Bavaria and some of the Food – So much better than the reputation

Interesting, I was watching Saturday Kitchen yesterday on the BBC, and was fascinated by a Rick Stein interview of a Duke there in Andalucía, who thought British food was very underrated.

The same I feel for German food, and specifically, Bavarian cuisine that is available at many breweries and guest houses / restaurants.

Wurst, Kartoffelsalat und Bier

It’s just something that they do very well with basic food. Note that the potato salad has very little mayo in it – it’s not a heavy, sticky food; though of course I know it’s not completely healthy as well.

Topped off with a culture of beer gardens, it’s a treasure to take part in.

Somehow it all just fits.



The Week Ahead – No blogging recently, we’ve been in Hospital! / Killearn, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Now that things are a wee bit more healthy, we will start to write a little bit more here; but thanks again to our NHS, and in particular, in the speed of their service, that I thought was an oxymoron due to the pandemic – I was wrong, they have been superb!

Killearn – Part 1

But first, finally had a wee trip away from Glasgow, first time in a long time that is, to a lovely village called Killearn.

I always had a memory of the last 10 years, where I was in a small village, with two churches opposite a narrow group of old one floor cottages; this was it.

The instant that I was here on a Saturday lunchtime, I immediately noticed the two churches, one has since been turned into a village hall / cafe / church, with stunning views westward.

What struck me, at least in a way that it appealed to me, was that there was everything you wanted; school, church, village hall, two cafes, pub / restaurant (the Old Mill), and even a “luxury” food shop (below):

Speaking of the café, we did lunch at the Town & Country Designs shop / cafe – very nice food and cake.

More on Killearn later and more blogging during the upcoming week.


The Week Ahead / Final part of my England trip – Oakham, and the resting place of Ruddles beer

The week ahead, I’ll show some fotos of a recent St Andrews trip, along with more from Glasgow and some of the culture & highlights here in Scotland; but first . . .

Ruddles County – Devine!

Years ago living in England, as a connoisseur of Real Ale, my personal favourites ranged from Youngers No. 3 (Scottish), to a fine English bitter,

ESB – A fine English bitter

ESB (Fullers Brewery, London) and finally, Ruddles County.

Younger’s No. 3

Interesting that nowadays, only ESB is still being brewed, but wait, a surprise!

On my recent Warwick trip, as I usually do, I decided to go “off grid” (away from the Motorways), and headed on a rural short cut, that went from the Midlands, around Kettering, though Corby, through Uppingham and then, to the delightful village / town of Oakham.

Why? Because about an hour before hand, I had wondered what ever happened to Ruddles (kid you not!) and discovered, that the last head brewer there, was now practicing his trade at a new brewery in Oakham, The Grainstore Brewery. And that one of the beers was a startling resemblance to Ruddles County!

Que sorpresa! I had to go there and buy a couple of gallons of the “10 50“; presumably a reference to the specific gravity of the beer.

Beg, borrow and steal, to find this stuff; it’s lovely!


Ludlow Part 2 – Ludlow Brewery Tour

In my life, I’ve always wanted to do this; go to a brewery and see just how the stuff of Gods is produced; I was not disappointed.

Beautiful ruby red beer from the Ludlow Brewery

There were about 12 of us that took part in, the almost 2 hour long tour, and all seemed to be fascinated by it, both in the smelling of the hops, grains, etc – and in the tasting later!

I thought that it was:

* Interesting; it was very local oriented about their beer and their philosophy in making beer.

* Fascinating and new, when they spoke about malts, particularly the ones that are used to brew the alcohol, and then some that are only used to flavour the beer. I have made beer before, but simply didn’t know that they used this type of technique

* Links –

An interesting site, where many tours can be booked, here.

Another, where Visit England has some that are recommended.

And finally, statistics on Breweries in the UK.

Go out and do some of these, there’s no excuse now!


Who’s up for a food Festival? Review of Ludlow’s –

It was only a few months ago when I was in Ludlow for a short stay. Very impressed with the “living museum” type of feel, the food, drink, architecture and the Shropshire Hills, so why not try it another time?

I did and was impressed yet again at their Ludlow Food Festival, and with it came beautiful weather as well (Ed; Of course, it’s way south of Glasgow!).

The “buyings” can be sorted into the two types of my faves; alcohol and non-alcohol!

The one thing that fascinated me, were the many alcohol stands on display, mainly aimed at Gin, but also spirits such as Whiskey; English Whiskey! I tried two of the whiskeys, a young one less than 3 years of age, and a casked one – the difference was immeasurable! The latter was like nectar, and I subsequently received a hand written email to contact the distillery, as only 400 bottles are produced each year.

I bought a bottle of the whiskey later at the Ludlow Farm shop just outside of town. The subsequent taste was similar to fire water though I think over ice or mixed it would do just fine; though to be fair it is technically not a whiskey (and it does say that), as it has not been aged for 3 years in a barrel.

The other purchase, was a variety of ales from the local Ludlow Brewery Co. (where we also had a tour – more on that later), with the “Red Dawn”, I believe a ruby ale, being a personal favourite.

More from this later in the week.


Random Thought from Germany #1 – Incredibly cheap Alcohol!

I went into a LIDL whilst in Bavaria, naturally as they are both German and exceedingly good value. But the prices and variety of the “bevvy” was exceptional.

That’s right, £1.00 for a bottle of Merlot!

As you can see, a bottle of perfectly fine Merlot (Ed; In your opinion), will only set you back a quid! Extraordinary. Though this may have something to do with both the number of local wines produced in Germany as well as the tax structure in the UK and Glasgow.

What I also saw, and have seen before, were the different types of “whiskey” – Queen Margot? But now, this “formula” has been applied to gin and gin schnapps, that have a very similar look to other, more famous real gins.

But the last thing I saw, was the beer; with unbelievable prices.

Various beers and shandys (Radler)

Whether that be a very fine bottle of wheat beer, Patronus, to a nice can of Spaten (from Munich).


Beer of the Week / Recipe of the Week – Honey Beer / Broccoli Slaw

I am trying to have this as a regular feature, but we do cook and drink(!) just so much, it’s hard to choose! One of the pet likes of mine, is to follow the myriad of TV chefs as they concoct, their often preposterous creations. We digress, as many of these, even if followed “loosely” can still be marvellous, but first, the BOTW:

This is a feature, at times, in a local Polish shop that I frequent. Whilst my Polish skills are non-existent, I can still gather from the label (and my taste) that there is some honey involved here somewhere. The beer’s name Miodne, actually means, you guessed it, “Honey”. The taste was of a non-overbearing honey beer, that was not too sickly with a full flavour. Will buy again.

As for the ROTW, a Broccoli Slaw; it comes from Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn, they of The Big Cookout on the BBC, and was featured on Saturday Kitchen, which is on BBC1 most Saturdays.

Whilst being a huge fan of broccoli, for both the cheapness and superfood benefits, I’d never before had or even thought of having it in its raw form? It was deliciously crunchy and blended in with the cranberries and honied yoghurt. One to make again!


Beer of the Week – Traquair House, 160 /-

I’ve seen many recent TV shows about the plight or current state of the various castles, country houses, etc, that we find here in the UK.  Many paint a bleak yet optimistic future for these concerns.  And to agree to this, I’ve recently visited Traquair House, in Peeblesshire south Scotland, on more than a few occasions; no doubt a good thing as they have diversified into the areas of business, that will no doubt make this ancient country house (the oldest house in Scotland) successful for the foreseeable future.  In addition, they’ve added a brewery to their business.  With a variety of styles.

Traquair House, 160 shilling

One of them is this delightful old style of Scottish ale, known as 160 /- (160 shilling).  If you are not familiar with this name, please see here.  Basically, the higher the number the more expensive the tax was on this type of beer, and hence, the strength (normally) is higher.   For this little beauty, it’s 9.5%, yet at the same time, it’s never to treacly and can go both in a pint (almost!) mug, or in your favourite wine glass.


Beer of the Week – Mahrs

So as part of a Bavarian trip, I go to the magical town of Bamberg, where at last count, there are ten breweries contained therein.    Whilst these were not to our avail, I did manage to attend an outside restaurant, complete with a protected courtyard, and resplendent with a marquee against the elements (Why don’t they have that here in Glasgow?).

And as an accompaniment to my schnitzel, I ordered the local brau, Mahrs.  A lager I’ll have you know, and sensational.  Just look at that foam!

Mahrs lager, aus Bamberg

Beer of the Week

As I was just in Europeland for about a month, please wait for the picts!  But on a more important note, once there, I was in a delightful German border town, that served a sensational form of lager from draught (vom Fass!).

You heard right, lager! 

This one, entitled Öcher (Oecher), was superb with a hint of sweetness, and I shall be hunting it down via the internet, asap.

But, borrowing the completely pretentious “beeradvocate. com” notes, one must say:

A- Warm, fluffy, golden tone, nice foam on it, that didn’t disappear.  Vernacular; “good bevvy”.

S- Beerish! Like an alcoholic candy.

T- Nutty, as in the type you get at Christmas, with a taste of sugar, just a hint.

M- It smacked of a full bodied lager, but not that shite Budweiser!  Give us a break.

D- Could drink gallons of this stuff; thought is was 4.5%.  Brewed in Lahnstein:

Oecher lager – Prost!