British Breakfast!

Si es que estos británicos todo lo hacen a lo grande…..

Y yo que pensaba (ilusa de mi) que nunca sería capaz de desayunar tanto….¡pues he acabado haciéndolo! si es que como alguien que yo conozco dice siempre: ¡TODO SE PEGA! y tras un año en estas tierras, una acaba acostumbrandose.

Este es el “pequeño” desayuno que me he regalado en mi último día en Bournemouth (por lo menos hasta noviembre).

Bumper Breakfast

Beans on a toast

Si quereis probar uno de estos en casi cualquier pub lo sirven, no obstante a nosotros nos gusta mucho Norwegian Wood, un bonito y acogedor café de madera decorado en honor a los Beatles.

Norwegian Wood

Glenfern Road

BH1 2NA , Bournemouth, Dorset

United Kingdom

Cheap (but great) places to eat in Bournemouth (1st part)

Is not that Bournemouth is an expensive town for being in England,  however being students we always run on a shoe-string budget and therefore we have to keep looking for the cheapest deals possible!

So here you have one of our favorite options during week days:

HARBOUR LIGHTS

Big pub with a lot of space situated where the old Imax was in the seafront.   Food is good and plates are huge! In addition while eating you can enjoy wonderful sights of Bournemouth Pier and beach.   If you go during the weekend it is quite an expensive place, however during the week they offer:

2×10 pound dishes: If you go with somebody else, you only pay 5 pounds per dish.

5 pounds lunch menu: Main dish, dessert and a drink (limited choice though).

They have all the pub classics (burger, fish and chips, pasta, chicken tikka masala, ….) but also some amazingly huge dishes such as the  XXL Burger and the “Father Cod” which  is bigger than the plate itself!!!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ideal for sunny days as they have a lovely terrace where you can sit and enjoy your meal.  I don’t know what you think about it but ….WE LOVE IT!!!

Harbour Lights terrace

Units 8 / 811 Imax Pier Approach, The Water Front Bath Road,
Bournemouth, Dorset  BH2 5AA

Bournemouth old Imax

Tel. 01202 294307

Cheap but great places to eat in Bournemouth (1st part)

Is not that Bournemouth is an expensive town for being in England,  however being students we always run on a shoe-string budget and therefore we have to keep looking for the cheapest deals possible!

So here you have one of our favorite options during week days:

Harbour Lights

Big pub with a lot of space situated where the old Imax was in the seafront.   Food is good and plates are huge! In addition while eating you can enjoy wonderful sights of Bournemouth Pier and beach.   If you go during the weekend it is quite an expensive place, however during the week they offer:

2×10 pound dishes:  If you go with somebody else, you only pay 5 pounds per dish.

5 pounds lunch menu: Main dish, dessert and a drink (limited choice though).

They have all the pub classics (burger, fish and chips, pasta, chicken tikka masala, ….) but also some amazingly huge dishes such as the  XXL Burger and the “Father Cod” which  is bigger than the plate itself!!!

Ideal for sunny days as they have a lovely terrace where you can sit and enjoy your meal.  I don’t know what you think about it but ….WE LOVE IT!!!

Units 8 / 811 Imax Pier Approach, The Water Front Bath Road,
Bournemouth, Dorset  BH2 5AA

Tel. 01202 294307

History of Bournemouth

The History of Bournemouth and human settlement in the surrounding area goes back for thousands of years. For the whole history check:  http://www.squillo.co.uk/westover/

In 1800 the area was largely a remote and barren heathland, used only by smugglers and revenue troops. ‘Bourne Heath’ was also known as Wallis Down in the north and Little Down in the south and east, and was part of the Great Heath of central Dorset. To the east was Christchurch, to the west was Poole, and to the north east was the river Stour.

There were villages at Kinson, Throop, Holdenhurst and Iford and a handful of buildings at Pokesdown, however the area between these communities was just a wilderness of pine trees, gorse, ferns and heather. No-one lived there and the only regular visitors were a few fishermen, turf cutters and gangs of smugglers who landed their cargoes of spirits, tea and tobacco on the deserted beach. This area, now called central Bournemouth was ‘Bourne Mouth’the mouth of the Bourne Stream.

A man called Tregonwell and his wife are considered to be the first inhabitants of Bournemouth. The history tells that in 1810, trying to relieve their grief for the death of their only child, they visited the area of Bourne Chine. She fell in love with it and persuaded him to build a house there, where they settled to life. The Queen Mother’s ancestor, Mary Eleanor Bowes, then the richest heiress in England, also lived at Pokesdown in the 1790s to escape the clutches of her second husband.

This both facts set the tone for Bournemouth, which turned into a select retreat, where the wealthiest people in society came to escape from the world. The labouring classes were housed in distant artisans’ quarters at Winton and Springbourne. Shops were banned in early Bournemouth; tradesmen were expected to call from Poole or Christchurch. When the first citizens finally relented and allowed the railway to approach, it was permitted to do so only in a deep cutting so that it would remain largely unseen.

However such lofty isolation was not destined to last. The early villa builders had not provided sufficient infrastructure, roads were poor, and the sewers inefficient. The saviour of the town was Christopher Crabbe Creeke – Surveyor of Nuisances for the Bournemouth Commissioners, who laid out roads around, lined with grand villas, and improved the drains.

Enterprising developers replaced many of the original dreamy villas with terraces of shops and apartments. Retailers brought all manner of fancy goods into the town and the railways allowed the lower orders to enjoy a cheap day at the seaside.

Commercial road, Bournemouth (circa 1912)

Richmond Hill from The Square Bournemouth (circa 1920)

By 1890, Bournemouth was recognised by Queen Victoria, who granted it the status of a Borough and with its own Mayor. The citizens of the town were then able to take firmer control of their own destiny. From that point on, Bournemouth expanded at an astonishing rate, swallowing up Westbourne, Boscombe Spa and Southbourne-on-Sea, which had once been competing resorts, and becoming what it is today.

Commercial street nowadays

Commercial steet nowadays

Bournemouth Square (2009)

Here there is a video made of old pictures sent by inhabitants of Bournemouth (made by: realbournemouth.com)

Sources:

http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/Council/Council_History/default.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bournemouth
http://www.squillo.co.uk/westover/
http://www.localhistories.org/bournemouth.html
http://www.englishrosehotels.co.uk/hotels/history-of-bournemouth (picture)
http://www.pastandpresentpublications.com/new_page_2.htm (pictures)
http://www.realbournemouth.com/ (video)

La Tasca, Bournemouth

La Tasca, Bournemouth

http://www.latasca.co.uk/

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Tras 6 meses sin probar la comida Española (a excepción de algo de Jamón Ibérico importado a escondidas en la maleta) hoy decidimos aventurarnos y probar un restaurante “Español” de “””tapas””” situado en el centro de Bournemouth, el pueblo donde estamos viviendo.

El restaurante viene altamente recomendado por un profesor británico con 5 años de estancia en Madrid a sus espaldas,  por un grupo de 15 chinos fascinados por las delicias culinarias de nuestro país y por otros conocidos varios.

El sitio bastante auténtico, decoración de tasca sin grandes ostentaciones y sobretodo sin toros y sevillanas colgando de cada pared, lo cual se aprecia. La carta parece variada, muchas tapas, 4 tipos diferentes de paella y una extensa lista de vinos y para nuestra sorpresa de sangrías.

Emocionados ante la posibilidad de probar al fin una buena tortilla española, unas bravas y una paellita valenciana, pedimos la recomendación del chef que consiste en 10 tapas diferentes a un módico precio de 29,99 pounds, las susodichas incluyen: albóndigas, ensalada mixta, paella valenciana, chorizo al vino, pollo a la Marbella, patatas bravas, tortilla de patatas, croquetas de pollo, gambas al pil-pil y berenjenas gratinadas.

La tortilla de patata podría ser utilizada para lijar una rebaba de hierro de lo seca y quemada que está, las croquetas supuestamente de pollo parecen más un puré de patatas mal rebozado, las albóndigas totalmente achicharradas se esconden en una salsa con trozos de tomate y algún vegetal de origen y nombre desconocido, la paella es una masa de arroz pastoso sin gusto a nada y con 4 guisantes, las 4 gambitas están ahogadas en una cazuela de aceite y el punto culminante, la guinda del pastel la ponen las patatas bravas y la ensalada mixta.

La versión "Tasca" de la ensalada mixta

Ensalada mixta como Dios manda!

Las primeras,  consisten en unas patatas poco fritas y aceitosas recubiertas de picada de tomate (¿Dónde está la salsa brava? ¿¿Y el picante???????), la ensalada mixta consiste en una cama de lechuga con aguacate (¿y el tomate? ¿y la zanahoria? ¿y el embutido? ¿y el aceite de oliva y el vinagre? ¿y que pinta ahí el aguacate?)).

De momento nuestro experimento culinario no está saliendo según lo esperado…. Y en modo broma le preguntamos al único camarero Español en el local si la afluencia de españoles es grande. Nos reconoce que no, pero afirma que la comida es excelente con tal pasión que es imposible llevarle la contraria (pero chico…¿tú de que parte de España eres??????).  Lo único que se salva es la “sangría tradicional” que hemos pedido, que pese a pequeña y con escaso vino, está fresquita y lleva bastante fruta.

El momento de el postre llega, y tras ver churros descritos como “donuts rizados” todavía no entiendo cómo nos atrevemos a pedir postre. El camarero nos ve dudando (más bien estamos sopesando que opción es la menos peligrosa) y con muy buena fe nos recomienda el sorbete de limón al cava.  Nuestras alternativas eran esa o una crema catalana de orígenes inciertos, así que decidimos dejarnos aconsejar. El sorbete de limón es bastante autentico pese a venir servido en un bol de “fondue” pero…. ¿dónde está el cava?

Supuestas sorbete al cava...

Además, por si no fuera poco tenemos que sufrir como la parejita de británicos sentada en la mesa de al lado describe el chorizo como “spicy sausages “ (salchichas picantes) y chafan la croqueta dentro de la paella comiéndoselo todo junto, por no mencionar el famoso “pan catalán” que consiste en una baguette con salsas para mojar.

Las falsas patatas bravas

Asi es como tendrian que ser...

¿La moraleja de esta histo

ria?  La comida como en casa, ¡en ningún sitio!.  Para los británicos la broma de pagar 42 euros por este tipo de comida podrá colar, pero para los Españoles es un chiste! Ciertos restauradores deberían estudiar un poco más a fondo las raíces y cultura culinaria de nuestro país y si deciden adaptarla, no hacerla pasar por auténtica.

Entonces nada, imagino que tendré

que esperarme otros pocos meses para poder volver a probar una de las pocas cosas de las que me siento orgullosa de nuestro país, su cocina.

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English Summary:

As a Spanish citizen I would like to let you know that you cannot call “Catalan Bread” to a slice of bread with some sauces to dip in, the “pa amb tomàquet” as it is called in Catalonia is something completely different. As for the “patatas bravas”…. where was the brava’s typical sauce? You better call them potatos with tomato as that’s whay they are.

Therefore for all those wanting to try real Spanish food….

BEWARE OF SPANISH FOOD IN NON-REAL-SPANISH RESTAURANTS