The View from the Flight Deck Cafe, looking over the pond at the apron.

Flight Deck Cafe – Good Food and Aeroplanes

I like to spend time around light aircraft. So the Flight Deck Cafe at Turweston Aerodrome is a great way to spend time, having a meal, or just a cup of coffee and cake.

With its big windows you can enjoy your food and watch the aircraft taking off and landing. On warm summer day sit on the balcony and just enjoy the place. The aerodrome is well situated to service the local towns. It can be quite busy, especially at weekends.

The Food

The menu offers a good selection of light bites and brunch plates. We have, over time, tasted a good portion of their meals and never had any complaints. Try an all-day breakfast – that’s great. Burgers, well stacked, are also good. It’s always worth having a look at the specials board.

The Flight Deck always has a selection of tasty looking cakes. Don’t want a meal? Just enjoy a coffee and cake. And, of course, the aeroplanes.

Some of the items on the menu are gluten-free and / or vegetarian. We have always found the staff very helpful with special dietary requirements

Check out the website for the cafe. Or their Facebook Site. Have a look at a couple of our favourites below.

The View

While enjoying your meal, also enjoy the view of aircraft landing, taking off and doing circuits. When the weather is good Turweston airfield can be quite busy.

Turweston Flight centre with the Flight Deck Cafe on the first floor.
Turweston Flight Centre with Flight Deck Cafe on the first floor and the runway on the far side.

The photo of the flight centre was taken on a winter breakfast visit to the cafe. Be sure that we’ll be back come spring and summer.

Why not drop in sometime yourself.

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Yorkshire Burrito

A Sunday Roast in your Hand – Yorkshire Burrito

 

After a busy and interesting morning walking around the market, it’s time for lunch. Camden Market offers plenty of choice, whether you want to sit in a pub, or retaurant, or, like us, explore the street food. We checked out a few places, but wanted something different. Then we spotted the Yorkshire Burrito stand.

On various visits to the market we have enjoyed many dishes from simple fish and chips to exotic Chinese and Vietnamese dishes. This was something unusual.

Okay, in England we know that they do things differently “up north” :). But what is a Yorkshire Burrito?

Put simply, it’s a good old Sunday roast, in your hand.

Take a large Yorkshire pudding. Add some stuffing and a few spinach leaves. Take your choice of beef, chicken or cauliflower cheese, add it to the Yorkshire pudding along with a splash of gravy and, most importantly, some crispy roast potatoes. Carefully roll it up and seal it in a panini toaster (or something like).

What a different way to do the traditional roast! And very tasty too.

We tend to think of “street food” in terms of exotic foreign dishes, so it’s great to see something very English as a street dish.

Actually, talking to the guys running the stall, it was only their second day. They had sold out early on the first day, and were heading that way very quickly when we visited. Good luck to them – it’s a great idea!

Have a look at their site: A special English hand meal – A Yorkshire Burrito.

Have you tried a Yorkshire Burrito?

What sort of interesting but unexpected street foods have you discovered in your travels?

 

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Brritos - Yorkshire Style

Breakfast al fresco at the Green Room in Brackley.

Breakfast at the Green Room in Brackley

It has been a while since we visited The Green Room in Brackley, though we used enjoy a frequent weekend breakfast there. By chance we have now had two breakfasts there in a week. I have to say there have been some improvement in recent months.

When we arrived the place was busy, with the downstairs seating area full. It was a pleasant day, so we chose the one remaining table in the garden, rather than sit upstairs. As the photo shows, the table was rather small for a full breakfast for two! That was our choice, so no complaints – we could have had more table space upstairs.

Green Room Breakfast

The breakfast menu has always had a wide range of options, from simple toast and marmalade to the traditional Full English fry up. Vegetarian and high protein options are there and the staff are always willing to adjust the plate to suit your own tastes. My family doesn’t know how to use a menu – something is always changed!

Our breakfast started with a great cappuccino and dairy free hot chocolate, made with soya milk, which my wife assured me was good.

My full English was well cooked and tasty. For those who don’t know it a “Full English” is a fry up consisting of bacon, sausage, eggs (poached or fried), and often includes beans, hash browns and black pudding. A big test for me is how “clean” the plate is. Sometimes the full English is served with a lot grease on the plate. This is a no-no for me. I am happy to report that my plate was clean free of stray grease and well presented. As the photo shows I opted out of the beans! My wife’s “vegetarian with a bacon cheat” was similarly a well presented meal.

Other Meals

During the day, once breakfast is over (11:15 on weekdays, 11:45 on Saturdays) The Green Room offers a selection of interesting meals. Not your normal “pub food”, and always something imaginative. I have always found something good to eat there.

This is also a good spot to stop for a coffee. And there is always an interesting looking range of cakes on the counter.

Tapas is on offer during the evening, though I have not yet tried that. The Green Room also has an extensive range of gin, carefully paired with the right tonic. Enjoy that at the bar, or with your dinner.

Would I go back to The Green Room

Without question I would go back for breakfast or lunch. We do aim to try their Tapas at some point soon.

 

 

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Caught My Eye: Coffee and Black Ops

Caught My Eye: Coffee and Black Ops

Coffee seems to have been in my life a lot recently. Testing coffee in a new business – Brett’s Own Brews (good for a post at a later date), acquiring a new coffee machine and doing some experiments. I’m not talking instant here. And I’m also not talking high street coffee. No, it’s been all about great coffee from various suppliers for different purposes.

Personal Coffee Machine

Like many people I do enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning. Producing a really good cup of coffee can be a real hassle, especially when it comes to the clean up afterwards. Back in my student days I had a great little single cup filter machine. That’s useful – fill it up in the evening and load the filter with some good quality ground. In the morning, just switch it on and a few minutes later there’s a tasty, steaming cup of coffee ready to get you going for the day. Afterwards, just wash the cup and clean the filter and it’s ready for the next cup.

Morphy Richards SAingle cup coffee filter machine.

I haven’t had one of those for years, but I was given one recently and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’m currently enjoying a Rocko Mountain coffee from Monsoon Estates Coffee Company in Stratford upon Avon. In my view it certainly beats the Nespresso hands down.

Contact Coffee Company

I have also been given a bag of “Black Ops” from the Contact Coffee Company. Tried this one this morning, and it is everything it promises. Kick start your day with a mug of this and you will not be dozing off any time soon.

There’s not much “about” the company, but to quote from a search “Contact Coffee is an idea from two military men derived from our passion for Fitness, Military and most importantly, Coffee!”. Good coffee guys!

Coffee Blogger Italy

Rome Coffee Guide

Taking a trip to Rome? I also found this interesting post about coffee in Italy, from a Northamptonshire (that’s nearby!) blogger, Nicole. Now this looks good – I think I need a getaway soon!

Coffee Cups

And before you go, do have a look at the selection of coffee mugs on my site, featuring some of my photos from various places. One of these is my morning coffee favourite. A good solid, interesting mug which is dishwasher proof!

Golden Coffee Mug

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Weald Smokery – Great Lunch Stop

It’s always good to find somewhere different to eat, especially when it’s not the usual “pub grub” style of food. And so it was at the Weald Smokery near Flimwell in Sussex. We spotted a chalkboard sign advertising the food, on the main road heading towards Hastings, so stopped to check it out for our lunch

Smoked Seafood Lunch

Common to many bistro style cafes Weald Smokery offers a selection of sandwiches along with a few meals. All looked tasty and interesting. Following the “smokery” theme we opted to share a fish pate and a Fish Sharing platter.  Service was quick and very polite, and we didn’t have to wait long for our food, sitting outside in warm sunshine.  We were definitely not disappointed and enjoyed a tasty and ample fish meal.  The pate was served with salad leaves and toast. The sharing platter included salmon, trout, smoked prawns (which I had never tried before) accompanied by taramasalata, a dill sauce, salad leaves and olives, and an assortment of artisan breads.  Sitting in the sun in this countryside spot it is easy to think that you are in the countryside, and forget that it is only 17 miles to Hastings, at the coast, and a good source of fresh fish, as we discovered on our visit to Robertsbridge on a previous trip. 

A Bit More about the Weald Smokery

The Weald Smokery is one of a limited number of smokehouses in the UK producing smoked foods by traditional artisan methods. It has been family owned for 30 years, and has received awards for its products. Do check out the website

Why Visit this Part of Sussex

Flimwell is a village on the A21 route between the M25 London ring road and Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea, both on the coast and popular in the summer holidays. The village is situated in an Area of Natural Beauty, and is inside “1066 Country”, near the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Medieval Bodiam Castle is nearby. 

Pay The Area a Visit

Travelling down towards Hastings? Stop in and have a look around.  Or just take a day trip…. 
Bunny Chow - Home made in the UK.

Bunny Chow – A Durban Speciality

 

One thing that has to be a part of any trip to Durban is a Bunny Chow. But Durban is far away, so I had to make one at home. There is something really delicious and comforting about a serving of good curry in a hollowed out loaf of bread with the gravy soaked into the bread! That’s my latest attempt above. A lamb curry garnished simply with coriander leaves. A bunny chow is, of course, eaten with fingers, using the bread.

 

History of the Bunny Chow

 

The bunny chow appears to have originated in Durban in the 1940’s, though there are different stories about how it came to be. One way or another Durban, and for that matter a good part of kwaZulu-Natal, has a large population of Indian descent. Durban is known for its curries.

 

The bunny chow is basically a curry in bread, with the bread used as a bowl. Originally the curry would have been vegetable, but over the years mutton and chicken have become common. I have also eaten beef curry in a bunny. And, of course, it is unusual to find a mutton curry in the UK, so lamb it is!

 

Typically it comes, in Durban, as a “full” (i.e. 800g loaf), “half” (half an 800g loaf) or a “quarter” (typically half a small, or 400g loaf). The middle of the bread is carefully removed as a single piece, leaving the crust as the bowl. The crust is filled with curry, and the bread removed from the middle used to top the filling. Sambals can be added as necessary.

 

Bunny Chow in the UK and Making Your Own

 

There are a number of places in the UK advertising bunny chow in various forms, though I have only once sampled a local version, from a South African kiosk in Camden Market in London. I have heard that it is popular in some places, with pubs offering it on one day a week, then two, then all week.

 

If you are making your own bunny chow, there are two parts to remember:

 

  1. Bread which can form a bowl;
  2. Curry which has plenty of rich gravy. It can be meat or veg.

 

Personally I prefer to make the curry to fill the bread, but you can buy the curry from your local Indian takeaway. The do look at you sideways if you don’t order rice or naan, though.

 

Simply remove the centre of the bread, fill the crust with your chosen curry, and enjoy!

 

A Google search brought up a few UK based bunny chow restaurants. Not surprising as there are a few South Africans around:

 

 

My Bunny Chow Recipe

 

I have a big family, so this is intended to feed 8 people. Curry freezes well, though we rarely have any leftovers to freeze.

 

Play with quantities and spice mix as you wish, using this as a base.

 

This recipe has been used for mutton and beef, and, with a couple of variations, chicken. In the UK i use it with lamb.

 

Ingredients

 

  • Cooking oil
  • 3 large white onions
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Ginger – I use about half of a ginger root from the supermarket
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 6 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 or 4 chillies – depending on how hot you like it. I use 4 supermarket chillies
  • salt to taste
  • 2kg meat
  • 3 tins tomato
  • Coriander leaves
  • Bread – 4 x 400g loaves, farmhouse, split tin or small sandwich loaves

 

Method

 

Brown the onions. add the garlic and ginger and fry it all together for a minute.

 

Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt and stir it all up together.

 

Add the meat, mix it all up and mix it all up well. Let it cook for ten minutes.

 

Add the tomatoes and chillies, turn the heat down and let it simmer slowly for about an hour. It’s cooked when the meat is tender and the oil is rising to the surface.

 

Cut the loaves in half and carefully remove the bread from the centre in one piece. Fill the crusts with curry, garnish with coriander leaves, put the removed bread and top and enjoy.