karohemd: (dice)
I thought I would revive this blog with the odd post on gaming.
One of my recent acquisitions has been Pugmire by Eddy Web, published by Onyx Path Publishing.
Pugmire is essentially Dungeons and Dragons with dogs. It uses a variant of the 5th edition rules, somewhat simplified and less voluminous with different names for the character features. The PCs are “uplifted” dogs, anthropomorphic dogs that walk upright and have evolved to use tools and language in a world a long time after the Age of Man has ended. There are classes called Callings (spellcasters, thieves, fighters etc.) and Breeds, rough groups of dog breeds like Companions (pugs, chihuahas), Runners (greyhounds, lurchers) and so on.
The world centres around the city of Pugmire, a typical medieval town, inhabited not only by dogs but also other uplifted animals like cats and rats. Further out, badgers (usually bandits) and lizards (travelling merchants from across the sea) can be found. There are mountains in the North, a huge forest in the East (beyond which is the land of the cats, the Monarchies of Mau), and a sea beyond Waterdog Port on the Southern coast. Most of the setting information in the book is about the city of Pugmire while the rest of the world has not been fleshed out in detail. For the crafty GM (or in the case of Pugmire, the Guide) this is a perfect opportunity to put their own stamp on the setting.
A separate complete game called Monarchies of Mau on cats is forthcoming. It has already been funded on Kickstarter, is currently being written and should be out in about a year or so.
I absolutely love the setting and have already run a few one-shots locally. I also started a proper campaign online using roll20.
You can buy Pugmire as PDF via DriveThruRPG. The physical book is available in the US via Studio 2 (and Indie Press Revolution soon), I've not seen it on the Esdevium Games releases list but Eddy says they should be able to order it from Studio 2.
Which brings me to an offer: I am looking for another player or two so if you're interested, comment below. We don't have a regular schedule but Sunday afternoons (UK time) are usually the preferred option.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Captain Future)
I'm resurrecting this blog for a post that wouldn't fit into my wp one.
Last week a friend tweeted a link to This Northern Boy, an artist who mainly does line art SciFi illustrations. He had a sketch for sale I really liked and I ordered it. It arrived today.

There was no context, no name, or any indication who or what the ship was so I had a bit of a brainstorm and came up with a tiny story. First time I've done this, really, so any comments and constructive criticism are appreciated.

The small spacecraft dropped out of hyperspace a few clicks from a massive asteroid field. As it approached slowly on thruster power, its compact shape extended to reveal a cockpit with a large, lens-shaped window. A solar array and various sensors and aerials deployed and clicked into place as it drifted into the field and began a search pattern.
Inside the cockpit, the sole pilot worked the controls, multiple legs prodding and adjusting dials, multi-faceted eyes checking visual readouts, feelers searching for vibration patterns, antennae sensing the olfactory outputs. Every now and then, a small transmitter was jettisoned from a chute at the bottom of the craft and buried itself in one of the asteroids.
Its search pattern complete and its supply of transmitters exhausted, the surveyor retracted its sensors and returned to its travel configuration. When it had cleared the asteroid field, space folded around it and it was gone.
Just another day working for the Krktk mining corporation.


karohemd: photo by me (Science)
I'm resurrecting this blog for a post that wouldn't fit into my wp one.
Last week a friend tweeted a link to This Northern Boy, an artist who mainly does line art SciFi illustrations. He had a sketch for sale I really liked and I ordered it. It arrived today.

There was no context, no name, or any indication who or what the ship was so I had a bit of a brainstorm and came up with a tiny story:

The small spacecraft dropped out of hyperspace a few clicks from a massive asteroid field. As it approached slowly on thruster power, its compact shape extended to reveal a cockpit with a large, lens-shaped window. A solar array and various sensors and aerials deployed and clicked into place as it drifted into the field and began a search pattern.
Inside the cockpit, the sole pilot worked the controls, multiple legs prodding and adjusting dials, multi-faceted eyes checking visual readouts, feelers searching for vibration patterns, antennae sensing the olfactory outputs. Every now and then, a small transmitter was jettisoned from a chute at the bottom of the craft and buried itself in one of the asteroids.
Its search pattern complete and its supply of transmitters exhausted, the surveyor retracted its sensors and returned to its travel configuration. When it had cleared the asteroid field, space folded around it and it was gone.
Just another day working for the Krktk mining corporation.


karohemd: (Chef)
I have been lax in posting my own cooking to my blog recently which was mainly due to not having cooked anything new, exciting or worthwhile to post but here are two:

Mackerel and orange salad


I had picked up a mackerel from the wet fish counter at Sea Tree in Mill Road and wanted to make something very simple and quick. I filleted the mackerel (which is very easy compared to other fish), rubbed the skin side with rapeseed oil, seasoned the flesh side with sea salt and pepper and fried the fillets skin side down in a hot pan for about a minute, took the pan off the heat and flipped over the fillets to cook the other side.
To serve I arranged the fillets on simply dressed leaves with orange segments. The bitterness of the leaves with the tart orange worked well together. Blood oranges would have been even better but those weren't in season.

Poached Dover Sole


My friends Heidi and Carri had told me of a van that sells fresh wet fish from Lowestoft next to the Portland Arms pub on Mitcham's Corner on Wednesdays (from 8:30 to 15:00, I think) and yesterday I finally got up half an hour earlier and took a detour on the way to work. Yesterday, they had cod, haddock, salmon, plaice, Dover sole, herring, sprats, whole squid, prawns, rainbow trout and a few other bits and pieces. Everything looked excellent and fresh. As I knew I wouldn't have much time in the kitchen, I picked a Dover sole with the plan of poaching it. They even had a few that were already skinned which saved me some time.
Home after work, the fish was still in excellent condition, ever after 9 hours in the office fridge. I made a poaching liquor from white wine, water, a fish stock pot and a couple of slices of ginger and garlic, brought it to the boil, switched the heat off and let it cool down for a while, taking out the ginger and garlic at the end. On a Saturday I would have made my own stock from the bones but I was quite hungry and didn't want to wait that long. I filleted the sole (you get four fillets from a flat fish) and poached the fillets in the liquor for about five minutes. Then I took them out, seasoned them with salt and pepper and served them on dressed leaves and boiled new potatoes. Next time, i'm going to let the liquor cool even further so they don't cook quite that much. They were firm but still moist. The flavour was subtle and clean, just what I wanted.
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
As Fitzbillies opened for dinner again after a summer break, they introduced a "feasting" menu (see bottom of the dinner menu), available to groups of four and above and consisting of a starter (from the current menu, and the whole group has to agree on one), a main which is usually a whole cut of roasted meat to be carved at the table or a "dish of birds" and a dessert (selection as with starter). When I read this, I immediately knew this would be good fun so after a few weeks of herding catsfriends, we had decided on a date and a menu.

Cured rabbit loin, celeriac/hazelnut remoulade
We started with cured rabbit loin and celeriac/hazelnut remoulade. The meat was superb, tender and flavourful, another example of Fitzbillies' excellent cured products. The crunchy remoulade went nicely with it.


Sweetcorn chowder, queenie scallop
A little extra course in the shape of an espresso cup of sweetcorn chowder with a roasted Queenie scallop was next. The chowder was fresh and subtle in sweetcorn flavour, the scallop cooked perfectly.


Dish of birds
The main event, Dish of Birds: A quail each and a half each of pheasant and poussin, all perfectly roasted with crisp skin and juicy flesh. Not in the photo are the sides: roast potatoes, dandelion leaves, carrots, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and an excellent gravy. This was as delicious as it looked and after we'd finished, everybody was groaning with full stomachs.


Pear and chocolate cake
The dessert, however, was still to come and it fit in, too, as the pear and chocolate cake was rather light.


All the courses were served on sharing platters.

It was a really fun evening and I highly recommend it for a family celebration or just a reason to bring friends together. With a few bottles of wine, coffee and service, this feasting came to 50 pounds a head.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Photo 85mm)
Being incredibly behind the times the first time I heard (of) The Coal Porters was when they played a sesson on Bob Harris' Country Show on BBC2 a few months ago. Their version of "alternative bluegrass" music is fun(ny) and engaging, the muscianship is superb and they play in the traditional setup without amplification (except fiddle but that might have been because of the cramped stage) around a communal microphone. As each musician takes a solo or sings they step towards the microphone and then back again.
The Green Note in Camden is a tiny venue, an oblong room with the tiny stage in a front corner, tables along each long side and the bar at the end. Luckily I was early so managed to grab the small table directly in front of the stage. While there was a reasonable amount of light for such a venue, it was mostly red, the bane of all photographers because it washes out all skin tones so I had to convert them to black and white and crank up the contrast to get a reasonable result. A few impressions below, many more on flickr.

The Coal Porters at the Green Note, 02/03/13 The Coal Porters at the Green Note, 02/03/13
The Coal Porters at the Green Note, 02/03/13 The Coal Porters at the Green Note, 02/03/13 The Coal Porters at the Green Note, 02/03/13
The Coal Porters at the Green Note, 02/03/13 The Coal Porters at the Green Note, 02/03/13


karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (me Perch)
Last weekend I joined a number of old friends (you might be able to spot [livejournal.com profile] fractalgeek, [livejournal.com profile] queenortart, [livejournal.com profile] undyingking, [livejournal.com profile] pengshui_master, [livejournal.com profile] sesquipedality and others) in The King's Musketeers, set during the reign of King Louis XIII of France, with characters both from real history as well as literature (e.g. Alexandre Dumas' novels). As often during these weekend events, costuming was at a very high level, many self-made and a number of players even were wearing several different costumes. If you'd like to know more about freeform games, the UK Freeforms website is a good place to start. Here's a selection of photos, with many more being on flickr. The great and sometimes daunting thing about these freeforms is that the plots are written into the characters who then go and try to resolve them (find lost characters or items, resolve old rivalries, make profit/politics/war, toppel those in power, empower the people and so on) mostly by social interaction. Character sheets can be five or more pages long (background, character description, goals, people you know) and there are additional materials to read, too, so preparation for a game like this takes a while.
This was my first weekend freeform for a while (since Queen Vic's Jubilee) but I got into it quite quickly and, unlike some previous games, it went really well for me and I kept thinking something had to go horribly wrong any minute but I not only survived but also resolved most of my goals. My only disappointment was that the mob didn't get to overrun Paris. ;o)

Here's a selection of photos, with many more being on flickr.


The King's Musketeers The King's Musketeers
The King's Musketeers The King's Musketeers The King's Musketeers
The King's Musketeers The King's Musketeers

Bigger and more )


Next year's game is going to be Café Casablanca, with characters from Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon and other Film Noir films. It's almost completely booked already and registration is currently on hold while the organisers are figuring if they can fit in any more players. You can always register your interest as there are sometimes dropouts which will need to be filled.
karohemd: (Photo)
[livejournal.com profile] crocodilewings mentioned recently he needed a new avatar and yesterday we happened to be in the same area so we met up at a pub and took a few photos:

Rikk Rikk Rikk
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)

Eat Cambridge is a food festival this coming March. The main event, an all day fair at the Guildhall will be held on Saturday, the 9th of March from 10:30am to 4:00pm. Throughout the previous and the following week there are many fringe events like popup restaurants, cooking demonstrations and classes, tasting sessions and so on. You can find all the details and information on how to book in the programme.

I will be joining the food debate panel at the McCrum Theatre in the afternoon on Sunday, the 17th of March. From the programme:

Food debate hosted by Tim Hayward
Time: 2pm to 4pm Location: McCrum Theatre, Bene’t
Street, (through the Eagle pub courtyard and on the
right hand side) CB2 3QN Price: £5.50 in advance,
£7.50 on the door
Description: To round Eat Cambridge off nicely we
will be holding a debate between food writers, bloggers
and restaurateurs. Covering issues such as reviews,
freebies and marketing in today’s social media world,
the debate will take on a Question Time format with
a panel of well-respected local food experts taking
comments and questions from the audience. Things
promise to get lively and you’re guaranteed to come
away with some food for thought (sorry, we couldn’t
resist!).
To book: Visit http://www.wegottickets.com/event/206087

I am really excited about this festival and I hope so are you if you live in or near Cambridge or at least visit regularly. Its main aim is to showcase local and independent producers, businesses and activists. Cambridge has long been slated as a clone town but if you know where to look, you will be able to find hidden gems run by passionate people who are worth supporting.

So, what are you waiting for, get booking! 

karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
The Cambridge Brew House opened today in the former premises of the Bun Shop and its various incarnations in King Street. What used to be two rather cramped spaces is now one large open one with diner-style booth seating along the window front to the right of the door with tables and chairs filling the rest of this area with table service. Opposite the door is the bar with quite a wide selection of beers, including currently two house brand ones and a few other locals as well as a few well known beers. In the back to the left of the bar is the onsite brewery bit behind glass. This is not operational yet, their own beer is currently brewed off site until it's all set up. This is also a bit more casual area with a wild mix of seats (chairs, armchairs, bar stools and even a wooden vaulting horse) with low and high tables. I'm not sure if there is seating upstairs as well as it was quite busy and a grabbed one of the last seats on one of the bar tables before ordering a King's Parade and a chicken and mushroom pie. There were lots interesting things on the menu including home smoked and cured meats/fish but I thought a pie would be a good dish to get an idea of their cooking.
The King's Parade is an excellent bitter and one that actually deserves that name, really fully flavoured. I was just about to dig into my pie when Caroline found me and took me to her table. They had already had starters ("British Tapas") which they had enjoyed so I tucked into my pie while they waited for their mains. My portion was a quarter of a bigger pie, rather thick with excellent, crunchy pastry. The filling consisted of large chunks of well cooked, i.e. still nicely moist meat and mushrooms, not as liquid as you often get which also helped keep the pastry crispy. There was also a pile of fluffy chips and a little copper pan with gravy. I only realised now that there was no veg or salad but I didn't really miss it. I really liked it.
I'm looking forward to reading what Heidi thought of her excellent looking pork belly.
The second beer I had was the Misty River, a pale ale that wasn't quite to my taste but I prefer a darker beer, anyway. Heidi didn't fancy the bitter so it's definitely a matter of taste.
I also wanted to try a dessert but there wasn't that much exciting (chocolate/orange torte, "winter berry" Eton mess, and toffee pudding as well as ice creams and a cheese board with three or six cheeses). I'm not a fan of either orange with chocolate nor toffee so I picked the Eton mess which was not bad, not too sweet but with strawberries and blueberries it went a bit against their claim of using local and seasonal ingredients.
We agreed that the desserts needed some work but were rather happy with everything else. Considering it was rather busy indeed and their first day, I couldn't really find fault with the service, either.

The Cambridge Brew House is going to serve food all day, from 12 noon to 9:30 in the evening which makes it ideal for both early and late-ish dinners, lunch or an afternoon snack. I am definitely looking forward to returning soon.

Oh, and they are still offering 50% off on food today (Thursday) so you really can't go wrong.
karohemd: (Chef)
Kavey Eats has a monthly ice cream challenge called "Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream" in which I have taken part twice so far. This month's challenge is any theme from the last year so I thought I'd try my hand at a sorbet.



My Riverford box contained blood oranges which were ideal. I zested the oranges then instead of juicing them I peeled them and blitzed them with my stick blender. In a saucepan I combined the juice, zest, half an inch of grated ginger, half a vanilla pod, two short cinnamon sticks, one star anise, five or so bruised cardamom pods and quite a bit of demerara sugar (don't ask me how much, I did this by eye but enough to make the mix taste really sweet), heated the mix until the sugar was dissolved, pulled the pan off the heat, put a lid on and let it cool off and infuse with the spices. After the mix was cool, I strained it into a tupperware container to remove the spices and put it in the freezer.

I don't have an ice cream machine so I took the container from the freezer every hour or so and stirred it through with a fork to break up any ice chunks that were forming. In my low rated freezer compartment it took almost 24 hours until it resembled sorbet or, to be honest, more like a slushie as it melts quite quickly. It tastes nice, though, fruity, tangy and spicy so I'm really happy with it.

Spiced Blood Orange Sorbet
Served in a tumbler with (shop bought) brownie pieces
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
On Friday evening Jo Kruczynska aka The Afternoon Tease, cake baker extraordinaire and regular club host held a special night of boozy baked goods and cake inspired cocktails at Hot Numbers in Gwydir Street. Despite her only initial advertising being her blog and twitter, the tickets were already sold by the time it was advertised in Cambridge Edition.

Menu
Click on the menu for a larger version


Marmalade Martini
We started with a "marmalade martini" which was a lot less sweet than it sounded and was a great way to ease us into the evening.


Amaretto Sour Macaron
The first bite was an Amaretto Sour Macaron, which was crunchy and light with good almond flavour.


Sweeteasy
The next drink was a "Hot Gingerbread Punch" which tasted rather like a hot toddy and made sure the last of the cold was driven out of our bones.


Polish donuts Polish donuts
These Mojto Doughnuts were the highlight for me as they while flavoured were exactly like the Faschingskrapfen my grandmother used to make. They were fantastically fluffy and a little crunchy from the sugar glaze. I've already ordered a box of them for my birthday party. The punch was great with this.


Sweeteasy
The last baked round had two bite sized offerings: Dark chocolate Margarita Truffles which had been sprinkled with salt, creating the perfect balance of sweet and savoury; and a brownie with a Kirsch soaked cherry and cream. Needless to say, the brownie was rich and moist.


Espresso Martini
The last drink was an espresso martini which was quite strong both in coffee and alcohol but thankfully it was still relatively early in the evening (just after 9) or I wouldn't have been able to sleep.


The evening was also accompanied by live music, James Brotherston on the piano and Phil who occasionally sang as well.

Sweeteasy Sweeteasy


The atmosphere was jovial and fun. I think pretty much everyone asked when the next one is going to be and rumour has it there will be one in a couple of months' time so keep your eyes open.

Here are a few more photos:

The tables are set Sweeteasy
Sweeteasy Sweeteasy
Sweeteasy Sweeteasy


Still more photos on flickr. You can read about the evening from Jo's perspective on her blog.
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
On Friday I needed a quick dinner before my next engagement and as The Sea Tree on The Broadway section of Mill Road had been recommended to me by various people I decided to try it. The Sea Tree is part traditional fish&chip shop, part fishmonger (one of the very few independent places selling wet fish in Cambridge) and part eaterie with a handful of small to medium sized tables where you can order both from the fish&chip shop menu and their "alternatives" menu with pan-fried or grilled fillets of or whole sea bass, gilthead bream with a choice of sauces and sides as well as a specials board.
I picked the "whole baked Whitby crab thermidor" which was served with a mixed salad (leaves, peppers, red onions) and chips. The picked and mixed crab meat was served in the shell of the body and was carefully seasoned so the flavour of the crab still came through and it was cooked on the dot, lovely and moist. There was a nice crust on top, too. The chips were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and not soggy at all.
If they can cook something as tricky as crab so well, I'm convinced their other offerings will be just as good. It's a bit out of the way for me but I will definitely be back, most likely for one of their lobster nights. It's not a place to linger because the shop is unsurprisingly rather busy but if you want a quick quality bite before a night out, this is definitely the place to go. They even have an alcohol license and serve beer and wine but I only had orange juice and water because I had a night of cake and cocktails ahead of me.
The bill came to around 13 pounds without service.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
On Monday, I went to the Arts Theatre for The Woman in Black which is currently touring the UK. While not really terrifying as the blurb makes it out to be, it was very well done, atmospheric and a very good adaptation of the source material with the proper ending (not the stupid one from the film). The stage design was very simplistic and the same set of chairs and wicker trunk served as various locations. The curtain in the back was solid when lit from the front and translucent when lit from the back which was used to create different rooms (staircase, nursery). I wasn't frightened but thoroughly entertained and slightly annoyed at the woman in front of me jumping and screaming all the time.

Last night I finally saw Django Unchained, the new Tarantino film starring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz as well as a host of other great actors incl. Samuel L. Jackson playing a slave owner's faithful old servant. Watch out for the original Django (Franco Nero) turning up in one scene (he comes to the bar after the wrestling match). Tom Wopat (Luke Duke), Tom Savini (Sex Machine in From Dusk Till Dawn) and Southern villain staple Walton Goggins (Boyd in Justified) are all part of the cast, too. As often with Tarantino, the music is excellent. It's a very long film (2:45) and it's currently shown at inhumane times (8:30 in the evening at both Vue and Cineworld) but it's worth it. It's also really funny in places. Oh, and for once, the German is correct. :o)
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
Plate Lickers is a supperclub by Jo Kruczynska and Ivana Gresham. I was at the first one and loved it but since then my calendar had been against me so I missed the others until today's "Sunday lunch club".
It was held in the community centre in Ross St. (off Mill Road) which had more of a sports hall than a restaurant feel to it but it worked quite well, mainly because of the nicely laid out and decorated tables.

Proceedings started with an excellent hot toddy and deep fried haggis balls with red onion marmalade.

Platelickers supper club, 01/13 Jo and her haggis treats


The starter was beetroot cured salmon on dill buckwheat blini with creme fraiche:

Beetroot cured salmon
This was my favourite dish of the day, the salmon was pretty much perfect.


The main was stuffed roast loin of pork with tatties&neeps and buttered savoy cabbage:

Roast stuffed loin of pork
The fun bit about this dish was that the gravy came in a giant teapot:
Gravy from a giant teapot



The palate cleanser was a tangy "baked lemon pot", rather like a flavoured burnt cream but without the caramel topping:

Baked lemon pot


The actual dessert was a poached pear with chocolate sauce:

Poached pear, chocolate sauce


There are few more photos below and still more on flickr.

Platelickers supper club, 01/13
Ivana and Jo, our lovely hosts and fantastic cooks.

Platelickers supper club, 01/13 Amazing teapot

Platelickers supper club, 01/13
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
Continuing my local binge on Saturday, the destination was the hall by the Catholic church where the Cambridge Food and Wine Society had invited Carri of Pavitt's Pies to offer a tasting of her range of excellent home-made pies.
To go with the pies we had a selection of beers from the Moonshine Brewery in Cambridge which were equally excellent.
The pies on offer were:

Mushroom, onion and thyme (vegetarian)
Chicken and mushroom
Beef and ale
Cheese and onion (vegetarian)
Pork and chorizo
Pavitt’s Piemosa (vegetarian, similar filling to samosa but with a pie crust)

There was also a selection of beers from Cambridge's Moonshine Brewery: Parkers Piece, Reel Ale (orginally brewed for the Arts Cinema), Night Watch Porter, Silent Night, Black Dog and Boathouse Bitter, ranging from a pale ale to a strong Porter.

A few photographic impressions:

Carri Pavitt Pies and Pints with Pavitt's Pies

Pies and Pints with Pavitt's Pies

Cheese & Onion "Piemosa"
Carrie and Caroline Pies and Pints with Pavitt's Pies


For more impressions, have a look at Jean-Luc Benazet's blog with the official photos.
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
On Friday evening I braved the cold and took the bus to Urban Larder on Mill Road. This is a small independent shop stocking mainly local produce from breads and meat via handmade pies (incl. Pavitt's Pies) and cakes (e.g. from Afternoon Tease) to preserves of all kinds and it's café during the day.

The shop also hosts regular events in the evening and this was one of them. It started with a glass of bubbly which was nice but didn't do much to warm me up.

The table is set


However, this trick was accomplished by the first course, a hearty bowl of Cock a Leekie soup, a thick stew with leeks and chicken. This was a great way of getting us going and prepare us for the main event.

Cock a Leekie Soup


The beast was brought out and presented to Donald who addressed it in the traditional manner.

Donald addressing the haggis Donald addressing the haggis


The haggis was excellent with a rich, meaty taste and not too peppery. Sometimes it's very peppery while still being bland so this one had a good balance. Tatties and neeps on the side, obviously, and an excellent tarragon cream sauce. There was also a dram of whisky, a very young English one from Norfolk of all places. Considering its youth (3 years!) it was quite good, if a bit rough but I could well imagine that mellowing with age.

The wee beastie itself


For pudding, there was Cranachan, a Scottish version of trifle with raspberries and toasted oats. This was really good and not at all heavy.

Cranachan


The last official act of the evening was a group rendition of Auld Lang Syne which sounded rather good in the small room. All in all an excellent evening with lovely people. A few more photos below:

Donald Guests
Guests Guests
karohemd: (Chef)
[Edit: This was originally a post about the immediate area where I live but various twitter friends have suggested I expand this to north of the river]
Various bloggers and websites have written about independent shops in Cambridge but those usually concentrate on city centre and Mill Road (which of course is the mecca of shops offering produce from all over the world) and not where I live (King's Hedges/Arbury). While cheap(er), this area is not as poorly supplied as one might think and there are a few local gems.

The Art of Meat (Arbury Court)
This is my local butcher with a good selection of various cuts and joints of high quality beef, pork (from Dingley Dell, no less), lamb, chicken and sometimes game. Their own sausages (three main varieties and a number of changing specials) are superb as is the bacon that is cured on site. Service is friendly and superb, always happy and willing to accommodate special requests and recommending substitutes should something not be available. The little extra cost is easily outmatched by the superior quality. Highly recommended.

Les Ward (Arbury Court)
A family run greengrocer offering very reasonably priced veg and fruit, some dry goods and preserves and, er, fresh flowers. So much better and even cheaper than Budgens opposite.

There's also a baker's in Arbury Court but for me it's not very good, I still have rather continental tastes when it comes to bread.

The Daily Bread Co-op
This place in an industrial estate between King's Hedges Road and the green behind Nun's Way (accessed either via KHR or a footpath from the green off Campkin Road) offers only organic or at least fairtrade goods. Mostly dry goods like muesli (a selection of varieties mixed on site as well as the basic ingredients to mix your own), flour, pasta/rice/couscous/grains, tinned goods, soy products, gluten free and vegetarian alternatives. A little bit of veg, too, but they do not get regular deliveries so it's always quickly gone or looks a bit sorry. There are also artisan breads (also not always fresh, depending on when they get their delivery) and non-food supplies like eco-friendly cleaners/detergents, reusable nappies etc. I get most of my dry and tinned goods there.

Cambridge Quality Meats (Arbury Road)
This butcher is a bit further from me so I don't go there often but they have a similar selection to the Art of Meat, own sausages (incl. biltong) and they tend to have more non-chicken poultry and game. If you're on Milton Road/bottom end of Arbury Road/Chesterton, this is the butcher for you.

Al Noor
This Asian grocer has a good selection of fresh (and sometimes unusual) vegetables and fruit, dry goods, spices and tinned goods as well as a halal butcher. They are inexpensive and also open until 8 which is great as I can drop in on the way home from work. All the others are available (to me) on Saturdays only.

Radmore Farm Shop (Chesterton Road)
I haven't been there but various people have recommended it.

Nasreen Dar (Histon Road)
Asian supermarket that also offers takeaway curries.

A Waller & Son
A butcher's on Victoria Avenue, just before the bridge. A prime address for game and more "exotic" choices like hare.

Maskell's (Akeman St.)
Another independent but basic baker's shop

If you happen to know any others in the area, feel free to comment/recommend. If you would like to provide a short description of the shop (a couple of lines, as above), you'd be more than welcome. The post is set to allow anonymous comments so feel free but leave a name. If you have a blog yourself, please log in with Open ID.

September 2017

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