CHRISTMAS PRESENTS: MEMORIES also known as Sunday Lunch on the Severn Valley Railway
For those of us who love to see the landscapes of Britain, what could be better than settling back into your seat and enjoying Sunday lunch in comfort in the beautiful Severn valley. As a wee lass growing up in North Shropshire the river Severn and its valley were a great treat, whether it was going to the point to point at Eyton on Severn or taking the funicular in Bridgenorth or just driving down the valley it seemed like a place untouched by progress.
Happily this is still the case and the heavy industry that spoiled many river landscapes has largely passed the valley by leaving a relatively bucolic if ecomomically poor communities and landscape; as a result their was little change. With the improvement of the technology and transport connections many people are discovering this area and are able to recognise the unchanged nature of the communities and landscapes, an ideal that belies the reality of rural poverty but makes for the picturesque.
One of the benefits of this interest in the area is the revival of tourism and the plentiful and appropriate attractions that line the edge of the river from Iron Gorge to Offa’s Dyke there is something for everyone and it is set in spectacular landscape. So it is with real pleasure that I read a good review in the Shropshire Star (the Severn valley’s local paper) of Sunday lunch on the Severn Valley Railway (www.svr.co.uk).
It is a popular celebration lunch with the locals and there is something really very charming about the Englishness of the menus (prawn cocktail and roast beef) and the quality of the locally sourced food eaten in carriages that have not changed, except for a bit of refurbishment since the 1950’s. I love retro and this is just the place to celebrate it, in a landscape that appears not to have been troubled by time, well perhaps there are no longer haystacks and wains but there are enough tractors to gladded a small boys heart.
Oh and did I mention that the Severn Valley Railway is a heritage railway so not only will you be enjoying a delicious lunch but you will be being pulled along by a real steam choo choo*. Oh and you get to stop at quaint stations, so “all aboard” either at Kidderminster or at Bridgnorth. Techies can get more information on the Severn Valley Railway at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severn_Valley_Railway.
It’s my birthday next year (well, isn’t it everyone’s) and I’m hoping that as it the one before a big one that perhaps I can inveigle some friends to come with me for a long day out and good lunch in the valleys of my youth! See you there?
Image and copyright courtesy of ‘SVR photography’
*note for Emma; “choo choo” being the original sound that steam trains made, and which for reasons of laziness or whimsey are still taught as the sound of trains to children. My dad calls them “puff-puffs” and he is in his 80s