Posts Tagged With: cooking

Lockdown Dinners at The Dogs’ Diner (and other suspiciously similar-looking places)


It started with some fizz…


There are three things that you need to know about Chez Snail:

  1.  There is an attention-loving, and hence pesky, spaniel-based lifeform called Daisy who is involved in the day-to-day running of some eating and drinking establishments shown here.
  2. There is a squeaky-ball-obsessed terrier-based lifeform called Sam, who also appears to be involved in self same establishments.
  3. There is a general level of silliness that pervades the very bricks and mortar of Chez Snail.


Three weeks after lockdown started, the Snail said to me “Dress up, we’re going out to eat”. As only one of these things was actually illegal (my crimes of fashion were already being well documented and paid for), I thought “OK then”. And off we went, to the Limery, where The Bistro at Chez Snail has just, like a good pop-up restaurant, well, popped up. We drank fizz and ate yummy food, and I got to wash up afterwards.

Such a good idea was this (the pop-up restaurant not the washing up, although that becomes a good idea when you’re left eating off of old crisp packets), that we started up some more eating establishments. Here they are, in no order whatsoever…

First, the menus from our trips to The Bistro at Chez Snail:

And then the cafés and cocktail bars we have frequented:

And finally, the restaurants we have eaten in:

There was also one evening at the cinema – the film was much less taxing than the sign for it!


And the name of the film is…

I started the hashtag #stayinginisthenewgoingout on Twitter and, including the usage figures from today, I can see that it has caught on the way government advisors catch on to the rules they created*.

The Snail and I are privileged to be able to express our silliness in order to make this odd life we are currently experiencing a little more bearable and I hope by sharing it, it maybe makes a few people smile and perhaps inspires people to create a little silliness of their own!


I’ll have my dinner now, thanks

Next time: A mini pub crawl…


* Apologies, this is mildly passive-aggressive political satire. But I am guessing that those of you who kindly read my blog probably don’t read that of a certain Dominic Cummings or if you do, only under some kind of duress. Anyway, what I meant to convey was that no one has used the hashtag.

Categories: General silliness, Travel | Tags: , | 13 Comments

Birthday Cake Auguste Style

Eat to the Beat(er)

Eat to the Beat(er)

As promised… Auguste decorated the choccy sponges that the Snail baked yesterday. Amazingly, he even found time to go and find chocolate mint from the garden, making this cake one of my five a day (fruit and veg, not one of my five cakes a day. Although…).

The, um, Icing on the Cake

The, um, Icing on the Cake

For Decoration Only

For Decoration Only

Chef's Perks

Chef’s Perks

Now I need a nap before dinner tonight at the Harbourmaster! What a nice birthday!

Just the one slice then...

Just the one slice then…


Categories: Auguste, General silliness | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Birthday Breakfast Auguste Style

Just checking up on the recipe

Just checking up on the recipe

Sunday breakfast at Chez Snail often comprises waffles, maple syrup, fruity goodness, caramel sauce and cream all washed down with freshly-ground coffee and old Star Trek: Next Generation episodes on CBS Action (or Scrapheap Challenge re-runs if available. Ditto The Crystal Maze). Today, however, Auguste has muscled in on the cooking as part of the “It’s my birthday” shtick.

Some technical stuff going on there...

Some technical stuff going on there…

...and here

…and here

Birthday Cake shenanigans to follow!

Thanks Auguste!!

Thanks Auguste!!


Categories: Auguste, General silliness | Tags: , | 11 Comments

The Furred Man – Half Baked

Wine and Bear It

On your marks… get set… DRINK! Er, I mean BAKE!

Here in the UK, we have one of those pseudo-reality shows that deals with the deeply philosophical subject of baking. Such is the fervour for the Great British Bake Off (hereafter to be known as GBBO) that one of its judges, Mary Berry (whose daughter I once wrote a database for), is to become Queen of Britain should the current monarch pass away.

Auguste was so inspired by the opening episode last week that he went straight into the kitchen and drank a bottle of cooking sherry before anyone knew what was happening. Once we sobered him up, he ‘helped’ the Snail make some delicious Millionaire’s Shortbread. Here’s the evidence:

Mixing it up

Mixing it up

Making the base

Making the base

Base Jumping (er, Food Hygiene issue, surely?)

Base Jumping (er, Food Hygiene issue, surely?)

Eating the Condensed Milk - Auguste!!

Eating the Condensed Milk – Auguste!!

Checking the Recipe

Checking the Recipe

Pouring on the Caramel

Pouring on the Caramel

Mmm... chocolate

Mmm… chocolate

The Final Product - delicious!

The Final Product – delicious!

You’ve earned your glass of wine tonight, Auguste!


Categories: Auguste, General silliness | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Seventh Bun of a Seventh Bun

I have just received an e-mail from an old friend I knew from my time working on contract down South. She tells me that the IT department at the company has just altered the internet rules again and now she can no longer read my blog, or any other WordPress blogs, at work over lunchtime or, bizarrely, look at a site that arranges cupcake decoration classes. Whilst I can almost understand the former, the latter seems a bit harsh especially when you consider that the reason given is that the site “may contain adult content”.

I am all in favour of cupcakes being branded ‘Adults Only’. The more cakes there are available for me and Auguste (read The Furred Man to find out who Auguste is), the better. Children have all the cool toys, can use the excuse ‘I’m too young to know’ and it be true, and generally get away with murder, all in the name of innocence (except actual murder, obviously). We adults should have something to look forward to at the end of a long day writing/managing/manufacturing/drinking. Cupcakes are just the thing.

My friend, by the way, makes fantastic cakes – see pictures of them at Sugar and Spicer, on Facebook.

The only cake-like things I make are Mars Bar biscuits – they require the simplest kind of cooking. Melt stuff and mix it all up then let it cool, covering it in melted chocolate on the way. Not a single ingredient is healthy unless, like me, you consider cocoa to be a vegetable and therefore one of your five-a-day (for my readers in the States, five-a-day is a campaign to make us eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. Now a government edict, it started life as a supermarket advertising wheeze to sell more perishable goods. Oh. I have just discovered that you too have a five-a-day decree so please ignore the last three sentences. As Homer Simpson often says “D’oh!”).

I like the French approach – every town and village has to have a cake shop. Actually, I think it has to have a bakery but they all sell cakes too. Wonderful! There’s nothing like fresh bread and a massive sugar rush first thing in the morning to kick-start your day. No wonder by mid-morning, the French are blockading the Champs Elysee with tractors and giving Angela Merkel what for, while we are pondering whether to have our third cup of tea or coffee.

Talking of which, it’s tea time. After that, I need to attack part 2 of my novel with the kind of fervour only a sugar high can give you. Cupcake anyone?


Categories: Auguste, BATDIG, General silliness, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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