McDonalds – the hungover breakfast

I thought long and hard about whether to post this.  All that judgement. And then thought. Sod it. – we’ve all done it. Woken up Sunday morning more hungover than entirely necessary and a family gathering to get to. Needed food and fast.  And when you need food and fast you go to McDonalds.

McDonalds was actually the first place we had dinner in Winchester when we moved here.  Surrounded by boxes that needed to be unpacked and very little time, I remember strolling through the cathedral grounds on the way to the high street.  We’d just moved from Brixton and were pretty freaked out by just how quiet the whole place was.  The McDonalds in Winchester was also slightly different from the craziness of the one in the centre of Brixton too.  Filled with boy scouts.

Anyway – so I’m off beef for a year so sad not to be able to sneak in a dirty quarter pounder with cheese on the sly.  Luckily for breakfast there’s no beef options to feel sad about.

In Winchester most people seem to order from the machines rather than the till.  While I like this when I want to be greedy and don’t want judgement, I don’t like this becuase it allows me to be greedy and I need judgement.  They even do table service now.  Things have changed.

First of all, was hugely disappointed that pancakes were off.  Haven’t had them since I was a kiddo.  So instead I have a sausage and egg bagel with has browns and a diet coke (hungover’s finest cure) while the other half had the sausage and egg mcmuffin and diet coke (also hungover).

Wait was quick.  But I kind of miss the interaction with the people who work there.  It’s all so regimented and I know thats the point but still…  There was an older chap there who paid at the counter counting out his cash while striking up a conversation.  Hang on I’d better not get philisophical about McDonalds.

So I walked home and there was a slight downpour which I hadn’t been expecting.   McDonalds – you really really need to make your takeaway bags waterproof for at least ten minutes.  Got dangerously close to dropping a hash brown.

So how was the food.  I’m not going to lie.  I like their has browns.  Good size, good texture, clearly deep fired.

Bagel – sausage patty good.  Egg…I don’t know it doesn’t do it for me.  I’d probably other it without the egg next time.  Cheese.  What is this stuff?  I love me some high quality cheese (I once bought a piece of goat cheese which cost me £12 from Neal’s Yard and I have no regrets), but there is just something so highly wrong yet right about the plastic cheese in McDonalds.  Never change.

Other half said the sausage and egg mcmuffin ‘tasted like every sausage and egg mcmuffin I have ever had before, but that’s why you go to McDonalds.’  He estimates he has had circa 32.  I think that’s quite high…he points out that was less than two a year since he became an adult.

But for me the real winner is the McDonalds ice.  I’ve spoken about this before with people (don’t invite me to a party), but the shape of the ice at McDonalds is amazing.  Keeps it shape for longer yet isn’t that big.  I’m a fan.  Keep it up McDonalds.  I’ll be back, but probably not for another year when I can get that quarter pounder fix once more.

 

 

Little Kitchen Bistro at Winchester Golf Academy – fondue

In the two years we’ve been living in Winchester, we’ve driven past the sign for Winchester Golf Academy a number of times, but not actually driven in.  And not suprising really, as it is a little off the beaten track.  But after our visit on Friday I would recommend it as a great place to visit.

20190301_194345We went with friends, one of whom visits to perfect his swing.   It’s been about 8 years since I’ve hit a golf ball, so I was more than a little rusty.  However I had forgotten how much fun it is when you get that ‘pock’ sound when you hit the ball properly.   Free to use the driving range, so turn up and buy a bucket of balls.  Details here: Winchester Golf Academy.

After we got through the bucket of balls and the humiliation of some truly laughable attempts, we went back into the bistro which is run by Little Kitchen Company who also cater for events.  We’d come specifically for fondue night!  Fondue?!  You mean fundue right?!  A giant bubbling pot of melted cheese?!  I was dribbling before I arrived. I haven’t had cheese fondue for… I don’t even know how many years so I was super pysched.

20190301_201113The very lovely staff welcomed us and offered us a glass of wine from their selection.  And then out came the cheese.  They’d done a mix of different cheeses in there including roquefort, which gave it a subtle piquancy.  All in a beautiful bubbling pot.

20190301_200427And then came the sharing boards.  And boy were they generous: caper berries, cornichons, figs, roast vegetables, three different types of bread, roasted potatoes, different meats and tomatoes.  I can’t really state how generous these portions were.  And we ate and ate. And ate.

While we were working our way through even after we had all stated that we were full, the table next to us had desserts delivered.  We laughed at the very thought of eating dessert.  Turns out we were about to have three desserts delivered each.

20190301_205318There was a beautiful smooth mango sorbet, a blackberry trifle which was absoutely divine and a chocolate cheesecake (yes more cheese).  I polished off the sorbet and trifle but just could not managed to fit in the cheesecake.  Luckily for me, the staff boxed it up and I ate it the next day.  It had a really fruity chewy base which I was not expecting and it was very very good.

This was great food, great service and great value as altogether it was £25 a head (which included the glass of wine).

They have a number of events coming up at the bistro which you can book in for and I’m sure it won’t be long before we will be back!

 

The Cheese Stall – Winchester market

Three delicious cheeses from The Cheese Stall in Winchester’s High Street market

My God do I love cheese. I cannot emphasise this enough. If I’m honest the day I got married was not as happy as the day I spent in Neal’s Yard sampling and choosing the cheeses for the wedding reception. Alone. Without my betrothed… bliss. But since moving to Winchester, the lack of a permenant shop based delicatessen/cheese monger had been a frustration. A friend recommended that I stop by The Cheese Stall to sample and see if this would fill the hole in my heart (which ironically surely can’t have any holes as the arteries are clogged by cheese), I was happy to.

From the first visit to the stall (on the high street on Saturdays) I knew I’d found what I had been missing. They have an amazing selection of cheeses and my goodness do those working there know their cheeses. When I spotted they had a good supply of Tunworth (Hampshire’s answer to Camembert) I was totally sold.

On my latest visit, I was taken by the sight of a Rochebaron from the Auvergne which was literally running away it was so creamy. Any cheese which you can eat with a spoon at room temperature is fine with me and this did not disappoint – divine.

We also picked up some Waterloo – I had this at Christmas time from here and I would describe it as a kind of brie which is made with clotted cream. It’s from Guernsey cows. It’s delicious. Eat it.

Finally I was after a hard cheese, but wanted something I’d never had before. We requested something nutty and after a couple of recommendations and samples were settled settled on the last cheese and to my horror we didn’t ask its name. This cheese wasn’t yellow but a deep orange. It’s proper lush.  I must go back and get the name.

The Cheese Stall is a must for a visit. Have a chat with them. Sample their delights and then take home a large paper bag of cheese with pride.  In the meantime, I’m going to have to spend a couple of weeks giving them a wide berth because my arteries need a break.