Monday, April 12, 2010

The MasterChefisation of British cooking

This is the Swan at Lamport. As you will see, it is "passionate about food". Now where have I heard that before?

Sure enough, the menu included a starter of scallops with belly pork, though it should be black pudding for the full cliche.

The food was good but not brilliant, and the portions were a little small for the price. Still, that does allow those of us trying to lose weight to enjoy three courses without being greedy.

I read somewhere - I think it was in Arthur Mee's Northamptonshire - that Lamport was thought the bleakest place on the stagecoach route between London and York. I had imagined that those coaches went via the Great North Road, but the Swan is certainly a very large inn to find in such a remote location, so it must have been important at one time.

To reach it the main road from Market Harborough to Northampton crosses the Brampton valley with a magnificent S bend. At the bottom it crosses the trackbed of the old railway line between the two towns - I can remember being held up one nght by a freight train at the level crossing here as recently as 1980. Then it climbs the other side of the valley to reach Lamport and the Swan.

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