Christmas (turkey) Delights

turkeyAfter two exciting and exhausting months we are starting to feel settled and finding time to explore our new surroundings. We are blessed to have moved to an area that is crisscrossed by footpaths across some spectacular countryside, and although still feeling a pang for the city, we are certainly enjoying the great walks from our doorstep, especially the dog.

Embracing local life we battled our way through winds and rain to enjoy a Christmas cream tea at a nearby village, experienced the town’s Christmas Fair in the rain, and walked down in howling wind and torrential rain to the Cam Christmas lights switch on. Continue reading

Turning Apples into Food

311020154813It might not sound as impressive as turning water into wine, apples are basically already food after all, but tuck into the delicious apple cake at The Canteen in Nailsworth, or enjoy the apple sauce with your pork at The Hog in Horsley, and you may have eaten apples from The Secret Acre.

Last year we turned our apples into test batches of juice and cider, with a view to scaling up production this year. But despite getting an industrial size press, the timing of our moving into The Secret Acre meant that our cider empire had to be largely put on hold for 12 months. Continue reading

The Lampshade Journey: A Gastronomic Tale

Untitled-7Last November we visited Berlin for Paul’s brother’s 60th celebrations and were surprised to find a fantastic number of vegetarian fine dining restaurants such as Cookies and Cream, The Lucky Leek, Kopps and Bistro Bardot. Eager to try one of these restaurants we travelled a day early so that we could eat at The Lucky Leek and being a popular restaurant we sat outside under blankets eating one of the best vegetarian meals we had ever experienced. Continue reading

Pond dipping, chopping wood and mowing the garden with our Cornish friends

A few weeks ago we were delighted to spend the day with our lovely Cornish friends who were en route to holiday in Wales.

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A thundery start to the day left us feeling a little sad that we might have to eat our picnic in the wood shed but by the time the lovely Kirk Family arrived the clouds parted and made way for the sun allowing us to merrily eat a hearty spread beneath Cam Peak. Continue reading

Wood you be so organised?

Over the last few months it’s not the house renovation, or the size of the garden that as had me waking me up in cold sweats, it’s been the ever growing wood pile.

At the beginning of our journey to a happier life, we boldly said to our builders, ‘make sure you keep every piece of wood you pull out from the house or don’t use’. As the wood pile grew lists formed in our heads of what we might use it for; kitchen cabinets, shelves, raised beds, rebuilding the sheds, log store, a tree house and even an outdoor hot tub. Much to our surprise within two weeks the whole of the upper garden had turned into a beastly mountain of old, knackered, gnarly, nail infested wood. Continue reading

Thank you Grumpy Nigel…

Eating home grown salad, shelling peas on the patio, having my own home grown radish patch and best of all digging for potatoes are memories from our suburban family garden that I will cherish. Sadly from the age of 10 as a family entering the 80’s, the rat race era, my parents decided to cut down the apple and pear trees, fill in the vegetable patch and plant flowerbeds with Sweet Williams, pansies and other colourful, but, inedible plants. Almost overnight our fruit and vegetables started coming from the local supermarket and not our garden. Continue reading