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The Roebuck

By Belinda

After an afternoon spent with memories of the past yesterday, it was time to go out for a meal with Stephen. We first tried the The Moat House Inn, where I went last July with Stephen when we spent the day walking the woods in the area. But alas only the bar was open at the early hour of 5.00 p.m. The woman we spoke to there directed us to several other options in the area--depending on whether we wanted to travel further afield for "cheap and cheerful" or closer if we didn't mind something a bit more pricey.

 The Roebuck was the closest inn and restaurant and I had noticed it on the way to Stephen's home in Alcester (pronounced "All-ster.")

We tried it and found it open. It was obviously newly renovated to transform the old pub into an ultra modern restaurant.

We arrived without reservations and found that many tables close to a blazing fire, were already set aside, and we were taken further back into a colder section of the restaurant, but the staff seated us close to a radiator! We left Canada, where the winter so far has been the mildest we can remember; for England, which has been frosty cold and rainy since we arrived and the damp seems to penetrate the bones. We are weak--we admit it--and not used to the wide open windows and bracing fresh air of England--coddled North Americans now, and used to double glazing, and climate controlled atmospheres in both summer and winter! :)

I went to the "ladies," artfully named "does" and found it a challenge to squeeze in and out of with a handbag and large camera bag. I am not sure if they had accessible washrooms or bedrooms. From the website I don't think so and this may be an important oversight in the renovations. I wish I had thought to ask--but there is an info-line if anyone to whom this is essential is interested in visiting.

The food. It was heavenly!!!

Paul had a sirloin steak with chips, grilled mushroom, tomatoes and fried onion rings. He is--well, let's say he is not easy to please in the food department--but he said it was the best meal he has ever had in a restaurant. The meat was cooked as he asked--well done.

Stephen went for steak and kidney pie--a traditional English dish. He said it was good.

I ordered vegetable lasagne, which came with a salad, coleslaw and bruschetta. The bruschetta was mouth-wateringly delicious and so were the fries that I co-opted from Paul's plate. He passed me his mushroom and tomatoes and they likewise were juicy and full of flavour.

For dessert Paul had sticky toffee pudding and ice cream, and judging by the way his eyes rolled up into his head, it was good! Stephen had sherry trifle with cream and I had a chocolate orange truffle with cream. The flavours were exquisite.

On Sunday Stephen is going to cook a meal for us. He said it has been so long since he has cooked a meal for anyone that he will enjoy doing it.


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