A little while ago I noticed that Alissa at Oxford City Guide was using the hashtag #supportlocalsaturday on Twitter. This is such a great way to remember to use independent companies while spending your hard earned pennies.
Today I pretty much out did myself. First port of call, after returning my library book, was to the local excellence market in the town square. Here I bought some soap from Beyond Bubbles. Then some potatoes, bread and pasties from local producers. My OH bought a book by a local author, MG Harris, from Mostly Books. I also took a trip to my local haberdashery Masons to buy some beads for something crafty I’m working on.
Then we popped into Oxford. We went to Comma Shop, which is a real favourite of mine. It is the perfect place for any stationery geek. And my OH bought me the awesome Slush Puppie badge! Then we went next door to the Magdalen Arms who were having a market. It was filled with handmade, vintage & retro goods. I bought some vintage tea spoons and some homemade jam from Porch Pickles. I can’t wait to try it!
After all that shopping, we headed to Oxfork. I could live here! They have amazing coffee & cakes and do the best fried egg sarnie I’ve ever eaten. We bought some of their coffee, their Simnel cake (it’d be rude not to!) and some Jeeves & Jericho Breakfast Tea. Perfect!
I feel really lucky to live in an area where there are so many independent places & I’m always more than happy to support them!
As I was in Oxford Tuesday night & my OH was going to pick me up, we thought that we could have a bit of dinner in Oxford. It’s something that we used to do quite a bit when we lived there so I was looking forward to it. We couldn’t decide where to go – Wagamama or Turl Street Kitchen. We both love Wagamama & find that their food is filling & reasonable. But Turl Street Kitchen is new & has been all over Twitter. All we had to do was wait for their menu.
TS Kitchen uses local produce as much as possible & therefore only decide what they’re cooking on that day. I completely support this because then you know that you’re getting fresh produce that’s supporting local producers. The downside is, if, like me, you like to know what’s available in advance, you have to stick to Twitter like glue for the release of the menu. In my case, this isn’t a huge problem. I’m a Twitter addict!
We went in after 8.30pm & it was still quite busy. The restaurant has been decorated amazingly well. It has a lovely feel about the place. There is a nice small bar area, a little ‘snug’ with big comfy chairs & a larger space with tables. We were met by a pleasant waiter, asked to wait for a bit while they cleared a table so we got some drinks. I had a Dandelion & Burdock – Love this! – while my OH had a pint of local lager. We didn’t have to wait too long & soon we were sitting at our table. There were a few veggie options & I went for the red onion, tomato & red pepper tart. My OH opted for the lamb hotpot. We also asked for two portions of the bread & butter to start.
We didn’t have to wait long for the mains, but the bread (& only one portion of it) came with the main course. The portions were quite small. I’ve seen that size of portion served as a starter. But this didn’t bother me as it was enough & it came with a side salad. What did bother me was the price. My small slice of tart was £8. The lamb hotpot was £9.50. Now I know that good quality meat is expensive so I wasn’t surprised by that. But £8 for a small slice of tart & a salad?! That did surprise me! And, as I’m watching my pennies, it’ll put me off going back for an evening meal.
After my disgusting visit to the loos at The Rose, I knew I had to visit them at TS Kitchen. Well, they were amazing. Freshly decorated, clean & with the original parts of the buildings exposed, they were impressive. The Rose could learn a thing or two from here!
Last week was National Cupcake Week. In order to support the week I thought I should have a cupcake. Alas, I was so busy I couldn’t get anywhere to get one. I tweeted this one day and got a response from the lovely people at Happy Cakes. They said that they would give me a cupcake! I couldn’t believe it. Naturally I responded & said I’d love one. Getting it to me proved to be a bit tricky but the ladies at Happy Cake had a solution – leave it a local hotel for me to pick up when I was in Oxford. It totally worked. I picked them up yesterday.
Now the proof of the pudding really is in the eating. And what a pudding! The cake was moist. The icing not to sweet or sickly & a little bit soft, which is how I like it. So not only did I see excellent customer service & a fantastic use of Twitter as a way of increasing brand awareness, I also got some blooming delicious cupcakes. And that is what is most important! Thank you so much Happy Cakes! You made me very happy! x
A little while ago I opened my own Folksy shop. Not long after that I put one of my knitted headbands on it. One of my lovely friends saw my blog post about it & asked me to knit a plain one, in soft grey non-itchey wool! I couldn’t believe it! My first ever knitting commission! It was a joy to do & am so thrilled that my friend likes it. Since then another friend has asked for one! I’m really chuffed because I knit & feel like I’m getting paid for it! What a lovely way to spend my time! Thanks @itsonlyme103 x