I haven’t been around for a little while but I now have a week off and am at Man’s for the duration. So a few road trips are inevitable.
Yesterday we visited Oakham, Stamford and Rutland Water. We found a castle that was on the fifty before fifty list and a church from the Churches Conservation Trust.
I actually loved Stamford and will probably wax lyrical about it tomorrow but for the time being, I am going to moan (there’s a shock).
Sometimes things that really should be incredibly simple turn out to be a major challenge.
Yesterday, Man and I attempted to find some lunch in Stamford and as it was 1.15pm on a Saturday lunchtime, we did not think this would be too arduous a task. The only conditions were we wanted somewhere that a) served food and b) served beer.
The first stop was a lovely looking pub called St Mary’s Vaults with a big board outside that advertised food between 12noon and 3pm … perfect.
We had literally just set foot through the door when an angry little lady said: “We are not doing food, we’ve run out.”
What? It had only been serving for a little over and hour and it had run out of food? Yes, apparently so … run out of everything. Now that’s just bad management.
And it didn’t look that busy so the few people in there must have eaten loads! Someone suggested that she might like to remove the advertising board outside (honestly, for once it wasn’t me) and then she wouldn’t have to be angry with all the people coming through the door.
So we left and wandered along the road a little and found a bistro in Cheyne Lane, one of the little twitchels in the town. This place had no free tables, but the staff were extremely polite and friendly and the place did at least have the good grace to look as though it was busy.
We headed off through the town centre and eventually came across a third contender called The Cosy Club. Now, although this didn’t look like the sort of place we would normally choose by merit of the fact that it was huge and impersonal (nothing like Cosy as far as I could see) it did appear to serve both food and beer and had a large number of empty tables.
Sadly, we weren’t allowed to sit at any of them because the premises was, according to staff, full – it just didn’t look it. If, however, we would like to wait in the bar area until 3pm (it was now 1.40pm) they might be able to serve us lunch.
Well no, we wouldn’t like to prop up the bar for an hour and a half boosting your profits before we are allowed to eat … but thanks very much for asking.
leaving there in a huff and beginning to despair of ever finding lunch, we finally stumbled across The Golden Fleece in Sheep Market.
In this place if a table was empty, customers were allowed to sit at it – there’s a novelty. It had staff who were not only welcoming but also were quite happy to pour us one pint of beer and a glass of lemonande AND take our order for food.
And I have to say that I had the best liver and bacon casserole I have had for a very long time.
So even though we had stumbled on it accidentally after a tour of some of the most inhospitable dining places in Stamford, we had a lovely lunch and were very pleased the other three had refused to serve us.