Friday, April 21, 2006

Excuse me, sorry, the pix are down here.

I have more of ol' grandad's quotes here with me, including a little song... but seeing as I've written so much above, I'll leave these gems for another day.

Here are the pix...

I think this was in Stafford... hmm...

Again... must be Stafford.

Lichfield Cathedral

Again. Oh, no I think this is Stafford once more.

Inside Lichfield Cathedral, definitely.

Bad image quality so you can't see the grandeur. Stand a bit further back to see it better.

Moi et le boyfriend.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Sharon for tomorrow!!!

3rd round of England pix!... and a Best Scone list!

This round is from Stafford and Lichfield. The Lichfield Cathedral is supposed to be very famous for its design and by golly, it is... (although once you've seen one magnificient Anglican church, you've seen em all).

Lichfield, incidentally, is also where the leader of the England's Best Scones of 2006 is baked. And, yes, I did make up that list. Seeing as I dart into any tea room I see which serves scones, I decided that I'd make a Best Scones list of my own to help anyone else out. How helpful, huh?

Now I haven't been to many places this time with good scones, so the list is quite poor. From Best Scones leader in Lichfield, Scone runner-up no. 1 is pretty lowly when compared to Mr Lichfield. I hope to bridge this gap with future Scone outings around Britain.

England's Best Scones of 2006
  1. Lichfield Cathedral Tea Rooms, Lichfield, Staffordshire
  2. Dagfield's Tearooms
  3. Sainsbury's Pack of 6
  4. Some teeny bakery in Llangolen, Wales

Now let me explain the rankings.

Lichfield's Scone was absolutely delightful! There are choices of raisin and non-raisin, which is superb as I hate raisined scones (although it seems all British ppl must have raisins with nearly everything. I'm just waiting for a Fish 'n' Raisin dish soon). Talking about choices in the UK is another subject I'd love to embark on... another time though.

Back to the Lichfield Scone. Not only was the scone of a good size, it was yummy and had the perfect texture. But scones are not just about the scones, oh no...! The clotted cream is the second most important thing... in fact, to me, it could make or break a Scone. The Lichfield Clotted Cream was amazing!! When I first saw it, it looked too smooth to be to my liking, but once I spread it on and had a bite, it was excellent! The jam was a little jar of Robertson's and was also delicious! All in all, a worth Best Scone leader.

** 2 scones with jam and clotted cream, and a pot of tea for 2, for £3.80.

Next in the list is a poor comparison. If I'd been to 20 other scone cafes, Dagfield's Scone probably wouldn't even make it to the top 20. But alas, I've only been to 4 so far.

As I said earlier, the clotted cream can make or break a Scone and it broke Dagfield's. It wasn't even clotted. It was whipped cream, the same cream they used on my hot chocolate which overflowed and had me drinking from the mug with two napkins wrapped around the mug and my hands. Anyway, whipped cream is not supposed to be used for scones! Enough said.

Third, unfortunately, I have to say is the Sainsbury's packed scones. There is nothing good nor bad in this one. It's plain mediocre. It doesn't fall apart in my hand which is good, and it smells wonderful just out of the microwave, but it doesn't taste like anything. Still, it's better than...


Now for legal reasons, I won't name this little bakery. The truth is... I can't remember what the name is. Okay, so not only does the clotted cream make the Scone, but so does the service sometimes. If the service is mediocre, plain, unimpressive, that's fine. But if the service is plain BAD, it definitely affects the Scone. Especially if the scone was nothing to shout about in the first place. Which it wasn't.

The only thing I remember about eating the scone was that it kept crumbling in my hands and I probably only had half the whole scone and the rest was on my plate, table, jeans and the bakery floor. What made it worse was that they had spread a dollop of jam on it FOR me. Never have I experienced that before. Won't they be a little generous and just give me a chance to spread it or somethin?? Lastly, the cashier girl charged me for a MUG of tea instead of a CUP which I had ordered FROM HER... well, the difference was only 5p but she only had 2 other customers in the place! Can she be so forgetful? Especially as my table was right in front of hers. Hmm... enough about her anyway.

This is why TEENY BAKERY IN LLANGOLEN has been relegated to last place in the Best Scone list. And I don't see it moving up anytime this year.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Second round of pix!

Baaaaaaaaaaa........!!!! (in a churchyard)

Me under an arch (duh!)... but bet you didn't know I'm in front of a cemetery!

Hodnet Village Store. What else you gonna find in a village? Isetan?

Hodnet News. What else you think they have? Kinokuniya?!

So no killing and beating up of 65 year old grandfathers!

Grandpa G and Aspen Girl with our backs to the cemetery. OoooooOOooooOOoooo...

Monday, April 10, 2006

First round of pics from England (and Wales)

Since coming to stay with Grandpa's parents, I've found out what a wise old man his dad is. And what a hilarious one too! So I'll try to collect some of his wise mutterings (normally sung) as often as I can and immortalise them here.

Wise Muttering #1
"My old man's a dustbin - he even looks like one..." ---> This one came on the way to the toilet.

Anyway, without further ado, here are some pics.