It has been a rather quiet Cowes Week for us this year. I have exams coming up so am studying madly. We are without houseguests for the week, which is very unusual. But I have managed to get out and about a very little bit.
red funnel bringing people to Cowes.
breakfast from the pop-up creperie- crepes with honey and walnuts
The actual Boat ‘Swallow’ from the about-to-be-released film ‘Swallows and Amazons’
View of HRH Prince Philip’s Royal Yacht Galatea
Well, we are officially Cowes Week’d out. It has been a great week of parties parties. Lunches lunches. Walks walks. Sun, sailing and lots and lots of lovely Pimms.
Sigh. Great week, but today for the last day, after a terrific evening that featured the glorious Red Arrows and fireworks, today we decided to give the last day of festivities a big fat miss and went instead to Ryde. We spent hours playing on the beach, and at the park and had a picnic.
I also wandered in to Appley Tower and came out rather poorer (as did Mummy-Gusto who had to loan some funds- having bought H-G his birthday present. Appley Tower now is home to a rather impressive display of rocks, crystals and fossils.
Our picnic featured….
Egg and cress sandwiches
Cream cheese and olive sandwiches
ham, cheese and piccalilli sandwiches
chicken, tomato and cheese sandwiches
Water and wine for those of us who were not driving.
Great final day to Cowes Week.
Oh- and ice cream.
Lunch today was good old pub grub at The Waterside. This was good value for money. The food was tasty, serviceable. Did the job. Not great food I would say, but decent, filling and the portions were ridiculously large.
Children’s fish fingers, served with beans or chips, or peas or potato faces. £4.50 including a free drink.
Beans and Chips. £3.29.
Beer and Burger meal deal. £6.29
Chips and gravy. £ 3.39
Mix and Match Fish cakes -smoked haddock; thai cod and prawn and salmon and dill fish cakes. £6.59
beer and Burger – vegetable burger. A tasty patty filled with carrots, potato, corn and peas. When loaded with mayo, sauce and salad this was very tasty indeed. £6.29
A local barbershop quartet serenaded the High Street.
The rain has been threatening all morning, but so far (touch wood) has held off.
Lunch was taken here along the Parade.
I had the curried chickpea and red cabbage wrap…
My ‘dining companion’ as they say in all the best reviews had the steak sandwich with roasted peppers and onions….
Both meals were very good indeed. And at a cost of a mere £12.00 for the two meals, which considering the size and the quality of ingredients was really outstanding.
I can already see that I shall be making a repeat visit this week.
I was originally going to title this post ‘How to Survive Cowes Week’ until I realised, that hand on heart- despite this being my 9th consecutive Cowes Week, they all end up for me the same way. With being totally exhausted. So rather than writing tips, I could just do with some. Cowes week is such a highlight for us, and we revel in the sailing, the eating, the drinking, the renewing of friendships of people you only see once a year and just in general having a really good time. This year H-G and I are scheduled to party hard (early sailing starts permitting) as the Gusta Mother (M-Gusto?Mummy-Gusto?) is coming to visit in order to keep Baby-Gusto occupied while we go out and use and abuse her goodwill shamelessly.
H-G has been sailing in Cowes Week some 30 years, and has thousands of salty sea stories to tell. My favourite concerns when a new waitress at a party did not realise that Pimms was actually cut with lemonade, and used neat gin instead. Apparently next morning there were a number of collisions before about 20 boats decided en masse to retire. I do not sail, but I am a keen spectator, and adore the beauty of seeing hundreds of boats in the distance. (Just don’t suggest to a navigator that if they are not sure where to go, they could just ‘follow everyone else’ as I discovered the hard way my first year. )
So, for this food blog, there will be a heavy focus on food. And drink. And fun. I can only recommend that if you have a chance, drop by Cowes during a Cowes Week one year.
It’s really great fun.
- Toast and Jam at The Octopus’s Garden
This was Baby-Gusto’s second breakfast of the day. He finished the lot. Plus a side of hash browns.
2. Scrambled egg on toast at The Octopus’s Garden.
For me. With white coffee. This hit the spot. I bought B-G’s toast, my eggs, a white coffee, a cake and hot chocolate and a cup of tea all for £11. Most satisfying.
3. Beef Rendang in the Yacht Haven at ‘Wok’s Happening’. I was a bit disappointed with this. I love Wok’s Happening, and usually eat their Thai prawn dish on repeat. I branched out to try the Beef Rendang. It was acceptable, but needed more mango chutney to give it taste. The advertised ‘naan’ bread was a microwaved pita. This is a great place to go during Cowes week- but I will revert to Thai prawn curry. That is really out of this world.
4. Bacon baguette from Tiffins. Tiffins has been in Cowes for yonks. People love it. Prices are good, servings are – well that is a dinner plate my baguette is resting on- and the food is fresh. Highly recommended. Thanks to our friend Rosy who decided that turning up at 9 am on the final sailing day with Tiffins baguettes would be A. Good. Idea.
She was right.
It is Cowes Week 2012. Cowes Week is our total highlight of the year. It is just a week of sailing festival fun. This is the second year that Cowes Week has been sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, and it certainly is a fantastic spectacle.
H-G sails all Cowes Week, but Baby Gusto and I prefer to enjoy the fun off the water. There are pop-up restaurants, shops, live music and people everywhere.
Saturday was Day 1. After waving off the intrepid sailors, B-G and I went for a wander to see all the sights. Lunch was always going to feature in our plans (lunch is one of my 3 favourite meals of the day) so we went into the Yacht Haven and considered our options.
Some of my favourites were back- I can highly recommend the Thai/Chinese/Malay caravan- their red curry prawns have been a highlight in years past, but this year I decided to try something new. Rejecting the food caravan that featured a disinterested counterhand who was sitting and resolutely ignoring potential punters and reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ I settled on a new place called ‘Crab on Chips’. That was- exactly- what they offered. An enormous mound of crab on freshly cooked chips.
I enjoyed this meal. The crab was tasty, and not diluted by mayonnaise. The portions were huge,and at £7.50 probably represented pretty good value for money. B-G loves crab, and he loves chips, so that worked out well. All in all, it was a really nice addition to the food caravans that feature at the Yacht Haven. Added to this, Crab On Chips is a local Isle of Wight business, from Ventnor and all the crab and lobster sold is fished here.
After this meal- enjoyed in the hot sun, both B-G and I needed a nap. But there was no chance. The sailors were coming in, and jugs of Pimms beckoned.