Summer has stepped aside for the chill of autumn, and I have been on my travels. Over the years I have found that nowhere in the world is unfriendly when you are sharing their local food and drink, language is a barrier, but that’s never a case when you can point to what you want.
Sitting in a Belgian café, overlooking the beach, sipping cool a De Plukker Tripel while enjoying an over loaded chicken Vol u vaunt, is something akin to heaven. The crunch of the pastry against the smooth cream sauce, matches the fresh sweet goodness of the beer, while the light hoppy touches lifts out the herbs. A mix of white and dark meats along with the caramel crunch of the chips (frites) brings the malty background of the beer to the fore.
Even though I was surrounded by fellow beach pilgrims speaking in French or German within a few minutes we are discussing the finer points of the world’s best beers. Not necessarily agreeing, but if you wish to continue the debate, pop along to Norwich Beer Festival (oct 23-27) where you can sample some of them.
I write this as I am heading to explore a new country famed for its water, hops and beer. The Czech Republic is said to offer the beer pilgrim a range of different beers styles brewed in mirco breweries / house beers that rival any to be found in the world, we shall see.
Nibble wise I have also been travelling the world but, only as far as, All Saints Green (Norwich) to the Tamarind Thai. The welcome was warm, and the atmosphere very relaxed. If you find some Thai food to be a little too hot, this restaurant has managed to create flavour without the heat.
Of course Norwich has no lack of Thai restaurants offering a range of food that will satisfy anyone’s tastes. Possibly because I can enjoy a Real Ale with my food, spicing it up with a hoppy Oakham’s a regular haunt is also The Vine on Dove Street (also in Norwich). Aey the landlady of The Vine is approaching another anniversary of long service in the smallest pub in Norwich. It is worth a short stop if only for the prawn crackers.