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Member Since 11 Mar 2004
Offline Last Active May 23 2014 08:16 AM

#1235034 Going Away Drinks

Posted by g.johnson on 25 May 2013 - 09:11 AM

Leaving New York is so 2012.

#1215260 The Angel, Lavenham

Posted by g.johnson on 28 December 2012 - 11:13 AM

We couldn't be arsed to cook anything for Christmas so decided to take a break from the smell of paint and the threat of flooding and spend a few days in Lavenham. This is a well preserved medieval wool town and something of a gastronomic centre in Suffolk about 90 minutes from where we live. When I say well preserved, I mean "in an advanced state of decrepitude but still standing. Just".






Lavenham is where I spent the summer of 1977 waiting to hear whether I'd been accepted for an MSc course in Aberdeen and working as an electricians mate (US: laborer) rewiring a housing estate (US: public housing). Some buildings on the estate still stand, surrounded by the burnt-out ruins of their neighbours.


We'd left it too late to get into the best restaurant, and I thought we were booking into the second best. But the dementia kicked in and we found ourselves in The Angel, the bucolic offshoot of Wheeler's, now run by Marco Pierre White. I'm quite glad we did. The rooms are nothing special, but perfectly adequate, though the floors slope so much that it is impossible to leave a glass on the bedside table (US: nightstand) without it sliding off. The management provide a team of sherpas to help guests to the bathroom. The place still operates as a pub -- drooling yokels were much in evidence -- and there is no separation between bar and restaurant but somehow it manages not to feel crowded. The tables are all a good size. The decor is weird. The walls are covered by Giles cartoons and prints from David Bailey's Box of Pinups. The tables could have been set by your granny, if your granny had a leather fetish. The cloths are giant lace doilies covering ripped leather hides. The water jugs are green fish pitchers.






The food, however, is great. Nothing that will greatly surprise but very good ingredients cooked with a great deal of precision (but see below). The menu is distinctly French (croustade, forestiere, darne of salmon although, oddly, "Cambridge Burnt Cream") but  with very English ingredients (Morecombe bay shrimp, stilton, scotch salmon).


Highlights for us were an exceptionally light (almost frothy) duck liver parfait with raisin and Madeira jelly -- the best parfait I have ever had -- and a fine roast partridge which was overcooked initially but replaced immediately with a lovely pink version. Even the turkey for Christmas lunch was good -- boned and rolled to keep it moist with good versions of all the usual stuff.


Breakfasts were also good and Marco Pierre White's own beer, The Governor, named after his father's greyhound and brewed by J.W. Lees in Manchester went down a treat (not with breakfast).


Rooms are about ₤130, Christmas lunch was ₤65, the normal carte comes to about ₤30pp.

#1214696 America the Weird – the Lunatic 20%

Posted by g.johnson on 19 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

This has been my response over the past 5 years whenever anybody at works brings up some new poll that 20% of Americans believe....

Serious question --In Europe, when you get out of the cities, do you have rural areas filled with people who believe the Earth is 7,000 years old, Jesus is coming very soon, the government shouldn't be taxing wealthy people to pay for lazy people, etc.?

Around here the locals think the world is much, much older than 7,000 years.

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#1211941 Game

Posted by g.johnson on 26 November 2012 - 11:39 AM

A lot of shooting goes on around here.

First pheasant of the season last weekend. Grilled breast and confit of the legs.

Rather overcooked roast mallard on Saturday.

Our neighbour has promised us the next pike he catches.

(No, he doesn't shoot the pike.)

#1200558 separated at birth?

Posted by g.johnson on 05 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

Ginge actor:
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Ginge athlete:
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#1186713 One Man, Two Guvnors

Posted by g.johnson on 07 April 2012 - 10:14 PM

My jaw muscles still ache.

Apart from a slightly wooden expository first scene, this barrels along gloriously. Comedia dell'arte through the lens of Feydeau. Plus Skiffle, Merseybeat and calypso bands. Book before it sells out.

(Melvin Bargg in the audience. I asked him if he couldn't get tickets in London. He didn't get it. I don't think not getting tickets is a problem Melvin has.)

#1179100 NFL 2012

Posted by g.johnson on 06 February 2012 - 08:46 PM

Because Stone and all the pundits will be predicting

NFC East:

1. Eagles
2. Cowboys
3. Giants
4. Redskins

unless Washington moves up and gets Griffin when they'd be favored over the Giants too.

#1156526 Dinner

Posted by g.johnson on 29 August 2011 - 12:49 PM

Baked Lemon Suet Pudding (c. 1630). I would eat this every night for the week or two it would take me to die.

Basically just suet and a lemon sauce?

actually a recipe for it in "Nose to Tail 2" I think.

No. I just checked. Not in either of Fergus's books. Maybe it's in one of Heston's books, which I don't have.

Must be in another cookbook I have. Anywhoo google "sussex pond pudding"

That's not of what I was thinking. My mother, an entirely horrible person in all other respects, had two good qualities. She could bake a marvelous Victoria sponge and an even better suet pudding that consisted of alternate layers of suet dough and jam, steamed and served with custard. I was hoping the HB's was something of that ilk.

That's Roly-Poly pudding no?

Very similar but she made it in a pudding basin.

#1154122 The Beatles

Posted by g.johnson on 17 August 2011 - 03:51 PM

Would rock music have been so commercially successful if the Beatles hadn't existed? Who were massive crowds of little girls screaming for before that? Not a rhetorical question, I really don't know.

Frank Sinatra, Elvis, to name but two.

#1146513 Game of Thrones - Contains Spoiler Tags!!!!!

Posted by g.johnson on 21 June 2011 - 11:32 PM

Absolute twaddle but twaddle with great production values, acting and script. The final scene of the first series, though it might leave most rolling on the floor in hysteria, left me breathless.

And with Wilko Johnson as a psychopathic torturer. What more could one want.

#1143283 Tour de France 2011

Posted by g.johnson on 19 May 2011 - 03:22 PM

I don't think we've got one of these yet.

The organizers have been listening to me.

Organizers change how green jersey is awarded.

#1140764 Spring 2011

Posted by g.johnson on 28 April 2011 - 05:46 PM

Clearing skies and thunder and lightning.

The Confusalypse?

#1139535 Micromanage My Life

Posted by g.johnson on 20 April 2011 - 04:33 PM

No no. Too much running around on a worknight. That would cut seriously into the post-prandial Display Of Gratitude time -- which, let's face it, is the whole point of this exercise.

That almost made me throw up a little in my mouth.

Funny, when I read that sentence, I got stuck trying to remember if Display Of Gratitude Time is east or west of Rocky Mountain Time.

I think it involves going south.

#1123596 [NYC] Time Warner Cable Internet/Phone

Posted by g.johnson on 23 December 2010 - 09:05 PM

I am shortly setting out to strangle every single Verizon employee in NYC, their families, pets and neighbors. When I'm finished I will require a new internet and phone provider. Does anyone have any experience with Time Warner?

#1070362 Apple tablet announcement imminent

Posted by g.johnson on 27 January 2010 - 05:26 PM