The Hobbit Collective sends exuberant eater Pumpkinella Plumpfoot to sample the offerings at Michel Delving’s premier inn, the Bird and Baby. There’s more to this inn than meets the eye (or mouth)!
If there’s one thing Michel Delving is known for (besides young hobbits hiding on the roofs of buildings), it’s food! Michel Delving is home to the Shire’s best oven, and the headquarters of the Cooking Guild. This town’s passion for food is so deep that even the Mayor is popularly known as Flourdumpling!
But of course, all that food and drink has to end up somewhere (before reaching the bellies of all the hungry hobbits roaming around, that is):
When I asked this gentlehobbit where one would go to get a good meal and beer, he immediately directed me to the Bird and Baby. He also asked me to take him along, but I told him I wasn’t going today, and managed to avoid him when I sneaked back into town!
A short walk down the road, and I was at the door to the famous Bird and Baby Inn!
It was still very early morning, and I had to wait for the tavern keep to open. Once he did, I rushed inside to sample the goods.
Carlo Blagrove is the tavern keep in charge of the Bird and Baby.
Mr. Blagrove was kind enough to give me a tour of his collection of fine ales and spirits.
When I asked him what the town favourites were, he pointed at the casks of Old Winyards (especially popular among the older hobbits), Cider (for those who enjoy a fruity yet potent beverage), and plain beer (a favourite with the younger crowd). Of course, we must also mention the Inn’s special, Blagrove’s Brown.
Carlo also sets a fine table, with all kinds of stews, roasts, and of course the Shire’s favourite pies, lovingly crafted by Holly Hornblower!
However, there’s more to this inn than food and drink. Respected fisherman Estmar Bolger holds introductory classes in the Bird and Baby’s common room. He assures us that it’s all in the wrist!
For the more accident-prone hobbits, healer Gardenia Bracegirdle has a small booth with plenty of first-aid supplies.
I had also heard of a private parlour for members of the Shire-wide Inn League association. Alas, I could not persuade our gentle tavern keep to open the door for a quick peek.
Back in the common room, however, I realized that I had missed a cozy corner with a fireplace, where town barber Tulip Chubb was hard at work trimming hair and beards.
As a dedicated reporter, I decided to try out her shop. Tulip offers a full range of services, from cut to color.
The result was... interesting.
The Bird and Baby Inn is located in Michel Delving. Direct travel is available from Bree, Thorin’s Gate, Celondim, and other locations. For reservations, please send a letter to tavern keep Carlo Blagrove (although the way postal service in the Shire has been lately, you might have to deliver it yourself!).
Joyful eating! Pumpkinella Plumpfoot
[The Bird and Baby was a nickname for The Eagle and Child, a pub frequented by J.R.R. Tolkien and his friends. It is located in Oxford, England, and is owned by St. John’s College.]
Wednesday, June 9, 2010