Monday, 24 September 2012

Happy 30th to my one and only!

A few weekends ago my husband turned 30 and we went back to River Cottage.  We enjoyed the spring fair so much that we went back for the autumn fair.  For both weekends we were so lucky with the weather! It was a glorious March weekend when we went the first time that we thought it surely wouldn't be the same in September....  

It was a lovely day.  They had some good food on offer though as always I went for the tasty option rather than the adventurous option, I had a huge burger with the nicest sauce and cheese went down a treat! I also let myself have a little bit of the River Cottage Stinger beer to raise a glass with Mark for his 30th birthday - it's really good stuff I'm not even an ale person!

We wandered around the grounds and then met up with the lovely Charlie (and here if you're planning a wedding!) and her husband Nick and had a good old chat in the sun, I could have stayed there all day but we had to get away to head to our next port of call for Mark's birthday weekend.

We went to a fantastic campsite on the edge of Dorset a short car ride away from the new forest.  We could have easily camped with our own tent but they had a really good rate to hire bell tents they have on the site which was just what I needed since back aches are now part of my daily routine.  We hired a tented suited for two people but they gave us an upgrade when we arrived to one for four people which was actually a 6 man tent, fitted with a wood burner!

To be honest, the tent was massive I have never been in a tent where I could do star jumps!! I would have actually been very happy with the smaller tent, I'm quite keen to know what they are like as it's something we might consider getting one day and this tent took a long time to heat up on the first freezing night we had that I wondered if the smaller tent minus the wood burner would have been cosy and warmer.

This tent however, was on decking which was very handy when it rained on the last day and we were situated in our own private area which let us live in our own world cooking and chatting.

We impressed ourselves with our cooking making paella in the dark with some really nice spicy salami we bought at the market at River Cottage, a fried breakfast (of course!) and a fish stew.

So a good birthday weekend we had! The last couple have been spent not doing very much and I must say I'm enjoying putting my feet up.  The next couple are back to being busy and work, well let's not go there it's just insane but only for another month and a half before I finish for a long (ish) spell.

Ooh, for some of my favourite film pics I've taken check out my guest post on For the Easily Distracted here

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Big Feastival

A couple of weekends ago we headed into the Oxfordshire countryside to attend the Big Feastival, a collaboration of food and music by Alex James and Jamie Oliver.  The festival was held at Alex James' farm and on site there was a big stage playing a nice mix of music throughout the day, a big stage for cookery demonstrations and then food stalls scattered throughout.

We couldn't wait to try out all the food though I have to say we struggled with what to eat.  I went for paella for lunch and an Indian style chicken salad later on.  Mark went for pie and mash and later on had one of Mark Hix's Fish Dog (I found a blog post about this here).  

When the sun went down we watched Paloma Faith while tucking into some amazing churros, I really must learn how to make them...

We had a really nice day and if you didn't know from my About page I really do enjoy a good festival.  However, I don't think we will be going back to this festival and if we did we would never consider a weekend ticket I'm so glad we hadn't planned this in advance and got those tickets while they were on sale.  The food selection was pretty average for a festival.  If there's something I've found in attending music festivals it's that the food is overpriced but usually pretty tasty and the options we had weren't dissimilar to what you would find.  Because it was predominantly a Jamie Oliver festival, the music was second class so what we were faced with was a mediocre music line up with the usual festival food options.  I was expecting a mediocre line up with amazing food options.  The cookery demonstrations were good but they had no big screens and of course when you have the likes of Jamie Oliver doing demonstrations you're going to expect a big crowd so this should have been dealt with.

There was a big family section to the site so it may be something we consider going back to when we have children running around as they are really spoilt there with a circus tent of activities and fairground rides.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Local delights

After our day at Weymouth we carried on making the most of the great weather the day after and went to the beach.  Hamworthy beach is literally right next to where my parents live but it's a bit of a trek around the railway line especially when it's 26 degrees.  A half hour walk to the beach though can't be a bad thing though it means you don't have to drive at silly o'clock in the morning to beat the queues you can just grab a few bits and head to the beach any time bliss!  

This pregnant lady was having a few troubles that day though, it really was very hot and I didn't take anything with me to prepare myself so borrowing my Mum's swimming costume and shorts was a bit annoying and I had no hat or sunglasses.  We also had no parasols just a couple of golf umbrellas so one was a bit flustered! We were proper Brits though, carried on regardless and all got sunburnt.  I did however go in the sea twice and it was amazing!

When we got home that evening, Mark and I went for a stroll around the village.  We may not have a beach on the doorstep but we have a pretty meadow area to sit in and lots of walks through the countryside to enjoy.  I really can't wait to take the baby to the meadow when I'm on my maternity leave finding things to do just the two of us (I just hope we get a really dry winter...).

Tired and burnt

These pictures were taken on the rest of the film and I'm working on getting a few more films filled up over the upcoming weeks we have lots of exciting things happening one of which is Mark's 30th birthday this weekend!  I also managed to sell my camera and downsized to a really sleek Sony NEX 5N it's great so lots of pictures being taken at the moment.