I don’t buy many magazines for two reasons. 1: They’re expensive. 2: Most of them don’t appeal to me. I either can’t afford/don’t fit into/don’t like/don’t want what they’re selling. This changed with Mollie Makes. I’ve been a long time fan of the craft magazine. With its free gifts & great photography, it always brightens my day. My OH renews my subscription every birthday! So when they brought out The Simple Things magazine, I was desperate to give it a go. Always an eye for a bargain, I bought three magazines for £5. I really didn’t think that I would enjoy a magazine more than Mollie Makes, but I do with The Simple Things. It has a great mixture of things I like – from craft to gardening, travel to nature. It is definitely a firm favourite in Crafty Chai towers, with even my OH taking a peek every now & then!
When I went to Renegade Craft Fair, they had a special offer on their knitting magazines, 3 issues of The Knitter & Simply Knit for £1 each. Bargain! I signed up immediately! I’ve never really read knitting magazines before, but I am glad that I bought the subscription, as it’s greatly increased my desire to improve my knitting.
They’re all great magazines & I love reading them. They all sit at the table, so I read a bit as and when I can, usually over breakfast & lunch. I try to make them last as long as possible! They are full of inspiration and definitely get my creative juices flowing! I won’t be able to keep having all of them, but as Christmas is coming, I’m pretty sure at least one full subscription will be on that list!
I don’t know if you were lucky enough to have a lovely Saturday yesterday, but I hope you were. My OH & I had a very lovely day. We went for a walk around Harcourt Arboretum. The sun was shining, there was a slight chill in the air. Perfect. We walked around a bit, took a few pictures that you can see over on my Flickr page. We saw some gorgeous red leaves & some Red Admiral butterflies drying their (damaged) wings on the path. We were so quiet & still taking these pictures that a bird wasn’t bothered by us. I tried to take it’s picture but to no avail. We kept pretty quiet & continued along our way. As we rounded a bend, I suddenly saw a beautiful female deer appear on the path in front of us. We stayed still & quiet & I managed to get a few shots of it. I felt like I was part of Autumnwatch! I couldn’t have taken such great pictures if my OH hadn’t patiently taught me how to use the lens well. I think we make a good team.
After our walk we headed into Oxford. We’ve both been wanting to try out the new Oxfork cafe as well as visit the awesome Comma shop.
I love Comma shop. It’s full of paper, stationary & pretty things. I knew we’d be buying something from there as soon as we walked in. I picked up a set of hair grips (growing my fringe out!) which were so pretty. I also got a roll of wrapping paper for some card ideas that are floating round in my head. Then, while we were waiting, we started looking through the pictures. Now I have to admit that there’s a pug obsession going on in our house. This naturally lends itself to a Gemma Correll obsession too. I’ve blogged before about her ‘Pugs not Drugs’ tote which I use almost every day. We spotted the print in the picture. It’s perfect! I knew we had to have it (just don’t tell the bank manager!) All I need to do is get a frame for it & it’ll be up. I love it so much!
As if this wasn’t enough enjoyment for one day, we then headed to Oxfork. We grabbed a great table & perused the menu. The weekend menu seems to be a brunch menu – perfect for those lazy autumn days. I ordered a fried egg sandwich & a pot of Oxford Brew tea, made by local tea company Jeeves & Jericho. Both were delicious. The tea stayed hot but didn’t stew & the egg sarnie was just what I needed after my morning expedition. My OH had a flat white & a sausage sandwich. The sandwiches were the perfect size for lunch. I could’ve happily sat there all day. There was so a great atmosphere and lovely happy staff. I really liked the look and feel of the place and am pretty much thinking about when I can get back there. The veggie cooked breakfast looks amazing! Plus I totally support their ethos – local produce feeding local people. The eggs I ate were from Witney. They stock the flour that I use from Wessex mill. You can’t get much more local than that. East Oxford is truly coming alive with great independent businesses!
We then headed home, lit the fire & started on the gin. I love these kind of days – I wish they could happen every day! x
It turns out that lots of restaurants are surprisingly helpful when it comes to identifying vegan dishes on their menus. One such place is Barbucci in Tenby, where my mum, sister and I went a week or so ago to celebrate mums birthday. My sister, who is one my biggest vegan champions, had got in touch with them to ask about vegan options. They had said that most of their vegetable curries are suitable as they are cooked in vegetable ghee. Music to my ears. Barbucci is in the basement, so it has a kind of secret James Bond lair feel about it. Service was excellent from the moment we arrived and at no point did we feel hurried or rushed, despite it being very busy, especially as they also do take aways. After demolishing an obscene amount of popadoms, my starter arrived, which was four delicious onion bhajis. Make it clear when you order that you do not want the mint yoghurt. I had completely missed this on the menu, as it states that it comes with the yoghurt. Fortunately, only one of the bhajis had the yoghurt on it and my sister was happy to trade me one of her yoghurt free bhajis. Then came the curries. I had ordered the vegetable laziza curry, upon my sisters recommendation. It did not disappoint! (Apologies for the rubbish photo below. Bad lighting, accompanied by being in a busy restaurant and wanting to tuck in meant I didn’t hang around trying different camera angles!)
This curry is delicious. You know how sometimes, you can’t tell different types of curries apart? This was not like that. It was full of flavour, not too spicy but tasty enough to make you sit up and take notice. It was so good that I kept thinking about the next day. And my mouth is watering as I write this! I would go as far to say that this was probably the best curry I’ve ever had and would happily go back for more. I also had boiled rice and a chapati so you can imagine that I was completely stuffed by the end of the night. If you’re ever in need of a really good vegan friendly restaurant in Tenby, then Barbucci is the place to go.
I have a huge case of the post-holiday blues – oh, to be beside the seaside. So I’ve spent a bit of time trawling through the hundreds of photos I took while we were in Cornwall last week and have picked out some of my favourites. Even though it rained, a few times, we had a lovely time. As it was out of season, we could take Poppy on all the beaches, which was ace and we took full advantage of that, whatever the weather.
We also enjoyed a few cream teas, pasties, local chips and the odd cider. It was bliss!