One of the highlights of our recent trip to England was celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary at Ode in Shaldon, which has been named UK’s most sustainable restaurant by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The food was absolutely amazing, delicious, fresh and exciting from beginning to end. Service was friendly and helpful (owner Tim Bouget was lovely!). And all of this for a great price! Our wedding anniversary fell on a Wednesday and Ode features a reduced price menu on Wednesdays: three courses for 29 pounds! We added a couple of glasses of kir royale to start and a very pleasant French white wine to accompany our main courses.
I love the story of the tortoise and the hare, of David and Goliath, or any time when the little guy triumphs over the big.
Best case in point this past month: Ode in Shaldon, a charming little Devon seaside restaurant that has been named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
It beat out Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage, which took second place.
Chef-proprietor Tim Bouget got top marks for local sourcing as well as energy and water efficiency and waste management. Check it out the next time you are in the West Country!
Ever see the Seinfeld episode where Elaine watches her boss eating a candy bar with a fork and knife?
The first time I ate pizza in the UK, I was reminded of this as I watched everyone eat their pizza with a fork and knife. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating pizza from a Michelin-starred restaurant or Pizza Hut, you don’t use your hands. It’s not a thin-crust issue. It’s not a this-pizza-is-too-flipping-hot issue. I believe it’s an issue of manners.
Speaking of manners, Matthew is frequently horrified when he eats with Americans and finds them doing the familiar dance of cutting up their food — steak, for example — into pieces (knife in right hand, fork in left), only to put their knife down, swap their fork from their left hand to their right and then stab the little pieces with their right. The process is exhausting and inefficient. By contrast, he keeps his knife in his right, fork in his left and cuts each piece, stabs and then eats with his left. No silverware shuffle. It’s the essence of simplicity and actually the way I prefer to eat now. Even when I’m enjoying a Snickers bar.