Lunch at the village local

Emsworth is a quite coastal village in the south of England

Emsworth Yacht Harbour

Where you can find the Coal Exchange and one of the best home cooked pub lunches on the South Coast

Best pub lunch on the English South Coast

They offer an extensive but simple menu which includes all the popular wholesome pub meals. Generous portions of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, a large beer battered cod fillet served with chips, baked ham egg and chips or steak and ale pie.

Large beer battered cod and chips Emsworth Hampshire

To be finished off with something sweet homemade and drowned in cream

Homemade puddings in Hampshire


To fully appreciate the nuances and flavours found in Thai food you need to get out of the city and into the country. Home cooked Thai food is about families, the community and special events where people come together to eat , celebrate and share.

Although most of the dishes are still bought in from the local street kitchens it is the accompanying condiments, side dishes, fresh wild vegetables and fruit that makes country food so different. Thai food is not as sleek, sophisticated and mysterious as is commonly portrayed. Rather it is loud, proud and earthy. Flavours that are robust, complimenting and contradicting each other all at the same time. A fine balance of a host of local herbs and ingredients that give the food the delicate sweet and sour tones, so distinct from other East Asian cuisines.

Outside of Thailand I have yet to find a restaurant that serves what, I consider, is a fundamental necessity when eating Thai food, that is nam phrik. More specifically nam phrik kapi, a dipping sauce which is served with crisp fresh vegetables. Alternatively the vegetables can soft boiled or pickled and there are as many versions of the same, as there are different regions.

But this is where it all starts.

Add the fresh flavours that come from the generous splash of lemongrass, kaffir lime, galangal and basil. Which go hand in hand with the red and green chillies to add the sharpness. Coconut milk lending the creaminess, tamarind paste a touch of sour while palm sugar adds the sweet tones and this is where restaurants only get it half right.



Afternoon tea

The Tea Barn at Durleighmarsh Farm specialises in some of the best homemade cakes to be found locally.

A real passion is all things cake led naturally to afternoon teas. A fine treat that is always homemade, fresh and seasonal. They use quality ingredients serving them with loose leaf tea or freshly ground coffee if preferred. Afternoon teas are available from early afternoon and require 24 hours notice as everything is made fresh to order.


Foxcombe Bakehouse

The Foxcombe Bakehouse started with the family farm shop. Baking cakes and pasties in Lewdown, a small village off  the old A30 in Devon. Later the family moved to  Foxcombe Farm

Not far from where it all started. As the business started to build a reputation for home cooked food, demand grew and the need for a purpose built bakery to keep up.

Fee’s Food

One party request  that led to another, the start of what has become Fee’s Food. Being asked to do something that makes people happy.

Homemade food Rock Cornwall

A simple beginning that has grown into a coffee shop, a catering service and online oven ready meals.

Oven ready meals Rock Cornwall

Situated in Rock everything is done by hand in small batches and by people who are passionate about what they do.  Where the ready made meals are prepared with the same ingredients and care as one expects from a home run kitchen.

There are no shortcuts or compromises, just delicious, wholesome, homemade and unfussy food.

Home baked doughnuts in Rock Cornwall

Such as Alfie’s home baked doughnuts. Handmade from scratch with a choice of vanilla custard, chocolate and raspberry jam or the Smoked Haddock Rarebit that is a firm favourite in the shop. Perfect quick lunch, light mid week supper or if spread on small pieces of toast, an incredibly moreish canapé.

Home cooked meals in Cornwall the south of England


Pub Meal

As usual, I started ordering my Rock Shandy by explaining painstakingly how it all goes together.

Best pubs in Southampton

Only to have the barkeep suggest that the next time I simply try ordering a Rock Shandy. This as he gave it a final swirl with the swizzle stick.

Rock shandy in the UK

The building dates back to the 12th Century and was first licenced in the early 1400’s which might or might not make it one of the oldest pubs in the UK. A claim made by many a public house. But it matters not. This is where I go for a pub lunch whenever I am in Southampton.

Pubs in Southampton

A simple menu that includes traditional home cooked pub meals.

Pub luches in Southampton traditional fish and chips

Well prepared, decent portions and reasonably priced.

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding pub lunches Southampton

And a dessert menu to round off a good meal

Traditional English puddings

Pies and savouries

“My best ever memory of true baking success was when I was about 3 or 4 years old & I made fairy cakes with my long suffering Mum. My Dad came home from work & I was so excited … Dad took a bite & rolled on his back with his arms & legs in the air to play dead – I just KNEW he loved them.”

Homemade pies and bakes Weymouth Dorset the South Coast

As do so many of the customers who have found the Baking Bird, Lizzie Crow on her bun run.  Homemade pies, savouries, quiches, tempting tarts, drizzled cakes and puff pastries.

Homemade pasteries, pies and pasties Weymouth Dorset the south of England

The kitchen in her Dorset cottage is always busy. The walls lined with pots and pans, with herbs and ingredients in every nook and cranny and  the wholesome heady aroma of freshly baked bread, cakes and pastry.

Homemade sausage rolls Weymouth Dorset on the South Coast

A regular at the Dorset Farmers Markets she can also be found  at the Royal Standard  in  Upwey.

Wholesome homemade pies in the south of England

Hampshire Farmer Market

One of the few outdoor markets I have been to, with a bit of character, is the Hampshire Farmers Market in Emsworth.

Farmers Market Emswoth Hampshire

Held in the Village Square the stalls are interesting and imaginative.

Scotch eggs Emsworth Hampshire

Offering the best scotch eggs on the South Coast

Homemade pork pies Emsworth Hampshire

Hand cut homemade pork pies

Artisan bread Emsworth Hampshire

And artisan bread. Just some of the stalls to be browsed on a lazy Saturday morning.