Tuesday, 16 March 2010

What I Did On My Holidays: Aberaeron

As a birthday treat the girlfriend booked us a weekend away on the coast in Aberaeron. She got us a lovely little thatched cottage through Under The Thatch.

We got there on Friday afternoon, and were pleasantly surprised that the owners (or whoever) had left us a pint of milk and some amazing pics (welsh cakes, not pictures). The cottage itself was great, the outside was lime-washed pink and the inside was really nicely done up with a sleeping area on a mezzanine floor, and a wood burning fire stove in the living room area. We wandered into town and had amazing fish and chips with mushy peas at The New Celt, and a pint of Rev James in The Monachdy. Town was pretty quiet actually, considering it was a Friday. Hadn’t really realised that the population would be so seasonal. After that we went back to the cottage for a relax. A short while after she’d booked it, my girlfriend received an email informing her that the cottage now had a hot tub installed in a small outhouse, so we gave it a go. It was set at 40 degrees Celsius, and we couldn’t get the temperature to drop any lower despite frantic jabbing at the minus button. Neither of us are particularly great with heat. I don’t think we managed to stay in there for more than 20 minutes, it was just too hot. We had the windows open and everything, by the end we were sitting on the tub’s edge with just our legs in the water and it was still horrible. Need to stick to a luke-warm tub in future.

On the Saturday we drove down to Newquay and had a walk along the beach. Again, a lot of things were still shut for the season, so we ended up driving north to Aberystwyth. We had a walk about the shops and along the front, had a pint and watched half of the Wales game, had a cup of tea and a toasted sandwich, and played on the 2p machines in the arcade. Then we drove back to the cottage. In the evening we went to the Harbourmaster, which is a gastropub of sorts I guess. We ate in the bar (didn’t really fancy paying the restaurant prices). Girlfriend had a nice bit of grey mullet on linguine pasta; I had the burger which, whilst being tasty enough, basically fell foul to every ‘chefs trying to over-poshify their burgers’ cliché. The bun was really crusty, the cheese was too strong and didn’t melt properly, and the whole thing was too big to actually take a bite out of. In the end I had to abandon the bun lid and eat it with a knife and fork. Every chef considering burger cooking should be forced to watch Heston Blumenthal’s In Search Of Perfection where he makes the perfect burger. The man understands. They also served it on a chopping block. A trendy double bluff at appearing rustic that a lot of restaurants seem to be doing – it’s better than serving it on slate though, nothing worse than the scrape of a knife against a sheet of slate. After that it was back to the cottage for a couple glasses of wine and I finally finished reading China Mieville’s The City & The City, which I’d been reading since around Christmas time. Short review: it’s good, but as with all of his other books, it’s got more ideas than story.

Then we came home on Sunday to do Mothering Sunday stuff with assorted mothers, and then won £125 at the pub quiz. All in all, it was a lovely relaxing weekend. 10/10.