Category Archives: food

Lunch at the Infamous Diner in Manchester.

A few weeks ago the Other Half and I found ourselves in Manchester’s eclectic hub of independent shops,bars and eateries known as The Northern Quarter. I had a craving for a Burger, so where better to head , than a 1950’s style American Diner!  Infamous Diner  on Basil Chambers Street( not far from the Arndale Centre) is decked out like a diner in the movies. Think’ Back to the future’ or’ Greece’ and you’d not be far wrong.manchester 006

With black and white check tile flooring and pretty in pink leather booths and powder pink bar stools, the interior is a retro delight. There are gleaming silver ceilings and the walls are adorned with American car number plates. Bring in the Pink Ladies!

On our visit ( a quiet Monday lunch time) the jukebox played 1950’s hits and the Gene Kelly Musical from the same era ‘Singing in the Rain’  was showing on the flat screen above the bar. A quick trip to the rest rooms downstairs revealed walls covered in colourful and punchy pop art style graffiti. I love going to places where you are surrounded by fun visuals and Infamous does not disappoint. 🙂

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The Menu includes lots of American Diner faves such as Chicken and Waffles, Hash and Eggs,Pancake Stacks,Mama’s Meatballs and Beef Hotdogs. All I craved was a burger ( there are lots of choices) so I had to go for the ‘Infamous Cheese’ whilst Wil ordered ‘Steak and Eggs’ with fries. To wash my choice down I tried a bottle of Blind Pig Rum & Poached Pear Cider , which was rather good. I loved that it came wrapped in newspaper too. 🙂

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So did we enjoy our food?? Well Wil was happy with his steak and eggs. The Infamous Burger hit the spot fine but at £9.95 was rather expensive for what it is. Even if it does come served on a cute plastic red tray with a star spangled banner popped in the bun! However I surprised myself by not ordering a dessert. Looking back, I must have been crazy! How I resisted the lure of a slice of New York Cheesecake, a Knickerbocker Glory or even Infamouses own homemade donuts, I do not know.

 

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So I am going to have to return, if only to perch myself on one of these fabulous pink leather bar stools. There is an extensive cocktail menu at Infamous too!

Where do you like to eat in The Northern Quarter?

Are you a fan of American Style Diners?

 

 

 

Photo Scavenger Hunt ~March 2016.

I must admit I did struggle a bit with the prompts in this month’s Photo Scavenger Hunt.But i have managed to scramble a few photo’s together!  Have had quite a varied March with visits to The Lakes,Manchester and Warwickshire, so my piccies are from a few different locations.manchestr 037Local ~ A local delicacy in Manchester are these Manchester Tarts which I spied on a market stall. Manchester Tarts are typically full of naughty ingredients such as raspberry jam,custard and Coconut.These ones are even more naughty as they have cream and a cherry  on top. 🙂

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City ~ Old buildings in the bustling North West City of Manchester.

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Stripes ~ Another place with incredibly old buildings is the town of Warwick. Tudor houses show off their stripes. 🙂

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Crisp ~ Yummy Vegetable Tempura in a crisp batter. This was a meal out for a friend’s Birthday in Manchester.

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Street art ~ Whist in Warwickshire we visited Coventry and an independent arts and shopping area called ‘Fargo’ on Far Gosworth Road. Lots of decorative Street Art adorns the walls there.

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Tiles ~ Had to use a photo here from my February trip to Manchester because I couldn’t find anything in my March pictures.Quirky tile art in the Northern Quarter.

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Rocks Stairs ~ Struggled with this one so I will have to go with Wil and Hugo standing on some Stone Steps instead. These are in my local park.

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Hair ~ I thought this Willow tree by the river in Warwick looked a bit like it had a good head of hair…maybe!

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Measure ~  What measures of alcohol are in these Cocktails us girls sipped in Manchester?!

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Large ~ My Large friend at Fargo Village in Coventry.

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For one~ Its all mine! A scone with jam and clotted cream at Coombe Abbey in Warwickshire.

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Landscape ~ View of Haweswater Lake in Cumbria. You can read my recent post about this beautiful area  right here. 🙂

Thanks as always to  Green Thumb for organizing this Scavenger Hunt.

 

 

Haweswater Gems.

Have you ever happened upon a hidden gem? At the weekend we stumbled across one. The remote and romantic looking  Haweswater Hotel  commands views over one of the lesser known lakes in The Lake District. It’s a beautiful country house hotel that looks down on Haweswater Reservoir. Haweswater began it’s life as a natural lake until in the 1930’s the surrounding valley (  and villages of Measand and Mardale Green) were flooded to create the larger reservoir it is today. Manchester Corporation built the lakeside road and the hotel replaced the flooded ‘Dun Bull Inn’. Haweswater supplies much of the North West’s H20. Of course it was raining buckets as we arrived! haweswater and 217haweswater and 222haweswater and 223haweswater and 221

Easter Sunday happened to be a cold, rainy and blustery day so it was with relief that we headed indoors into the bar/restaurant area , which has a huge double slate fireplace and is decorated in a fabulous art deco style. I loved all the retro prints adorning the walls and the little decorative touches such as the vintage luggage and fresh flowers. 🙂 The hotel apparently has many original art deco features from when it was built in the Thirties and the bar has recently been sympathetically refurbished to embrace its history. I am wondering whether it may have opened in 1937 perhaps?!

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Even though we hadn’t made a booking and just arrived hoping to warm up and shelter from the weather, we couldn’t have been made more welcome by the lovely bar staff.’ The Haweswater’ advertises itself as a haven for walkers  which is perfect as the area is a hiker’s and nature lover’s paradise. It’s also pet friendly and you can even holiday here with your dog. 🙂 I’m very tempted!

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We enjoyed some hearty pub grub for our lunch. Wil had the Venison stew and I settled for the haddock and chips which were both very good. And I definitely recommend the Courgette and lime cake that we shared for dessert. Very zesty and sublime. 🙂

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I must admit I was easily distracted whilst eating mine as we had a wonderful view of the lake. And on the sun terrace outside there was many a charming visitor. I spied Great Tits, Bluetits,Chaffinches,Nuthatches and to my delight a couple of the area’s native red squirrels. It looks as though the terrace and gardens attract plentiful wildlife.

 

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Just a couple more miles down the remote country road past the hotel is the southern tip of the lake. There is a little car park there and signage for various walking routes. With Hugo being on light exercise only at present we couldn’t really take him very far though.The Eagle Viewpoint sign certainly looks very intriguing! In fact the Haweswater area is home to England’s only Golden Eagle. The male eagle chose this scenic valley as his home many years ago and the RSPB man the viewing area. We will return!

 

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After taking a couple of photo’s of the lake we decided to head back along the country roads and  past our elegant yet friendly lunch host toward the village of Shap. On the way I made Wil stop off at Shap Abbey as it is somewhere we have seen signs for, but never visited. My pictures look deceptively calm as the ancient ruins were actually engulfed in blowy winds ,rain and sleet. Another gem we will have to revisit in nicer weather. 🙂

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What hidden gems have you discovered on your travels?

 

The Girls go to Manchester.

A friend’s Birthday is always a jolly good excuse to catch the train to ‘The Big City’ don’t you think? Our nearest ‘Big City’ is Manchester, and with it’s eclectic array of restaurants,shopping and bars, its officially ( according to Sunshine and Celandines 😉 ) ,the perfect place to go for a day out with the Girls.

Instead of immediately hitting the shops, the first thing we did was go for a cuppa. I know, we sure are Party Animals. 🙂 Proper Tea at Manchester Cathedral has a contemporary feel even though it’s in a traditional setting. Despite being feted  for its impressive selection of teas , I decided to try a Macchiato ( my first!) which is a serving of espresso with a small quantity of frothed milk.This set me up for the day!  I also enjoyed a delicious homemade gingersnap .Don’t worry there are also a mouthwatering array of cakes displayed on the counter. 🙂

After a spot of City Centre shopping it was time to head to our lunch venue. The restaurant of choice was Australasia which the Birthday Girl had booked a few days previously. This subterranean eatery on the Avenue in Spinningfields is accessed via an attractive glass pyramid. Stairs take you ‘down under’ for an enjoyable dining experience influenced by Australian,Japanese and Indonesian cuisine.

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Possibly the most comfiest restaurant seating ever. 🙂

Our very friendly waiter recommended the Tapas and the menu has a wide and varied selection. I’m not going to describe everything individually. I will just spam you with lots of photos instead. 😉 Everything without exception was delicious.

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We were told to choose our preferred cocktails from the extensive Cocktail Menu which could be viewed on an Ipad.This is a pretty good idea as you can see what your choice will look like, though it does take away the element of surprise.And The Birthday Girl received a complimentary Birthday dessert, which she was nice enough to share. 🙂

After our lovely lunch and cocktails we headed back out into the outside world. We had noticed a little craft market that had been set up just outside the John Rylands Library nearby. The Makers Market appears in Spinningfields and in The Northern Quarter, Manchester throughout the year.. We loved the stalls and all of us treated ourselves to bits and pieces.

There was a wonderful mixture of merchandise including Vintage clothing,jewellery,baked goodies for dogs, stuffed animals,prints, antiques and collectables….and Manchester Tarts!

Most of our afternoon was devoted to shopping though there was a pit stop in one of my favorite Manchester bars, The Gas Lamp on Bridge Street. This is another subterranean pub which started out life as a children’s mission. Although it is essentially a real ales type of joint, they serve up lovely cocktails too. These Turkish Delight Martinis were to die for.:)

Hope you enjoyed sharing our day out in Manchester. I have another one planned next month, so join me here again soon. 🙂

Easter Tree Pinspiration. <3

 

 

 

Pretty pastels, decorative eggs, baby animals & Spring flowers. I am becoming seduced by Easter decorations!  My poor abandoned little twig tree ( I totally forgot about it at Christmas) will hopefully get a new lease of life…….. as an Easter Tree. 🙂 I will adorn it’s bare branches with colourful eggs and fluffy bunnies. Where to look for inspiration, but good old Pinterest.
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If you have one of these twiggy Christmas trees, then it will definitely double as a display for pretty fabric birds like these.

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A handful of twigs gathered from the garden , hung with hand painted eggs.

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Spring twigs arranged in a pitcher/bowl, make for an effective Easter display.

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Glue gun Jellybean’s onto Apple Tree branches. Hmmm I suspect more of these might end up in my mouth, than on the tree.;)

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And add a dapper white rabbit with a Top Hat 🙂

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Or keep it simple and au naturale  like the minimalist Scandinavians.

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Pussy Willow branches look adorable adorned with pretty pastel eggs.

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Spring flowers, Lindt chocolate bunnies and a nice cup of tea adds to this lovely floral Easter display. 🙂

For more Easter Tree Pinspiration ,check out my Easter Tree Pinterest Board.

Will you be having an Easter Tree?

 

Sunday Sevens ~ 13th March.

I thought I would join in with Sunday Sevens again and show you 7 pictures from my week. Sunday Sevens was thought up by Natalie at Threads And Bobbins 🙂coombe abbey 167

1.Last Sunday we made our way home from our weekend in Warwickshire. We took a detour through the lovely Peak District. The fields and hills were covered in snow and this is a typical view from the car window, after we left the picturesque town of Bakewell.

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2. We had a little mooch round Bakewell which is famous for it’s scrumptious Bakewell Tarts. WE had to buy a couple of course! If you have never tried one you are missing out.Delicious Almond tarts with a hidden layer of raspberry jam, they tasted all the better for eating them in Bakewell. 🙂

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3. Took this photo of my sis, her hubby and my other half outside the Bakewell Pudding Parlour. What did we like about Bakewell?  The lovely buildings, the plentiful puddings…and the fact that it is a very dog friendly town. We saw all sorts of shapes and sizes and different breeds.Wil and I may bring Hugo to Derbyshire camping in the summer.Another place to add to the list!

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4. On Monday I was given this cute pink heart parcel full of chocolate bunnies off my little God daughter Bronte. A sort of alternative Mother’s day/ Easter present I think. 🙂

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5. My February  Foodie Penpal Parcel arrived a little late from Kerri. I can’t blame her.The baby she was expecting came early! Anyway I have been enjoying sampling the fab treats she sent me all week. 🙂

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6. Hugo is back on off lead exercise. Phew! His stitches are out ( He has had the snip) so he’s been raring to run round ever since his operation. This picture was taken about half an hour after three of us had to hold him down at the vets whilst the poor veterinary nurse (who had a slipped disc) took out his one remaining stitch. The little beggar had pulled the rest out himself.Ouch! Anyway you should see him bomb around the fields like a mad thing now. The op has not calmed him down at all!

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7. I finally read To Kill A Mocking-Bird by Harper Lee. And I enjoyed it. I  loved the warmth and humour in the story most of all ( told from Scout’s point of view) although it tackles some serious issues such as racism, class and female equality . Quietly considering whether I should read the recently released Go set A Watchman or leave the story be. Have you read it?

Thanks for dropping by.x

 

 

 

Sent to Coventry.

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White Friars Olde Ale House.

After checking into our room at the beautiful  Coombe Abbey Hotel we had a couple of hours to go exploring in the nearby city of Coventry. I had googled Coventry and found out that much of it was destroyed by German air raids during the Second world War. And that here was where Lady Godiva embarked on her legendary naked horse ride around the city in the 11th Century.  But first things first, we were eager for lunch. 🙂 So  I suggested  that we  head for Fargo!

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Fargo  is a creative arts and shopping space located on ‘Far Gosford Street’ in the city. It took me a wee while to realise that its unusual name ( reminiscent of the Coen Brothers crazily good film & tv series) is actually an abbreviation of the street name. Pretty clever and cool eh!  Fargo Village’s website describes it as ‘an eclectic community of makers,doers and creative folk creating and providing products that are that little bit different.’

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After having a nosy round the various shops and businesses , and buying a couple of Mother’s Day presents from Container No 8  and a book from The Big Comfy Book Shop we stopped by Urban Coffee Company for a spot of lunch. Housed in a spacious unit with a relaxed and comfy vibe this is easily the perfect place to hang out with a book or make use of the free wifi whilst sampling  yummy food,cakes,coffee and or ciders and beers. Interesting decor and sculptures from Fargo artist in residence David Dewis add to the quirky ambience.

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After a tasty lunch we headed away from Fargo and to the cathedral area of Coventry. On the way we bobbed into one of several ancient looking pubs we came across that proclaimed themselves ‘ ye oldest public house in Coventry’. The White Friars Olde Ale House certainly looked the part.  🙂

By the time we got to the remains of the old Cathedral which stands before the much more modern building that is used now, the weather had turned pretty miserable. So after snapping a couple of pictures all we wanted to do was head back to our lovely hotel.

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The facade of the old Cathedral is all that remains after being bombed in the 2nd World War.

So that was our all to brief visit to Coventry. I suspect we only touched the surface of this interesting city. I’m really glad we discovered Fargo ( if you are in the city I highly recommend visiting) but disappointed I did not see Lady Godiva. Her statue that is 😉

Have you ever been to Coventry??

Coombe Abbey Hotel & Country Park.

Last weekend Wil and I and my sister and her hubby enjoyed a mini break away at a luxury hotel in Warwickshire.   Coombe Abbey Hotel near Coventry is a historic grade I listed building which was founded as a monastery in the 12th Century. Over the years the abbey has been added to ,with a West Wing designed by Captain William Winde , who also designed Buckingham Palace. And gardens and a lake constructed by Capability Brown. The hotel is set in a 500 acre public Country Park where an arboretum features a collection of 100 year old trees and a heronry is apparently host to over 60 breeding pairs. Sounds great right. 🙂

Here are a few pics from the interior including the room which Wil and I stayed in with its four poster bed ( very romantic!) and there’s my decoupaged vintage suitcase on its first ever trip away, despite me buying it over two years ago!

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Blue Sky and a moat. 🙂

The weekend threw all sorts of weather at us including rain,snow,hail and bursts of sunshine. On the Saturday we had a bit of a walk round the park. We didn’t see the whole of it but if you’re ever in the Coventry area, it is well worth a visit. 🙂 Enjoy the pictures below.

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Coombe Abbey from the Hotel entrance side.
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Lots of these birds at the front of the hotel. Any ideas?

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The Swans were very friendly. 🙂

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The Abbey is even more beautiful from the Park Side.

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Lots of geese make their home here including Greylag geese and….
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Egyptian Geese.
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Red wood pines in the arboretum.

Butterfly carvings in a tree stump. 🙂

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After our Saturday walk Wil and I had an Afternoon Tea to go to. I can tell you’re not surprised!  Coombe Abbey’s Afternoon tea is served in the lovely Garden Room Restaurant and I must say I think this one might just be the tastiest of all the many many Afternoon Teas that I have tried.

 

We decided on the Knight’s Afternoon Tea which comes served on a miniature picnic bench and features an assortment of goodies that included a warm shepherd’s pie served in a bucket, a very tasty homemade sausage roll,kilner jars of piccalilli and sweet pickled onions, a slice of the most scrumptious cheese & onion quiche and a yummy beef & horseradish roll.

Don’t forget the sweet treats too. There’s a large glass of creamy tiramisu, a slice of Lemon Meringue Pie and a delicious light and buttery scone served with strawberry jam and clotted cream. The Knight’s Afternoon Tea also comes with as many tea or coffee refills as you require and a halfpint of Coombe Ale.  🙂

Have you ever visited Coombe Abbey or Coombe Country Park? If you ever feel the need to treat yourself…or just simply explore some beautiful parkland, this is the place to go.x

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens..

As I have just had a week off work I thought I might join in with Sunday Sevens. The idea by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins  is to choose 7 photos that show what you have got up to over the last , well, seven days. 🙂

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  1.  Last Sunday there was a christening. This is my God daughter Mady’s little one’s Big Day. I’m not one for holding babies but baby Jason is such an amiable little chap and he looked very cute in his  blue suit.

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2. Poor Hugo had the snip! He’s majorly full of beans so keeping him quiet…and on lead exercise only until he has his stitches out , is proving difficult. I decided to update my Dog Friendly Clitheroe  post so we visited a few new(ish) bars and shops in town that welcome  four legged friends.

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3. Last Monday we hopped on the train to Manchester for a spot of shopping. Had lunch in a 1950’s style Diner called ‘Infamous Diner’. I really enjoyed this bottle of Blind Pig Rum and Poached Pear cider with my meal. 🙂

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4.There was lots of colourful Street Art in the Northern Quarter of Manchester and I had fun photographing it.

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5. Hark at me relaxing in a Feature Room at Coombe Abbey, checking out the Room Service Menu! I was lucky enough to receive some Virgin Experience Vouchers last year which I put towards two nights away in this lovely hotel near Coventry.

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6. The break included a yummy Afternoon Tea ( as modelled here by Wil) which was served on a picnic bench in the Orangerie. As you can see it included chunky ( and delicious) homemade sausage rolls, piccalilli and miniature shepherd’s pies. We couldn’t wait to tuck in. 🙂

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7. My sister and her Hubby joined us and we had a lovely walk round the grounds. My sister is a Tree Hugger!

There will be more posts featuring Coombe Abbey, Coventry and Warwick , coming soon.

Bye For Now. X

Foodie Penpal Parcels ~ January.

 

 

I’m a wee bit late with my January Foodie Penpals post as my February penpal is already waiting in my Inbox. But I have to show you the delicious ( and healthy) treats that Teresa sent me a few weeks ago now.

First though I will tell you what I sent Liliana, who was very easy to buy for. Her only stipulations were, that she didn’t like cabbage or liquorice!
I decided that I would try my best to shop locally. On a trip to the Lakes I found myself in Ye Olde Friars in Keswick. This is a traditional confectioners with a marvellous array of sweet treats. I purchased local delicacy Kendal Mint Cake as well as some chilli jellies and homemade Orange curd. And back home I bought a tasty tagine mix and a chicken stir fry mix from my local butchers. Finally my hometown has a beautiful vintage tea room called Callooh! Callay! which sells Alice In Wonderland inspired tea blends, so I popped a ‘Queen of Hearts’ rose petal infused tea in too. 🙂

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I asked Teresa if she wouldn’t mind posting me some healthy(ish!) snacks and she certainly obliged. Raiding her local Health Store, she found me this amazing selection!

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Of course the first thing I dived upon was the rather naughty but nice Mrs Crimbles Jam Coconut ring which was heavenly. I also treated myself to a nice cup of Wild Blackcurrant Infusion from Heath and Heather. It has fast become my new fave brew as it is so refreshingly fruity.

The Holland & Barrett ‘Good To Go’ snack packs were perfect for my packing up to take to work and the Bombay Firecracker snack was really very tasty….and low calorie to boot.

The only things I have left are the stock cubes which are bound to come in very useful and the Liquorice sweets. Maybe I should send them to Liliana. 😉

As usual I really enjoyed taking part. If you fancy becoming a foodie penpal the website is here.

See you soon. X