Monday, 13 May 2013

Weekend in Sheringham

We've just spent the weekend in a holiday flat in Sheringham, with our good friends and neighbours, Lorna and Richard.  As usual, we drove up on Friday and had the usual excellent fish and chips from the chippie at the end of the street, then on Saturday did a bit of birding at Cley Marshes, had dinner in the wonderful No 10 restaurant in Sheringham, wandered along the foreshore on Sunday morning and came home in the afternoon.

The chippie is called Seafare and is in Church Street, and if you're looking for decent fish and chips in Sheringham, I recommend them.  Jenny and I discovered them the very first time we stayed in this particular flat, and we've settled into the routine of getting fish and chips there on the Friday whenever we stay in Sheringham.  Terrific!

Richard and Lorna supplied lovely warm croissants for breakfast on Saturday, accompanied by the most enormous fruit salad!  We were well full by the end of that!  After a wander around town and a look at the market, we drove to Cley next the Sea where we had lunch in the Dun Cow, actually at Salthouse, next to Cley.  Despite the place being pretty full, they managed to serve us good food promptly.  We were impressed that the operation was so slick, given the number of customers.

The Cley Marshes Nature Reserve is owned by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, of which we're not members, so we had to pay to go in, which was fine. There are decent boardwalks to the hides we visited, and we got good views of quite a few birds, including ringed plover, black-tailed godwit, dunlin, redshank (displaying), avocet, gadwal and shoveller ducks and marsh harriers.  All very satisfactory.  Lorna and Richard are not birders, so their interest was limited and we didn't push our luck, so Jenny and I would cheerfully have stayed longer, but let our friends drag  us home!

Dinner in No 10 was as great as ever, with a warm welcome from owner Sonya.  I had an excellent local fillet steak, but as the rest were all eating fish, they had white wine, while I contented myself with an enormous glass of red.

On Sunday it was my turn to cook breakfast, so first we finished off Richard's fruit salad, then I made omelettes Arnie Bennett.  The pukka Omelette Arnold Bennett requires clever sauces, but the version I did is designed, according to the author of the book I used, for people who don't have staff.

Omelette for two.
4 large eggs
a slug of milk - you could probably use some of what you cook the fish in
salt and pepper
a small knob of butter
a lump of undyed, smoked haddock - say 10 or 12 cm square and a couple thick
enough milk to just cover the fish in a pan
10 peppercorns
a bay leaf
single cream
75 - 100 gm gruyere or emental

  • Lay the fish in a pan and just cover with milk.  Add the peppercorns and bay leaf.  Bring the milk to the boil, remove from the heat, cover and leave for 5 minutes. 
  • When time is up, take the fish out of the pan, skin it and flake it into a bowl.  Add a good slug of cream and mix it all up.
  • Fire up the grill so it's hot when you need it.
  • Beat the eggs with the milk, then season with salt and pepper.  Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan and when it's bubbling, pour in the egg mixture.  As the edges set, pull them towards the middle and run more liquid egg into the space.
  • Once most of the egg is set, but with the middle still liquid, spread the haddock and cream over the top, then grate the cheese over the top of that.  Stick it under a hot grill until the top starts to go golden.
  • Serve immediately.
After that a walk around the town was essential to settle things down or we'd have stayed sitting in the settees all day!  We spent quite a while sitting, reading and drinking coffee as it was!

After the walk, we decided we really needed to get some lunch, not so much because we were hungry but it was getting towards two o'clock and we knew we needed to eat before setting out back to Royston.  We went into a pub that just happened to be handy and were served enormous portions.  Needless to say, I could only eat about half of mine, but it was good - three tasty sausages in a big Yorkshire pudding with a big serving of gravy.  And chips, and peas, and carrots.  I was defeated before I'd even started it!

Lorna and Richard set off homewards more or less straightaway, but Jenny and I wanted to go to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve near Fakenham.  Sadly, the day was so far progressed by the time we set out that it was not practical, so we've had to save that for our next visit.

We were pretty glad to collapse in a heap when we got home.  A great weekend, but knackering!

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