Monthly Archives: April 2016

Our Honeymoon in The Lake District

April 26, 2016

Love + Marriage / Travel

Lodge

Since our wedding day in September last year, seven months have flown quickly by. I don’t think I really experienced post wedding blues as such; however I often find myself daydreaming of our honeymoon in the Lake District where we spent our days outdoors amongst the most spectacular scenery as we took time to unwind and just be together, basking in the afterglow of a beautiful wedding weekend.

A south-west girl through and though, I’d never been to the Lake District before and I was completely blown away by the beautiful landscape. Having just tied-the-knot on the rugged South Devon coast I feel like, during that wonderful late summer week, we really got to experience some of the very best of our country’s wilderness! Whether by the sea, in the woods or amongst the mountains, my mind and soul are just more content when spending time outdoors. Better still is getting the chance to stay, cook and eat in the open air and sleep under the stars.

The Lodge Cumbria Canopy and Stars

I knew the moment I discovered The Lodge on Canopy & Stars it was the place for us to honeymoon, some people may dream of posh 5* hotels – give me a secluded cabin in the woods! That’s certainly not to say our stay at the beautiful log cabin, set on Edenhall Estate near Penrith, wasn’t completely luxurious. Walking down through the woodland path and discovering The Lodge sat in its clearing by a river bend was nothing short of magical!

It’s hard to imagine a place more peaceful and tranquil; sat on the porch of the cabin watching for signs of wildlife, listening to the sound of the river, surrounded by tall pine trees with the glimpse of mountains in the distance – it was the perfect romantic hideaway.

Supper on the porchSupper at The Lodge Canopy & Stars Cumbrischarlie at the lodge

Although reluctant to step in from the outdoors, once the chill of the evening brought us in we spent the cosiest of nights playing backgammon in front of the wood burner before retreating up the wrought-iron staircase to bed. The large tent shaped window that features in the cabin’s master bedroom means that you can enjoy the river side view in the morning with a cup of tea whilst remaining snug in bed!

WoodburnerCast Iron stair case Master bedroomAlthough I could have easily spent all day sat on that porch The Lodge was also the ideal base to get out and explore the Lakes. We were delighted to discover the gorgeous walk up Gummer’s How situated just south of Lake Windermere. Although Gummer’s How is a relatively small peak by Lake District standard it is the highest point in the immediate area and therefore boasts the most spectacular panoramic views. Passing beautiful fell cows that graze along the route, the ramble up is gentle but rugged enough in places to make you feel like you’ve earned the sights that greet you at the summit.

View from Gummer's How WindermereView from Gummer's How Windermererings at gummers how

Aside from having the most dreamy honeymoon lodgings and being immersed in awe-inspiring landscapes our trip was topped off with the fact that Cumbria is a foodie’s paradise, not surprising considering the wealth of wonderful local produce.

Our beautiful stay was so special; relaxing and enjoying time outdoors was exactly what we needed after the crazy run up to the wedding but there’s so much more I’d love to explore in the Lake District – It’s definitely somewhere I can see us returning to again and again.

A Glimpse Into… 280 Bakes – Bristol Home Bakery & Cake Delivery

April 17, 2016

Food + Recipes

Vegan Ginger Cake on marble with Pink Blossom
280 Bakes is a home bakery and cake delivery service in Bristol. Along with a monthly home bakery on the third Sunday of every month from their base in Lawrence Weston, 280 Bakes delivers traditional home bakes such as banana loaf and carrot cake to homes and businesses in and around Bristol. As well as the comforting classics 280 Bakes creates show stopping occasion cakes for weddings and birthdays and specialises in vegan bakes such as the delicious vegan ginger bread which was delivered to me.

When 280 Bakes founder Louise reached out on Twitter I was intrigued to find out how she has turned her passion for baking into a business.

// How did 280 Bakes come to be?

I have always baked, mainly for home and friends, but in December last year I baked what I thought I wasn’t able; I discovered new skills in my reindeer cake! Being fairly new to Bristol, I decided to try a home bakery where I could meet the neighbours over some cakes, and business has grown since then. We now deliver #CakeOD (cake on demand) on daily specials across Bristol, and bake cakes to order for homes, businesses and special occasions. we’re proud to specialise in vegan cakes, and we’re proud to have some wonderful reviews.

// What cakes are most popular with the different 280 bake customers?

The customer favourite of the cakes we bake regularly is our banana loaf. It’s low fat, and apple sauce is in the list of ingredients. It’s always been a favourite in my family, and it’s great to be able to share it with our customers. Our main customer base are vegans, as we specialise in vegan bakes, but we also bake to order for ‘normal’ cake eaters and people who are egg or gluten free.

Vegan Gingerbread on Marble with Pink Blossom Closeup

// In a culture obsessed with the “latest thing” how much do you pay attention to foodie trends for your baking?

We do pay attention to ‘cake news and trends’, reading blogs and industry news, but a lot of them are a little outside of our average customer’s comfort zone. We love that coconut is ‘fashionable’ at the moment… a special on #cakeOD will be coconut next week – and we call it ‘coconut dream cake’, so it’ll be good! [ I have ] a thing against popping candy. I don’t ever want to hear things popping in my mouth – the idea to put popping candy into a cake makes me shiver!

// With plenty of options for customers looking for gluten free, dairy free or vegan options; is it important to you to cater for a range of dietary requirements?

Yes, our bakery is aimed mainly at vegans and provides a wide range of vegan cake options, but we do also bake for other dietary requirements – including for people who have no restrictions or preferences! [ I ] went through a period of time where [ I ] couldn’t eat bread, and know how challenging it can be to find what you need and want, so 280 Bakes is proud to be able to help people who may not necessarily think they can still enjoy cake.

Aside from vegan cakes (carrot cake is the favourite here!), we also have found recent taste tests of our gluten-free chocolate brownies by people who eat gluten-free have gone well.

// As I myself discovered 280 Bakes though Twitter I’m curious to know what role you feel social media plays in the running of your business?

Social media has had a big impact on 280 Bakes’s business. The majority of our orders come from Facebook, followed by Twitter and then word-of-mouth. We are lucky enough to have social media experts in our team who know a few tricks which help a business along, but we’re also glad of the support that ‘friends of 280 Bakes’ give us through retweets and sharing our content. We couldn’t do it without amazing local organisations like Social Enterprise Works and Ambition Lawrence Weston.

Vegan Gingerbread On Marble With Pink Blossom Sliced

// What do like most about living and working in Bristol? Any recommendations foodie or otherwise?

Bristol has so much to offer, we are very lucky to have such a wide variety of places to eat and to try something new. As foodies, that’s great for us, but we also love the green spaces. Blaise Castle isn’t far from 280 Bakes HQ, and we’re often found stretching our leg up there. Bristol is by far and away the best place I have lived and worked. There’s a real buzz about business, being environmentally friendly (which is important to 280 Bakes), and the people have been so welcoming. I wouldn’t move away now!

// Is there anything 280 Bakes is especially proud of?

We are proud to support Fairtrade with our fairtrade banana loaf (customer favourite), and we are very proud to be chosen as a local cake and bread supplier for the Avonmouth Real Food Group. At home and work, we try to source local ingredients whenever possible, to reduce our environmental impact, and local buying groups like this one are key to this success when you have a small or no garden!

// And finally when you’re not baking what’s you favourite thing to cook or eat?

Curry is a favourite within 280 Bakes, as is lasagne, anything barbecued, sea bass… We’ll try anything, really!

Vegan Gingerbread on marble with Pink Blossom Closeup

Many thanks to Louise for giving a glimpse into her business 280 Bakes. If you’re Bristol based and fancy delicious cake delivered for you next meeting or special occasion (or just because!) order online from 280 Bakes at 280bakes.weebly.com, Twitter & Facebook, or visit their home bakery the third Sunday of each month at 280 Broadlands DriveBristol, BS11 0PW.

Sunday Best: Favourite Links from the Month of March

April 3, 2016

Life

Blue painted potting shed

Sunday Best is a monthly series where I share the best links, bits & pieces I’ve found on my travels around social media and the web.

Kicking off with my 30th and a surprise trip to Bruges March has been pretty hectic – trips away to visit family, house hunting. All good fun of course but I’m welcoming April and hoping it brings a chance to slow down and recharge before summer time begins.

Here’s a few things which caught my eye in March…

// One of my favourite jewellery brands Wolf & Moon have released a lovely new collection.

// I love Wild Garlic season!

// Now That’s What I Call Music compilations ranked from best to worst.

// Emmy The Great’s new album Second Love is beautiful. It was a joy to see her live again in Bristol this month.

// I think this letter exchange is a wonderful idea.

// Not sure about this year’s Glasto line up.

// I want to make this Smoky Chipotle Hummus

// Powerpuff yourself!

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