Now, as a lone elderly woman, I think I should be allowed to go on holiday. I like driving round and looking at things – but its pointless, given my height and lack of hearing, to join organised parties. So – I have a car, like driving, and so I go on my own. Not a problem. Except – what do you eat??
I’m not a health food fanatic. But I like cooking, and at home I cook myself a basically low fat, veggie diet – but no chance of getting that on the road.
It is a given, I am afraid, that most restaurants with any pretensions don’t welcome single old ladies. So – I am stuck with the pub attached to the hotel – the Farmers’ Fancies or the Brewers’ Delight of this world.
I had thought that perhaps they had invented a means of cooking via a 3D printer and a generic food mix, finished with a quick minute in the deep fat fryer. But actually they are not all the same – on Sunday I had a cottage pie in one of them, so disgusting, that even I plucked up the courage to complain. But generally the food is all fried, and meat. One place I stayed last week didn’t even do fish and chips. So its chips with everything and – well, nothing else really. Try and get anything fat free, and you can’t – the ones with more upmarket pretensions might ditch the fryers but smother everything in heavy cream instead.
And what do they do to the salad? Why is it never fresh, given their turnover?? and its covered in vinegary heavy dressing? Yesterday I went in a local roadhouse/pub (the Red Gate on the A5 near Nuneaton) – and they produced a salad which was crisp and delicious. I was their only customer – why can they do it when bigger establishments are hiding deliquescent leaves under dressing? (In the past I have threatened to take a pub salad to show the local Environmental Health Department – they staff didn’t even twitch).
Now I am quite prepared to buy stuff and eat alone in my room. Nothing will keep overnight like that so you end up throwing a lot away. Where do you buy it? Garages – garages only sell stuff which is processed and based on cheap fats. Don’t even think about buying it. Small supermarkets – the private chains – likewise. You begin to realise that a large chunk of the population actually lives on this sort of stuff.
In particular beware of anything labelled as ‘healthy’ – in particular remember the con tricks played on us for years now by the margarine trade, with their ‘spreads’.
Small Co-op shops are generally ok. You can get a bag of salad and some cooked cold meat. Not too bad, but boring. You can also get ready-made cold salads. They are vile – like most factory produced food, if you don’t mind me saying so. They are covered with heavy over-flavoured dressing and packed out with red and green peppers because they look good. Again, the horrible thought is that many people actually live, and apparently enjoy, pre-cooked factory made food like this.
The big bonus of last week though was a Morrisons – nice fresh salads, big variety of cooked meat and fish, fresh baked rolls and buns – and really nice pies. None of it looked as if it was made from generic food mix and in fact appeared to contain real food!! I thought that was amazing. What I like is the lack of pretension about it.
So – off I go this morning – I will find lunch later on, no doubt in some Publican’s Parlour or other. These places don’t do lunch – you get the same all day, fried this, fried that, fried meat, lots of factory made stuff and nothing light. They keep away from what I want – which is a sandwich, a bit of salad and a bit of cake.
Once home I can make myself a nice veggie risotto (sigh). It takes ten minutes – anyone could do it.