Room with a view of Hanover's town green

What a culture shock to leave hip and happening colourful San Francisco, fly to Boston and bus three hours north to the township of Hanover, New Hampshire, home of ivy league Dartmouth College, founded 1769. The streets were spotless. Everyone was well dressed. There was an air of wealth and wisdom. The town green looked like the set from Back to the Future. It was flanked by grand university buildings that looked like facades (but they were real, and huge). Surprisingly, this one-street town has a wide variety of restaurants and our first meal there was at Mai Thai. We went for our favourites, wide rice noodles with vegetables and pad thai with prawns. Not bad at all. Jo and Abby also enjoyed their chicken noodle soup and red curry with tofu.

Not bad Thai from middle of Nowheresville, New Hampshire

Second night was not so successful – an average vege thali and uninspiring kofta balls at Jewel of India. The lukewarm rice and surly service earned them a very insignificant tip.

The Yama Japanese/Korean place was better than the Indian. My udon soup came with two large prawn tempura and Justin’s salmon katsu was a generous serving. The complimentary pickles were a nice touch. Jo and Abby’s spicy soup and chicken udon soup were tasty enough.

Pickles, udon soup and prawns on steroids tempura-ed

Lou’s Restaurant and Bakery offered good ‘ol American fare – big sandwiches with fries, huge bowls of granola and pies for Africa. I finally tried key lime pie there, which was actually sickenly sweet. I was hopeful when I bought their vegan, gluten-free vanilla cupcake, but was disappointed at its dryness. One day they had a maple syrup festival and I sampled a fried doughnut dipped in maple syrup – jaysus. Overall, the food was ok, but I more enjoyed the booth layout and atmosphere of the diner. It opened in 1947 and there were some great photos on the walls showing its history.

Lou's pies, cakes and the ubiquitous key lime pie

At Molly’s pub we had a good value goat’s cheese pizza and French onion soup and Dirt Cowboy Café served pretty good coffee and plenty of bakery goods such as bagels. In Rosey's Café off Main St I read the entire book Our GG in Havana by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez while chowing down asparagus medley soup and panini – you learn how to spend time luxuriously when you have a late call to theatre.

Tempest: Without a Body showing at Moore Theater

Big ups to Moore Theater staff, who stocked the green room with very tasty snacks, including Falafel Chips, chocolate-covered pretzels, white chocolate and macadamia cookies, cinnamon bagels, vegetable juice and passionfruit juice.

Doesn't look like much, but the green room table was always laden with good snacks and the chilly bins behind packed with healthy beverages; Falafel Chips - discovery of the tour (up there with Orange Chimes, found in New York)

We enjoyed the laid-back feel and friendliness of Hanover and loved the grandeur of the Hanover Inn, less than two minutes' walk from anywhere in town. But now, with the tour officially over, we then bravely endured a 7-hour journey across 3 states on a Greyhound bus to get to ... New York, NEW YORK!

Hanover Inn (top); those craaazy students of Dartmouth College