Thursday, July 10, 2008
Cameron's Restaurant and Inn, California
Just as were done meandering through lovely La Honda in the convertible and were ready to hit San Francisco, I yelled 'Stop' as I spotted an Union Jack in the most unlikely of places.
Cameron's Restaurant and Inn is situated on Cabrillo Hwy in Half Moon Bay, a section of the famed and stunningly picturesque Route 1 in California. It's a very English-looking establishment from the outside, and extremely cliched in the inside. Reminded me of a rather touristy pub right outside of where the 'hop on hop off' buses stopped in London. Nevertheless, I loved it because it reminded me of home. It was warm, colorful and inviting.
As you park your car, you notice a number of artifacts aiming to create that English feel. A red telephone box, a 'Post Office' sign, an original but a very beaten up black cab, and a model of a double decker bus. It's all good. The presence of all these very British symbols under the Californian sun is a very surreal experience.
The service is fast and friendly. There was a large team of bicyclists from Stanford University, enjoying British brew on their break, but we didn't have to wait very long. We ordered Newcastle Brown Ale and Boddington's (a bitter from Manchester). The menu serves up the favorites you expect, such as fish and chips, or bangers and mash (traditional sausages and mashed potato), but also typical American fare.
Spend your time looking at all the objects around the pub - kitschy but interesting, in the best sense of the word. Old pictures, faded and framed newspaper articles, themed mugs are all part of the charm. There is also a little shop from which you can buy English things such as PG Tips tea, Sharwoods Indian Curry paste, or Heinz Beans. Not to mention British candy, or chocolates, as we call them in Blighty. It was just the other day that I was missing Maltesers so much. Little light fluffy malt balls covered in delectable milk chocolate. I was overjoyed.
Try out this little corner of England in the middle of Half Moon Bay, California. I am sure there are many such British-inspired or owned establishments in California; perhaps you could point me towards them?