Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nottingham: Walk in the Park

Today was a good day. The epitome of a day on vacation. I was like the tourist Waldo, in one of those books, only much more conspicuous, and hirsute. Decked out in my trench, scarf and my new, badass keen slips, Liz, Sian and I went for a walk in Wollaton Park. This was my first British park experience of the week, and well, it was by all means a proper park. 

Good job.

We found a spot across the street to park, and Liz demonstrated the British parking techniques for my enjoyment. The weather was a bit brisk, and there was a strong, steady wind blowing. Liz brought some bread so we could feed the ducks, and we headed around the castle thing, or what ever it was -- a hall? -- towards the lake to toss bread in the water. One of the serious treats for me was the colors of fall that the trees were sporting. As a Texan, or an Austinite, I don't really get to enjoy these 'seasons' that other places have. It was a joyous occasion. 

Trees!

More trees!

What do I have to do to get my face on a relief?

I like the colors of fall. How do we get some?

The park has  a bunch of deer all over the place, and they were huge. The deer in Lakeway are the size of large dogs, and these, these were deer. The lake was nice, and there were a few ducks when we started tossing the bread, but quickly it was Beatlemania, and we were mobbed by a huge following of ducks and sea gulls. Suddenly, HM's swans came our way like a fleet of battleships, slow, steady and intent on eating our bread. Her Majesty's swans are beautiful, but fucking huge compared to the mallards, loon, and other little fowl that we were feeding. The loon was my favorite. It kept going under all the other birds and getting the scraps that had sunk to the bottom. Way cool. 

Feed those ducks.

Swans.

The one in the top right  is the Loon. 

Liz of the Lake.

Click on this pic to make it larger, that way you can see the deer. Huge!

It started raining on us, so we headed back to the car. We went and picked up Vicky, and went for a proper Sunday lunch (dinner) at the Cock and Hoop. I was impressed with this place. The beers were all great, and the roast pork was fabulous. The bartender was genuinely friendly, and was interested in what I had to say. How do I know? They don't work for tips. So far, I'm really enjoying the Brit's beer. Well conditioned pints, pulled with perfection from cellar cooled  casks. Yum. I tried two at the Cock and Hoop, and they were fucking awesome. One was a local Nottingham brewed beer, that was named for the pub, and the other was called the Landlord. Both were nicely hopped and low alcohol session beers. I could drink both all night, even for £2.90 apiece. 

Nice cock.

Oh no!

Hilarious.

The food was great. It's tradition to eat a roast for Sunday dinner over here, have all the trimmings, and Yorkshire pudding. I really liked the Yorkshire pudding. I'm going to have to find a recipe for them, and make some when I get home. The roast was tender and had the taste of fresh pork, with the slight pungency of game. The carrots, potatoes, and haricot vert were nicely cooked, and the cauliflower was covered in something cheesy, maybe even Bechamel. Yum. We finished the meal with a nice cheese plate. Lots of Stilton. I love Stilton.

Nom, nom, nom. 

After dinner, we ventured over to the oldest pub in England, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, which has been open since 1189. It was a pretty interesting little place, carved out of the side of the hill, and filled with interesting, kitchy shit. Like the pregnancy chair, and the cursed galleon. Oooo... I had another excellent beer, a Green King IPA, which was great. I really like these British IPA's. They don't have all the excessive alcohol and ridiculous over the tops Northwest hops in them. Just simple noble hops, and hand pumped carbonation.

This bar is  587 years older than our country.

Tasty.

The last three people who tried to clean this... they died.

Liz and Vicky had law school homework to do, so Sian and I went out and saw The Quantum of Solace, which I enjoyed. I was thinking about Bond films before I left. I haven't seen many old Bond films and would like to. Things are winding down, and I'm getting tired.  

4 comments:

juancho said...

Enough of the parks, food and beer already. Are you or are you not going to meet with the Queen and bring us home a Knighthood? You enjoy entirely too much having your pint pulled. That old bar was not that impressive, your room out at the lake was dustier than that. Enjoy your stay. Watch out for skinheads.

TexasDeb said...

Cool to see Bond on his own turf eh wot?

I second the idea of snaring a knighthood. That would class up the Wheat a lot, having a knight in the produce aisle.

You could walk around with a sword and slice up sample tasties with it and say "methinks" a lot.

Although fair warning - if you keep using "proper" as a modifier for everything two weeks after you get back home we'll be staging an intervention.

Shadd Scott said...

Proper pics and beer descriptions!
Some words in there I had to look up, as well.
I think their culture suits you just fine.
Is it cloudy like Portland all the time?

Flapjacks said...

It's totally cloudy, and it rains a lot. So glad I purchased waterproof shoes before I came.

Next post will be over the top gastro-tourism!

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