Make Eat Get Read Go – September ’17

September has seen huge changes here. My work days have changed and LB has started pre-school meaning days seem shorter and weekends are savoured more than ever. Although it’s been busy, it’s certainly been filled with food.

Make – Riverford & Gousto Recipe boxes

Recipe boxes have gained popularity over the last few years and while we have toyed with the idea of getting one we have well stocked cupboards, I like meal planning and I’m quite adept at getting our weekly shop under budget. When Riverford contacted us asking if we’d like to give their Vegetarian Quick box a go we thought it would be the prefect opportunity to test it out. Even carnivore hubs was pleased with the tasty meals it produced and the quality of the ingredients was top notch.

The following week we decided to trial a Gousto box as my sister (a Gousto regular) had a good offer code meaning we could 4 meals (for 2 people) for around £15. The food wasn’t packaged quite a nicely as the Riverford box but the recipes were more LB friendly and you can pick what you get. The Asian Chicken Burger with Sesame Fries will be a regular on our meal planning and I was surprised how far 1 poached chicken fillet would go.

While we won’t be using recipe boxes on a regular basis we’d certainly consider them again for when inspiration or time is lacking.

Eat – Afternoon Tea at Old Parsonage Hotel, Oxford

Afternonon Tea at The Old Parsonage OxfordAll good Hen Dos need Afternoon Tea (and preferably nothing from the Hen Party section of Ann Summers…). Last weekend I met up with some uni friends to celebrate Lucy’s impending nupitals.

As well as all the other activities we did (see below) we had a rather fabulous Afternoon Tea in the courtyard of Old Parsonage Hotel. This hotel/restaurant seems to be popular with American tourists who were rather enamoured with our [in the words of one tourist] “charming” version of a bachelorette party. Of course they didn’t see us at 1am dancing in Flares to It’s Raining Men.

Old Parsonage Hotel is in a beautiful setting and the Afternoon Tea was delicious with a good selection of teas. One member of the party went for the savoury afternoon tea which looked very enticing. The scones were fluffy and warm, possibly some of the best scones I’ve had and the jam was delicious. Favourite cake had to be the brownie. We wiled away a good two hours getting to know each other and reminiscing the fun times we’ve had with Lucy.

Note: don’t be the tea drinking heathen I am and add milk to the white peony tea, it ruins it.

Get – White Hot Chocolate from Cocoa Caravan

Most weekends we can be found at a National Trust property with a picnic letting LB run a little bit wild. Gone are the days when she could be safely contained in a sling or carrier.

Until recently Shugborough Estate was partially owned by the council and National Trust. It now is completely in Nat Trust hands and while it’s a relatively short drive for us we haven’t been since LB was born.

A few weekends back the weather forecast lied and there was a chilly wind as we walked across the parkland. We were very pleased to be greeted by the Cocoa Caravan. A Princes Trust initiative that sells amazing hot chocolate (& other drinks) from a diddy converted caravan. Their hot chocolate is made by simply whisking molten Belgian chocolate into hot milk. The white chocolate was particularly special.

Read – Hashtag Authentic Podcasts

Ok very much a cheat here. Not a read, but a listen. Now that we have a walk to nursery 5 days a week I want to use that time walking alone productively. I’ve Followed Sara Tasker on her various social media channels for a while and her podcasts are fabulous and inspiring.

If you are a blogger, influencer or creative I highly recommend giving her podcasts a listen.

Go – Oxford

As mentioned above, last weekend I was in Oxford on a (classy) Hen Do with old uni mates. You know it’s going to be a good one when when it starts at midday on a rooftop bar drinking prosecco.  Once Afternoon Tea at The Old Parsonage Hotel was done we headed to All Bar One for a cocktail masterclass. As a member of the losing cocktail making race team let’s just say I never want to drink a flatliner shot again.

I’d like to say we’ve grown up since our uni days, but the night still ended up in a club dancing to 5ive & Backstreet Boys along with drinking Smirnoff Ice for nostalgic purposes. If there’d have been a chippy on the walk back to our bed for the night I could have guaranteed cheesy chips would have been devoured.

A group of us stayed in Mansfield College. Did you know many Uni Halls offer B&B and Oxford University is no exception. Basic accommodation, but good value and just what we needed. Great central location too.

October brings adventures in gin, meal out with friends and a family holiday.

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