Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lunch at The Cricketers, Clavering, Essex

Lunch at the Cricketers, Clavering, Essex
you can see a bigger version on Flickr

Yesterday, "He who must not be bored while I sketch" and I went to North Essex for lunch at The Cricketers in Clavering in North Essex.  We'd not visited before but I hoped it would provide a comfortable setting with good food for a relaxed celebration of the fact HWMNBB is not going into work again - ever!  He has retired!

I rang ahead, booked a table, did my usual enquiry about sketching food and got a nice welcome - as we did when we got to the pub.

The pub restaurant is owned and run by Jamie Oliver's parents Trevor and Sally Oliver.  This was the kitchen where the young Jamie learned how to cook!

It's very old and has very low ceilings - I was having to duck my head as we walked past the bar!

I hoped that the quality of the food and the cooking would be up to scratch and we were not disappointed.  We had an excellent lunch.  There's a good choice on the menu.  If anything I did wonder how they were able to offer such a wide choice!  However despite officially being a public house as opposed to a restaurant proper, menu choices come with restaurant proper prices - although portions are generous.  However since it was a celebration (and I was paying) that was less of an issue.  If we pay a return visit - which seems likely - we'll be rather more restrained in the number of courses.

Of course we were sharing courses, so we had the illusion of eating rather more than we did.  Nevertheless, he who always asks for extra taties declared himself to be well and truly stuffed at the end of the meal.  We both start a diet on the 1st August - which was the other reason for getting this celebratory meal eaten now!

Up top in the sketch you can see:
  • Antipasti - a rustic platter of Italian meats including Parma ham, bresaola and salami felino, with baked fresh peach, huge Amalfi olives, Parmesan chunks and toasted home-made sourdough bread
  • Vegetable Antipasti - a rustic platter of artichokes, courgettes, buffalo mozzarella, sun blushed tomatoes, huge Amalfi olives and toasted home-made sourdough bread
  • 30 day hung Dedham Rib Eye Steak with confit new garlic and watercress purée - which I had with a green salad and new potatoes
  • the cheese board - which we shared
"He who is very slow to like new food" discovered that he liked bocconcino, anchovies and baked peaches - and he never knew! ;)

On this occasion I did a very quick pen and ink sketch and inserted a few colour notes before returning to discussing what he who has endless options for activities in the future will be getting up to in future.

We then decamped for Bluewater where we looked at options for a new computer for him and I bought a Magic Trackpad!

PS  Retirement:  For those interested I have a personal theory about retirement which I share with anybody who will listen!  It goes something like this

It's important to :
  • avoid trying to do everything you've ever wanted to do straight away - or you'll end up well and truly knackered!
  • try and develop a portfolio of interests - and avoid focusing too much on just one thing
  • do something.....
    1. which keeps you physically active
    2. which keeps you mentally stimulated
    3. which is creative
    4. which involves learning something new
    5. which is community oriented / about "giving back"
    6. which is social - and involves meeting/talking with people "face to face"
On the other hand He who is just getting used to this retirement lark says it's very important to start with a holiday and he's putting his feet up for a bit!


Friday, July 15, 2011

A Cheshire Garden in July

A Cheshire Garden in July 2011
pen and ink and coloured pencil on Arches, 10" x 14"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Rampant is a good word to describe my Mother's garden in July.  Cosmo loves it!  He shimmies in and out of the plants - creeping up close and watching the collar doves on the bird table and trying to track down and catch anything small that moves. 

I must however practice drawing doves as these are really not very good.  What I liked about the doves  is that they now realise that Cosmo is never going to be able to jump up and catch them - so they just sit there and taunt him!

I was up in Cheshire to collect my cats from their very long holiday with my Mother - and to recover from my very long drive back from Provence.   This sketch was done first thing in the morning while sat in my armchair next to the French windows. It's the same place I do all the sketches of this garden from.  You can see more here:
Time now to get a proper record of the trip up on this blog as plans for doing that while I was away were thwarted by the lightning strike and loss of internet.  Blog posts were strictly one image only.  So I'll be focusing on that in the near future - starting at the beginning - and including relevant photos of the trip.

I've started to load the photos onto Flickr and if you want a preview you can see them all in a Flickr collection called Provence 2011.