Failing a holiday far far away, we went to Deal the other weekend. It certainly wasn't sweltering but it certainly was lovely. This is a town I feel much fondness for - it's run-down-ness and that it has lots of junk and charity shops. And it doesn't boast shops selling made to look old tat either, which is a great relief. I suspect that the pebble beach puts a lot of Londoners off which is fine by me.
This sort of a break prompted foods that are hearty and wholesome and require long cooking (we had nothing to do but read and cook for 4 days which was bliss). The first munch was a very British snack of sour cheddar on bread with chutney.
But what I really had my heart set on was a deep red fish soup of the European variety. We made a stock with scraps from the fish monger and bought flakey white fish to add later on. It was delicious.
Of course a seaside trip would not be complete without fish and chips. These were from the sea front and were 'banging', as Raf would say.
I was determined to visit Deal's lovely Black Douglas cafe also. A favourite pursuit of mine is to nip off early and get coffee and treats. It's always a solo delight, and I usually do some writing while I'm at it, savoring someone else's food for once. Having been single for most of my life, these solitary pleasures remain important and private and as much a delight as ever. I had a cardamon cake and a really good coffee and worked away on ideas in my little note book, staring out to sea. It was grey and blustery and was as good as any foreign trip.