“Just enjoy your lunch, will you?”
I couldn’t believe it. The lady on the table behind us clearly needed to have her opinion heard. I was taking a picture of my lunch (a blogger’s curse) at the Tiptree Jam Factory and Tea Rooms in Essex, England at the time.
I forced a smile, thanked her and tried to explain to her what I was doing. Her eyes glazed over, chin became slack… I was wasting my time.
The food we’d ordered wasn’t a waste though and I took up our nosy friend’s suggestion with great gusto.
My warm beef bap with horseradish garnish and homemade coleslaw was juicy and full of flavour.
My dad hurtled into his three-cheese ploughman’s with local butcher’s ham, French bread and Tiptree relish, and my mum enjoyed her smoked salmon and prawn salad very much.
There was silence from the table behind. I don’t think the lady realised how hungry we were!
Across the room, some girls were having a spot of high tea. The towers of scones with cream and Tiptree jam, sandwiches (in triangles of course) and delicious looking cakes were impressive enough for us to ask for a photo.
All in all, it was a very English lunch time scene!
The jam shop is a delight – offering all the jams made onsite and other bits and pieces too. They also sell local cake goodness, but we were too full from lunch to buy anything.
We ventured into the jam museum next. It’s very interesting – and not too big – so the 10 or so minute walk around wasn’t a big ask. The Wilkins family have been farming in Tiptree for 300 years, and their legacy is here plain to see.
They have old jam making machinery like canning machines and cherry stoners. There’s also a WWII exhibit from when the area was shelled in the 1940s.
It’s a very pleasant way to spend a long lunch, and it’s in a beautiful part of the English countryside. Even aggro old ladies can’t argue with that!
Open: Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.00pm; Sunday 10.00am-5.00pm.
Closing time is 30 minutes earlier in winter.
Have you ever been ‘told off’ for taking pictures of your own food? Has anyone ever confronted you because of your blogging habits? Tell us about them in the comments!