Happy New Year

Posted by Lou on Jan 4, 2010 in Places

I have had the best Christmas break!

The fella and I have been driving all over Britain visiting family and friends. After Christmas Day in Nottinghamshire and Boxing Day in North Yorkshire, we then drove to Pembrokeshire for my friend’s 30th birthday and New Year’s Eve. It was fab! Pembrokeshire is stunning and I spent a lot of time walking up and down beaches or sat in front of a wood burning stove, eating. The fresh sea air was much needed after the excesses of Christmas and New Year.

Here a few photographs of my trip… Read more…

 

Cheshire Smokehouse

Posted by Lou on Dec 23, 2009 in Carry On Britain on a budget, Food Shopping, Places, Products

“In the spacious and hygienic preparation areas of The Smokehouse, salmon is salted and smoked; bacon, hams and other meats cured and sliced. Elsewhere, the smoke stoves are filled with sweet-smelling chippings of maple and oak which impart the distinctive taste to Cheshire Smokehouse products.”

Doesn’t that just get the old taste buds rolling! I love the thought of the big stoves going on a crisp Winter’s day.

Cheshire Smokehouse is based in Wilmslow in Cheshire, and basically it does what it says on the tin.

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As both ‘farm shop’ and national branded producer, The Smokehouse is an oasis of quality and service in a world of blandness and uniformity. What really makes The Smokehouse different is that most of the products you see and eat – even the fantastic smoked nuts! – are made right there on the premises, with all the expertise and attention to detail you’d expect.

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The meat is fantastic, I have long been a fan of their smoked bacon which we have virtually every saturday morning with fresh eggs and Barbakan bagels. We recently did a little trip out to the smokehouse to stock up on some meat. The prices are very competitive with the supermarkets and it’s lovely to know that it is all reared and prepared on site. I just have to be really careful that I don’t blow the budget on sticky toffee pudding and other goodies in the Pâtisserie.

So that rounds it up for another year. I know we have be a little sparse for the past few months but the Carry on Britain team have big plans for 2010. So, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Little Winding Streets and The Cornish Range in Mousehole

Posted by Dunc on Jul 27, 2009 in Places

mousehole

Hidden just round the corner from Penzance you will find a higgledy piggledy place called Mousehole…

I think them there locals pronounce it ‘Mowzel’ but please don’t hold me to that!

Mousehole is a very beautiful and quaint fishing village on the western tip of England, out towards Lands End. Nestled onto the hillside and down to the water, this gorgeous little fishing village retains bags of charm and character and is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

In the height of summer, I imagine it is a bustling tourist destination with its numerous art galleries, craft shops, little harbour and little white sandy beach. Parking is a bit of a premium so (after a manic squeeze through the tiny, winding streets) we dumped the car at the top of the hill and wandered down to the village centre. Luckily it was a very bright and sunny day so it gave us a chance to top up the tan while taking in the views.

Tempted by the smell of fish and chips and site of cream teas, we decided to stay there for lunch. A little way up the hill we found The Cornish Range which had a very cool, contemporary and relaxing restaurant inside. As it was sunny, we plonked our bottoms in the garden at the back and enjoyed a cool beer/wine for the lady, while tucking into some very well cooked seafood.

Checkout the website for a sample menu and more information about the place. I wasn’t surprised to find out later that this is quite a highly regarded restaurant in the area. They also have 3 guest rooms which would make an ideal place to stay for a cheeky night away. Another place that comes recommended (thanks to Mark Glynne-Jones) is the Old Coastguard. Well worth checking out if you’re looking to stay in ‘Mowzel’.

Overall, Mousehole was a really nice place to visit. However, as heavenly as it looks – after watching a poor ‘L’ plated driver navigating round the one way system, blind corners and crazy tourists – I imagine it’s hell to learn to drive there. Eak!

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Saltwater – St Ives, Cornwall

Posted by Lou on Jun 29, 2009 in Places

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Saltwater St Ives is a tiny restaurant that Duncan and I found when we stayed in Cornwall a few weeks back.

I was really looking forward to staying in St Ives but I must say I was a little let down. The beaches were lovely, we saw an amazing sunset (the first one I have ever seen), and the shops are great but we didn’t find many restaurants. After what felt like hours (OK it was half an hour) walking around St Ives trying to decide where to eat, Duncan got pooed on by a seagull.

That was the last straw. We needed food and we needed food fast!

Luckily, we happened to walk past Saltwater and it looked like a little piece of heaven. The menu sounded good so we dived in. After sorting himself out (getting rid of the bird poo) Duncan sat down and we checked out the menu in more detail. In a nutshell, I managed to eat lots more shellfish/seafood and Duncan ate lots more fish, but the food really was lovely and the surroundings were very clean and modern. The people who served us were just so polite and very keen to make sure we enjoyed our meal. This kind of service can so often be overlooked in nice restaurants. Anyway, the puddings were brilliant – we had the usual argument of who was going to have the treacle tart, which I lost. I had vanilla panacotta with homemade biscuits and roasted seasonal fruit. It was amazing, so I was happy to lose the treacle tart fight that time!

If you’re in St Ives and stuck for somewhere to eat, we can recommend Saltwater. It is a really small place with only a few tables but this just adds to the cosy atmosphere. We were quite lucky to just walk in off the street but on busier nights it would be better to give them a call to book. It’s located on Fish Street – which has got to be a good sign! Just try not to get pooed on ;)

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More Cheese Vicar?

Posted by Becs on Jun 20, 2009 in Food Shopping, Places

arran cheese

Sorry but if this blog is turning into a homage to cheese however we all worship it and Britain has some of the world’s finest cheeses – really it does! Its rude not to share the news.

Again back at the infamous Lancashire Country Fair (next to the PotsnPies stall) was a very nice gentleman with a selection of cheeses that I could not walk past and ignore.

Arran’s cheeses are made by the Island Cheese Company on the Isle of Arran. They produce wax sealed flavoured cheddars such as Chilli Cheddar, Hebridean Herb and Hamilton’s choice which is flecked with chives. Or try the Balmoral which is laced with claret and which I bought intending it to be for my Dad but then ate it myself in secret – a true cheeseoholic. Or just have it naked without any flavours.

Anyway the Island Cheese Company sell at Wholesale, Farmers markets or (most convenient for us 21st century kids) you can buy online along with other Arran goodies such as oatcakes, smoked salmon and relishes. All I can say is their cheese is divine and delicious, my drug of choice and I relish the chance to scoff some more! Ha now that really is cheesy……

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