Archives for category: Food

After a fun two days with my sister in London, I headed back to Somerset on an early train so I could spend a few hours exploring Bath Spa. It seems late October offers no rest from tourists, as the town was packed with us. Such a beautiful place! The Roman Baths historic site was very interesting. More than just ruins, it’s a well-presented museum filled with artifacts and information which give visitors a wonderful sense of what life was like in this Roman town. After a bit more exploring and a nice cream tea, it was back to the train station and on to Frome.

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Pulteney Bridge, the iconic view of Bath.

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Bath Abbey, a site of worship since 757 AD, with an Anglo-Saxon monastery making way for a Norman Cathedral, and the Abbey as it stands today.

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A perfect summer’s day… in the middle of October!

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The mineral-rich hot springs below the town still feed the ancient bath.

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It’s easy to see why Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – every building reveals the historical story, from Celts and Romans to present day.

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Detail of the intricately carved wooden door of Bath Abbey.

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The centre of town was decorated for Day of the Dead. Many brightly-coloured skulls accompanied these garlands.

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Sweet Little Things, a very pretty tea house in Bath. Many cream teas consist of two scones, which I didn’t really understand, as one was usually plenty. And, as I love my scone to be piled high with cream and jam, I use it all up on one. The second scone made a nice snack the following day.

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View from the tea house door.

My beloved sister was also visiting the UK in October. As we don’t live close to each other, I took the opportunity to spend a couple days with her and her partner in London. We had a wonderful time exploring the city, eating and shopping. The weather was summer-like and perfect. Here are some of the highlights:

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This intrigued me. I think it is in Soho.

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So many gorgeous hotels.

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Lunch at The Crypt, in St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square.

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I loved all the layers of history and architecture. This is the Liberty building. The animatronics above the clock depict St George and the Dragon.

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Beautiful Tower Bridge. I stayed not far from here.

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Leaving Camden Market for a walk along the canal.

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Last look at the Camden Canal, near St Mark’s Church. Many narrow boats were moored at it’s edges.

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We enjoyed a remarkable dinner at Nopi in Soho. This was the most succulent Burrata with peaches and crunchy coriander seeds with a delicious dressing.

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The Regent’s Park roses still blooming in abundance, in the middle of October! This one smelled particularly fine.

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The Triton Fountain in The Regent’s Park.

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The Regent’s Park has waterways and a boating lake.

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We watched this gentleman feeding the birds. They were all eating from his hand. The grey goose to the right of him was looking at him so lovingly, and patiently waiting his or her turn for a handful of seed.

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Sunset over the Thames, viewed from the bridge on Narrow Street, district of Limehouse, East London.

On Friday we had a travel day, hauling too much luggage from London to Moreton-in Marsh by rail and then catching a bus to Chipping Campden. I loved Paddington Station in London. It was so easy to navigate. The journey was interesting. I was surprised by how quickly London gave way to countryside, and by how many people were on a late morning train to the Cotswolds, granted a vast majority were obvious visitors.

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We weren’t long out of London before the quintessential countryside appeared.

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The Signal Box, Moreton-in-Marsh.

We had a bit of a layover in Moreton-in-Marsh, so we found a quaint tea room called The Marshmallow and had some lunch. Willow can’t resist a scone so she had the cream tea. I went for a more savoury lunch and had the most amazing sandwich: cheddar and onion jam on whole wheat. The bread was very fresh and tasty, and the grated cheese blended so well with the onion jam to make every bite a delight. We hope to do a day trip back to Moreton-in-Marsh to explore when we aren’t loaded with luggage.

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The Marshmallow in Moreton-in-Marsh – pretty room, beautiful back garden patio, lovely service.

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Post-rail-journey lunch at The Marshmallow, Moreton-in-Marsh.

At the beginning and the end of my big adventure I will have a few nights in London.

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I will save most of the art galleries and museums for the next UK journey. These are places GJ and I should go together. However, my London to do list does include the Victoria & Albert Museum, which has a number of very interesting exhibits on while I am there including Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up.

My travel companion told me about Dennis Severs’ House. Part theatre performance, part museum, part art gallery, it sounds like a feast for all of the senses.

One of the London experiences I am most excited about is visiting Highgate Cemetery – not to find famous graves, but for the beauty, solemnity, architecture, and grace. Perhaps I will stumble upon a relative or two.

I will be popping back up to London for two nights in the middle of the trip to rendezvous with my sister who will be briefly in London en route to Dorset. She wants to take me to Camden Market, just for fun!

And for a treat, I would love to visit The Grapes pub, perhaps on quiz night!

I would be thrilled and delighted to find Charles Adrian performing while we are there. His performance, as Ms Samantha Mann, Stories of Love, Death & A Rabbit was one of my most favourite theatre experiences.

And last but not least, I would love to visit Dorothy Circus Gallery. It shows the weird and the wondrous, and I think GJ should show there!

All London suggestions are welcome! Especially art, theatre, puppetry, vegetarian cuisine…

 

 

 

I’m planning something big for the autumn and I couldn’t be more excited. This adventure will involve a lot of walking and so much drinking of tea. To prepare I am walking – taking little mini-adventures through the beautiful spring days in Victoria BC.

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Back in March I walked about 12 kilometres to Oak Bay and Fairfield. I collected our friend Annie along the way and we made a few stops in Oak Bay before ending up at Abkhazi Garden for tea. We enjoyed a delicious repast in the teahouse, seated in the window overlooking the garden.

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The garden was not quite at its peak of colour and vibrancy, but still beautiful. We enjoyed walking along the winding paths and meeting a feline visitor.

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Abkhazi Garden is owned and managed by The Land Conservancy (TLC). Read the story of “the garden that love built” here. Check out the teahouse here.

I took a long walk today and noticed that the temperatures on the Canadian west coast are just beginning to turn towards spring, which is lovely. I look forward to the blossoms, but autumn and winter are my most favourite seasons.

Autumn in 2017 had many highlights. A dear cousin was visiting Victoria with family and friends and we all went to Pagliacci’s for great food and live music.

Pagiacci's with live music.

There was fun with an international flare to be had right in our beloved neighbourhood of Chinatown.

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All Hallow’s Eve was spooky and filled with scary surprises around the city. We had a blast with tricks and treats visiting friends in Oak Bay.

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In late November we spent two days in Vancouver for a tiny vacation and rendezvous with my sister and Randy. Day one we enjoyed the festive lights of the big city, ate at the always-delicious Bao Bei, and were mesmerized under the Grand Chapiteau for Cirque du Soleil’s show Kurios.

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Day two, more wandering before a delicious dinner at Vij’s, then off to the last ferry home.

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Victoria, so pretty with festive lights, window displays, and a very impressive “Whoville” gingerbread village at The Empress Hotel.

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I catered dessert for a private Holiday party, and saw an impressive Santa and Mrs Claus at a local diner!

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Christmas arrived with lots of treats (including Glerup slippers), and tissue paper and gift bag fun for the cats.

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And the best gift of all, snow for Christmas Eve and Day!

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For the last few years, we have hosted a group of friends for Christmas dinner. My favourite part of preparing for these events has been designing a display for the dinner table. We rarely use our large table for dining, as it is also GJ’s workspace, so it takes a special event to clear it off. This year, I chose a snowy woodland theme. I made five little trees with Sculpy low-fire clay, painted them white, and sprinkled the wet paint liberally with fine glitter. These were placed over battery-powered tea lights, and arranged with other candles and various curios we have collected. I cut some holly leaves from wool felt, and needle felted the berries, then combined these with sprigs of cedar to create napkin rings. I also decorated a trunk in the living room with cut glass dishes to hold pre-dinner snacks. The dinner was delicious, as was the table, if I do say so myself!

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