Mummys’ boy

At the age of 22, the days of being taken to look for plants, kitchen ‘things’ and interior design ideas by my mum should be long gone. But, having gone through the process with my real mother, I seem now to have been ‘adopted’ by two more. 

My appetite mums, Mmes McGlade and Pikett, find great pleasure in taking me on rural excursions with the promise of chips and a piece of cake on condition they can mooch without me disappearing to find a bridge to leap off.

Thus, having been bundled into the back of the appetite Volvo and being made to wait for the child-locked door to be opened in the car park, we wander through the walled garden at Bradley Gardens. I have to say, I can appreciate the work that’s been done; it does look beautiful, but ladies, we don’t need to spend 20 minutes discussing trees when I haven’t eaten since 7.30am.

Having looked at a lot of trees, and some bushes, and some more trees, and skilfully avoided the shops on our way to the glasshouse café, I find my way to a cabinet filled with cake – certainly the highlight so far.salmon

As is our way in our surrogate appetite family, we argue about anything and everything as we stand in the queue looking at the big blackboards. Having argued about what we will have, where we will sit, and who will pay, choosing something to eat then takes as long as that walk through the garden.

Bored, I wander off to choose the cake I will have for pudding, both of my mums tutting loudly as I do so (they worry about my cake intake). But arriving back at our table by the wood burner, both of them are grinning – clearly they’ve been talking about plants again.

Mum number one’s smoked haddock risotto looks extremely good, and she lets me try some, which is why she’s my favourite. It really is beautiful and the big bowl keeps her from talking about gardening too much.

As for mum number two’s smoked salmon on sourdough with softly boiled egg, watercress, capers and chives – which looks even better – she tells me in the car on the way back that it is very good – particularly the salmon. Of course, having been glared at for even thinking about going near her plate, I can only report on that one secondhand, but she is certainly extremely complimentary about it.

My burger and chips is popular with all three of us, the brioche bun keeping my need for sugar at bay. Mum number two is more than happy to steal fries from my basket and ketchup from my little Kelner jar. She can be very selfish like that, but I let it pass, for there is cake to come.

gardensThen, having avoided the shops on the way in, I am not so lucky on the way out. There is jewellery, handbags, and scarves in the first one. Interiors in the second, including candles which are waved in my direction. Then, there is a very long visit to buy kitchen ‘things’ at the branch here of the excellent Stangers Cookshop, in which mum number two invests in a border terrier-embroidered apron and a vegetable brush. Then she scuttles back to shop number two for a test pot of the paint which is on the wall behind the counter. Good thing I get a great big slice of cake to take back with me, eh?

Bradley Gardens, Sled Lane Wylam, NE41 8JH
tel 01661 852 176

Stir it up
Sign up to our news
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us.