Tag: abingdon

Dim Sum and Sushi Steam at Miele

Last week, I spent a day making (and then eating until I could eat no more!) sushi and dim sum. I was invited to attend the (c/o) Dim Sum and Sushi Steam at Miele Experience centre in Abingdon.


Despite living just up the road, I’d never been to Miele before but I pretty much want to move in! They’ve got a coffee area, wifi and lovely loos. They hold cooking classes covering a wide range of topics and the Dim Sum and Sushi steam is a new class. Apart from me, there was another blogger, Jo, a journalist and some keen sushi makers! Cooking was done using the steam combi ovens, which are a complete revelation and put my very unreliable oven to shame. (I have such kitchen envy!) The day started with sushi.

Steamed Rice

The rice was soaked for a few hours before being steamed in the oven. Once that was done, making up the sushi was a pretty quick and easy task.

Selection of veggie fillings: gerkin, peppers and cucumber

Veggie Fillings

Next step: Cut your nori sheet in half

Nori Sheets

Next, add a thin layer of super sticky rice

Sushi Making

Then add your filling but don’t be too greedy or the rolls won’t close

Veggie Sushi

Using the mat, roll it up. Don’t worry about the straggly end – that’s for the chef!

Homemade Sushi

And voila! Here’s the sushi that I made! Tasted so good!

Veg sushi

Mixed sushi

Eating Sushi

Once everyone had finished making their sushi, we got to eat it! We also had wasabi, pickled ginger and wasabi mayonnaise to go with it. The wasabi mayo was amazing!

After lunch, it was time to turn our attention to the dim sum. We were making sweet and savoury buns too so there was lots to be getting on with.

Dim Sum

Dim Sum pastry

Mushroom fillingMaking Dim SumMushroom Dim Sum

Veggie Dim Sum

Mushroom rolls

The dim sum was really quick and easy to make. I made a mushroom filling to go inside, which had to cool for a bit, while we made the pastry. Then I added the filling to the little pastry circles and made a number of teeny tiny parcels. These were then steamed for about 4 minutes and were delicious! I also made a few savoury buns with the mushroom filling, which were so moreish. While we were all making savoury dim sum and buns, the teachers were making sweet buns that were delicious! I could’ve eaten a million of them!

Sweet rolls

Cashew and peanut butter roll


Despite the fact that I’m not very confident in the kitchen, the course was great fun. The kitchen was amazing, everything was set out really well and we could take some of the sweet buns home with us too, which my OH was really pleased with! I didn’t realise until after that it was the first time the course had run, as it worked really well and I would definitely recommend it. If only I could’ve taken home a few appliances too… 🙂

What food would you most like to be able to make?

* Disclosure: I attended the course free of charge, opinions are my own.

Abingdon Floods ~ 2014

For the first time in a long time, it seems like the end of the winter rains might be in sight. As I’ve previously mentioned here, we technically live in a flood risk area. While we’re told our street has never flooded, it’s difficult not to worry when people on the news say that no one has ever seen their area flood before, yet there they are, with flood waters invading their home. Abingdon didn’t fare too badly throughout February, as most of the water headed to the natural floodplains. Sandbags were available, though we picked up ours back in January (I say ‘we’, I mean my OH did. I can’t actually pick one up!) Fortunately, despite a few hairy moments, it seems that most people in Abingdon were okay, though traffic was ‘interesting’ to say the least! Here are a few snaps of the recent floods.

Abingdon Bridge

The writing on the bridge is a great way of knowing how much the river levels change. I took this on a Saturday morning, just over a week ago. By the evening, it had risen quite a bit, but then dropped by the Sunday morning.

Flooded Thames

Normally, you can walk down to the end of this slip and Poppy likes to sniff all the debris that accumulates there. Not when it’s like this, however. She likes to give it a wide berth.

Flooded Ock walk

River Ock

This is one of our favourite Abingdon walks, especially in the summer and I wrote about it last year. This is how it was just over a week ago. Poppy and I got caught in a pretty nasty hail storm while I was taking these. Neither of us were amused! However, below is what it looked like on Sunday.

Ock Walk

Unbelievable right?! Just in one week, the water level dropped loads, though we’ve seen how much more water would be needed for us to really start worrying about flooding.

Flooded Abingdon

Another one of our favourite walks is along the upper part of the Ock. This area flooded so much that it closed Tesco as the car park was submerged, which triggered apocalyptic shopping at Waitrose! Lol. Fortunately, just over a week later, it was looking much better.

Abingdon Fields

Poppy in the flood

Even Poppy fancied exploring the floods a little bit more closely! (We stayed well away from the edge, following all the safety advice!)

Fallen Tree

In the storm over the weekend, we lost a tile. I know. Bad times. However, Albert Park lost this giant tree, as well as a smaller tree and lots and lots of branches, covered in squirrel scent, which Poppy had to stop and sniff. The tree has left a hole in the hedge and the massive hole in the ground from the roots has been filled in. It was pretty scary and Poppy was pretty spooked by the wind. I hope you’re all safe and dry and didn’t suffer much damage in recent storms.

Dog Walks in Oxfordshire – Abingdon Lock

Living in Abingdon, I’m very lucky to have lots of places to walk Poppy straight from the house. One of the walks I like to do is to walk along the Ock towards Abingdon Lock. The Ock Walk has been perfect this summer, as it’s quite a shady spot so its remained cool in the heat. There’s no where to park if you join it at the Drayton Road entrance, but if you park in town, the nearest car park in on West St Helen Street and is free for 2 hours. We always join it at Drayton Road and it takes you into the centre of Abingdon, where there are quite a few choices from there. Last weekend, we headed to Abingdon Lock. We walked through Abbey Gardens to the lock. It’s a lovely place to walk, but it can be really busy with other dog walkers, cyclists etc so be wary if you have a nervous dog.

Abingdon Lock

It’s a lovely spot to walk along and once you’ve crossed the lock you can go either right or left. I think that it’s part of the Thames Path so again, you can keep going for as long as you want. We went right and walked through the fields by Rye Farm. If you want to head to the lock as your starting point, there are two car parks just off the main road by the bridge. (Note, some of them are free for two hours, some aren’t. Make sure you check!)

Abingdon On Thames

There are plenty of benches along the path to sit and take in the view. Abingdon always looks gorgeous in the sun and there’s something lovely about being near the river. Poppy is always entertained by all the smells about and there are always other dog walkers about to say hello to. It’s not a circular walk so if you do the whole thing, you have to double back. Though, if you parked at the bridge, you could walk through the field, up to the lock, through Abbey Gardens and back across the bridge. The Ock Walk is a lovely walk to do, especially if your dog likes to go for a dip as it’s easy for them to get in and out of the water!

The Walk: Abingdon Lock is on the Thames Path, so you can walk for as long as you like. As it follows the river, it’s quite a flat walk so perfect if you’re looking for something easy.
Cost: Free
Car Park: Free for two hours. (For more information on car parking charges in Abingdon, see the Council website.)
Refreshments: Yes. One thing Abingdon isn’t short of is cafes! Throwing Buns, Java & Co and Costa all have outdoor seats in the sun! A lot of the pubs in the area also have outdoor seating.
Toilets: There are public loos at Hale Meadow car park, as well as in Abbey Meadows.

{Review} The Barns Cafe, Abingdon

I noticed on Twitter that there was a new cafe in Abingdon, The Barns Cafe. I finally managed to get there & give it a try last week. One of the great things about it is its location. It’s out of the main town centre so parking is nice & easy. Plus it’s got free wifi, which is pretty decent so it’s perfect if you work from home & need to get of the house. The cafe is split into three sections, one main one on the ground floor & the remaining two sections above the kitchen and the toilets. The refurbishment has been done really well. The wooden beams are on show and the whole place has quite a lovely feel to it.

I went for a late lunch and arrived about 2.25pm, found a table by the door & had a quick look through the menu. I went up to the counter to order and was told they stop serving food at 2.15pm! But, lucky for me, I have a nice face & they said they’d be happy to make me a Tricolor (Basil, tomato & mozzarella) panini. I also ordered a chai latte, which I am still surprised to see on cafe menus, as it’s still quite an unknown drink. When my chai latte arrived, I thought it looked quite a lot like a regular latte, which I don’t like. I have my coffee black. I gave it a quick taste, and yep, I’d been given a dirty chai latte (a chai latte with a shot of coffee)! Checking the menu, the chai latte is listed under the coffee section, but I never expected it to be a dirty chai. I decided not to say anything (mainly because I hate complaining to people) but I would never order one so took this an opportunity to, wait for it, try something different! I didn’t like it. Not because it wasn’t well made, but because I don’t like milk in my coffe. But at least I now know that I don’t like dirty chai!

Dirty Chai latte

My panini arrived shortly after & it was lovely. Slightly overdone on one side, but it was still hot and tasty. They have quite a few veggie lunch offerings & a great array of cakes – I can vouch for the Millionaires Shortbread! They have quite a generous tea menu too, which I’ll be having next time. The staff are really friendly & helpful and it’s a great place to sit, eat and relax for a while, either by yourself or with friends. It’s a great addition to Abingdon’s cafe culture and I’ll definitely be going back.