There are very few activities more relaxing than a canal boat holiday. As long as the weather is on your side, you have wonderfully long days of gliding gently through the shallow water to look forward to. Speed just isn’t an option. Noise gives way to peace. Haste gives way to relaxation. Productivity gives way to negotiating locks.
During a recent canal holiday – taking in the hottest July day ever recorded – I had long, leisurely days to reflect on the appeal of this old fashioned method of transport. And to consider how best to enjoy cooking and eating in this compact environment. There are great pubs and eateries dotted along the waterways offering a lazy pub lunch overlooking the water or a more gastronomic spread in the evening, but to get the best out of British pub dining it pays to be selective.
I am happy to make the extra effort to fill in the gaps. Cooking can be meditative, creative, nourishing and joyful when time and enthusiasm are on your side. And you’ll definitely have time on your hands on a canal boat holiday. The boat I was on, as with most narrowboats, had a full gas oven. Space and equipment were limited, but with four hob rings, a grill and an oven, I knew there was no excuse for sandwiches.