Mowgli’s Wye Valley Adventure – Day 2

It is day two, after an amazing breakfast at our lovely BnB we are ready to head off.  We jump in the car and head off to Monmouth to have a little explore of the village, we walk to the river Wye, and visit the famous bridge, we do part of the tourist walk and see the Judges’ Lodging and old Market Street.

The weather starts to clear so we head to Usk Castle in Usk.  Usk Castle is privately owned and free to enter during the day, with donations requested.  It is dog friendly, so we wander around the remains,  it is quite beautiful with well tended gardens and lovely views.

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Usk Castle

Next we head to Tintern Abbey.  The ruins of the cistercian abbey are impressive and vast.  It is of course, dog friendly as long as your friend is on a lead and you make sure you pick up after them.  Its £6.90 for adults and free for dogs.  The ruins are well preserved with lots of information boards around the site.  The Abbey is one of the oldest tourist sites, and reported to be one of the first package holiday destinations.  More Information here.

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Tintern Abbey

We follow the Wye river path to the old mill and wander the art and craft shops before heading out of Tintern.

On recommendation we make our way to The Miners Arms in Lydney for dinner.  This plain looking local pub turns out to be one of the best meals we have had in a long time.  The coconut and pumpkin soup is amazing,  the pork belly is tender and all the food is locally produced.  This really is a great find!

 

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Tintern Abbey

I have enclosed below a small part of a poem by William Wordsworth which I find very beautiful.  Please do read the rest, I think it evokes the beauty of the area and brings the ruins to mind.
Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798
– William Wordsworth
“…And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led: more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. …”

Mowgli’s Wye Valley Adventure – Day 1

It’s time for a weekend away, so we’re off to a BnB in the Wye Valley.  We decide to stay at a small BnB near the little village of St Briavels.  More information on the BnB here it is dog friendly so Mowgli is coming with us.

We drive from London and enjoy the winding drive to through the countryside.  On the way we stop at the Salutation Inn and enjoy their lunch time deal.  The Inn is a lovely snug spot with great food and a local selection of beers for those not driving and is dog friendly.

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The Salutation Inn

We arrive and check in at The Green Gables, then we head off on a walk to the village of St Briavels.  The Castle is in this little village is actually a Youth Hostel that you can stay in.  You can walk around the inside and there is a little guide at the desk which talks you through the history of the Castle and the grounds.  We wander around and enjoy the view.  The George pub (also a dog friendly pub) serves great food, the stroganoff was particularly yum.

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St Briavels

We walk back, Mowgli meets some sheep for the first time.

 

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Sheep

 

Coconut biscuits!

A raining Sunday is perfect for experimenting in the kitchen.

I love baking, both my grandmothers were great bakers and gifted us with lots of time together in the kitchen making things together.

I didn’t have enough coconut for macaroons so I decided to get creative with what I did have.

Ingredients 

120g Plain Flour

50g Desiccated Coconut

50g Ground Almonds

100g Sugar

120g Butter

 

Going for easy options I went for simple combinations, and an even easier method.  Fingers crossed.

Method 

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.  I also added some cinnamon because it is my favorite, you could add nutmeg or vanilla if you wanted to.

Gently melt the butter, don’t let it bubble.

Combine the butter with the dry ingredients until it forms a dough.

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Roughly shape into balls (about a teaspoon amount of mixture) and lay on baking paper.  Press down with a fork.

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Bake in the oven for 18 minutes or until golden.

 

Pretty tasty, hope you enjoy.  let me know how yours turn out.

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….to see and feel

“You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.”

– Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Inspired Elf

Who inspires you?

Who makes your mind sing?

That spark or light,

That lets your imagination take flight?

 

I’m very inspired by Deborah Frances-White and the work she does to inspire women to be strong and loud and visible.  I urge you all to listen to her podcasts.

One of the authors that I find most inspiring is Khaled Hosseini, his books transport you into the lives of other people.  Giving you a taste of something so real it strikes you as strange when you look up to find your world in front of you.

Just two of my current inspirations, I felt compelled to share.

 

Learning to roll sushi

We’re off to learn how to make sushi like a pro.  We’ve signed up to the Yo-Sushi School and arrive at Brunswick Square ready and hungry.

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Solomon is our teacher and he shows us how to create cucumber Maki with its lovely square shape, as well as California rolls…which involves flipping the nori over and hoping that your rice doesn’t fly off.

We spend nearly 2 hours creating our sushi, with Solomon being very patient and helpful along the way.  At the end of the course we opt to take ours home….there is so much of it!

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You get to leave with a note book detailing the folding, rolling and rice squishing methods you need to do it all again at home.

For More information on the Yo Sushi School click here