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Fallowfields Hotel & Restaurant

Afternoon Tea Fallowfields

On Saturday evening four of us heading out to Fallowfields Hotel & Restaurant. I didn’t really know what to expect except good food.

Upon arrival we were greeted very warmly & given the choice between the lounge & the bar area. I opted for the lounge as there was a fire to sit beside! We were offered drinks & canapes. The waiter checked for dietary requirements so I was given vegetarian ones. This impressed me. The attention to detail, the quality of service & the taste of the food.

We decided against starters, well it was still January after all! In hindsight I’m so glad we did. In total we had 7 courses and while the portions are sensible & not too big or too small, 7 courses is enough for anyone! When we arrived at our table, we were given Jerusalem artichoke veloute, truffle ream, confit artichoke. This wasn’t to my taste as I don’t really like artichoke, but my less fussy OH really enjoyed his. We were also given delicious bread & butter to eat while we waited for our mains. I had ordered the cauliflower risotto & it was so delicious. It was, quite possibly, the best risotto I’ve ever tasted.

Finally, pudding. I broke one of my food rules & went for the Amaretto crème brulee. But before this arrived we were given lemon posset in a sugar basket. It was amazing & I’m not a fan of lemon at all, but it was lovely. The crème brulee was perfection too, although, because I’m greedy & love crème brulee, I could’ve easily had a bigger portion!

Throughout the meal the waiters were attentive without being overbearing & kept my wine glass topped up nicely. When we were given our coffee, we also received a delicious ganache chocolate each. Perfect. As a vegeatarian it was nice to see food that didn’t look like it was an afterthought.

It didn’t feel appropriate to keep taking photos of each dish, plus I couldn’t wait to tuck in so that’s why there aren’t any pictures. But trust me when I say that if you are looking for somewhere extra special to go for a meal, this is the place for you. A real delight.

A Week in Wales: Crafty

Crafty Bits in Wales

I sometimes feel that I enjoy buying crafty bits & pieces more than making anything with them. When shopping for craft supplies there is the wonder, the dream, the flow of ideas, the possibilites of what might be made. Oh, and of course, all the pretty things! I love looking at all the pretty things, as my very patient OH knows only too well.

On the last day of our holiday in Wales we went to Narberth with my sister. It’s a lovely little town full of indenpendent shops like Damson and Slate, who sell Welsh handmade products and The Golden Sheaf Gallery, who sell lots & lots of lovely pretty things!

There were a couple of new places to explore this time so off we went. One of the first places we visited was Giddy Aunt Clothes. Here they make clothes from vintage fabrics, as well as selling remnants, buttons & other cool vintage & retro pieces. I bought a lush piece of fabric & some blue buttons. There were some really lovely clothes in the shop & I’ll definitely be going back.

We wanted to try out the cafe, PlumVanilla, where we had the most awesome brownies. They were so good that I couldn’t wait to eat it, hence the lack of photo here! They had an excellent range of veggie food on the menu so I know I’ll be going back to sample some of that!

On the way to the cafe we stumbled across Canvas & Cloth. Now with a name like that how could I not go in & buy something! I bought some lovely buttons & my OH bought his first Christmas present. There were loads of lovely materials, packs of things to make & other fab sewing bits, but I had to restrain myself as I’ve got plenty of things to be getting on with, like making new seats for some old chairs I’ve got. I’m going to use some of the remnants that I bought at Melin Tregwynt mill so that’ll keep me very busy! x

Crafty Bits in Wales

Hermann Cake

The Finished Hermann Cake

For those of you who follow me on Twitter you will be no stranger to my Hermann cake.

Hermann Stage 1Just over a week ago my friend brought me some cake mix. ‘This is Hermann’ she said ‘you need to look after him; feed him, split him into four then bake him & eat him.’ Excellent! An exciting baking project.

 

Hermann Stage 2Hermann did come with instructions, which was very helpful. When he was bubbling away it was good to know that that was normal & I shouldn’t worry about it!

After four days Hermann needed to be fed. Now I have no idea what Hermann consisted of when he arrived. All I know is that he feasted on flour, sugar & milk. He liked this & continued to bubble away!

Hermann Stage 3Hermann lived on the worktop for the time that he was with us. He was simply covered with a towel to keep him protected. I checked that he was bubbling away throughout his duration and stirred him daily. This was all that Hermann needed for the majority of the time – until Day 9 when he had to be divided into four.

Hermann Stage 4The aim here is that you keep one portion for yourself to bake and eat and you give the other three away. This is why it used to be called a friendship cake. I asked for some willing recipients at work & promptly poured the mixture into four bowls, photocopied the instructions & gave Hermann I, II & III away. If you wanted to keep your original Hermann going you could keep one of the portions for yourself and start over.

Hermann Stage 5On Day 10 I had to add more flour, milk & sugar to Hermann, along with any other bits and pieces I wanted in my cake. A lot of people seem to put dried fruit in but my OH requested chocolate chips. In they all went. I had enough mixture for two cake tins as mine are quite small.

I put them in the oven and waited…and waited…and waited. The cake tester continued to come out with mixture on it. Then it twigged that I was putting the tester into bits of apple. The tester finally came out clean. I was very worried about whether it had cooked properly or not. There’s nothing worse than that feeling when you go to get your cake out of the tin and either it flops out or doesn’t come out! Annoying!

The Finished Hermann CakeAnyway, a while later, when Hermann had cooled down enough I got him out of the tins. He had a lovely golden top, was moist but cooked. He was delicious! I took one cake to work & it was devoured in minutes! Nothing says baking success more than an empty plate.

I am still unsure of what was in the original Hermann mixture and have since discovered that it used to be called the German Friendship cake. Either way it was lots of fun and got us all talking at work.

If you are interested in making your own Hermann cake I have since found an excellent blog which lists the instructions and explains a bit of the original mixture. For more information go to Inexpert Crafter. I was very relieved to see that my Hermann cake resembled the tray bake one!

A fun baking experiment! x

Declutter Time

Recycle Bags

As the weather gets warmer the need to ‘swap’ wardrobes gets more important. I realise this makes me sound like I have way more clothes than I actually do! I don’t have that many but I do have a really small wardrobe which means that I now have to pack away winter jumpers, scarves & gloves and get out thin blouses, tops & linen trousers.

I’ve also taken this opportunity to organise my wardrobe, have a good clear out & use some lovely storage bags to help keep things tidy. I received about five of the Cath Kidston Under Bed Storage Bags for my birthday last year.
Tidy Cupboard PhotoI’ve finally got around to using them & I think they look great. They come with little cards to write on to catalogue the contents & a little plastic wallet on the outside to put it in. I think that this is genius as it saves you having to get it down, look in it to see if it contains what you’re looking for. They look like they will be easy to keep clean & are very generous. You should’ve seen my wardrobe before I got started. There were clothes all just piled up on the shelf, all a mess & no colour-coding insight! Now everything is organised, which is just how I like it!

I also took the opportunity to remove things that no longer fit or I know I’ll never wear again. This is quite painful as (like most women up & down the length of the country!) some things haven’t been worn & still have the label on ‘in the hope that I’ll lose a few pounds and fit into them next summer’! Oh well, there’s always next summer! These things I’ve kept but seeing that I  had about 5 black cardigans I thought a proper clear out was necessary. 5 bags worth is what I’ve collected so far & this includes shoes & handbags. 

I know that I’ll probably regret getting rid of some of these items in the future but for the moment it has to be done. Recycle Bags I feel a lot better for it & know that someone will be grateful if I’ve donated something that they buy & love. Next on my list to clear out is my DVD & CD collections. Now that it seems lots of charities/schools can make money by recycling these I feel that I can get rid of them without increasing my carbon footprint & chucking them into landfill. There are a number of places who collect & make money from the recycling of these items. I know that some charity shops won’t take things like this because they can’t store many of them & they often can’t shift them so I’m glad that I can help make a difference & get rid of some embarrassing titles!