A few weeks ago I was drooling over this recipe for tartiflette, and it got me thinking about all the amazing carb-loaded, cheese-covered, fat saturated meals that I have stuffed after a hard day of exploring the great outdoors. The list was pretty long, but I think I have managed to hit upon my top five favourites.
1.Fish and chips.
If you’ve been for a long coastal walk, or you have been surfing the waves, nothing beats a crispy-battered piece of fish and some golden chips. This is the food of the gods. Fish and chips are great anytime, but the sea air lends a certain nuance to this dish that just can’t be had anywhere else.
(The best I have found so far is in Sherringham. If you’re ever visiting, head to Strait’s Fish and Chip Shop. You won’t regret it.)
I discovered this dish in Austria when I was in Mayrhofen for a walking holiday. After hiking up and down mountains all day, there is nothing better than sitting down to a comforting dish filled with mountain cheese and little dumplings. It’s like giving your stomach a cuddle and it is guaranteed to leave you rubbing your swollen belly with satisfaction at the end.
Check out this recipe!
3. Steak and Ale pie
I gorged on this after a day of walking around Derbyshire with my dad a few years ago. We were tired and ravenous, so we stumbled in to a quaint pub whose owner kindly agreed to open early for us. We obviously needed feeding, and he fed us well. At the end of a long day, all you really want is carbs and some hearty meat, and steak and ale pie hits all the right notes. I was especially impressed that the pie was a true one and wasn’t just a casserole with a pie lid plonked on top. THAT is not a pie. (For more on the debate of eating pie, check out this blog.)
After a bleak and immensely windswept walk around Blakeney, my boyfriend and I were in need of some lunch. Annoyingly, the fabled fish and chips shops of the coast were closed, which was initially disappointing, until we found a cosy cafe garden to park our weary bodies. We both opted for a ploughman’s, which turned out to be one of the best I have ever had. Thick slabs of ham, and wedges of cheddar and stilton, were accompanied by various pickles and wonderful homemade bread. Eating that lunch while sitting in a sunny garden was a very real slice of heaven.
5. Schnitzel and chips
If you find a good schnitzel, you have hit the jackpot. An escalope of pork deep-fried in breadcrumbs and served with crispy chips is just what the doctor ordered after a day of outdoor exercise. Even better is the ‘cordon-bleu’ variety where the escalope is stuffed with bacon and mountain cheese. This may sound like over-kill, but just try it after hiking for eight hours and all your doubts will melt away.
(If you ever visit Mayrhofen, go to Wald Cafe. They do the BEST schnitzels served with salad, a lemon wedge and redcurrant jam. Say hello to Martin for me!)
These didn’t quite make my list, but they deserve a mention!
- Zillertal krapfen (deep-fried savoury doughnuts filled with cheese, onion and potato)
- Game pan (casserole with chunks of gamey meat served with bread dumplings)
- Spagetti bolognase (got to be eaten in Italy or on the border. Particularly sumptuous when topped with a swirl of butter.)
Disagree or agree with anything on my list? Share your favourite meals and foods in the comments.