Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Biddy's Tea Room Norwich

With Gogo here on Saturday we decided to go to Biddy's tearoom for a spot of afternoon tea. On the website it recommends to book a day or two before you go, but when we arrived they had a table free and they let us go to their tea room.
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
It's decorated as if it was a posh old lady's parlour, and is divided into two, there is the tea room upstairs and a lounge with old chesterfield sofas downstairs.
Food tour of Norwich
There is a really nice counter in the front selling all sorts of savoury snacks and sweet treats. As soon as I walked through the door, my tummy started to rumble. We made it to our little corner of the cosy tea room and started to look over the treats in the menu
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
Now it might be that I have eyes bigger than my belly, but in other tearooms I've been to, afternoon tea includes sandwiches, scones, cake and tea. But at Biddy's you have to pick between a scone or a cake, this is made even harder by the fact they have so many delicious options. We decided to split a scone and a cake between us, then we had to pick which one we wanted, chocolate cake, irish coffee cream cake, lemon cake and the scones, fruit, plain, cheese.
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
It was so difficult to pick, but we went for a rose and pistachio cake and a lavender and lemon curd scone. I had it with a ham, brie and chilli jam sandwich and a pot of chai tea.

After ordering we were left to catch up and drool over the food on the other tables! I loved the ambience of the little tea room and admire the huge cakes that were on display.
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
All in all we had a lovely afternoon, I hope to start frequenting Biddy's a bit more often!

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Vamos a España


My mum and I are off to Spain today to go and visit my Aunty in Andalucia. I'm very excited as it's the first time I will have seen her in years, and it marks the end if a hectic week at work!

It's our first holiday together since she came to see me in Korea! I intend to relax, read, eat lots of delicious food and drinks wine before my course at Sheffield University starts next week! Phew!




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Travel Tuesday: Bathing in Baños

Whenever we asked for recommendations for Ecuador, Baños was the first place to roll off the tongue from our fellow travellers. Knowing a bit of Spanish the first time I heard it, I pictured it as a big, old toilet. I'm so happy that my preconceptions were wrong!

We arrived horribly early one morning. When we got off the bus we did our usual checks after we get off the bus, and realised that our Lonely Planet was no longer with us. We'd sadly left it on the bus. Checking the iPad for a map was the next port of call, but unfortunately there was no battery, meaning we had no way to navigate ourselves to our hostel, and it was going to be hours before there would be a sign of life to point us in the right direction. We waited in the bus station until the sun came up, and then went walking around the town.

Luckily it was incredibly small, we had a vague memory of what the hostel looked like and in what direction it was in, so it only took a few minutes before we'd found our hostel, Princesa Maria. This turned out to be an amazing hotel with an incredibly friendly owner. He didn't really speak much English, but it was a perfect opportunity to practise and he was so eager to help. What he lacked in English he made up with his son who was a professor of English at the uni and could speak about another million languages.

It was in Baños, with the hostel owner's help that I finally went to a doctor at a hospital who was really helpful and managed to cure me of the illness that had been following me around. As I waited for my test results there was a huge rumble that sounded like thunder. Seeing my worried face the doctor told me not to worry, it was just the volcano. Not seeing how this could be at all reassuring, I asked him if it was going to erupt, and he explained that it had been erupting for the last ten years. I guess that made it a little better!

Feeling like we were on the mend, I decided to get a massage from a little shop in the centre of the town, which obviously did the trick, as when I woke up the next day, my meds had kicked in and I felt great. I felt so great that we made the decision to hire bikes and ride the road from Baños to Rio Verde.

It's a popular route for Ecuadorian and foreign tourists alike. It goes through a valley and follows the path of the river. You're surrounded by green mountains and gushing water. Every now and then there are little pit stops where you can do other activities like bungee or canopy. Feeling like I didn't want to tempt fate with only just feeling better, I sat this one out. There was a little restaurant along the path which served BBQ'd fish cooked in corn leaves, it was absolutely amazing, and if you ever find yourself down this road I'd highly recommend it. The owner is more than happy to talk to you about his fresh produce and the fact he used to run jungle tours for foreigners before all the animals started to disappear.
Baños
Baños
Baños
Baños
Baños

Before we knew it, we'd got to the small village where you can hop on a pick up truck with your bike, which takes you back to Baños. By the time we got back, the rain had set in, which meant we had to cancel our trip to 'la casa de arboles' a huge tree swing high up in the mountains. We substituted this for a nap.

In the evening, it was time to see what the town was all about and visit the public hot baths.There is a waterfall that runs behind the baths which is lit up at night and looks really pretty. It was a nice bit of scenery to look at while we soaked. It was a really nice atmosphere at night, everyone wore shower caps that made them look like jelly fish bobbing up and down in the water. There were a couple of pools, varying from really hot to freezing cold. Needless to say I wasn't brave enough to try out the cold one.
Baños
Baños
Baños
We were eventually forced out of the pool because of our rumbling tummies, so we got out and headed to Comic Burgers, a Marvel themed burger restaurant.
Baños
Baños
Baños
The next morning we were woken right on time to get ready for our bus by the volcano! A pretty fitting end to our lovely time in Banos.

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Monday, 15 September 2014

While the Cat's Away...

Nick was away in London this weekend meeting Dan and Alex, our friends from Korea. With my other housemate, Kelly being away, I invited my old Derby friend Gogo up to keep me company.

We had a lovely weekend, which mostly involved stuffing ourselves silly with afternoon tea at Biddie's Tea Room and a Sunday lunch at Zak's American Diner. The portion sizes at the dinner were absolutely HUMONGOUS, the food was ok, and the decor was interesting, but I don't think I'll be going again. I'll talk more about Biddy's later on in the week!

Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich
Food tour of Norwich

After Pauline set off on her long trip back home I tried to get the hang of the crochet pattern that I've been doing, and sorted a fee things around the house, a BIG week at work this week, so I think I'm going to be super busy!

Hope that everyone else had a great weekend!


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Friday, 12 September 2014

Beer and Cheese and Happy Birthdays

I was across the other side of the world for my dad's 60th birthday, but finally got the chance to redeem myself last month by taking him to an afternoon I thought suited him particularly well.

Following a recommendation from my lovely friend Martha, maker of delicious treats and owner of Forge Bakehouse in Sheffield, I booked us onto an afternoon course at The School of Artisan Food.
Weekend in sheffield cheese and beer tasting
They had so many courses that looked amazing, but I decided to go for the Beer and Cheese course. I know that he likes beer, and loves stinking everyone out with his smelly cheeses, so it was a perfect combination.
Weekend in sheffield cheese and beer tasting
The courses are run from the amazing Welbeck Estate, grand old building surrounded by huge, old trees. We were asked to wait in the kitchen and dining area and the smells coming from the kitchen were delicious. We wished they had a restaurant so we could try some of the food we were smelling, sadly the food was being prepared for people on another course.
Weekend in sheffield cheese and beer tasting
The course was run by two specialists, one who brewed the ales that we tried, and the other was an expert in cheese. They paired together the cheese and beer they felt complemented each other well. It was hard not to get excited about the tasting as their passion and curiosity in the tastes was so infectious!
Weekend in sheffield cheese and beer tasting
Weekend in sheffield cheese and beer tasting
I'm not a big beer drinker, but the Henrietta beer was really tasty and I loved all of the cheese. The group of people who joined us were really friendly and chatty and it just made for an amazing Sunday afternoon. What was even more perfect is that Margaret doesn't like beer, so she could be our designated driver.
Weekend in sheffield cheese and beer tasting
So Happy Belated Birthday Dad! Hope you had a lovely day! If you ever feel like trying something different and improving your culinary skills, I would definitely recommend this! The chocolate course has my name written all over it!
Weekend in sheffield cheese and beer tasting
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Thursday, 11 September 2014

I'm Back...For A While

Norwich

Here are some pictures of our first few weeks together in Norwich!

Well I am back on here, which can only mean that we finally have internet. Nick set it up while I was at work today, positives to him not having a job at the moment is that he is getting all the little jobs around the house done that I would normally put off!

Things that have changed since I've been gone:

I tried to take up crochet but failed as my tea cosy started to look like a worm, will have to try harder with that...

It got cold outside and leaves started falling off trees and it started getting dark at an unreasonable time, can only mean that Winter is Coming!

I got accepted onto a course at Sheffield Uni to study a Postgraduate module in Spoken and Written Language, which means that in a couple of weeks I'll have the internet, but I won't have the time to post on here, or do anything that would be worth posting on here!

Finally, it's only a couple of days until I am off on a mini holiday to Spain to see my Aunt who lives there...lucky girl!





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