Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid although a champagne and tapas offering might have gone down rather well bearing in mind the occasion. Sadly, however, it was a little more "agricultural show without sheepdogs" or, for that matter, without a hog roast and the cornish pasty van both of which would have fitted in well. A long way to go to reach the ambience of Borough or Camden Markets but hey the stimulation of retirement comes from trying new experiences whatever they might be.
Anyway last week, and in belated honour of the memorable occasion we took food sampling to a new level with an organised appetite tour around Harrogate, walking from street to street as we tested the delights on offer in various independent venues. Now we did taste local watercress to die for in The Starling Independent Bar and Kitchen Cafe on Oxford Street but, plebeian that I am, I can only say that all ice cream has now been ruined for me unless it first involves a walk uphill in eager anticipation, followed by a homemade offering equivalent to that of Vanilli's Artisan Takeaway on Cold Bath Road. Forget nectar, the gods must feast on this stuff; it was divine!
I don't know about you but working my way through the several courses involved in restaurant dining can be a bit of a struggle in retirement, so strolling between locations kept the appetite whetted and, with the best part of a two mile walk to and from our parking spot on the edge of town, we even felt virtuous at the end of the day. I'm not sure that it's an idea that will catch on but it's a definite change to a yet not so different a theme of walking across the countryside with your lunch in a rucsack. Well that's my argument and I'm sticking to it.