We’re getting a wee bit better at being here.
Thanks to our need to head out and buy toilet paper as a matter of urgency (the joys of disorganised self catering) we were in town for elevenses looking for cafes with toilets. We found the Olive Branch. The place has been a cafe since the 1960s and is located in a seventeenth century building right in the centre of town. It’s claim to fame is a mention in ‘Small Island’ by Bill Bryson. Given that it was the first cafe we came across we were chuffed to have stumbled into a bit of a find with a pretty interesting menu. The tea was fine, but the cakes were a cut above. The range included the huge home made scones, substantial comfort cakes, the fancy and even a vegan chocolate cake.
His Nibs was very taken by a black cherry frangipane which was deep and not too sweet. I went for a chocolate and hazelnut meringue which was about 6 inches deep and topped with whole hazelnuts. Very good.
Lunch was a little odder in the French Pantry. We stopped by for some french style soups, but found that the onion soup wouldn’t be in until the next day. They import soup! Now importing some french foods I get, but soup? Using a french recipe is probably quite authentic enough I’d have thought. If you’re not interested in soup, but would like to buy some rillette or suchlike you’ll find a range of authentic bits and bobs in the place – which you can also buy over the internet. The soup was OK.
Our other local food treat was black pudding and cheese scotch eggs while sitting by the Severn in Bridgnorth having descended from high town in the towns characterful cliff railway. The scotch eggs were tasty – but they don’t beat the best we’ve had. Top prize for scotch eggs undoubtedly goes to the hand made scotch egg company whose quality and range is second to none. I’ve only seen their eggs on sale in shops occasionally – but always try to pick one up if I’m ever in the vicinity of Stroud Farmers’ Market (open Sats). They also sell in bulk online… but I’m drifting on to other topics…