Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mrs Bridges Pantry Woodstock

Finding an authentic British tearoom in Connecticut has become somewhat frustrating, there are just not many choices any more. Woodstock is about an hour ride so given the fact that it is located right next door to the Scranton Shops where we can poke around for antiques made it seem like a good option. 

It was a Thursday and a rainy day at that. I called ahead to see if we would need reservations, they said no but when I got there, they had saved us seats which was very nice of them. I had my heart set on a Cornish Pastie. We got there shortly after 12 and they were already sold out which was very disappointing. I guess I should have reserved one of them as well!!

We had a pretty long wait to put in our order but since we were chatting and enjoying ourselves it really wasn't an issue. What was an issue is that the rest room is across the way adjacent to another shop. Not very convenient and they were not especially nice or clean. 

Mrs Bridges Pantry is very cute inside, not all that girly which is often the case with tearooms and also not very British in spite of the menu which is half English specialties. 

Since I couldn't have a Cornish pasty I went for a curry chicken one, our friend ordered the Farmhouse tea which is a sandwich followed by a scone, I added a scone and tea to my pasty. Al had a steak and mushroom pie. 

First I have to address the crust of my pastie, these are supposed to be flaky and you should be able to hold it in your hand to eat, they are really a hand pie. My crust was nothing less than limp, no way I could ever have picked that up. Might have been the rewarming that did that. The filling however was very tasty indeed. 

Al's little pie was very nice and it came with a small gravy boat with nice bistro gravy. The sandwich which was ham and cheese was crustless and delicious. 

The scones were served warm, I got orange and cranberry and Joe had raisin, they are served with whipped cream and either strawberry jam or lemon curd, we both opted for the jam. 

Tea was also good. Though a refill of our pot was never offered. Usually more water at least is offered. 

Al got the apple crisp and while he loved the custard, he found the apples al dente and overall the dessert was too sweet. 

Luckily, it seemed to have been rather a quiet day and we were allowed to take our time and just sit and enjoy. Our waitress was very friendly and answered all our questions with enthusiasm. 

I would rate our visit as a success and will return, I may not order the same things however, there are plenty of other choices. 

They do have a little store which I'm sorry to say we did not browse. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Portland Catfish Tournament

Portland Riverside Marina’s 14th

Annual Connecticut River Catfish Tournament

Friday, August 19 to Sunday, August 21

Portland Riverside Marina

37 Riverview Street, Portland, CT  06480

(860) 342-1911


(heaviest fish)

1st Prize................$300.00

2nd Prize...............$200.00

3rd Prize...............$150.00



11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
a.m to 6 p.m.

8 a.m. to noon

Sunday’s picnic (noon to 8 p.m.) will feature great

Food, music and all the stories about the ones that got away!


Single - $25.00         Family - $50.00 

Spectator only (includes picnic) - $20.00 per person

Picnic Noon to 7 p.m.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Plan B West Hartford

Part of the B group of Restaurant this Plan B is right on Park Road in West Hartford. There is a small parking lot at the end of the building that the restaurant is in but it is one of three restaurants in the building so I would not plan on finding a spot there. We were able to park on Park Road for free. 

If you are used to the Plan B in Glastonbury, I must say that this one is much smaller however, it has outdoor dining, a small dining room, and the bar area. We opted for the bar area. The menu is the same as at the Glastonbury location. 

I ordered the mini cheeseburgers and traded my fries for a small salad with the lemon thyme dressing, so good. 

Al got a  pretzel burger which has cheddar cheese. They have pink or no pink and rare. He opted for rare and it was just perfect. We had very good service. We were going to the Playhouse on Park and it was less than a half mile down the road so it makes a good combination with a show. 

We are big fans of Plan B which Al insists on calling second choice, lol but it was definitely our first choice today, and a good choice it was. I really love the fresh pickles that they give as a free amuse bouche. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Firebox Hartford

If you haven't tried Firebox in Hartford I have to ask why? It has just jumped into the number one position on my list of favorite places to eat. Kasey and John took us the to celebrate Al's 70th birthday and we were blown away. The food and service were outstanding. 

The concept is outstanding as well. giving jobs and opportunities to the Frog Hollow neighborhood and using locally sourced food, it is a win win proposition. 

You really need to have reservations.A parking lot and valet parking are adjacent to the building but parking is also available on the street, not that I would want to park on the street, there was a rather large group of kids and young teens hanging about and that made me just a little uncomfortable. 

We had early reservations, 6:15 and that was good, it got much busier by the time we left. 

The menu is not huge and on this particular night, there were no specials since there were new adjustments to the menu. The soup of the day was tomato basil and they had a soda of the day and a mixed drink of the day. 

I had checked the menu ahead of time and knew I want to order two appetizers instead of an entree. I ordered the Brussels sprouts and the cheese plate. Al ordered the ribeye steak, John the chicken and Kasey the soup and a salad. 

Our waiter was attentive and was able to guide us through the menu and the drink menu. We had some of their delicious bread to tide us over. 

I have to say, their Brussels sprouts are the best I have ever had anywhere, even my own. The presentation was cute too in a little cast iron pan. I threatened to take it home with me which our waiter found very amusing. 

The cheese plate included four selections, crostini, strawberries, grapes, Marcona almonds, and honey. It was delicious. 

Al's steak was cooked perfectly and those fingerling potatoes cooked in duck fat were to die for!! 

You would think that we would be too full for dessert but you would be wrong. I had heard from Kasey how good their desserts were and I had no intention of missing out on the pleasure. Kasey and John shared a berry short cake, we shared the lime curd. Oh my, the perfect dessert, light and not too sweet with whipped cream and fresh blueberries. With my cappuccino, it was the perfect ending. 

Perfection does not come cheap, Kasey had two of the drinks of the day and they were $13 each. The meal for the four of us ran over $200 without tip. Was it worth it, absolutely, I can't wait to go back there again.  Check out the Firebox menu here

Monday, August 7, 2017

Oklahoma at Goodspeed

The second show of the 2017 season is Oklahoma. If it has been a while since you saw the show or if you have never seen it, you are in for a treat. The music is wonderfully familiar and the dancing and energy are high throughout. 

Samantha Bruce plays a very believable Laurey and Terry Burrel brings Aunt Eller to life. Rhett Gutter has a very nice voice and his Curly charms but for me, Matt Faucher stole the show as a very scary Jud Fry. 

The highlight of the show is the duet between Curly and Laurey of  " People Will Say We're in Love". 

On Sunday, September 24th at 2:00 p.m. they are offering a sensory friendly performance for those who may be on the autism spectrum or if other sensory issues. The environment will be accepting and inclusive. 

If you are looking for a very entertaining night out, I highly recommend heading down to Goodspeed in East Hadden and enjoying "Oklahoma". It will be on until September 27. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lyman Orchard Sunflower Maze Aug 3-27, 2017

The Sunflower Maze is an incredible experience, with more than 350,000 red and yellow sunflowers surrounding you in a 360-degree environment. Get lost in this 2.5-acre maze as yellow finches and beautiful butterflies fly around.  

Lyman Orchard 
Middlefield CT

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Playhouse on Park

If you are like us and enjoy a good show, I want to introduce you to our newest find, Playhouse on Park in West Hartford. This is a small, non-profit theater that offers live productions. We went there on Sunday, July 30, 2017, for their performance of The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged. If was just as funny and entertaining as I expected, maybe even more so. 

This is a small theater with four rows of seats on three sides of the theater. There is plenty of pitch to the seats so I was able to see easily over the heads of the people in front of me, we were in the back row. 

The quality of the performance was very professional and I was impressed. They do offer a season ticket and there are some excellent shows coming up. One that I particularly want to see is Anne Frank which will be here in October. In January they are offering Steel Magnolias and I have to say I am tempted to delay going to Florida in order to see it. 

They offer water and soft drinks and candy for sale. The rest rooms are very nice and parking on the street was free and easy. I highly recommend that you give Playhouse on Park a try.