Tag Archives: Kitchen

Staying and Eating in Bath

Bath is such a beautiful city.  Famous for it’s architecture, and it’s Roman Bath Experiences, we were visiting (again) to do a bread making course. On previous visits we have struggled to get accommodation that is reasonable, in a good location, with parking.  This quartet of requirements are next to near impossible.

Bath

The beautiful iconic stone bathed in evening sunlight

Leave the car at home you say? Where will I put my shopping I say! This time, as both of us were planning on staying, we thought we’d try to get a one bed apartment.  Hotels, probably due to Cheltenham being on, were very expensive. But in reality, it’s an expensive city to buy or rent a house in, and I think that hotel prices generally reflect this.  The house below I though looked a little like the one Anne Rice from New Orleans lives in… Especially when I saw the hearse across the road! Bread

Bread

Traffic wasn’t that bad!

In the end I found a very nicely put together site called Bath Holiday Rentals.  From the moment I emailed they couldn’t have been nicer.  I’ve had various disasters trying to book accommodation abroad over the years, and, to be honest, have struggled especially in the UK.  We booked a teeny one bed apartment in Alfred Street, which, as I found out, was literally one road up from the bakery- SCORE!!

It meant we could have a wander around Bath city in the morning, and then drop any purchases off before class.  The only downside to staying so close is that you don’t get as much exercise, so we “forced” ourselves to walk down through the shops each morning and evening.  And what an array of shops and restaurants there are!

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I thought at first glance it was a cheese shop— it was SOAP!

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Some beautiful crockery, I could have spent a fortune- but contented myself by just looking

My favourites are always going to be shops with any sort of crockery of cooking equipment, with bookshops a very close second.  All of which are plentiful in Bath. The view from the apartment made a me feel a little like Mary Poppins, and although we are complete country folk, and, to be honest, I was dreading the noise of staying in a city.  It was so peaceful, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to people watch out the window!

Bread

The view from the bedroom window

It was also really great to have a well stocked kitchen (the welcome pack was also a really nice touch). 

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The Very well furnished kitchen

It was lovely to have a dishwasher too, makes the holiday experience easier!

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“Cliff” looking out the window

Looking back. Moving Forward.

2015 was a complete whirlwind for me. I started with Ballymaloe in the first week in January. It finished in March, then it was straight back to the day job and the usual school routine.  I was really hoping to get some time cheffing in a kitchen to bed down the skills, but this didn’t materialise, and I made do with the home cooking practice.  Hopefully this year! (offers welcome!)

Thursday 05 March 021

Making Bisque in the Demo Kitchen

In July I started running demonstrations from our kitchen.  These have been so enjoyable for me, and I have had fantastic feedback.  Click here for the latest schedule-  What I enjoy most about them is meeting new people, helping them realise how important good food is, and how easy it is to cook!

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Table set, ready for Demo

My bespoke cake business has also taken off to my delight (and also to the relief of the collective family waistline).  I really love baking.  Of every kind, and this year hope to expand into new avenues and directions.  I regularly supply a cafe in Tramore and love making cakes for people for their special occasions. Here’s a selection- I won’t even say favourites, as every cake I make I love!!!    Monday 28 Sept 2015 031

This tiramisu cake is a favourite, and I know, going forward it will be a winner in 2016 too.

Sugar Plum Cake

This cake was such fun to make!

I just love how this Sugar Plum cake looks and tastes.

Who doesn't look forward in having a tiger to tea?

Who doesn’t look forward in having a tiger to tea?

Cupcakes featured heavily in December- I think I made over 500 one week.  Jords was questioning whether I was cupcaked out!!! But no, I just love baking. My father in law brought me back a mega cupcake baking tray from America.  It certainly makes my life a lot easier.

This year I am going to focus on further selling cakes, and hopefully desserts too.  And bread.  Good bread is very hard to come by, and really is the simplest meal.  My sourdough is going from strength to strength and I look forward to showing and sharing my recipe with others.  They can have some of Sabrina too!

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My beloved sourdough

So looking back I’ve done so much in 12 months.  Looking forward- who knows??? But hopefully much more of the same.  With maybe a small holiday??? Pretty please??

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The London Science Museum with a side of Posh Nosh

We decided to visit London, after the JK Orienteering event (see previous posts) over Easter for a number of excellent reasons.

1.  We LOVE the Science Musuem

2. We LOVE to try new restaurants.

3. It’s nice to spend some time together when we are NOT orienteering!

For Christmas 2014, I had got the family tickets to see Matilda the musical.  Matilda is one of Nigel’s favourite films and to be honest, they all never forgave me for going to see it with my friend Aisling last year.

So first up was to find a hotel close enough to travel in and out of London, with parking for the jeep.  Due to work, Nigel often visits Winnersh, so we chose the Holiday Inn there, it was only across the road from the train station and had a lovely pool to relax in.  Very welcome after our arduous few days running.

Kitchen utensils of yesterday...

Kitchen utensils of yesterday…

As usual there was a discussion about where to start our exploration.  It was agreed that the exhibit on the Hadron Collidor was a must as it was only a temporary exhibit and  would be a great insight into physics.

Jords at the Exhibit

Jords at the Exhibit

We walked and read, and listened and discussed until it was time to leave for lunch. As I’ve said before we like visiting restaurants of chefs that we’ve either seen or heard of.  I looked at Angela Hartnetts restaurant, but wasn’t sure if there was anything Jords would really like.  I also looked at afternoon tea at “Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley”, but it was prohibitively expensive.

A friend had been to Tom Kitchin’s restaurant in Edinburgh, and had raved about it, so I went about booking a table in the London one.  Or so I thought.  When we arrived at where I had booked, it was “Tom’s Kitchen”, owned by Tom Aikens.  Luckily, we also like Tom’s down to earth style, and were very happy with our destination!

Tom's Kitchen

Tom’s Kitchen

 

I had looked at the menu online and had been very impressed with the sharing platters and the seasonal specials- all the while STILL not realising the “Tom Mix-up”.

I knew our youngest, being a complete and utter carnivore would love the sharing charcuterie plate as a starter, and she did.  We shared it together in actual fact.

Charcuterie Plate to Share

Charcuterie Plate to Share

Robert had the smoked Salmon and beetroot to start, and the colours were fantastic.  The picture not doing it justice.

Smoked Salmon and Beetroot

Smoked Salmon and Beetroot

Nigel chose off the seasonal menu, asparagus is a favourite of ours, and the fact that it came with a poached egg was a winning combination for him.

New Season Asparagus

New Season Asparagus

Then it was onto main course.  Tom prides himself on his beef suppliers, and a sharing chateaubriand was one of the specials.  Nigel and Jords went for this dish, and they were most definitely NOT disappointed.

Chateaubriand with hand cut chips, watercress salad

Chateaubriand with hand cut chips, watercress salad

I went for another personal favourite rose veal, while Robert went for the Chicken Schnitzel, both were really moreish, and the quality of the meat was very evident in the taste.  I know it sounds boring, but there was absolutely nothing I could find fault with.

Veal with Orzo

Veal with Orzo

Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel

We find lunch is always a good option in London, they atmosphere tends to be more relaxed, and the staff are still fresh! The serving staff in Tom’s Kitchen were also excellent, although there seemed to be number of trainees.

Dessert also had sharing options, Nigel and Jords went for the Baked Alaska, and they made a great show of lighting it for her.  Robert won the “best Dessert choice” competition with his “Floating Islands”.  The crème anglaise was one of the best I’ve ever had.

Ile Flottante

Ile Flottante

Baked Alaska to Share

Baked Alaska to Share

At this stage we were full to bursting so Tea and Coffee were declined.  My final thoughts on lunch.

Best lunch I’ve had in London? Yes.  Better than Jason Atherton’s Maze, and also too different from Stuart Giles’ Boxwood Cafe (now closed) to compare.

Expensive? Yes but totally worth it for the occasion.

Would I return? Most Definitely.

We returned to the Science Museum and stayed until we were escorted out by security, as is our habit.  So with our minds and belly’s full we returned to the underground and made our way to Matilda, which was on in the Cambridge theatre.

We all enjoyed it thoroughly, I enjoyed it even more than the last time as we were seated much further away and some of the acting nuances were missed by me.

The “Trunchbull” truly stole the show. The “Phys Ed” scene is hilarious. GO SEE IT!!!