I've not posted anything for the last couple of days because we've been in Bournemouth for my eldest daughter's graduation.

She's still down there as it's the graduation ball tomorrow and she won't let me post a picture until she has vetted all the photos! My post bragging about my clever daughter will have to wait!

It's always a bit difficult going away when you're in a wheelchair and require fully adapted facilities – the hotel wasn't perfect in that department – but we managed OK. Eating out also presents a problem. Digestive problems mean that I need to dine where there are toilet facilities for wheelchair users, so my choice is limited. We ended up at a 'Harvester'. I've never been to one of these places before, and I guess, unless I'm desperate, I won't go again. So, what did I think? Well, its fine if you like the taste of oil and soot because most things on the menu were either fried or char-grilled. I've nothing against char-grilling per se, but in this case it amounted to sooty lines of charcoal across the food. I was going to complain but, 1. I'm English, so this is alien to me and, 2. Apparently, it is normal and to be savoured. Not my cup of tea though!

There was also a distinct lack of cask-conditioned beer so I was not a happy bunny. That said, the price of the food was reasonable – to the extent that you wonder about where it is sourced.

A pub/restaurant using local food would have been preferable but probably 3 or 4 times the price.

It seems a pity that you can't find places that sell simple home-made food using locally sourced products at reasonable 'family friendly' prices. The 'gastro-pub' movement seems to have cornered the 'good local food' market but have blurred the price differential between 'getting a bite to eat' and full-blown restaurant dining. Whilst the increase in food quality, that they bring, is to be commended, the scarcity of anything apart from 'chips with everything' in the remaining pubs is regrettable.

It would be great to see someone return to the tradition of the Inn giving travellers good simple food at affordable prices – or is this something that's just a myth; the stuff of old novels and rose-tinted memories?

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