Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Best Fruit and Vegetables - Williamson Melrose

Fruit and Vegetable shops are in decline throughout Britain as the supermarkets coax us with tasteless imported products from around the world. But Williamsons in Melrose and their sister shop in Lauder maintain the tradition of a good high quality local shop. Their produce is excellent and they go to Glasgow market daily to bring the best produce to the area. I have heard that once Mr Williamson retires their will be no more stores in the Borders and I beleive it. My wife and I were thinking of opening one in Kelso and were told by many astute business people that several had tried but the proximity of Lidl with its very cheap (and poor) produce killed all efforts. Enjoy Williamsons while you can!

Best Kitchen Shop - Countryside Kelso

The best kitchen shop in the Borders is in Kelso on Bridge st. They have a really wide range of products although they are very expensive so watch out for costs. But the shop is delightful and full of the cutest stuff as well as practical kitchen items and baking goods.
Countryside web site link

David Thompson - A Proper Mens outfitter

In Jedburgh on the high street sits David Thompsons, the best gents outfitter in the Borders. This is a treasure of a shop with a wide range of coutnry clothes all of good quality and the staff to match, knowledgable people. I met people their from even Northumblerland who says they come here for quality.

Best Sausages in Borders

There is no doubt that the butcher in St Boswells makes the best sausages in the Borders. We regularly go their to get their big fat tasty beef sausages but all their sasuages are very good. Its also a good butcher with top class meats who even sells vegetables due to local demand for quality not supplied by the Coop.

Fords of Berwick - Best Bread

There is no doubt in my mind that Fords of Berwick is one of the best bakers in Britain and certainly the best in the Borders. Their brown bread is just outstanding in taste and condition, but the shop excells in the quality of all its bread and cakes. I had some hot croiss buns yesterday and they were superb. We go there every two weeks and buy 6 loaves and freeze them.

Good Food Chinese Restaurant - Earlston

Its not that they don't try, but the quality is overall poor. When a Chinese restaurant cannot make fried rice properly then one has to ask, is this the right business for the owners. Our manu was
* Chicken Fried Rice - very poor and an odd interpretation to put five slices of chicken on top of plain rice soaked in soy....
* Chilli Chicken Thai style - Bottled sweet chilli sauce
* Prawns in chilli - similar, prawns were overcooked and batter hard
* Chicken in soy and ginger - a disaster a container of sauce with a lot of onions and some bits of chicken slimy and tasteless
* Hot chicken wings - tasteless

Monday, April 18, 2011

Butchers Pies

With one or two notable exceptions such as Learmounth in Jedburgh, Borders butchers just don't understand the role of seasoning. Thier pies have no salt and pepper and its a shame, the lack spoils the pies. Just had one from melrose, the butcher at the bottom fo the hill and it looked superb. Pasrty wasn't cooked through and the filling had no salt and pepper and actually had uncooked carrots. We threw it away.,


A beautiful North of England town with an impressive cathedral and clean streets and lovely old houses. We were forced off the A1 at Junction 49 and chose to go through North Yorkshire, Ripon through to Richmond. All very nice old thatched villages and good pubs, lovely views and nice antique stores. Worth a diversion

Cuckoo Inn Alwalton nr Peterborough

This is a lovely classic inn in a thatched village a few miles outside Peterborough. We had a great meal, good steaks everything fresh and hot, super desserts and a good pint in a lovely garden with large trees providing shade. Highly recommend, only just off A1 exit 17 and so very good compared to other options.