Birds and the bees

Yesterday, on our 41st wedding anniverary, Lady of the House and I were determined to find out about the Birds and Bees. ‘What?’ I hear you say, ‘Only now?….after all these years?’

Well, it’s not really as simple as this, or even what you think. We were going out for a meal to celebrate this lifetime together (well, we have to eat!), and were not sure where to go. Daughter, and friend, mentioned that they had recently been to a very pleasant restaurant on the outskirts of lovely Stirling, only a short walk from the lofty Wallace Monument.

‘Seems pleasant,’ we said and got the details. So off we went last night to find this epicurean centre, and arrived at the Restaurant, surprisingly called ‘The Birds and the Bees’.

Great ambiance, even for a Tuesday evening, with a pub quiz in the bar, and very mellow, gentle un-obtrusive music in the background. Decoration was un-deniably dedicated to birds, and bees, but we were also met by a sheep (not real!) in the reception area, and a couple of mangles (remember them?) beside the bar area.

There were several ‘cubicles’, big enough to seat 4-6, and we had one to ourselves. Wonderfully private, but prevented me hearing the conversation of a French couple who were obviously touring the area.

Food available was eclectic, with Indian, Italian, ‘good old British’, and ‘even-better Scottish’, dishes from which to choose. We shared spring rolls, then Lady had pork loin, while I had Oriental stir-fry…impeccably served and presented on un-usually-shaped plates. Unusually I chose a Chilian heavy red wine (14 %), which actually worked well.

After an appropriate rest, Lady had home-made banoffee pie, and I had caramel apple pie…….followed by wonderfully hot coffee…….before heading into a perfectly-clear evening with stars twinkling a welcome to winter.

I know not everyone is lucky enough to live near here, but I’ve put a link below so that you can simulate our delightful meal or pick your own.

P.S. As I was driving, I could only take a 1/2 glass of wine, so brought it away to have tonight!

P.P.S So now you too know about the Birds and the Bees!

Now, that’s eating!

Daughter celebrated a rather important birthday yesterday, so as a family we all went out for a meal last night.

It was in a lovely town in Perthshire called Auchterarder (quite difficult for non-Scots to say!…..think of it as Och..terr…arr…dur…). It was at one time, on the main road from Dunblane to Perth, but now is by-passed. It was a good example of ‘ribbon-development’ where houses and shops were strung along both sides of the lovely wide road for over a mile.

In some ways it is a rather un-remarkable town (it does have the snooker player Stephen Hendry as an inhabitant!). But there is a wealth of lovely shops, as it is really the market town for the area, and they are well-worth seeing.

However, a few years ago, we were up seeing Daughter there and I suggested she look for a nice eaterie. She knew that we liked Italian food (but not excluding food from anywhere else!) and discovered Cafe Cento. For those with a classical background (or even a bit of common sense) Cento means 100, in Italian, and the address is at 100 High Street….so it is really easy for me to remember the name and the address at the same time!

The couple who run it are obvious very enthusiastic about it and it deserves to be well used as the food, ambiance and the service are second to none. (Which reminds me, I must give Gordon Ramsay a phone to tell him he has some stiff competition up there)

So if you are heading north and see the sign for Auchterarder, take the time to have a nice evening meal at Cento……honest I have no shares there….would just wish them the best of luck!….Buon Appetito…….