Menu

Mini foodies in Deal, Kent

oysters

A holiday isn’t really a holiday unless you try out the local food and drink, is it?

Last weekend, we took our mini foodies to a fisherman’s cottage by the sea in Deal, Kent UK. We were there for three nights; enough time to give us the chance to try out the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Deal’s culinary offerings.

The Good

Like any UK coastal towns worth its salt – or its kippers – Deal has several top-quality fish and chip shops (according to their Tripadvisor ratings – sadly we didn’t have time to try them all out). But when we arrived on the Friday evening, D headed out into Deal’s dark streets and came back from the Happy Fryer clutching bags of chunky cod encased in crispy, melt-in-your mouth batter.

This was, of course, accompanied by a tub of sweet, mellow mushy peas.

Seashell Cottage

Yum-tastic. Even the ‘children’s’ portions of fish and chips were so enormous that a seal would have been full after eating one. We went to bed on that first night with comfortably groaning stomachs. It was good.

The Bad

I’m not saying stinky cheese is bad. No way. It’s one of my favourite things in the entire world. If I was stuck on a desert island and only allowed one luxury food item, it would be cheese. The pongier, the better.

But the cheese we bought in Deal market on the Saturday market was hardcore.

cheese

Even the fierce gusts of wind blowing through the market didn’t mask the unmistakeable odour of the cheese stall. It was heaped with all sorts: Ashmore Smoked, Kentish Blue, Ellies Shaggy Beard….we bought a creamy, smooth Ashmore Chaucers, very like Camembert; and another soft cheese, with a pungent smell reminiscent of ripe Morbier, but a gentle taste similar to St Paulin. Its rind was washed in red wine, and my brain must have become cheese-addled while eating it, because I can’t for the life of me remember its name….grrr. Can any Kentish cheese-lovers help me out? I want to buy some more.

My favourite cheese, though, was the delectably fierce, tangy Burwash, which stank out the kitchen area in our holiday cottage – in fact, it made the whole of our downstairs living space reek. The owners must have thought we’d left them a parcel of mouldering socks as a parting gift. Oops.

Super-stinky cheese. Bad? Or good? You decide. I know which camp I fall into.

The Ugly

On the Saturday afternoon, I treated my six year-old son to some of these beauties:

oysters

Yes, that’s right. Want to see them again?

oysters

We ate this fishy afternoon snack at the Court Yard Restaurant, a bright, airy space with exposed brick walls and a sliding glass roof. It was a freezing cold February day, so the roof was firmly closed, but it still felt like an exotic dining experience.

A lot of people shudder at the sight of oysters. Even I, an oyster lover, have to admit that they’re hardly the prettiest of delicacies. Not something your average six year-old would enjoy.

What did my son make of them? He loved them.

I was so proud – he even wanted his second oyster in its purest, naked form, turning down the squeeze of lemon. The oysters, fresh that morning from Mersea Island, were among the best I’ve tried; not as salty and sharp as some, and with a smooth texture. Perfect for mini foodies, at the beginning of their culinary life adventures.

We were only in Deal for three nights, and could have eaten much, much more. This fish, for instance, on sale on the high street, looked tempting:

fish

But there’s only so much your stomach can take. So we left Deal on Monday morning, feeling full, contented, and just a little bit stinky.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Just what you need for a perfect foodie break.

You can pin this post for later:

DSCF7143pin

Save

33 Comments

  • The Mummy Diary
    February 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Love the cheese but I stop at any seafood i’m afraid, my children love it though and often tuck in to hubby’s plate when he has fish, they tried lobster and crab last year and loved it. Amazing how adventurous they can be, I do love a good old smelly cheese though, its one of the reasons we love France so much.

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      Yes, I get so excited about the cheese whenever we travel to France!

      Reply
  • Sarah Ebner
    February 15, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Love your foodie break! And that video is brilliant, really super-cute. I think I’d prefer the fish and chips to the cheese, but what fun to try such different things out.

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      Yes, we managed to cram plenty of variety into the weekend!

      Reply
  • Izzie Anderton
    February 15, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    So many gorgeous foodie options to try… the fish & chips look amazing!

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      It was soooo tasty!

      Reply
  • JuggleMum, Nadine Hill
    February 15, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I am seriously impressed with your mini foodie and his oyster tasting! Good luck with your ambassador application!

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 15, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Nayna Kanabar
    February 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Looks like your little one has acquired good taste and will continue as he grows older.

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Let’s hope so!

      Reply
  • Jen
    February 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Your little fella is just like my two. Both of them will try anything and love muscles and other seafood. They have great palates too. But sticky cheese makes me vomit! I love the taste, but the smell just puts me off. If got worse for me when I was pregnant and I could smell even the smallest piece of cheese in the fridge!

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Oh dear, our house would be off limits for you a lot of the time! We’ll just have to catch up in a chippy instead. 🙂 x

      Reply
  • Kara
    February 16, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Well done on the kids for trying all that – I couldn’t do it, but good luck in the competition xx

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you Kara 🙂

      Reply
  • Nichola - Globalmouse
    February 16, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Pick Nell, pick Nell, I LOVE stinky cheese!! 😉 Great post, I love the way you put it together! Good luck! 🙂

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 16, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      Oh thank you Nichola – I’ll save my ripest Camembert for you! x

      Reply
  • Sonya Cisco
    February 16, 2016 at 9:17 am

    He is braver than me – I have never had an oyster – I could blame it on being veggie for over 30 years, but in all honesty I am not sure I would have fancied one anyway!

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 16, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      Yes – they really are a queer piece of fish! Not for everyone.

      Reply
  • Sonia
    February 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Oh bless him, what a star! It’s made me feel a bit queasy just thinking about it… but those fish and chips look great 😉

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 16, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      They were pretty special!

      Reply
  • Cass@frugalfamily
    February 16, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I’ve never tried an Oyster – I just can’t bring myself too 😉

    Good luck x x

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 16, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Jess @ Catch A Single Thought
    February 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    As neither a cheese nor a fish fan this did have me wrinkling my nose a little! Good luck with the entry, I’m sure you’d find lots of opportunities to tuck into local delicacies if you got chosen 🙂

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 20, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Yum – I hope so!

      Reply
  • Charly Dove
    February 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Oh bless him with the oysters, that’s such an adorable film! Sounds like you had a great time in Deal, I love all the cheese!!!

    Reply
    • Nell
      February 20, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      We had a great time thanks! x

      Reply
  • Cathy (MummyTravels)
    February 29, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I am so impressed at the oyster eating – I didn’t get the taste for them until about five years ago, and my three-year-old is currently in the phase of complaining if her food is even remotely different! The fish and chips looks delicious too… although I draw the line at mushy peas. #mondayescapes

    Reply
  • Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    March 3, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    I did enjoy reading this post. I was waiting for you to dish the dirt on Deal cuisine and you were teasing us!
    And the two photos of the oysters – I laughed at that. My sort of humour 🙂
    #mondayescapes

    Reply
    • Nell
      March 7, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Ha ha-glad we’re on the same page.

      Reply
  • Ting at My Travel Monkey
    March 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Love this! I would happily eat everything apart from the Oysters. Give me stinky cheese anyday and chips! I love all seafood too, but oysters, I had a bad experience once… enough said! Deal looks like a fantastic seaside place, we passed through it once but need to stop off and try its delights. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

    Reply
    • Nell
      March 23, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Oh dear – oysters can be bad if you don’t get them fresh…hope my pic didn’t bring back bad memories!

      Reply
  • Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    March 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Very nice! I never watch videos but had to see this one! I’m all for making your kids into foodies. Trying the local food is so much fun. Mine haven’t had oysters yet but I’m looking forward to their first time – I’d definitely get them to swallow it whole though! #MondayEscapes

    Reply
    • Nell
      March 23, 2016 at 10:16 am

      yes, my little man was very brave, chewing it for so long!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.