Dog Walks in Pembrokeshire – Newgale Beach

Newgale beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to and I think it’s become my favourite beach. If you get the tide time right, it’s huge. I use the My Tide Times app and it’s brilliant for ensuring you arrive at the right time for maximum beach walking. Once you get over the pebble bank at the back of the beach, there are miles of golden sands ready to be explored. It’s fairly flat so is easy to walk across, unless it’s blowing a gale, which can make it very difficult, especially if you’re a small black dog with giant ears!

Poppy Beach dog Newgale Beach Newgale Newgale Pembrokeshire Newgale Beach Pembs Breezy Newgale Poppy on Newgale Newgale Pebbles

When we visited, we had come from the direction of Broadhaven and stopped at the first car park we came to which has seasonal parking charges. They kicked in the next day so we parked for free. As we parked at the opposite end to the cafe we wanted to go to, the Sands cafe, we drove to the cafe once we’d finished our walk and parked in the cafe car park. It’s really small so if you can walk up from one of the other car parks, then do, but make sure you pop in for a bite to eat.

The Walk: Newgale beach is just under 2 miles long. It has a huge pebble bank at the back of the beach, which can be difficult to walk down so watch your step. Newgale does have seasonal dog restrictions. The middle third of the beach is out of bounds to dogs during the summer. Take a look at the Visit Pembrokeshire website for a map highlighting the restrictions. There’s still plenty of beach to enjoy despite the restriction.
Cost: Free
Car Park: There are three car parks and two have seasonal parking charges. Well worth it though.
Refreshments: There are two cafes, one at either end of the beach. Mum & I went to Sands cafe and enjoyed a delicious warming bowl of soup. It’s dog friendly too!
Toilets: Yes.

 

Happy National Vegetarian Week

I’ve been a vegetarian for about twelve years. The main reason I gave up meat and fish (yes fish. Vegetarians do not eat fish!) was because of ethical reasons. For me, there is no cruelty free way to eat meat or fish. And no, I’m never tempted by a bacon sandwich and I’m certainly not tempted by McDonalds. (Fyi, not even their fries are vegetarian!) It’s easy to be vegetarian now moreso than ever. There are lots of meat substitues about, goodness knows pasta is vegetarian and, thank the lord, so is choclate. But when I became vegetarian, I didn’t prepare myself properly by finding out how to be a healthy vegetarian. For that reason, I find myself wanting to explore a vegan diet.

A plant based diet is one of the healthiest around but as I’m not the most enthusiastic of cooks, I needed some inspiration. Hello Pinterest! I’ve had a Veggie Food board for a while and I occasionally make things from it. Some work, some don’t. Some take forever, some remain just a dream! I’ve recently been adding soups and salads that are easy and quick to make. While I am exploring whether a vegan diet is for me, I’m upping my intake of vegetables and wholefoods. These are some of the bloggers I follow who write incredible recipes.

Veggie Bloggers

|| Vegan Bolognese Pasta Bake – Wallflower Girl || Butternut Squash, Put Lentil & Rocket Salad – Tinned Tomatoes || Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Soup – Wholeheartedly Healthy || Green Spring Salad with Asparagus & Cannellini Beans – Be Nourishd ||

[All images via sources.]

As I’ve been counting calories recently, I’ve learnt how few calories vegetables have, which means you can eat loads of them! My favourite vegetable at the moment is butternut squash because it’s easy to prepare and once roasted, it goes with pretty much everything. And, once roasted, it freezes pretty well so makes a perfect lunch with a bit of salad and some chickpeas.

I’ve been really inspired by Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Vegucated. Both promote eating more veggies for a better diet and healthier lifestyle, which is something we could all benefit from, am I right?!

Tuesday Treat – Calder & Byrne

Walking and working. That’s all I seem to be doing at the moment. While I’m happy doing both, a little time to put my feet up to do something else would be nice. Next week is half term and while I’ll be going on lots of walks with Poppy, I’ll also be enjoying some time to do other lovely things, like catch up on some blog writing and reading. One thing I did find the time to take a look at is the new Calder & Byrne online curation.

Calder & Byrne

It’s a beautiful shop, full of lovely things including the card above that I bought for a good friend of mine recently. It’s a beautiful letterpress card made by Prickle Press and I love it – I nearly kept it for myself. There’s a limit on the number of items for sale and everything is made in the UK. It’s a lovely website to explore, especially when it’s feeling more like November than May outside.

Tuesday Treat – British Strawberries

Strawberries are my favourite fruit. You can eat them in so many ways – on their own, with cream a la Wimbledon, in a smoothie, the world is your oyster. They also look great while you’re waiting to eat them. Pop them in your favourite bowl and they make brighten up your kitchen. As a child, I use to grab one from the bowl and dab in the sugar bowl when no one was looking. Unfortunately, I’d do it so often, I’d end up turning some of the sugar in the bowl pink!

British Strawberries
Strawberries are also quite low in calories, so you can eat loads if you’re calorie counting. This is my new favourite pudding. 100g of strawberries with a generous helping of chocolate Coyo. There’s something a bit extra special about British strawberries when they’re in season. They are full of flavour, bright and juicy and a sure sign that summer is on its way. Bring on the strawbs!

Dog Walks in Oxfordshire – Newbridge to Standlake

A few weeks ago, over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, we headed out into the beautiful Oxfordshire sunshine to explore the Windrush Path and take a look at Standlake Common Nature Reserve. I’m no twitcher, but there is something amazing about rare, strange and beautiful birds as well as common butterflies and glorious spring blossom.

We set out quite early and parked in the Rose Revived pub car park. We crossed the road and headed out across the footpath that takes in part of the Mosaic Trail. We heard the woodpecker you can almost make out hiding in the tree below. It was so difficult to take a picture of it, hence my not so great attempt here. I’d never seen one before, but have now seen quite a few.

As part of the Mosaic Trail, there’s a picnic area with tables at the Dragonfly post. Not far from here is Standlake Common Nature Reserve, which has two bird hides. Unfortunately, the hides are locked and you have to get a key from the Reserve office. Fortunately, a kind stranger already had a key and let Phil in to take a look at a rare bird (I forget which one) while Poppy and I explored the area outside.

Poppy at Standlake Windrush Path to Standlake Windrush Woodpecker WW2 Oxfordshire Mosaic Trail Oxfordshire Windrush Path Windrush Mosaic Trail Windrush Path Standlake Red Admiral Bracket Fungus Rose Revived Veggie Sandwich

The weather was absolutely glorious and by the time we got back to the pub, we were ready for lunch. Despite the fact that the rest of Oxfordshire had appeared in the pub garden by that time, we found a little table by the river and ordered a few sandwiches. Even though the pub was busy, both inside and out, we didn’t have to wait long. The food was outstanding and I’m looking forward for a return visit.

The Newbridge to Standlake walk is brilliant. The fact that there’s a pub at the end that’s dog friendly and serves great food makes it even better. This is one walk we’ll definitely be going back to.

The Walk: The Standlake to Newbridge walk is about 2 miles long. We didn’t go all the way to Standlake, but headed back towards Newbridge. It’s a nice circular walk taking in some very spectacular sights, including Standlake Common Nature Reserve.
Cost: Free
Car Park: We parked at The Rose Revived at Newbridge. I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do but we felt it was okay as we planned to return there for lunch, which was a great idea!
Refreshments: The Rose Revived was excellent and well worth a visit.
Toilets: The only ones we found were at The Rose Revived.

 

Simple healthy meals with Cook

It’s no secret that I hate cooking. From thinking up a menu to preparation to washing up afterwards, I’m not a fan of cooking, though I do like the eating bit! A few months ago, we discovered Cook. I’m not really sure why it’s taken so long for us to use them, but boy am I glad we did. Like most people, my partner and I are busy, work a lot and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. While we’d happily get take away pretty much every night, we know that’s not a great idea for our £’s and lbs! This is why Cook is such a great idea. There are lots of healthy options, both for vegetarians, pescetarians and carnivores. They do sides, lunches and desserts (not that we’ve tried them. Yet!) Here are some of my favourites:

Virtuous Veggie pot Chickpea Curry Red Lentil and Mixed Bean casserole Vegetable Lasagne

Most meals take about 50 minutes in our oven, which gives us plenty of time to shower, get Poppy sorted, get ourselves sorted, whatever we need to do. One of the reasons I like Cook food is that it cooks in the oven. We’ve only recently bought a microwave so it’s a great way of having a healthy ‘ready meal’. They’ve also got some new dishes out, including a Chinese range, which I’m looking forward to trying and I might even treat myself to a cheeky dessert this weekend!

This isn’t a sponsored post – I just love Cook!

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