Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Christmas present weekend - Part 2

So to continue, but a warning as I didn't have the camera I have had to rely on Google for the pictures. We did have an early start the next morning in order to get to Hounslow for 9am to meet Becky and Tom at our hotel for the night. Whilst David and Tom sat and had coffee Becky and I were up and away on the tube to London central - Covent Garden was our final tube stop and waiting for us was Jonathan's girlfriend, Amy. By now I was in need of coffee and it wasn't hard to find somewhere. Charlotte arrived a few minutes later and the drinks having been finished we set off for our first mystery destination - Christophers, where we were having brunch.

Christopher's in Covent Garden is a contemporary American restaurant with a sweeping staircase and striking martini bar. They do impressive breakfast and lunch by day, scones (with nutella, cream and jam!!) in the afternoon and juicy steaks by night. But the star of the show is their build your own pancake menu. Find out more about Christopher's DIY Pancakes on www.notsobasiclondon.com - who knew filling in a form could be so fun!:

 We were so busy avoiding people that we never noticed that we had walked right passed my niece, nephew and his partner, all of who had been invited to join us by Becky- what a lovely surprise! I'm always very touched when I know that the 'cousins' have got together of their own accord. We had a lovely brunch and after went our separate ways. We ladies took a tube to Oxford Circus to go to Liberty. I had never been there - what a gorgeous building

Is any #LFW complete without a  trip to see us? #LibertyLondon:

I just loved everything about it, but oh so expensive! We spent a long time wandering round it before moving on to our next destination near Elephant and Castle. It was a place I had been following on Instagram and was really keen to go to Mercato Metropolitano

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and amazing space inside and out filled with street food stalls and an unbelievable deli

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It was so warm that we were able to sit outside in the sun. If you like Borough Market you'll LOVE this place (all pictures from Google images). On leaving there we got the bus to the Southbank and ended up in Giraffe for cocktails.

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Again it was so lovely to be able to sit in the sun and we did sit, right until it was time for us to get to our next venue - the Gielgud Theatre. Becky had bought us tickets to see The curious incident of the dog in the night-time. 
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I had bought Charlotte the book when it first came out and Becky had read it some years later so to see it on stage was fascinating. It finished just after 10pm so after a visit to the sushi shop for supplies for Becky and Charlotte we made our way back to the hotel at Hounslow to find all the male family members already in their rooms having had a 'heavy' day at the rugby! And just to prove they did go there a couple of pictures from the camera




It was so lovely to get together as a family in London, Becky and Tom did us proud with all the arrangements and we'll have the memories for many years. 

Christmas present weekend - Part 1

For our Christmas presents from Becky and Tom, David had a ticket to go and see England play Scotland at Twickenham with Tom, my other son in law Angus and my son Jonathan and I had a day in London with Becky and Charlotte. In order to maximise our time away we decided to take the caravan near Uxbridge, leaving it there on the Saturday to go and stay with the family at a hotel in Hounslow. We were join in Uxbridge by some very long standing friends on our first night who had just taken delivery of a motorhome. The weather was lovely and we enjoyed a very pleasant walk from the caravan site which took in a canal side pub.






 As you will see there were some very nice properties along the tow path. I've always fancied living along a canal. Pete and Iris moved on the next day so we occupied ourselves by taking a trip in to Windsor.




We were really taken with the shopping centre that is in the old station





After 'mooching' round it we walked down to the river and over the bridge to Eton, up to the end of the High Street before retracing our footsteps but instead of going back into town we took a 'right' over the bridge and found a spot in the park by the diamond jubilee fountain to have our sandwiches.




The afternoon was getting on by this time and it wasn't the warmest of days so we decided to call it a day and make our way back to the warmth of the caravan.


We were going to need an early start the next morning but you can read all about that in Part 2!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Cookery Books and Meal Planning

So how many cookery books do you have? A quick count up of books on this shelf here


gave an answer of 95! But you see those 2 files on the top shelf?


well they are full of recipes. Here are my second and third shelves



I'm sure you'll recognise plenty, especially all the Marks and Spencer's ones on the third shelf! But on top of all those I save recipes on my Pinterest board.  Do I use them all? No of course not, but I can't bare to part with them and still lust for more. I just love getting a pile out when I am menu planning and just turning page after page for inspiration.


This week it has been very much all the new ones I had for my birthday which were these




The Sheffield Cookbook is brilliant in that it has contributions from all different 'food and drink' people in and around Sheffield. It gives a short history of the place and the people who run it along with the type of food or drink and then a recipe. As you know we love the quirkier type of places and this book is full of those so we are compiling a list of places to visit.
It's not been all about new books this week but a Mary Berry casserole has been planned for tonight


along with 'Emerald and Jade fruit salad' which come from here, a book given to me by David's parents many, many years ago.



I try and plan for the whole week and generally stick to it, although if we have left overs we'll 'fill' them out with more veg just so they're not wasted. Here is this week's meals


There are 2 further columns to the right, the first I write where I've found the recipe and the second I try and put where and how much I spend on food. 
As I wrote earlier despite all the books I still lust for more and James Martin's French Adventure is my lust at the moment. I am gradually watching most of the programs on catch up and enjoying the (generally) very simple rustic recipes. I also have to admit here to having an obsession with 2CV's having owned one 32 years ago (before that I had 2 Citroen Dyanes!) and loved it. I wonder if I'll get the book as a Valentine's present? I'll let you know xx

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Our January

Gosh 29th January already, how many times do we say where does the time go? As usual life@number6 has been full and despite 'retiring' from my job at Goose Lane I have been helping out when needed.
We started the new year in our caravan on a small site near Sheringham, North Norfolk.


We know Sheringham very well and always enjoy going back there. We didn't have the best of weather but still managed to get out and about. Weybourne Station is always a must



As is Sheringham itself





Many years ago we stayed in the above, one of the lasting memories was of the chair hanging from the ceiling. 
We treated ourselves to a meal out at the Wiveton Bell, a lovely pub/restaurant in Wiveton village with very good food.


We had a good walk along the beach at Wells next the Sea, admiring all the beach huts as we walked





It certainly blew away the cobwebs. On our journey back we stopped for a quick photo shot of Cley mill. One of these days we might stay there!


Apart from working, putting the decorations away and generally cleaning round - oh and starting the big loft clear out it was just us until Charlotte and Nina flew up to stay for a few days. Charlotte had a couple of things she wanted to do and had time to do it all. We had a lovely day with my Aunt and Uncle, cousin and husband as well as my brother and his family up in Baildon. A stop at Ikea on the way back wasn't too stressful and David being the 'number 1 car packer' got everything in. One of the things Charlotte had wanted to do was to go to the Winter Gardens in Sheffield, Nina enjoying walking round.



We walked through and into the Millennium Gardens, where the water fountains proved interesting. 



Lunch was at The Holt a place I had read about and had earmarked to go. My goodness we weren't disappointed - we loved it!!



It's in an old factory building and reminded us of our favourite Retorrick Mill down in Cornwall. Mismatched furniture and crockery, gorgeous food and excellent coffee due to the fact that they roast and grind the beans themselves.


We were taking Charlotte and Nina down to Devon and then going on to Cornwall where we would stay at their house whilst they were in France. My goodness it was cold down there, we had heavy frosts overnight and gorgeous sunrises.




Knightshayes the national property is just up the road from where we were staying so we took the opportunity to go there for a walk and fresh air. We walked down from the car park to the playground which is a tree that was blown over in the storms of 2014 

It has been imaginatively turned into an excellent piece of playground equipment


with swings, ladders and tunnels


David and I are now in Cornwall enjoying the feeling of being on holiday in a self catering property. We are here not just to enjoy Cornwall but also to do some 'loft work' in between days out and walks on the beach - more of that another day. Till then enjoy your Sunday as I am xxx