I’m blessed to be married to a good cook. Actually “good cook” is an understatement; great cook or fabulous cook is more accurate. It’s fair to say that we eat better than most. Our son who cooks professionally credits his mother for both his success in the kitchen and his love of food.
My standard line when served yet another delicious meal is usually, “It’s good and good for you.” Truth be told, the “good for you” might sometimes be a stretch. Someone much smarter than me once said, “Man cannot live by bread alone.” So occasionally we need a little butter or cheese or chocolate…
After living the better part of last year in England people often ask us if we miss our life there. The answer is always yes. When asked what we miss most, I usually say the food (and wine). There’s a common misperception in the U.S. that English food is bad. We found it to be quite to the contrary. The produce and meats and cheeses in our local markets were fresher and usually locally produced. And good French and Italian wines were inexpensive. English wine is lousy but this is made up for by the excellent cheese and goat butter.
Dining out in England could be at times challenging. There are plenty of ‘Fish and Chips’ shops and every village seems to have a Curry restaurant. Some of those places are a bit dodgy. But great restaurants can be found and often in unexpected places. Two of our favorites: The Wild Duck Inn located in a tiny village called Ewen and Cricklade House in Cricklade which is an old Saxon town. Both were just minutes from where we lived. Of course our best meals in England were served in Oaksey in our own cottage – thanks Deb!
I’ve never intentionally plugged a business in my blog but recently we had a restaurant experience that reminded us of some our best meals in England and Europe. We dined with great friends, which always makes a meal better, at a small restaurant just minutes from where we now live. Another amazing meal in an unexpected place. Stone Soup Cottage in Cottleville, Missouri is without a doubt the best dining experience we’ve had since leaving England (with the exception of Deb’s kitchen of course).
Chef Carl and his wife Nancy have converted a small house into an intimate restaurant. The food is beyond spectacular and the warm and welcoming environment add to the charm of the place. In Europe when you dine out you “own the table” for the evening. No one would ever bring you the check until you ask. None of this “I’m just leaving the check, please take your time.” which translates into “Please hurry up, we’d like to seat someone else at this table.” In much the same way at Stone Soup Cottage we were allowed to dine at our leisure. Carl’s creations were exquisite and Nancy’s wine pairings were perfect. We thoroughly enjoyed and savoured every morsel.
Dining at Stone Soup Cottage is not inexpensive and it might literally take months to get a reservation but it’s worth saving your pennies and planning ahead. After all, sometimes treating yourself really is “good and good for you.” And Deb deserves a break every now and again.