Welcome back. So having read about the five best places we ate food at this year, we have to decide on the winner. This years winning meal was so good that I knew it would win as soon as I finished eating it, and that was way back in the summer. Not that the others weren’t excellent, but the name inside the golden envelope for
The 2015 Herbie Award for
Best Pub /restaurant for food
near the canal
goes to (drum roll)
The Admiral Nelson at Braunston
Yep, the old Admiral takes the biscuit. Their perfect “Black and Gold” steak (to be honest I can’t remember if I had rump or sirloin) with the gorgeous tasting trimmings was the absolute biz. I challenge you to get a better steak anywhere. It might cost a couple of quid more than some cheaper places, but the difference is money well spent. Well done them.
Now after all that excitement, back to the canal. Everybody has their favourite lock flights. Locks come and go but there’s something special about a ascending or descending a flight. These spots become real landmarks on a canal trip. They tend to be sociable too as folk help each other up and down to speed up the process. I certainly don’t like ‘em all. I have yet to meet anyone who really likes the Buckby flight for instance whereas the more physically demanding Hatton flight is somehow more enjoyable. So of the most enjoyable flights we have done this year, which would you choose?
Yep,you got it. First up is the beautifully kept Watford Staircase, often you have to queue, but once you get in you seems to ascend or descend as fast as an elevator and the locks are so easy a child can operate them as our little Grace demonstrated when only five years old
Next, the serpentine Marsworth flight as it snakes up the hill past the reservoirs with each lock only just out of site from the previous one.
Footpaths on both side of the water too, so teams can really get a move on.
The quick and easy Hillmorton flight with its pairs of side by side narrow locks, a welcome change after the many lock free miles from Hawkesbury. Down near the bottom you can always stop for a break at Badsey’s cafe (nice for me ‘cos I was born and raised in Badsey – the village, not the boat!).
Bear in mind that we can only include flights we have done this year, so if you’re a fan of Foxton or the Bratch of whatever, they don’t count. Results tomorrow, plus the
nominees for best and worst boats I have driven this year.