Category: On Tour

Vegan Afternoon Tea at Compton Acres, Poole

While we were in Poole for my Lush spa treatment, we also booked in an afternoon tea at Compton Acres. Phil had done a quick Google and found that they were one of few places that offered a vegan afternoon tea. As this is one of my favourite meals ever, we decided to go there. I hadn’t heard of it before, but there’s a lovely garden, with breathtaking views of the coast, a shop and a small garden centre. We arrived there with enough time to have a whistle stop tour of the garden.

Compton Acres Buddha Statue at Compton Acres Koi fish at Compton Acres As we didn’t have a huge amount of time, I didn’t take many photographs. I’m pretty sure we’ll go back there, especially as dogs are allowed, plus they do vegan cake and I’ll go far for that! The gardens are gorgeous, with lots of lovely areas and water playing a big part of the gardens. There are lots of areas to sit and enjoy the gardens, which lots of people were doing. We headed back to the cafe and awaited our afternoon tea. It didn’t disappoint.

Vegan afternoon tea at Compton Acres Vegan cheese and pineapple on sticks Vegan sandwiches at Compton AcresThree tiers of delicious vegan food. Three whole tiers. I really struggle to know what to put in sandwiches, save for Tofurkey and salad, so this was a real eye opener. When I saw that there was cheese and pineapple on sticks, I was over the moon! My favourite things from my 80’s childhood! Why don’t we see more of this?! It was delicious. Then came the cake. The chocolate cupcake was epic! I couldn’t finish it all. It was so chocolatey and rich plus I wanted to save room for the scones. They were accompanied by coconut cream and strawberry jam. The cream was quite runny, but that didn’t spoil it for me. The fact that I can still enjoy cream and jam on scones without animals being harmed is brilliant. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Compton Acres, whether it was for a cream tea or just to the gardens. Vegan friendly and dog friendly makes it a winning place for me!

The Wildlife Trust #30dayswild Days 18 – 24

When I signed up to #30dayswild, I didn’t expect June to be so wet or so busy. I’ve probably been out and about nature less this month than I normally do. Despite that, I’ve been looking for nature as much as I can, wherever I can and that’s what I’m taking from this month. Regardless, I’ve been able to see some gorgeous and amazing things over the last few days. Here’s a little snapshot.

Canada Goose Dragonfly Common Spotted Orchid Pyramid Orchid Bee Orchid at Radley LakesStag BeetleScarlet Tiger MothRabbits Raindrops on a leaf Moth I
Hoverflies Heart petal on a nettle leafI love how nature always helps put things in perspective. When the whole world looks like it’s falling apart, a walk with Poppydog, using all my senses to seek out nature, really helps. Which is good, seeing as we’re really making a mess of everything at the moment. I just hope that we wise up, sort it out and make sure we don’t damage our planet any more in the process.

The Wildlife Trust #30DaysWild Days 11-17

Between taking part in #30dayswild and watching Springwatch, it has been all about nature here at Crafty Chai towers. We’ve been obsessed with the starlings on the bird feeder in the garden, watching fish in the Thames, counting bees at every chance we get and tried to catch glimpses of bats at sunset.

That being said, this week has been crazy.  With a few early dog walks before work, late nights thanks to book group and watching John Grant (with a special appearance from Kylie!) at the Albert Hall, there hasn’t been much time for getting wild. However, I’ve still been watching and managed to see lots of red kites circling above the M40 and little bunnies at the roundabout joining the A34. I’ve also managed to photograph these little beauties:

Grey squirrel Fledging jackdaw Oxeye daisy Woodland fungus

Even as I walk about school, I try to keep my eyes peeled to the nature around me. Wagtails bobbing about after lunch, huge raindrops during thunderstorms causing lots of squealing in the classroom next door and basking in sunshine as I walked between buildings. The weather has been really weird in the last few days. I’ve never known there to be so many thunderstorms so close together. Am really hopeful that the weather next week will be more settled, if for no other reason than to help the bees and the butterflies!

The Wildlife Trust #30DaysWild Days 6 – 10

Between watching Springwatch and taking part in 30 Days Wild, I am all about nature right now! Whether I’m driving to work, walking Poppydog or washing up and looking out at the garden, I’m busy spotting birds, bees and wildlife. I know that it’s all around, but sometimes it takes something like 30 Days Wild to remind me of this.

LaburnumIris Caterpillar Coot family with chicksPoppy with poppies Flowers in the wall

Have you been watching Springwatch? This week was really brutal, with three out of the four remaining great tits being fed by their adoptive blue tit mother, being eaten by a jay and a stoat climbing a tree to kill all of the chicks in a woodpecker nest. I have to admit, I did cry at that. It was one nest attack too many. Don’t mistake this for naivety. I know the jay and stoat have lots of mouths to feed. That is nature. It just puts into perspective, for me, the way humans impact on nature, whether it’s through what we eat, where we build our homes or how we consume this planet. Watching the stone curlew getting drenched night after night last week was truly heartbreaking and the thought that our actions can make the lives of these little but vital creatures worse make me feel sick to my stomach. I really hope that we as a species stop looking at money as the most important thing ever, but at our home and act accordingly.