Sunday, 26 September 2010


This week was to be our visit to Cookie's, but at the last minute, the Walk Master advised that due to the dreadful weather, we would not be going. We headed instead to Woodton to start our 6 mile walk without the prize of a pie at the end. First we visited Woodton All Saints church, with a fine specimen of a parasol in the foreground. Finding no scratch dial we went round the rear of the church and through a field of inquisitive bullocks - waving sticks about we kept them at bay until we had crossed over the electric fence. Our path then took us through a field of cows that had made the field a mud bath! This proved to be quite a challenge for Ana who was wearing her "MBT" shoes, as did the muddy lane that followed. Here we came across a clump of huge horse mushrooms, each about a foot across. Now heading south down Nobb’s Lane, with blackberry bushes laden with fruit that we sampled to excess. Continuing south along Mill Road, we eventually came to St. Margaret’s church, Topcroft, previously visited after the stormy walk last November. Here we had lunch in the porch. The walk Master then told us we would not have to wade through mud on the second half of the walk - he didn't mention the very high and slippery styles, the overgrown footpaths and having to climb a ladder! A bonus was that thus far we had evaded the rain. As we approached our third, round towered church with an octagonal top, light rain started. We explored St. Andrew’s church in Bedingham finding no scratch dial. We made our way to the King's Head, just under a mile away for pints of Old Speckled Hen, St. Edmunds and Battle of Britain. When we left the pub, it was raining; the Führer dictated that we should forgo tea as we walked the short distance to the cars. This proved to be a good call, as the heavens opened up on our journey home!

Sunday, 19 September 2010


No pies this week as the Walk Master had suggested a visit to Cookie's. In the event, the Walk Master did not walk this week, so the Führer led us on a 5½ mile or so walk around Salhouse, rather than Salthouse, as poor weather was predicted. Parking at the Railway Station, we walked down the road to the footpath that leads to Salhouse, emerging by Bell Pond. We then walked through the village admiring the attractive houses, stopping to browse the bric-a-brac for sale in the garden of one. We then headed north opposite Thieves Lane. Quite a few parasol mushrooms were about, as were masses of tasty blackberries that we sampled on route. King Canape found a fine specimen of Agaricus augustus that he collected. We deviated from the original route to have our lunch at All Saints church, previously visited and found to be without a scratch dial. A further deviation from the walk was to head down Bell Lane to the Bell Public house with a good selection of beers; January 8th from the Ole Slewfoot brewery in Hainford and Wherry from Woodforde’s a mile down the road, were the beers of choice. Here we met Bystanders Frances & Bob, about to leave, after having their post bike ride lunch – we had bumped into them in similar circumstances in Thompson back in 2008. Since we had deviated from the planned route, we had to return to the cars via the footpath we used initially. José found what he believed to be a “Charcoal Burner” Mushroom, an edible fungi – we’ll see if he turns up at next weeks walk! King Canape produced King Prawns with Marie Rose Sauce, Oaties then completed this week’s grazing.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Frank Spurgon

Following last week's quality pies, it was going to be a hard act to follow so I thought we'd sample pies from Frank Spurgon, last munched back in May last year, when they returned a respectable score of 7.5. The Walk Master had devised a 6 mile appetising walk from Cromer to East Runton via Incleborough Hill. Parking in a side street we made our way south west, taking in some of the Norfolk Coast Path and many blackberries! The walk now became a fungus foray, first collecting Parasol mushrooms, then a crop of Shaggy Parasols. A little later we came to a solitary Shaggy Ink Cap before collecting several chanteralls, our collection was completed with a Brown Birch Boletus. We then ascended Incleborough Hill for lunch at 259 feet above sea level! No wonder King Canape was a little breathless. We made our way down into East Runton to the Fishing Boat for reasonably priced pints of Sundew and Wherry, which we consumed in the garden. We made our way to West Runton Gap to walk along the beach, the tide being out. Coming up the cliff at Cromer, we returned to the cars for tea and Waitrose Guacamole with spicy crackers, followed by Panadas – spicy beef pies from Sardinia that Ana brought back. Then the lovely pies from Frank Spurgeon, these had a very crisp crust and a dark filling with jelly. Nicely textured and spiced the eight participating munchers all enjoyed the pies giving them a score of 8.3125 with a standard deviation of 0.37201 – slightly up on last week’s pie. So Frank Surgeon gets a rounded up, normalised score of 8.5. Shortbread was the final fourth course this week.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Jarrold’s deli

With the terrible pies of last week, the Pie Master went to a known good supplier of quality pies: the Deli in Jarrold’s, last sampled at Holkham on February 10th 2008, where they scored 8.5. To sample these, 9 munchers and two dogs headed to Foulsham. Parking in the street we walked east, past the church that had a “Savage” manhole cover, to Batesmoor. From here we headed back west along Mill Lane a little way before heading north over what was the old airfield, passing the site of the former 60,000 gallon, Foulsham water tower. The field edge provided us with blackberries that we consumed as we walked along. We were afforded a lengthy view of deer before we stopped at 3½ miles for lunch in a field corner. Here we watched a couple of raptors overhead as we ate. We headed back south to Foulsham via a permissive path along side Wood Norton Road, taking in views of Stanfield and Bintree water towers at the same time. Then along Sneck Lane, calling in at the Queen’s Head for pints of Adnams. We returned to the cars and took our tea to the Holy Innocents church we walked past at the start. We looked around this dial-less church before having tea in the churchyard. Straight into the good looking pies that released an appetising aroma when sliced, revealing a nicely textured pink filling surrounded by jelly. This was a really good pie, very tasty and the pastry good too, though it wasn’t as crisp as some. All agreed and it romped in with a score of 9.05556 and a low standard deviation of 0.30046, so a normalised score of 9 – the highest this year, for Jarrold’s Deli. Canapés followed: stuffed baby peppers – these were quite hot, so a wise decision to have these after the pies, followed by the Shortbread finale.