Fish’n’Chips at Riverside Caravan Park, Hurley, June 2018

Yes, it’s that standard combination of fish, chips and camping once more. This weekend we find ourselves in Hurley, just down the road from Henley upon Thames, home to the famous regatta which will be in town next weekend.

Not too many “hooray Henrys” on the campsite tonight, just plenty of hungry people looking to partake in fish’n’chips from a van. A decent size of van this one, and they were knocking out fish’n’chips at a rate of knots (all freshly cooked to order).

Once again, there’s no photo because we were very hungry, and keen to soak up a little alcohol that had been imbibed as part of the first of this year’s “camping mini beer festivals”. Big beer festivals tend to be a rather dull affair so we’ve taken to holding our own, by sharing bottles and cans that we’ve been storing up over the winter.

Instead you can make do with this photo of the sun going down over the Thames.

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The fish’n’chips were very tasty, not the best that we’ve ever had, but they certainly filled a gap which needed filling with food.

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Caistor Chinese Takeaway, Caistor, May 2018

The final entry in the camping takeaway trilogy for this long weekend, the incredibly imaginatively titled, Caistor Chinese Takeaway. Another lovely day out walking, and again we didn’t really fancy a walk to the pub, so another takeaway was in order. Sadly, this one did not deliver, so we had to rely on Mark driving us up into town to pick it up.

Much like last night, I went for one of my default options when visiting a new Chinese takeaway, kung po chicken, the spicy version of sweet and sour. This proved to be a good choice, although there was variation once more. Very few cashew nuts (I like lots) and no pineapple (which cuts through the chilli when included). A decent dinner though, helped by free prawn crackers of course 🙂

And once again, no picture because it all got wolfed down with great speed. So you’ll have to make do with some crop fields from earlier…

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Nadirah Indian Takeaway, Caistor, May 2018

The camping and takeaway theme continues. A lovely long walk today, so we didn’t really fancy another walk to the pub (and back), so we decided to order takeaway curry for delivery to the campsite. A decent menu of interesting things to choose from, and everyone found something to pique their interest.

I went for one of my usual selections when trying out a new curry house, chicken shatkora, a chicken curry with small pieces of a citrus fruit known sometimes as a wild orange. I love the sourness of this fruit with the richness of the curry sauce, and it was accompanied by a lovely naan bread. There was just enough time to capture an image for posterity.

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Savages Fish & Chips, Caistor, May 2018

It’s a quick fish’n’chip shop post. It’s been a lovely sunny day, and we are in Caistor for the long weekend to enjoy a few lovely walks in the sunshine. We started this afternoon, walking around Mausoleum Woods on the Brocklesby Estate. I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many mausolea in one place.

We finished our walk around 6pm and then headed back to Caistor to pick up some fish’n’chips and then take them back to the campsite for some al fresco dining.

We were starving and everyone had soon wolfed down their fish’n’chips (and other non fish items). So fast in fact that there are no photos of this fabled meal, so instead here’s a sunset photo.

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All you need to know is that the fish’n’chips were lovely, freshly cooked, crisp batter and still piping hot when we got back. The added bonus was the overheard awkward conversation in the chip shop. It is sandwiched between a Co-op and a Co-op funeral directors. A small child was asking their grandparent what a funeral was, and specifically “do we need one?” The response came back, quick as a flash, “let’s talk about that later…”

The Brotherswater Inn, Sykeside, Cumbria, August 2017 #2

A much nicer day today weather wise. After a relaxed start to the day, we headed out to bag 2 more Wainwrights, Little Hart Crag and Hartsop Dodd. I can just make out the route we took down as I’m sitting out in the awning writing this.

After a relaxed afternoon, we headed up to the pub for dinner. As it was a nicer night, more campers were having their BBQs so there were more tables to choose from. We chose the nice one in the corner with lovely fell views.

Another pint of Tirril Eden Valley for me, Mrs MOFAD opted for gin tonight, a Scottish gin called Rock Rose. A new special on the food menu tonight (meatballs) but we both opted for the normal menu again. Mrs MOFAD had what I had last night, the tasty smoked haddock linguine, with a creamy sauce, parmesan and some garlic bread. My choice was venison casserole, topped with sauteed kale and accompanied by sweet potato fries.

It was delicious, tender meat, a nice casserole sauce and crisp sweet potato fries. This was accompanied by another pint of Eden Valley. We hung around for a while and played a card game before returning to the van.

The Hay Loft, Northleach, June 2017

Another campsite cafe post. We get around to a few campsites every summer, so these campsite cafe posts are inevitables. The Hay Loft at Northleach is attached to a very pleasant campsite which also has a climbing wall and various other outdoor activities. More importantly for us, it opens for breakfast and lunch (not dinner) so is an easy option when camping at the site.

On the Friday afternoon we stopped in for lunch, a simple ham and cheese toastie with crisps and salad, accompanied by a (bottled) pint of Cerberus Loose from local Force Brewery which was a decent, hoppy, pale ale (although more of an amber really).

Not the most exciting toastie in the world (plain sliced white), but tasty ham and cheese which makes up for the very plain bread.

The next morning we wandered down for breakfast, tea served in those enamel/tin mugs that we had on scout camp in the 1980s, and a distinctly average sausage sandwich.

We were back again for lunch on Saturday (same, same, but same), and it wasn’t quite as toasted today.

This is the main reason for visiting this site though, Mrs MOFAD in full flight on the climbing wall:-

A nice little campsite with a reasonable cafe.

The Batch Cafe, Greenhill Leisure Park, Oxfordshire, May 2017

This premises has featured here before, under previous ownership. Last year, we came to this camp site over Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, and used the on site cafe every day, twice on Saturday and Sunday. It wasn’t a perfect experience by any means, the food was good but they just couldn’t cope with the camp site’s size.

This weekend, we were back at the site. The cafe has changed hands, but it hasn’t changed size. So how would they cope?

By shrinking the menu, and shrinking their opening hours. They don’t open in the evenings and they don’t open on Sundays. This morning was our only chance to visit, so we popped in for breakfast. No full English any more, so I had sausage and egg with oatcakes.

Note quirky charity shop china – the tea pots were of the same ilk! A very tasty breakfast, and it certainly arrived quicker than the last time we were in here. The changes have certainly improved things, but the reduced opening hours are less convenient. You can’t have it all though, so I think I’ll settle for improved service and reduced hours.