Back On The List

A few years ago, my Momma and Randy were over here visiting and took me out for dinner to celebrate my birthday. We didn’t really know anywhere in the area, so we took to the Internet to find somewhere “nice” (not a chain.. not weird food.. not a carvery type joint) and stumbled upon The Birch at Woburn and decided to give it a go.

Having never ventured even as far as Woburn Sands, we were shocked to find such nice little villages so close to the booming metropolis that we were calling home. It was like Real England had been hiding in the shadows the whole time when I thought we were nowhere near it. Because of not knowing where we were, we actually passed the restaurant and ended up in Woburn itself and stumbled upon the Abbey and all.

After eventually finding out way back, we made it to the restaurant, got seated and quite enjoyed our meal there. Success!!

Lee and I then returned again a few months later and although some things were tasty, over all it was a let down and I was in fact sick by the time we hit the parking lot.

Due to this, we hadn’t been back in a couple of years!

Today, we made a return visit when Lee and Noah took me out to lunch for my birthday. The sun was shining and although we were tired from a late night out on Friday, we were all in pretty good spirits especially when once again realising that Real England is almost so close we can touch it .. without ever getting on or crossing a major highway/motorway.

We sat in “the bar” area which is more rustic looking than the tables located in the proper restaurant bit, but it was all the same menu so it didn’t really matter. Plus, with Noah, the less tables around for him to flirt with/demand attention from.. the better.

When the waiter came around to tell us about the menu I almost tuned him out straight away. I rarely ever order Specials of the Day because I normally forget halfway through what they were talking about. When he rattled off the soup and started with “tomato” I instantly thought.. .oO(ah here we go again), but he followed it with red pepper and horseradish cream. Okay, so there was no way I was going to order it seeing as I hate tomato soup, but I liked the interesting twist. He got to the special starter and it was grabbing me until I heard “stilton”, but it was alright since I’d already been busy debating myself over which of two that jumped out of me that I was going to have. And then I heard “veal”. Oh my.

Right after Noah was born I read an article about rose veal in the UK and how they were promoting it rather than perpetuating that it was a really bad thing to eat. I couldn’t help but cry when I read that veal comes from baby boy cows. Here my own baby boy was laying across my lap having a nap and I was reading about eating some cow’s baby boy. I cried. A lot.

Noah’s over a year now and I’m pregnant and sometimes I can understand why in some species of animal, the mother eats their young. My tears over veal are long gone and in fact I’ve been craving it like crazy.

So back to the man.. “fillet of veal with a mustard potato cake, served with asparagus wrapped in parma ham and topped of with seared fois gras”. DAMNIT! You had to throw in the fois gras. Instantly I knew that Lee had found his main course and I was left fearing I’d be there for hours trying to choose a main. But before I knew it I heard “salmon fillet on a bed of tagliatelle with crab and shrimp in a garlic cream sauce”. SOLD!

We asked for a moment to decided on the starters and when he .. or actually a totally different waiter… came back to take our order we were ready to go.

Lee’s menu: Terrine of Local Venison served with mustard aioli, roasted pear and rocket salad, the Veal Special (and to be added later, the Hazelnut Brulee served with Brandy and Orange Ice Cream and Shortbread)

My menu: Smoked Salmon with Potato and Horseradish Salad served with baby leaves and sauce vierge, the Salmon Special (and to be added later, the Glazed Lime Tart served with Coconut Ice Cream and fragrant lemongrass syrup)

Noah’s menu: A bit of everything with emphasis on the smoked salmon starter, the potato from Lee’s main and the Salmon and Crab from mine .. Lee’s brulee and my ice cream.

I went there not feeling like pasta at all. I was hoping for something more potato-y and with vegetable. I left completely happy with what I ordered and just wishing that fois gras was something that I didn’t find too rich and was pregancy friendly, because Lee’s meal looked AMAZING and the veal melted in the mouth. He even said that the fois gras there was better than the stuff he had at Boxwood Cafe.

The service slipped a bit toward the end, but it afforded Noah some running around time, diaper change time and time for me to be emotionally retarded and full on cry at the table when a song came on and I couldn’t stop thinking of my Daddy and how he was missing yet another one of my birthdays and how I never got to show him anything of England … where I live… and how he is so missing out on Noah.

But other than my hormonally charged self being unable to rein my tears in, it was a perfect lunch out to celebrate my favourite day of the year .. a day early.

And afterwards we drove through Woburn and then found this village that we were told we would love to live in and agreed.. we would love to live there. However, when I got home and looked up the houses for sale there we agreed that it might take a while to get there seeing as of the two possibilities (the third was too small) the cheaper one was just over £500,000.

But we got to discover a little more of what is around us and see more of what kind of place we want to go to when we leave here. We also got to drive through the deer park by Woburn Abbey and then come home and all have a nap… with Noah napping in his own room!!

What a Happy Day Before Birthday. Looks like the fates took their heads out of their bums and remembered how important my birthday weekend is after all!

And of course… I couldn’t let this lunch go by without taking photos!

At least there was one olive left when I remembered

At least there was one olive left when I remembered

Raisins while we wait

Raisins while we wait

My Salmon Starter

My Salmon Starter

Lees Starter

Lee's Starter

Where did it go?

Where did it go?

Finger Lickin Good

Finger Lickin' Good

My Main

My Main

Lees Main

Lee's Main

My Dessert

My Dessert

Lees Dessert

Lee's Dessert

Ahhhhh All Done

Ahhhhh All Done

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