aye, Jimmy! A nice wee haggis!

Bacon... mmm.

Couldn't agree more.

Makes you...

I'm not a pheasant plucker...
As we exited the wondrous shop what should we see but a fresh fruit and veg stall right slap in the middle of the mall. Weird, but lovely nonetheless.

Lovely carrots.

No fruit and veg stand is complete without a barmy old white-haired lady nearby.
We then trotted further and I entered the 99p store, always good for a laugh, where I encountered this, and had to record it for posterity.

Later, after Laura had gone into Dr. Spafish and had her toes nibbled by little fishies (not kidding about this)...

and after looking around some more shops and finding probably the most un-PC thing I've ever seen (but when you think about it, it's a pun that's been crying out to be used for ages)...

...and of course stopping by Hotel Chocolat to take advantage of their post-Christmas sale (all their Christmas chocs were 70% off!) we finally found ourselves at one of our favourite places, The Muggleton Inn, where we had a beverage and some nosh.

Laura's Gourmet Burger, replete with bacon and onion rings. I had the veggie burger version.

Guinness and a special bottle of Beck's with a free download thingy on the label.
All in all, a nice way to spend a cold, windy Saturday.

Kooshti sante!

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