I'm not a fan of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It's a vile American fast food chain. However, KFC is a very different thing in England. Unlike our local KFC, which is little more than a run-down take-away shack, the KFC in Newbury is more like a snazzy Starbucks outlet, complete with stylish cafe lighting and tables. More important than the cosmetic differences, is the Zinger burger. Sadly, the Zinger burger is not offered at KFC in America.
Dan hyped up the Zinger Burger so much, that I had to try one on our trip to England.
The Zinger burger is good. Real good. If it was offered in America, it would be a compelling reason to stop at KFC. The magic in the Zinger burger is the spices. I can't handle super spicy foods, but this gives just enough kick to be really tasty and balances with the mayo.
On second thought, I am really relieved that this isn't offered in America. I don't need any additional fast food favorites to tempt me!
I spent the afternoon with Dan's mom in the nearby town of Hungerford and we went to two very cute restaurants.
The first was a place called Rafters Cafe, located in the attic of an antiques arcade. We went for tea and a snack, before checking out the antique booths.
To get to the cafe, we had to walk to the center of the arcade and climb two separate flights of stairs, weaving through all sorts of merchandise haphazardly crammed in narrow aisles with low ceilings. I felt like Alice exploring Wonderland.
We ordered a pot of tea and shared a hot cross bun. To be honest, I had no clue what a hot cross bun was, despite playing the song for my third grade violin recital. The actual bun is far superior to the children's song, although, I bet I got it stuck in your head. You're welcome. It was delicious, kind of like an English Muffin with warm currants.
After checking out the antiques and strolling around Hungerford, we ate a late lunch at the Tutti Pole. It was a gloomy, rainy day and a bowl of tomato- basil soup with crusty bread hit the spot.
You're probably wondering about the quirky name, right?
A Tutti Pole is a long staff decorated with flowers, oranges and ribbons and is associated with Hock Days. Having origins in the medieval period, Hock Days traditionally occurred a few weeks after Easter and was a time when money was collected for the local church. This tax was collected in various light hearted ways, including the Tutti Men.
Two men dressed up in coats and top hats would walk house to house with their Tutti Poles and collect both coins and kisses from the women. Today, the town of Hungerford still celebrates the tradition and although they no longer collect money, the collection of kisses still continues!
Coming soon...my encounters with antiques, ducks and telephone booths in the beautiful town of Hungerford.