Welsh Witterings: Where did all the good food go?
Well, it feels like I have been travelling on a high speed treadmill, the treadmill of self employment. I have done three back to back events and whilst everyone has been very happy and I’ve received some wonderful feedback I must admit that by Sunday afternoon I was not in the mood for cooking, so into the minibus we piled and we all went in search of good grub and more importantly a decent cup of coffee.
After quick debate between hubby and I we decided Rhayader was a good option. Rhayader is in Mid Wales and is a pretty market town where I have in the past enjoyed a decent meal. Well, I will be honest by the time we got to Rhayader it was 2:30pm and it seems that many places had either stopped serving food or had simply run out of food. With four hungry children in tow, I noticed that The Old Swan Tea Rooms seemed to be bustling and I had heard good things about this establishment. So we trooped in to be immediately met with, “Find a seat and come back and order at the counter. Cash only!” Well, this wasn’t quite the greeting I was expecting, but they had a good array of cakes and people seemed to be enjoying their meals. So, we sit down at the table and I order some filter coffees and milkshakes to enjoy whilst perusing the menu. The coffees arrive and they are dreadful, really, really dreadful. If it was filter coffee I wonder how many times it had been filtered through, because dishwater used to rinse a coffee pot may have had more coffee flavour. It was simply disgusting and two sips was quite enough. Whilst, looking through the menu we were plagued by flies, that were in full dive bombing mode, the flies were a real nuisance and we decided that as the front door of the tearooms was closed the flies must have been coming through a kitchen door. The flies were perched all over the cake counter walking about on the tables and whilst I understand that flies can be a problem in the summer months, it does not make for a nice dining experience. It was a great pity that the coffee was awful and the place was crawling with flies because it was a pretty looking tearoom, but alas I moved on to see what else was about that was serving.
A quick scout around the town did not yield any joy, but then a sign reading ‘food served all day’ looked promising. The sign was in front of a pub called The Eagles Inn. Inside it was a traditional, slightly quirky pub, that was in need of a bit of spruce up as it was looking tired and jaded, dare I say dingy. The staff were friendly enough and they served me a gin and tonic in a dusty glass, but did have vegetarian dishes and the promise of home cooking. At some stage this pub looks to have been well loved and it certainly had character , just a bit of a spit and polish could have made a vast difference.
The food arrived in a timely fashion and whilst my husband reported his steak pie to be full of tender chunks of meat with a good gravy, my vegetarian option was disappointing at best. I ordered the cheese, broccoli and potato bake and being an unimaginative dish I expected it to be well executed. Sadly, there was little potato, very little broccoli, (two small florets) and a tasteless white sauce. Quite frankly the portion size was tiny and from the taste of the bland dish this was actually a good thing. The salad consisted of dried up beetroot strands and lettuce, inedible! Alas I went home and made sandwiches for the girls and I. Yet again a disappointing meal out. We proclaim to be a nation of foodies, but the good food and coffee is getting hard to find. Sadly so many people think they can charge premium prices and provide very poor food.