Back in 2007 when I first unleashed my slightly obsessive baking traits on an unsuspecting worldwide web, I knew that I would never be able to manage posting daily or even weekly to my newly-founded blog. My three young children and their activities leave little time for sitting in front of a computer, whilst my perfectionist streak ensures that I lose any infrequent occasions for creative thinking to procrastination and unnecessary googling.
Since the beginning however, I have followed an unwritten and entirely arbitrary rule of making sure that I never let a month go by without at least posting once, no matter how short that post may be.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to understand why I’m a tiny bit worried right now. September arrived nearly a month ago and I still have nothing more to offer than a few half-baked ideas and blurry images. Am I about to break my own self-imposed posting principles?
But wait – here comes my little sister with a fully-written guest post crafted especially and in the nick of time for A Merrier World. Call it telepathic communication or hypersensitivity to sibling stress if you will – as Lucy says, it’s what sisters are for!
The Curry Corner
I was feeling guilty because my sister asked me to write a blog entry for a meal we ate when we were on holiday in the Cotswolds back in August but I hadn’t got round to doing it yet. Then I realized that I hadn’t heard from A Merrier World in a while, so perhaps she can’t criticize me too much for my tardiness! I have been asked to write a blog entry by my sister before and I never got round to it. This time, it was my (rather small and ineffectual) camera which took the shots of the evening so Kate blackmailed me into agreeing to write an entry for her. I hope I can do the evening justice (this is my first blog entry of any kind).
On a family holiday we had the rare opportunity to go out as sisters with our respective husbands, sans children as our own parents kindly offered to take care of the brood for the evening. When the children were content with the thoughts of a trip with Granny and Grandpa to those ‘golden arches’ the four of us set out for a wander into Cheltenham. Earlier in the evening we’d researched likely places in a restaurant guide and we settled upon The Curry Corner which was described as “the best curry from pole to pole” by Michael Palin! It was a Tuesday evening so we were sure of getting a table without having to book, weren’t we?
The Curry Corner is on the corner (no surprises) of two quiet residential streets on the edge of Cheltenham. It has to be the most stylish curry restaurant I have ever visited: and it was packed, even on a Tuesday!
Luckily, the friendly waiters were happy for us to sit at their outside tables and have some beers whilst we waited for a table to be vacated inside. We were very pleased to spot some local real ales on the drinks menu and enjoyed the Cats Whiskers!
We read the menu thoroughly and planned our feast. The dishes were imaginative and unusual and the restaurant uses only the highest quality local ingredients from the lush countryside … including Newent chicken, free range Cotswold farm eggs, rare breed meat, bread made from the finest quality locally milled organic flour and ice cream churned at the restaurant using the creamiest local milk and cream. In fact, I have since discovered that the restaurant has had the same chicken supplier and egg producer for the past 32 years. They buy their eggs from a local lady who is now 93 years old! The dishes focus mainly on Bangledeshi home-cooking style with elements of Hindoostan woven in.
The Curry Corner was opened in 1977 by the Krori family. Thirty years later, they are still the chefs and the whole family is involved with the restaurant. The restaurant has won several “Best Taste” awards and has gained critical acclaim from famous names such as Rick Stein, Michael Palin and Richard Branson. The restaurant has also participated in Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word. From over 10,000 nominations, the Curry Corner made it to the finals for Britain’s best local restaurant. They were pipped to the post by the restaurant Lasan, from Birmingham. In an interview with Channel 4, the Curry Corner’s second chef explains just how family orientated they are:
We’re a family run restaurant and it’s a genuinely family run place so although Dad’s now 60 he still cooks every single night and my mum, I think I can confidently say, was probably the only Indian woman cooking in a professional kitchen back in 1977. (Monrusha Krori, http://www.channel4.com)
We placed our food order, enjoyed another local ale and waited with a heightened sense of anticipation at our table inside. Our poppadums arrived and we dug into the imaginative selection of chutneys and pickles. The mango chutney was delicious: the addition of whole fennel seeds made it very special and we quickly ate the lot.
Following this we had ordered a selection of starters, making sure we each had something we liked (I don’t like lamb, Kate doesn’t like prawns…the husbands eat anything…very quickly). The food was beautifully presented and began to fill me up somewhat!
I didn’t need to worry though because when the main courses arrived they looked so delicious I miraculously had plenty of room: particularly for the honey and pistacchio naan. It was melt-in-the-mouth.
We did a good job of eating most of the feast we had ordered when our eyes were larger than our bellies (after finishing, our bellies were certainly the larger) and Kate asked for the rest of our naan to be packaged up to take home for the children. As we were loosening our belts and sitting back, our waiter arrived with a small plate with four white tablets placed upon it.
We were slightly confused, I have to admit. I did consider that they might be taking precautions and be giving us some large ant-acid tablets, given how much we had consumed. The waiter performed a little ceremony with a teapot of water which he trickled over the four tablets. They miraculously grew…and turned into face towels!
You are honoured indeed as Kate said she might allow me to post a picture of her, as long as her face was covered with her now expanded white tablet!
I’m sure I speak for us all when I say what a fantastic evening we had. It was going to be great anyway, to be out with Kate and O on our own for the first time in eight years, but The Curry Corner made it really special. If ever you’re in Cheltenham and feel peckish, it’s certainly the place to go: but do book ahead unless, like us, you have plenty of time to while away drinking beers on their patio!