Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Travel notes

The time spent in Cambridge was as pleasant as it could be. A remarkable meal at the Three Horse Shoes, a lovely example of an English country pub with an excellent  menu with classic and contemporary fare (Scallop carpaccio, vennison stew) was crowned - for me, at least - by an excellent bitter ale, Mauldon's "Mole Trap". Lovely floral hops, and only 3.8 percent alcohol - as wonderful as the Portland brews have become, it's often difficult to find spectacular beer that's not unnecessarily strong.

I got to spend time with the unique Art collection at Kettles Yard as well - far too short a time, the place is as much an installation in it's own right as it is the individual pieces displayed there. Lots of reasons to look forward to future visits to Cambridge.

Ultimately, time came that we headed out by train to our destination - a house in the French countryside, where we planned to relax, enjoy walking and dining and simply doing nothing at all in good company.

We had a little time to kill at the station in Lille. We sat outside one of the station's restaurants - a place called McDonalds, perhaps you've heard of them? Scattered outside on benches were some of the current crop of "Jeune Filles", that is to say, teen age French girls. Fat, surly teenage girls stuffing fries and burgers into their faces. On occasion, I'd thought that the language of the Slow Food movement, as stated by Carlo Petrini and in statements like Folco Portinari's  Slow Food Manifesto, overly politicized current trends in food production and marketing. Watching these young people eat, I had a feeling of horror as I realized the mean spirit and greed that threatens not only our environment, but also every traditional culture, as well as everyone's health, well being, and even beauty.

Ultimately our train arrived and we made our way onward - to the small village of Cry Sur Armancon, where we dined the way the French used to.

Read the Slow Food manifesto here.

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