Monday, August 1, 2011
Pretty in pink
Advocates of good food often talk of the need for seasonality. Real strawberries, they say, ripen in an English summer and not a Spanish poly-tunnel in January. The equivalent applies to apples, tomatoes, asparagus... you name it. What's more, by embracing the idea that different seasons bring different produce our enjoyment is enhanced - we appreciate the harvest and look forward to the next.
It's not a perfect analogy but something of the sort applies to one of my favourite places to eat. The Pink Caff (at least that's what I call it, for so far as I know it has no name), on the road between Newport and Cardigan, is open for a mere six weeks a year. Pembrokeshire's summer visitors make it a viable enterprise, but it's locals in the know who most eagerly await the appearance of the roadside billboard. This year I made a few early forays in the hope they'd extended their season, but no luck; I had to wait like everyone else.
And it was of course worth it. Yesterday, I had fish pie washed down with home made ginger beer, both as real as they come - and just the job after a walk along the delightful river Nevern. Dylan had a doorstop sausage sandwich, Jane's was crab and I swear there was a whole one in there; Mike tucked into a plate of chilli. The food is simple, home cooked, fabulously tasty and served on a jumble of old crockery at rickety tables in a botched up barn. Frankly, it's brilliant.
What I so like about the Pink Caff is it's lack of pretence. You go there for great food in relaxed surroundings; not to be fawned over or seduced by an out of place menu offering seventeen different coffees all ending ino. And the barn has its charm too. The table next to us yesterday described it as shabby chic - its the sort of place you actually talk to other people - but that's not quite right. It's more cobbled together than that - I'd say hippy-chick and cheerful, finished off with whatever's to hand. Like my new writing shed, it's very simplicity is the whole point - you either get it or you don't.
I resisted a pudding (though Jane didn't), which is quite a feat, for they don't ponce about with those either: rhubarb crumble, ginger sponge, chocolate pudding, home made cheese cakes - half portions available for the kids though I've never seen one ordered. And now I'm rather regretting that I did, for as I said at the start of this post there's a finite season for the best of foods.
What a shame, I shall have to go back there soon.
Posted by The bike shed at 7:41 AM
Labels: Pembroke diary, Special places, Wales
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After that review, I'm pulling forward my next trip down! It sounds great. The Trewern Arms used to do good food as well when I lived down there, don't know if it still does?ReplyDelete
What a great idea. I'm all for retaining a "specialness" to things - call it exclusivity if you must - but some things are worth waiting for, especially when you get them you fully appreciate their fleeing quality. It means you appreciate them all the more - and that's always a good thing.ReplyDelete
The French decided that even though they now have the technology to make Mont d'Or cheese all year round, that too remains a seasonal treat.ReplyDelete
(Prepare by inserting a few cloves of garlic and adding a splash of white wine on top, cook in the oven, serve with good bread, cold meats and the rest of the wine)
There's a place like this opened up near Holt, called Wiveton Hall Cafe. In an old barn type building, mismatched tables and chairs, old mismatched crockery, absolutely fabulous home made food. It has become a favourite of la Delia's, and has therefore featured in a leading newspaper, and will now probably become over-run with visitors and the like. Which is good for them, so long as it doesn't spoil the atmosphere.ReplyDelete
I too, prefer seasonality when it comes to food... my favourite time is when chestnuts first appear!
Now I've got to say, this place is my idea of foodie fun heaven. I've spent years trying to seek out fascinating, unpretentious small eateries just like this one, serving tasty fresh, local produce. Definitely right up my appetite is this. Only part that saddens me - is where it is. Too far away for me to visit. This summer anyhow.ReplyDelete
If it was a bit nearer I'd be going tomorrow! Btw, hope you don't mind but I've mentioned your blog in my latest post :-)ReplyDelete
A place like that would keep you "in the pink"! Sounds wonderful - my kind of place!ReplyDelete
This made me think of my favourite haunt in Saumur...unpretentious, good food and a great atmosphere.ReplyDelete
Usually I do not write on blogs, but I would like to say that this article really convinced me to do so! Congratulations, incredibly nice publish.ReplyDelete
We were there at the weekend. After a morning on the beach at Newport, pulling the Westy into the handy layby and sitting in the van to eat our incredible & fresh crab sandwiches, was a real treat. They don't do takeaway drinks, but were more than happy to use our van mugs, which was handy as the kids had crashed out or we'd have eaten in.ReplyDelete
Nice cakes too. Carrot and Bara Brith were our choice :)