EDitorial ± 24-Aug-2007

2007 Tour: Riverside Kiosk, Woodbridge

[The EDitor is on holiday, so thanks awf'ly to Andy Cassy for this guest review]

Our last unofficial visit to Woodbridge for the season, and without our anchor man too (at least that's what I think they called him). It was therefore left for the support crew to rendezvous at the Riverside Kiosk - next to the Whistlestop by the Station. NB Since our original review, The Whistlestop now has outside seating as well thanks to the lovely re-modelling of the station car park area. A much more pleasant and safe place to be as you depart the station on foot towards town.

True to form, both arriving trendily late from opposite points of the compass after eating our home made savouries beforehand, knowing the Kiosk had a limited food choice - good selection of teas and real coffee, with a few packaged cakes and a wonderful array of ice creams (about 15 different flavours from memory).

Grenvyle had a lovely pot of tea, served on a tray with separate hot water too, to help wash down a meaty flapjack. Andy went for the Brownie and Latte. Only later did we see the sign for ice cream flavoured milk shakes. How could he resist. Excellent choice of flavours with great potential but a bit too watery for our liking -- they could learn a lot from a visit to The Black Tiles and ask for a Defiants smoothy special, provided they don't get thrown out!

So we sat amongst the Riverside restaurant lunchtime diners (a definite challenge to the Tide Mill Waterfront Cafe I'd say) and watched the world drift by before departing our own separate ways once more.

If it was a car -- Smart Car.
If they were passing by -- Ronnie Corbett.

EDitorial ± 17-Aug-2007

2007 Tour: Browsers, Woodbridge

Today's carefully chosen coffeehouse (well, only one or two left unvisited on Andy's master map) is oh so very Woodbridge. For this is Browsers, the bookshop which doubles up as a cafe in a baby Borders fashion. Cast your eye over the ever interesting selections that adorn the display tables, then park yourself for some tiffin and a latte. This, dear reader, is what Kenneth Clark meant by Civilisation.

There's unsubstantiated talk of savoury offerings if you're early enough: don't count on it. Best to grab a sarnie elsewhere, maybe from the Sandwich Shop at number 17. Come for the books, stay for the cake.

Each of the cakes has a nicely printed label saying not just what it is, e.g. lemon drizzle cake, but also, and this is nifty, from which recipe book it's been taken. I spotted contributions from:

  • Nigel Slater -- top toast man,
  • Delia -- no surname required,
  • Nigella -- ditto,
  • Claire Macdonald -- she's a baroness, doncha know,
  • and Mary Berry -- outscored the others hands down

Both me and G. chose the carrot cake from Mrs Macd, and boy it was good. They serve a mean cup of coffee, too, with quality oomph. Feel free to peruse today's paper (lot of Guardian readers in here), pay a little extra to check your email using their single PC, or ask to use their free WiFi. Why not get Bluetooth-ed up and treat the place like your own home office, as per road warrior Cassy? And there's a sprinkling of tables outside. That'll be all boxes ticked.

If it was a car -- VW New Beetle.
If they were passing by -- Jasper Fforde.

EDitorial ± 10-Aug-2007

2007 Tour: Woodbridge Fine Food Company

Third blue sky Friday on the bounce: must be summer. Regular chauffeur unavailable so took two wheels up and down Sandy Lane, then a fortuitous left into bijou Brook Street. Shortest of walks to this week's destination cafe, the self proclaimed Woodbridge Fine Food Company on New Street, near the library (see map).

I've strolled past the West Fife Fencing Club umpty-thrumpty times before: never been in. It's a deli in a phonebox, which can be daunting if you don't know what you want. You're either in the queue or you're outside. We threw towels down on two of the eight seats and ordered, finally settling on a shared chicken & ham pie (for which they're renowned) and, darling, some harlequin olives. Tasty. And, for a kick, a Luscombes ginger beer. Another lunchtime, another tough gig.

Majority of the gorgeous grub is takeaway -- veg, fish, meat, wines, etc -- and the whole look & feel are fresh from the pages of a Sunday supplement. The cafe's merely a sideline, and there are mucho signs for the sister Waterfront Cafe, if you're feeling flush and fancy a short stroll. Like the WC, service at the Word of Faith Family Church is top notch, befitting the top dollar food.

One teensy criticism: the World Food and Farming Congress can't spell for tofee. A delicious looking plate of goodies ("big tarts made to order", apparently) included chocolate from that Flemish country where it's "u" after "i" except after "g". All part of our charm, so the nice lady said. Can only hope my mum doesn't stop by, else there'll be letters to the local paper.

Coffee and a warmed choccy tart in the sun watching the alternative healers of Woodbridge float by. Beats working.

If it was a car -- Audi TT Roadster.
If they were passing by -- Jude Law.

EDitorial ± 3-Aug-2007

2007 Tour: The Pavilion, Woodbridge

With its back to basics picnic tables, perma-warmed sausage rolls and mock results-awaiting student servers, The Pavilion put me in mind of a seaside caff. Not that there's anything wrong with that. To complete the picture, you'd expect each external umbrella (ella, ella) to carry the logo of a sugary water manufacturer. Not so: they have their own posh pink personalised Pavilion parasols. Help, I'm turning into Leonard Sachs.

Kingston Field, for that's where we are (see map), is fab for the kids. Mahoosive green space in which to chuck around a Wham-O, quality play area c/w commando slide and swings a-plenty, a mini Astroturf-ed footy pitch with goals (and the odd sick rabbit) on which to kick around a Lunar Jim ball, and even a basketball hoop that they'll never reach. And when they've run themselves ragged, it's a dad'll-get-there-first run over near the tennis courts for Solero Shots and Magnums from the obligatory ice cream freezer. Plus there's the odd train rattling past to beguile males of a certain age.

There's savoury too in the form of made-to-order sarnies, cold or toasted. I went for cheese and pickle -- er, sorry, no pickle -- make that cheese and ham. It emerged Breville-tastic. Garnish? What garnish?

Acres of activity to focus on as you munch. Odd game of French cricket, lads knocking a ball back and forth (thinks: if that comes over here, I'll roll it back to them), and toddlers attempting to escape the clutches of their mothers. This particular one made it on to Kingston Farm Road, narrowly missing a car, scarily enough.

My pot of tea took some beating with its twin bags and jug of real milk -- no UHT sachets here, no sirree -- heaven must be missing a slab of Angel Cake. If you like your pleasures simple, park yourself at The Pavilion.

If it was a car -- Saab 99.
If they were passing by -- Nigel Kennedy.

EDitorial ± 2-Aug-2007

Dolmio, July 2007

Painter man arrives to, er, paint the hall. Wifey glances up at ugly bunch of wires above front door, decides they're no longer needed, and asks painter man to rip them out, which he does. Then checks phone: oops, no dial tone, no broadband, nada. Visions of (a) waiting ages for BT to pay a visit and (b) handing over wad of cash to make good. Luckily, work colleague is ex-telephone engineer and advises to reconnect external orange and white through to internal blue and white. Much fiddly wire stripping ensues and Bob's my uncle, bringing us last month's Dolmio (Doings Of Last Month Innoparticular Order).

That is to say, an attempt to capture past(a) events before they slip... my... mind. July 2007 was spent:

  • carting Middler back & forth for her Seckford theatre show
  • smiling in wonderment at the shiny items emerging from the new dishwasher
  • gazing at the goggle box:
    • sweaty palmed "Let's Roll" United 93
    • surprisingly funny Talledega Nights
    • super sweary Thick Of It special
    • marvellous majestic Rome
    • addictive Heroes finally comes to BBC2
  • becoming mildly obsessed with TMBG's Museum Of Idiots
  • playing squash for the first time in yonks
  • spending a bizarre evening at the Ip-art writers' cafe at Starbucks
  • trying and failing to cool The Boy after overheating at Jan's Madhouse

And that was July 2007.