Sara’s Indian, Coniston, June 2017

As you will know if you’ve ever read any post tagged #curry, Friday night is curry night. When we’re on holiday, that usually means finding the nearest Indian restaurant. Whenever we’ve stayed in Coniston previously, that has proved to be a problem, because there wasn’t one. The first time we stayed, it would probably have meant an hour’s round trip to Tagore in Ambleside (since closed). In fact, if we’d been stuck behind some of the tourists that have plagued our journeys this week, it could have been closer to two hours!

Thankfully, things have changed with the opening of Sara’s Indian in 2015. An Indian restaurant and takeway, which doesn’t have an alcohol licence so you can take your own alcohol (there’s a brewery literally across the road if you’re stuck for ideas). Menus are available outside all day long, so you can pick one up and take it back to your holiday cottage for later use. We did that last weekend, and tonight we were perusing and ordering our dinner.

A really interesting selection of dishes to choose from, a lot more variety than just some tikka masalas, bhunas and kormas. Plenty of things that I’ve never seen before (and we’ve been to our fair share of curry houses).

For me it was chicken podina piaza with mint, ginger, onions and mango chutney all mixed in. This was delicious, nice warmth and good flavours coming through from the mint. I like mint in a curry.

Mrs MOFAD had her usual chicken tikka rogan josh, and we both had a very tasty coriander naan.

If you are looking for somewhere that serves food in Coniston after 9 (since most of the pubs stop then), or you are just looking for a good curry, this will do nicely. At last a curry house in Coniston!

Our Plaice, Coniston, June 2017

A very quick fish’n’chips post. Another lovely day out in the Langdales today, conquering Loft Crag and Pike O’Stickle (proper scrambling required to get to the top of that one). The cottage (ground floor apartment) that we are staying in is overlooked (although hidden by massive trees) by Our Plaice, and sometimes the smell of fish’n’chips drifts over. It’s always tempting.

Tonight, we gave in to temptation and both had fish and chips, putting in the effort required for the 60 second walk to get there 🙂

Lovely fresh fish and chips (cooked to order, so they haven’t been hanging around under heat lamps). Delicious, crisp batter (sign of a nice high temperature in the fryers) and lovely fresh chips. As we have no dishwasher, we opted to eat straight from the carton.

A cracking takeaway fish and chip shop, perfect for all parts of Coniston. You can eat them just outside on picnic benches (lovely views of the A593) or you could take them down to the water’s edge and enjoy them with a proper view.

Recommended!

Curry Cabin, Hope, April 2017

After our customary first visit to the Old Hall Hotel beer festival, we popped across the road to Cury Cabin to order our dinner. We were soon walking back up to our cottage with some nice fresh curries.

I am often a creature of habit, and having consulted the archives, I opted once again for the monkfish curry, and it was very nice, much like last time. You don’t often see a monkfish curry so I always like to have it when I see one. Very tasty, good flavours but not enough to overpower the monkfish.

Curry Cabin is a great little curry house in Hope, and is definitely recommended.

Peter Pizza (takeaway), February 2017

Another prompt pizza post. We’d been out at the cinema watching T2 : Trainspotting and decided to head out to The Needle & Pin for a pizza and a pint. The N&P was one of the few places that Peter delivered to, although they are now using Deliveroo to deliver pizza to hungry fans.

However, they still deliver to the N&P by hand. So we ordered by phone whilst walking from the cinema to the N&P. We arrived, ordered some beer, sat down, and then just a few minutes later, the pizza arrived. As usual I ordered number 3, “The Sausages”. Mrs MOFAD had number 7, “No 7”, which features ham and salami.

Tasty pizza as ever, a perfect accompaniment to a tasty pint at the N&P.

Lucky Dragon, Ambleside, December 2016

A return to an old tradition. For many years, we had a Chinese takeaway on New Year’s Eve. With the closure of Ambleside favourite Jade Garden, this tradition was threatened. We did try an alternative a few years ago, but it wasn’t so good. So for the last few years, we have switched to Thai, with visits to Jintana in 2014 and 2015.

When we rung them up tonight, we were in for a shock. No takeaways. Never mind the fact they’ve been doing it for many years, they just decided to change their mind. Their loss is Lucky Dragon’s gain.

Just a short walk down the same road, Lucky Dragon is a Chinese takeaway, and nothing else. They hadn’t decided to stop doing takeaways tonight, so we carried on down the road to them, and ordered our dinner.

As it’s a celebratory night, crispy duck should be consumed, so we ordered some. It was very good, crispy, not greasy and with good accompaniments.

For the main course, I chose Kung Po chicken, as it’s the dish that I use to test any Chinese restaurant. It was very good indeed, so good that I didn’t stop to take a picture. It was nice and spicy, a good level of chilli heat. There was no pineapple and there were no cashew nuts, common ingredients in many versions of this dish but different places use variations.

What I can show you is a very interesting beer, the Flat Pack Fruit Bat raspberry smoothie IPA – a confusing conflict in a can. The nose is very hoppy, but the taste is smooth and full of fruitiness, with barely a trace of those hops. It’s really nice and goes well with a spicy chicken dish.

A great takeaway, and it should be your first choice for Chinese in Ambleside.

Southwold and Reydon Chinese Takeaway, Reydon, Suffolk

Another quick post.

Tonight was the first night of our Suffolk holiday. As well as regular MOFAD companions Hazel & Matt, for 24 hours we were to be joined by almost as regular MOFAD companions Steve & Janette, who made the short trip across the border to join us for a brief sojourn.

We all arrived at our cottage just after 4pm, got unpacked, had some tea and coffee, and then cracked open a few bottles of tasty alcoholic beverages. Thoughts soon turned to dinner, and after a quick phone call revealed that the local pub was fully booked for the night, we quickly decided upon a takeaway, and soon found a very local option who delivered.

Everyone chose their meals and it wasn’t long before several boxes of food turned up on our doorstep. One of the things that we all agreed on was crispy duck:-

We ordered a whole duck between us, and it arrived pre-shredded for our convenience. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad duck, and this one wasn’t going to break that duck, as it was lovely, and there was loads to go round. Good hoi sin sauce too.

As I’ve mentioned before, my test for any Chinese is their Kung Po chicken, so that was my order tonight, along with some house special fried rice. It was very tasty, with a really good amount of fresh chilli. No pineapple in this one, and a few more cashew nuts would have added some more crunch. This was another “sweet’n’sour battered chicken”, also seen earlier on this year in Nuneaton and first seen last year at Dragon Cottage, and it worked well again here. The sauce was sticky, thick and sweet with that lovely hit of chilli. Steve also had some and enjoyed it.

Everyone was pleased with their selection, and we were all satisfied with full stomachs.

We were holding our own mini beer festival, concentrating mostly on darker beers, but I had to switch to something hoppy to match up with the chilli hit of the kung po. This Summit pale ale did just that, a great modern pale ale with hoppy and fruity notes to batlle the spiciness.

It’s fair to say this is a great little takeaway, perfect for the first night of a holiday. After filling up with food we moved on to games and more beer…