Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Marrow

Been a busy day today! We’ve got loads done, with more to come – including:

  • Shopping
  • Steam cleaning 3 years worth of dirt out of the iron
  • Oodles of ironing
  • Knitting
  • Sitting outside for afternoon tea featuring scones with clotted cream and jam
  • Blogging (watch for a post on Monday!)
  • General tidying up

Not bad huh? We were then randomly presented with a present by a new acquaintance of ours (who joined us and our neighbour for afternoon tea). She gave us a marrow. Fresh off the allotment.

To begin with, we looked at each other and laughed – what on earth do you do with a marrow? It was quite small, in marrow terms – but meant that it should be more flavoursome than your “average” marrow.

Trev decided he fancied soup. He started browsing recipes online and chucking stuff into pans – along with heating up stock, peeling and slicing the thing. Add some spices, a few lentils and a stick blender later:

Curried Marrow Soup!

Curried Marrow Soup with Lentils

Err, yeah – we kinda ate it all before I could remember to take a photo. I’ve never had marrow before and was surprised at how much I liked it! It was gorgeous! Of course now this makes me even more anxious to get our allotment – although I can’t guarantee that marrows will be on the roster 🙂

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A Grand Day Out

**WARNING – VERY PICTURE HEAVY POST**

We had a lovely day out yesterday. We haven’t really visited many places since moving north to Leeds, so we’re determined to start rectifying this. We’re planning some of the trips etc we want to do but first up was a visit to Ilkley. It’s a little market town about 10 miles from Leeds and we were going to tie it in with a visit to Bolton Abbey which is about 15 minutes on the bus from Ilkley itself.

The purpose of our visit was two-fold – to go exploring and also to visit Duttons for Buttons and Bettys Tea Rooms! We have a Duttons and Bettys in other places such as Harrogate and York, but we thought we might have more luck in Ilkley which is a little less busy and touristy.

It was an early start – got on the bus to Ilkley at 8:50 and got there about 50 minutes later. We spent the first few minutes getting our bearings and having a bit of a wander around. We very quickly found Bettys:

Betty's Tearooms

Betty's Tearooms

It was opposite a very cute little bandstand – which at about 9:45 in the morning was very empty:

Empty bandstand

Our plan was then to go to Duttons early on, buy the buttons I wanted to finish my Marina cardigan and then go to Bolton Abbey where we could take FO pictures. With the help of a lady in Oxfam who provided us with excellent directions, we then found Duttons where I was promptly overwhelmed by the scale of things:

Duttons for Buttons

Duttons for Buttons

There are far more buttons then I’ve shown in my photos – more buttons behind and to the sides – it’s absolutely mad!

They also sell a bit of yarn in here and notions such as beads, ribbons and lots of other beautiful things. I couldn’t decide what I wanted – so in the end I kept things quite simple and bought stuff I know I needed (I’m using the word “needed” in a very loose sense!):

Duttons Haul

I bought 25 cream mother of pearl buttons – you can only see three in the photo as the other 22 are now attached to my cardigan. There’s then 15 red/purple mother of pearl buttons that I plan to use for Audrey in Unst when finished. The last buttons are some toggles that I’ve bought for when I knit Kerrera. Finally, I bought some beads. I didn’t really *need* them, but I had to buy some. Of course now I’ve got home, I’ve realised they’re the same colour as some other beads I have – but thankfully a different size.

Upon finding out I was a knitting fiend, the lady in the store gave us directions to a little arcade in which we could find a knitting shop – which sells Debbie Bliss, Rowan, the usual suspects etc – but where you can also do some other interesting crafty bits to do, such as pottery painting.

The little arcade it’s in is beautiful:

Victorian Arcade in Ilkley

The shop, (Create) is on the first floor up the stairs – but by the entrance is this gorgeous old sign advertising the cafe:

Victorian Arcade in Ilkley

I did succumb and buy just one skein of yarn. It’s a lovely locally sourced and dyed yarn by a company called Ba T’at (after a Yorkshire anthem – clicky here to see what I mean). It’s a skein of light sockweight yarn and yes, it’s blue:

Ba T'at Laceweight

No idea what to make with it, but I’m sure I’ll think of something!

After this, it was time to flee to the bus station to get on the bus to Bolton Abbey. This is an interesting journey – with lots of tiny twisty roads – can get a bit dicey at times if your bus driver likes to throw the bus into the corners. Which ours did.

Twenty minutes later we made it there safely – unfortunately we had just over an hour before the bus came back – unless we wanted to wait for an extra three hours – this meant we had to quite speedily do all the things we wanted to do. First of all, this meant assembling the button fastenings for Marina:

Me working in the sun

Me working in the sun

Love those shots with the Abbey in the background! After putting these together, we went off for a little Marina photo-shoot which I’ll show you in another post. We then walked around and took a load of pictures of this incredibly beautiful Abbey.

The Abbey is still in use – in fact a wedding was taking place while we were there. You’re allowed in for free and are welcome to wander in and around the ruins – which is awesome. So enough of me – here’s some pictures of the Abbey and the surrounding land:

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Taking all these photos really makes me want to get a better camera. Ours is about six years old now and still takes perfectly good photos, but I’m considering investing in an older DSLR that we can still get new parts for – as the quality will still be infinitely better than what we have now.

We then made our way back to Ilkley as it was about a quarter to two and we were ravenously hungry. I saw an advert for a french bistro on the bus that was doing 2 courses at lunch for £9.95, so we toddled down the road and found our way there. Turns out we were in a Le Bistrot Pierre – which is a chain I’d never heard of, but the place was lovely:

Le Bistrot Pierre

Le Bistrot Pierre

Now, I never normally do this, but I’m going to show you photos of the food. As it was incredible. Portions were very generous and the quality was amazing.

For starters, we had beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan and some crazy weird rabbit dish served with pickles and sourdough bread:

Le Bistrot Pierre - Beef Carpaccio

Le Bistrot Pierre - Rabbit & Sourdough

Trev had never tried carpaccio or rabbit and loved both – he couldn’t get enough of the rabbit in particular – very unusual but it was gorgeous.

For mains I went for a risotto with mint, asparagus, mange tout and peas – while Trev went for the Aberdeen Angus burger with fries and salad:

Le Bistrot Pierre - Risotto

Le Bistrot Pierre - Aberdeen Angus burger

By this point we were absolutely stuffed – so having dessert was out of the question. We waddled out of the restaurant and tried to gently stroll around the shops to burn off a bit of lunch. Our plan was to go to Bettys for tea and dessert – so we walked around for about thirty minutes and made our way back to the tea rooms.

Remember the band stand we passed in the morning? Well here it was mid-afternoon:

Bandstand... with a band!

Complete with jazz band!

When we got into Bettys there was a queue, but a very small one – we didn’t have to wait more than ten minutes before we were seated. It’s very classy inside – very comfortable and relaxed but the staff were awesome.

Betty's Tearoom

Betty's Tearoom

Betty's Tearoom

Trev at this point was still too full to eat anything else and just wanted tea. Not being a tea drinker myself, I ordered some raspberry lemonade:

Bettys - Drinkies!

I also gave in and ordered dessert – a massive fruit sundae:

Betty's - Fruit Sundae

I’d already eaten some of the cream and the biscuit on top by the time I took the photo – this thing is crammed full of cream, ice cream, fruit and then meringue at the bottom. It was gorgeous. Took me a while to eat, but was absolutely amazing.

Finally, we had a little wander into the shop to browse the goodies on sale:

Betty's in Ilkley

Betty's in Ilkley

All in all, it was an amazing day. We definitely need to go out and do something like this at least once a month. It’s lovely to explore new places and get to see some of the beautiful countryside around where we live. Makes me very grateful to be living in such a gorgeous part of the world.

Read Full Post »

So, it’s official. I have a job, and we are moving to Leeds on April 2nd!

I didn’t get the job mentioned in my last blog post – but have since been offered 2 others, one of which I’ve accepted. It’s a nice step up for me, and exactly in the line of work I’m doing. A few things I’m unsure of, such as client base, but I’ll see how we go.

So. London. Leaving it. In truth, there’s not that much I’m going to miss about London – I’m a real country girl at heart. I can’t wait to be in a little stone cottage and maybe acquire a few chickens and some bees. And spin in front of an open fire. And be near proper countryside. You couldn’t really get further removed from the hubbub of Oxford Street where I work.

Having said that, there are a few things I’m going to miss. I wanted to put a small list together – to give me reasons to make the effort to come back down to London every so often when we come and stay with my lot in Peterborough.

  • Hummingbird Bakery – the most amazing cakes and cupcakes I’ve ever had. I am going to buy their cookbook and replicate lots of red velvet gorgeousness at home
  • Eagle Bar and Diner (a lot of these are going to be food related) – American style diner with burgers, hot dogs, huge bowls of skinny fries and the BEST milkshakes. OMG. Went there for lunch again today – divine.
  • Busaba – (Busaba Eathai) – a chain of Thai restaurants. Amazing food, served really quickly. Thai chicken curry with jasmine rice and veggie vietnamese spring rolls FTW. Nom.
  • Afternoon tea at the Lanesborough – VERY expensive, but totally worth it – if you can get past feeling so utterly out of place! I don’t drink tea, but the iced tea is incredible and you get sandwiches, cakes and of course, scones with clotted cream and jam.
  • Great buildings – I love the architecture of buildings such as St. Pancras train station, the Liberty building and so many other places in London. It’s full of amazing buildings and so much history. One of my favourite things that I have on the way to work every day are the little blue plaques on certain buildings that say which important people in history lived, worked and sometimes died there. I love history and feeling a connection to the past. Needless to say one building I won’t miss, is Centrepoint. I have to agree with Helen from the AnswerMeThis podcast who once said, “Centrepoint’s a f**king ugly building”. ‘Nuff said.
  • Last, but by no means least, my friends. I have some great friends at work and on Twitter (even though I haven’t met some of you!) who I’m going to miss like crazy. It’s been a pleasure knowing and spending time with you and hope we can all keep in touch. You guys are the main reason I’ll be coming back to London – even though most of this list is food-related.
Should have time to do a knitting-related post this weekend. Getting so behind! Got packing to do and an unlimited amount of stressing. I’m the kind of person who stresses when there’s nothing to stress about, so now there IS actually something, I’m my own worst enemy. Fingers crossed once I don’t have to do the 4 hour commute anymore, I’ll resemble a human being more than a nervous wreck 🙂

Read Full Post »

Changes Part 2

So, an update on my earlier post where I spoke about moving to Leeds. The first interview went really well and I went back for a second interview on Friday. I had to do a 30 minute presentation and also be interviewed by the MD. Unsure about how it went – was hoping to hear back Friday or today, but no news yet. Fingers crossed!

We spent the whole weekend in Leeds – going up Friday and coming back last night. We stayed with Sarah, who we will hopefully be moving in with. We had a nice night in on Friday, went to Salvos for dinner on Saturday and did a nice bit of shopping on Sunday in Leeds city centre – getting to know the place.

I’d forgotten that Leeds has hills – given that it’s in Yorkshire and whatnot. I know at this point people are probably thinking, “hills? Where did you GO?” – but I’d remind everyone that I live in Peterborough. On the edge of the Fens – where the highest point is something crazy like only 2 metres above sea level – and hopefully you get the idea 🙂

Salvos was one of the high points of the weekend – it had always been popular (and you can’t book – you just turn up and queue) – but since it won best regional Italian on Gordon Ramsay’s the F Word, it’s been even more mental. We made our way over at about 7pm, expecting a wait of about an hour – oh no. Two and a half hours was the waiting time – they wouldn’t be able to seat us until 9:30. Wow.

So, we went away, drank a bottle or so of wine, and came back about 9. Picked our food, got seated at 9:25, while watching other people STILL queueing to be served at 10:45. Mental.

But, I can see why. The food was AMAZING – quite possibly the best food I’ve ever eaten. It was all amazing – and I’ve never seen a kitchen quite so calm. Considering how rammed the place was, there’s was no panicking, no stress. And if you ever go, have the Mars Bar Fondue for dessert. OMG. That is all.

One of the other highlights was my first trip to Baa Ram Ewe – my soon to my local yarn store. I succumbed and splurged on some beautiful Orkney Angora laceweight. There was a beautiful sample in the store knitted into a scarf and I’m determined to copy it. There’s a lovely selection of yarns in there and I know I’ll be back very often once we move. There’s a knit night every Thursday which might become a regular fixture.

Piccies of the yarn to come soon (once I get some time at home in daylight), along with some of other yarn I’ve acquired for baby projects.

Busy busy busy!

Read Full Post »