Monday, September 1, 2008

The big catch-up: Camping in New Romney, near Rye.

The Woolpack Inn
Romney Marsh
TN29 9TJ
Telephone: 01797-344321

Well, sorry it's taken me so long to update this. I have two weekends of fun to catch you up on. Firstly, camping in New Romney over the Bank Holiday weekend. 

We travelled down on the Friday morning, meeting one half of Harlow couple along the way. 
It didn't take us long to find the campsite, and put up our tents.

Then we headed back to a pub we had passed on the way called The Woolpack Inn. This delightful olde worlde pub with its cottage atmosphere, low ceilings and quaint English beer garden was a welcome treat. We chose to sit outside and ordered from a simple yet comprehensive menu.

After mulling over the spag bol, I decided to go for the pork chops. The Veggie went for the Broccoli and Stilton quiche and Country girl (she does love her chickens and ducks!) had a jacket potato with cheese.  We waited a reassuringly length of time (too soon and one imagines hearing the 'ping' of a microwave), sipping on much needed cokes. My pork chops arrived on large plate, full of salad, chips and onion rings. It was a mouthwatering sight. The pork was cooked to perfection, as were the chips. I tucked in, even enjoying the onion rings which I normally find too greasy. 

The Veggie throughly enjoyed her quiche, it looked and tasted homemade and came with a generous salad. Country girl's jacket was huge and was blanketed with freshly grated cheddar and salad. All well presented and tasty, as well as being reasonably priced. It definitely seemed popular with locals and tourists alike. I would certainly recommend it and it is well signed posted on the surrounding roads so you can't miss it.

Later that day when most of the other campers had arrived I served my Veggie chili with quorn mince to a very appreciative audience. We ate it with boil in the bag rice, grated cheese, and sour cream. It had a really nice chili kick to it and most people had seconds. I was really pleased that my hard work testing recipes had paid off. It was just what our chilly and weary band of travelers needed, along with a few beers of course!

The next day we had a breakfast at camp of bacon or egg rolls and tea. There is nothing quite like a sunny breezy day at camp permeated with the aroma of bacon frying in the pan and mugs of hot strong tea to warm our cockles. We made the most of the sun spending the day flying kites, reading and lazing on the beach at Camber Sands. Hot, salty chips, burgers and coke made up our beach lunch.

Some of us stopped off at the local Budgens on the way back to camp to pick up food for a BBQ. We decided on meaty looking ribs, good quality burgers and some speciality sausages. For starters we would have mozzerella and parma ham, golden fried halumi cheese and cheesed stuffed mushrooms. We washed this down with Coronas, cider and later on whiskey nightcaps. A tempting selection of Gu cakebites completed our meal. 

The next morning and some of us would be heading home early, suffering nasty summer colds. We opted for brekkie at the campsite cafe, which turned out to be a good choice. A cosy little place providing cooked breakfasts all day we sat down to bacon baguettes, egg on toast, the full 'Marshman' (a huge breakfast of double everything) chips, and hot tea and coffees. 

Then we headed into Rye to look around the shops. Some of us paid a visit to an old-fashioned sweet shop that was filled with jar after jar of brightly coloured confectionary. There were rubarb and custard boiled sweets, toffees, chocolate covered nuts, snowies (white chocolate buttons covered with hundreds and thousands), sour peaches, lots of different mints, laces, jelly babies, white mice... all the sweets you might remember from your childhood no matter how old or young you might be. It was a real treat and a lovely trip down memory lane. 

After a longish walk around we had a drink at the famous Mermaid Inn,which has played host to tons of celebs such as Johnny Depp and is one of the oldest pubs in the area. Afterwhich we said goodbye to two more campers and set off to find a nice place for lunch. We were going to head to the Woolpack once more but ended up at another pub as the it was packed. I can't recall the name of the place but I did have a very memorable meal there. I decided on one of my fave dishes of spare ribs. My gosh it was a huge slab of meat. There was a full rack of pleasingly tender and meaty ribs, coated in a tasty BBQ sauce, with a large pile of chips underneath, coleslaw and salad. I managed all the meat but left most of the rest of the meal!

Afterwards we picked up deli food for a dinner round the campsite and then headed back to play boules and frisby and fly our kites. The weather was still quite good and we worked up an appetite for our supper of brie, stilton, italian meats, crusty fresh bread, olive oil, nuts and olives - lovely!

We lit the other bag of coal in the greek style BBQ to provide some warmth and heat, and listened to music, chatted and drank late into the evening. 

Bank Holiday Monday came around too soon and we attempted to see Camber Castle before we said goodbye to our other camping friends. Unfortunately it was closed. We just had time to have lunch with our Lewisham friends, a nice home-cooked meal at the Ship Inn of Chicken curry, rice and popadum, Broccoli and cheese bake, Cod and Chips and Scampi and chips. All perfectly nice and reasonably priced. We finished off with traditional desserts of spotted dick x 2 (a suet and fruit pudding), sticky toffee pudding and black forest gateux for me. Very nice indeed!

Then it was only us. We spent a relaxing rest of the day shopping and browsing in Rye. Eating a deli supper once more and relaxing in our tent with a couple of good books purchased from the local bookshop.

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