I'm TonySomerset from Taunton. I've been Qyping since 08-06-2010
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73 73 Fore St,, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 6PZ
Just had a chance to trial this traditional butcher that was showcased in the BBC One Show some weeks back for his dry cured bacon. Absolutely delicious, no water thrown off, barely any shrinkage and a sublime taste. Cut thick so you can actually taste it. As so little wastage, one slice is enough to replace several of those pathetic shrivelled tasteless scraps offered as ‘traditional dry cured’. Taste of nothing – in my view. So this bacon is a divine taste, well worth turning off the M5 at J24 to find. A minor quibble, rind and some fat had already been trimmed off, prefer that option myself. To rind or not. The smoked bacon was equally tasty, it is all down, I suspect, to the hanging time for the sides.
While your there, try his sausages, if mine were anything to go by you wont be disappointed with these either, no water, no enzymes thrown off, just a little essential fat, little shrinkage and a solid meaty taste. Enough to fully restore your faith in sausages.
As for the beef, it blew me away. Obviously well hung, looked dry and a deep red showing every signs of it being a fantastic eat. Dying to get back to try the beef and then on to the other meats. None of which were sitting in a pool of blood and water, a sure sign some one who really cares about what he serves.
About to move to new premises, around 11th Nov 2011, straight off J24, even easier for you to get to. Miss this butcher and you miss finding out what meat eating is all about. Taste and tender.
165 kingsway, Burnage, Manchester, Greater Manchester M19 2ND
Ordered a part online, easy to use Site and prompt delivery. So far so good.
Part came without any wrapping or instructions. On closer inspection top had a chip out of it and part had an obvious waterline from where it had been previously fitted.
Kingsway denied a return had been supplied, denied a damaged part had been supplied, were unable to provide fitting instructions and implied I was a fool.
They did agree to a return, promising to refund postage.
They have, promptly, refunded the online cost but forgot about the postage.
Since found replacement part from BathSource. At a cheaper online price which came promptly, in a carton with instructions.
So if you decide to use Kingsway Plumbing, beware, they know better than you when things go wrong.
20 Howard Road, Eaton Socon, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire PE19 8ET
I have spent of small fortune over the years using local framers to mount my art work or my photographs or pictures. Always dependant of the framer, their selection of frames and then the wait. All history now that I have found eFrame the online framing shop. Brilliant, prompt, good range of profiles and accurate frames back in the post within days.
Choice of standard sizes or made to measure. Choice of wood or metal. I always choose metal. It is a good resilient non-fuss solution but of course that more expensive. You just enter the size of your art work and the make allowance for fitting snugly inot the frame. When it arrives undo two scew fixings, insert the hangers, slide in the artwork refix screws and replace the tensions springs (all supplied). Job done!
If you choose to have a mount card for your artwork it is a just a little more complicated. First you state the size of the artwork and then the width of the border (or select from standard), choose its style and colour and they make all the allowances for the mount card aperture and the holding frame. Really streamline, efficent and excellent.
Or even better still, if you select customise, you can specify every single thing. Brilliant.
Only slight downside, you are dependant on the onlne screen to pick a frame colour or frame edging, so you do need to have some nounce.
Taunton, Somerset TA3 6EH
My wife and I had a meal here a week ago. The offered menu did not live up to the online promise and there was no days special. My ham and aubergine risotto was tasty but on reflection was too greasy. The ham had clearly come from a thick slice off a ham roll, not what you would expect from local sourcing. At least the staff bothered to find out that the soup had cream in it, so my dairy-free wife was offerd a complimentary parsnip crisps, nice touch. The complimentary sour bread was refreshingly good.
I had port and venison casserole but the generous portion tasted more of tomato than any port. Worse its sweetness clashed with the sweetness of the offered bubble n squeak which otherwise had a good mix of winter veg in it. The optional salad was uninspired. My wife's skate was just this side of dry over-cooked and the hand hewn chips were overfried.
The bakewell tart to follow was a disaster. A cheap jam unevenly spread in a stodgy filling lacking any almond was covered with a sickly thick icing to conceal some culinary oophsie or other. The beer was good.
All in all, a just above average pub meal by my standards. I'm afraid we will not be going the extra mile for this one.
Blagdon Hill, Taunton, Somerset TA3 7SG
A failed gastro-restaurant spent a lot on a modern refurbishment of this village inn. It has just been taken over by an Indian Restaurant and Take-Away service, free delivery within 5 miles.
With high hopes we ordered four take-away dishes that we thought would showcase their skills. They arrived quarter an hour before the agreed time, piping hot, each container labelled and filled to over-brimming with generous good sized portions.
Unfortunately from then on it was down hill. The three meat dishes were swimming in the same colour and flavour sauce. The meat itself was differently flavoured and textured, the spices flavourings were indiistinct and muddled and the other ingredients over cooked pulp without shape or texture. The lamb in the Bahari Murgh was evenly sliced and cut into strips that suggested it was a pre-cooked joint re-heated for the dish. The Duck Mirchi had a marinated texture but was indistinct. The fish in the Bongo Shagor was on the bone, had a good strong dried fish flavour, but was impossible to take off without taking bone with it. The main flat fish was indeterminate. The Vegatable Dansak was an utter disgrace, just odd chunks of left-over vegetable and oh yes two chunks of pineapple but no discernable lentil dall.
Compared to the rank oil gloup that other Indian Restaurants serve up, their sauce had a pleasant flavour.
The forewarnings of an overly large menu trying to include every possible dish known to the English proved correct. Unfortunaltely despite a very posh setting this is more of the same and fails to deliver distincts dishes, freshly cooked to order and reflecting their particular regional style of cooking. Sad.
Chard, Somerset TA20 3RS
Gave this a try on the Bank Holiday and what a delightful find. A small country pub tucked away on the edge of the Blackdowns yet within reach of the A303. Recently updated throughout so all very modern. Full marks for retainings it drinking area but the rest given over to meals. A wide modern menu with plenty on offer. My food was excellent, full and deeply flavoured and well balanced. I cannot recommend this food enough! Portions were on the smaller modern side but no complaints there. Only slight quibble a tablespoon of chunks of young carrot and slices of corgette at the height of the vegetable season didn't quite cut it for me, but still far better than that usually offered elsewhere. My Otter Bitter was cyrstal clear and was a delight to drink. Staff were quietly attentive and even kept up their attention for desserts but then forgot to offer coffee or the bill. But again far better service than usually found. For once the staff paid attention to food adversions, were responsive and even offered choices! Prices at the high pub end but tolerable. A warm welcoming atmosphere without needing to become bosom pals and a nice mix and balance of clientel. Miss this at your peril.
Keirles Farm, Thurloxton, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8RH
One of last PYO in Taunton. Very easy access and free parking.
Well laid out, fairly level ground and grass routes kept cut.
Extensive rows of all the expected soft fruits. Strawberries ground planted but well protected with straw.
They monitor the retuning pickings and rotate the plots open for picking. So long as you go to the far end of the open plot, almost without fail, there is copious quantity of fruit to pick. They only sell PYO so do not cream off the best fruit with commercial pickers before hand.
Also sell broadbeans, potatoes and now have just added own grown vegetable and salad stuff.
Best off all they start off the season with picked asparagus. Brilliant.
They would rather the fruit rot on the ground than drop their prices.
When the weather turns and the fruit is begining to go soft they still charge top price for fruit that will be spoilt by the time you get home.
The staff can be off-hand occassionally.
Having picked £16.03 of fruit, it is irritating to be given change on the 3p and to a annual known returning customer.
Make no effort to promote the different fruit varieties they grow. Not all strawberries are the same. No attempt to encourage interest in the range of fruit varieties and the different flavours and textures.
No conssessions to bulk jam makers. No price discount for picking just the small fruit.
Flat high price irrespective of what is available to be picked that day. So PYO'er become your own expect in the weather and ripening of fruit cause you will pay dearly for your mistakes.
It is so large you may have to walk a short distance to get to some of the plots.
They have not started to grow raised strawberry beds.
But at least they still exist and you can pick fresh soft fruit, if you are careful!
Higher Barn Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset TA4 3HS
One of those hidden treasures. Ignore that it is in a time warp from the past, forget that the owner can be gruff. What they offer is passion and a wide range of cherries, plums and apples from their own trees, as each in turn comes into season, together with other farm shop produce.
For me it is sheer delight, frsh fruit off the famr and a wide range of varieties so you can compare and contrast the differences in sweetness, texture and flavour. Best of all it cherries here in Somerset.
Dodhill Corner, Kingston Road Nailsbourne, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8AT
Old fashioned firm that has got tired and lazy. Cannot be bothered with the small customers and have forgotten that you grow on the back of them. Make time promises and never keep to them. Have been so long in the business that they know ther customer is always wrong. Unless you want disappointment keep well clear of them, not that there are many good glass cutters around!
55 Station Road, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1NZ
A good traditional butcher of many years standing, always willing to cut a joint to suit or to bone or prepare it for you, just the way you want it. Well worth making time to visit, so much better than the Supermarket offerings. Meat sourcing always on display. They run their own abbotoir so you know the provendance of the meat. They have game birds in season and are now offering venison. I have just had some of the best venison, even meat, that I have ever tasted.
Downsides is they focus on the commercial trade, so high volume turnover but the meat offered is not hung as long as it should to throw off the moisture and develop flavour. Scoring can be slap-dash and you have to watch the meat offered, particularly the hidden back end, has the qualities you want. Not customer friendly but they do try and it is still better than false bon-homie that does elsewhere. If you can't visit then there always the on-line shop.