Eating Out in ... Leominster

This proved quite a challenge! Leominster is an attractive little town with lots of old-style small shops: an ideal recipe for finding a choice of appealing alternatives for lunch you would think … wrong! To our amazement, it appeared not to have one restaurant open at lunchtime in the main town, and we walked round and round in pursuit of one. I can see how a town can become a centre for antiques shops – if they rock your boat, then Leominster is the place for you- but I have NEVER seen a town with so many hairdressers before. Evidently the locals are very beautifully coiffed, but never eat out in daylight to show off that fact! We found a  restaurant attached to a hotel… which is only open after dark. There is also one small Indian restaurant…you guessed it, only open after dark.

To cut a long story short, we ended up in the Tourist Information, asking for advice and suggestions of somewhere that might be able to feed two hungry dairy-free weirdos.  They stood and thought about it for several minutes, before sending us to Norrie’s. Now, I should probably mention that they did say, “Do you like quirky?” But we were hungry and we decided that, yeah we thought we could probably do quirky.

Well, they weren’t exaggerating. If you’ve ever fancied having lunch in the middle of a second hand bookshop which also rents out fancy hats, then Norrie’s is the place for you. The food was home-cooked and fairly basic, but perfectly edible. We had a veg curry, which wasn’t what I’d call cutting edge and most certainly wasn’t at all cheffy, but was tasty in a slightly orange kind of way. However, the whole experience was, well, fairly unusual. For a start, we were the only people in the place. (Not usually the best indicator of high quality nosh; however, it’s quite possible the good residents of Leominster were all busy having their hair trimmed and titivated.) The tables, all different sizes and styles, were in among stands of second hand books and surrounded by posters for local events and for the owner’s selection of  glamorous hats and fascinators which are available for hire.

I’ve had more exciting vegetable curries, I have to admit, but the experience was one to remember.

The foot note to this outing came on the way back to the car, when we found The Merchant’s House. This looks like a lovely café/restaurant (which is part of one of the antique shops) and I cannot for the life of me understand why the Tourist Office didn’t manage to mention it when asked. I can only assume the ladies decided that, as paid-up members of the Odd Food Society, we would only consider eating food which had been hand-knitted. Ah well, there’s always next time….

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