I arrived in Winchester in bright bright sunshine to be met by my lovely Uncle Dai. We hopped in the car and drove back to the house where I was greeted by Lorraine, my aunt. After a quick deliberation we decided to pop out to a local bar/restaurant called The Kitchen at no 5 Bridge Street, about a ten minute walk. I think Dai was hankering for a pint of ale!!
After a quick peruse of the menu I decided on the Isle of Wight tomato salad topped with crispy squid, Lorraine had the coleslaw salad topped with squid and Dai plumped for the penne pasta special with chicken and a pesto sauce.
By the time lunch was over and we had walked into town it had turned overcast.. The rain was on its way. We managed to look in a few shops.. Jigsaw the first as we don’t have a branch in Exeter and sometimes they have rather nice things. The next point of call was The Hambledon. I love this shop. It reminds me of Lorna Ruby back home in Exeter. A bigger version though.. Like Lorna Ruby’s big sister. There are wonderful fashions upstairs, a mezzanine of beauty products and the ground floor is homewares and books. Just the kind of store I like. There is a men’s department downstairs in the basement too. I guess it’s a one stop shop!
We managed to get home before the heavens opened for a cup of tea and an afternoon of rugby and footie before getting our glad rags on for our evening outing to the Wykeham Arms.
I had been to the Wykeham Arms before but only for a drink. It’s a fabulous place filled with old memorabilia a lot of which is from Winchester College. The tables in the bar are made from old school desks which I find an amazing idea.. Lorraine had asked me a while back where I would like to go for dinner and I instantly knew that I wanted to try The Wykeham. It reminds me a little bit of my favourite pub in Exeter, The Hour Glass.
It’s an old school type of pub serving great food in a cosy atmosphere. We started with a drink in the bar and sat at the desks to enjoy them! Damien from Project Vino would be pleased with my choice of wine after our conversation and education the night before! I went for a rather delicious Chenin Blanc! In fact I had three! Oops..
After our first drink we took our table in the cosy restaurant area. We were nestled in the corner which I liked very much as you get to see what the other diners are munching on!
To start we decided on the scallops and one dish from the “Home Comfort” section.. Roasted beetroot, baked fig, honey ricotta, orange blossom jelly and toasted pistachio. We thought we could all just tuck in and share.. The food was nicely presented when it arrived and super tasty. Although I think the orange blossom jelly was a tad overpowering for the roasted beetroot dish. The scallops were cooked very nicely and placed on a crab and fennel salad.. Yum!
On to the mains. I decided on the “fish of the day” which was skate wing. I love skate. I always associate it with my first date with Steve. I had it then at The Rusty Bike in Exeter. It’s a fish that personally I would not attempt to cook at home so it was a thrill to see it on the menu. It came with turmeric roasted potatoes, fine green beans and a lemon hollandaise sauce. I enjoyed it very much!
It was a truely lovely evening out with family. I wish we could do it more often but sadly work and busy schedules get in the way. That’s why when I visit Lorraine and Dai I always have a wonderful time!
After our lunch on Sunday Dai and I slipped on our trainers and decided to go for a walk. We must have walked for miles.. It was lovely being out in the countryside burning off the calories from our delicious feasts!
Whilst we were walking we stopped off at The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty. They had their gardens open to the public for viewing. Dai was keen to have a look so we paid our admittance and in we popped. There were some lovely gardens to view and a gorgeous medieval church.
Sunday evening Lorraine prepared a vegetarian Morrocan style feast. Stephanie, Dai’s daughter who was visiting from Australia stopped by too.
We had a wonderful time chatting and catching up over a serious feast that went on for ever.. It was all so tasty. To start we had melon with Greek salad and chilli mint sorbet.. It was to die for. The sorbet with the saltiness of the Greek salad and the sweetness of the melon was spot on!
For a second course there was a selection of vegetarian delights to entice us.. Vegetable tagine with a herbed pomegranate cous cous, stuffed tomatoes with mixed vegetables, stuffed peppers with harrisa spiced rice, stuffed courgettes with walnuts and feta all served with a selection of glorious salads..
I had such a wonderful time as always visiting Dai and Lorraine. Lots of catching up and chit chat over wonderful food in a beautiful city! Just what I needed over the long holiday weekend.