Gloucestershire Holiday, Part 3.

So, here goes the final episode in our holiday to Gloucestershire.

The day after our Cotswold’s walk, we decided to venture a bit further from our base, and head down to Wales. Cardiff, to be specific. A long time ago when we were dating, we had a holiday near Swansea but neither of us have ever been to Cardiff before and it seemed like a good place to visit.


The day was a little grey and chilly, but we walked through Bute Park, which contains the walls of the castle. We didn’t go in the castle as it was quite dear, but we saw the outside at least! After getting a bit cold, we headed inside to the National Museum, which had a lot of art exhibits including a very harrowing one on Mametz Wood, the battle in the First World War. It’s free to enter, so if you are going to be in the area, definitely pay it a visit.



For lunch, we headed to the Cafe Atma in the centre of Cardiff. An all vegetarian, egg free cafe, almost all the menu items can be made vegan (and they’ll let you know too!). I don’t usually order curry when I’m out – probably because I figure I can make curry myself – but this looked too good to pass on – and it was amazing! Mild in heat but not in flavour, I had a chana dhal and a peanut butter subzi, with puri, cauliflower pakora, and rice. It was lovely! And the drink you can see in the background – strawberry & blackcurrant – was also very tasty.



The next day – our final day – we went on a last walk around Gloucester before we checked out of the hotel. Fresh and early in the morning, the docks were absolutely beautiful. We also got to have a look inside the cathedral too, where the organist was playing some warming up music.


We then headed to Cheltenham, where we found there was a farmers market going on with not one, but two stalls with vegan options! First was the Veggie Deli where we bought a polenta bake to eat for lunch, and then we came across Flamingo’s Vegan Bakery, which was a lovely stall! They had millionaire’s shortbread and I had a nice chat with the owners about how they make their caramel (they condense their own soy milk! That’s more work than I can put in!) and of course I had to buy some to sample. I also got the pictured wonderful chocolate and peanut butter cookie sandwich. I am not sure I’ve ever had a cookie sandwich before (unless you count Jammy Dodgers and Bourbons) but this was delicious.

Finally, we headed home – and were quickly greeted by the neighbour’s cat, who seemed to have missed us!


Gloucestershire Holiday, Part 1.

This past week, we have been holidaying in the Gloucestershire/South West area. We spent five nights in a hotel in Gloucester (complete with a fridge and a microwave – essential for vegans!) and travelled to various places nearby. As always, we took a whole lot of pictures of the area and the food, some of which I’ll share in this post!


The city of Gloucester is itself quite beautiful, and on our first evening we went for a walk in the sun. We found the cathedral – which was at the time closed due to it being quite late (ah, the deceptively bright British summer evenings!) – but from the outside it was still an awe inspiring sight.


We walked down by the docks which were very windy and full of seagulls – but again full of lovely sites. Pictured above is the Johanna Lucretia, which starred in the film Amazing Grace (about William Wilberforce and his campaign to end the slave trade). The docks were surprisingly quiet and it was a lovely walk.


On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by the pizza place Fat Toni’s. They offer vegan cheese on all of their pizzas at no extra cost – which is wonderful news! We decided to try it out, along with a pot of their vegan pesto dip. They also offer vegan ice cream, but it was a rather large tub and with no freezer to store it in we had to pass! I had the “La Franca” pizza, with artichokes, garlic, tomatoes. It was delicious and so good to have a pizza with vegan cheese readily available!


After a good sleep in the hotel, the next day we decided to have a day out in Bath, since it was only slightly over an hours journey from our base in Gloucester – and having recently graduated with a history degree (and a slight focus on ancient history) I was eager to see the city!


Bath Abbey is simply stunning, and it’s well worth having a look inside (free entry!) – pay attention to the great windows at the west and east – one depicting Old Testament stories and the other depicting scenes from the life of Jesus. They are very impressive!


Next we walked up a very very big hill (seriously an endless amount of steps) to Alexandra Park, where we were rewarded with this amazing view of the city. It’s hard to get an idea from photos of the view, but you could see the whole city and beyond – it was well worth the walk.

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I didn’t manage to take a picture of lunch – which was a tempeh wrap from Harvest – but I did get a photo of this lovely drink I had – I love rhubarb and this had a wonderful rhubarby taste to it! We bought our lunch to take away and ate it in the Parade Gardens in the centre of Bath, alongside the river Avon. The gardens do have a small entrance fee (£1.50 per adult) but since our lunch was fairly cheap we decided to pay for the privilege of being able to sit down and eat!



Finally, we went to the Roman Baths. These are not cheap – a £15.50 entry fee per adult (though I got a slight discount with my student card!) but if you can, they’re well worth it. It seems like they’re going to be packed, and to be honest they are pretty busy, but it isn’t a bad thing. In fact, being busy it kind of forces you to take time to look at the exhibits and appreciate them. Do take one of the audio guides – there are some fantastic commentries by Bill Bryson along the route!

At the end of the day, we were tired and didn’t fancy eating out and so just had food in the hotel room whilst we watched the Olympics – but that was good enough for us! Having a microwave and a fridge made that easy.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the holiday, coming soon!


Sandringham & Hunstanton

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday – we’ve gone away for the weekend to my Granny’s in Norfolk. It’s lovely here but the internet is certainly sporadic!

We started off the day by heading to Hunstanton Beach – which was really quite foggy and overcast! But still a lovely beach, we go there again and again.

After heading back for lunch, we went to Sandringham woods for a walk with my Great-Uncle David and his two dogs, Hetty and Florence.

That’s Hetty there running on ahead!

Sandringham is such a beautiful place – and the sun had decided to show it’s face so it actually became lovely and warm!

We also went to the orchards at Sandringham where they sell Pick Your Own apples.

We got some eating apples (Cox’s) and some cooking ones (Bramleys) so hopefully I’ll be doing some sort of apple baking soon!

Finally, we headed back to Granny’s and spent the evening sitting infront of the fire. Yes it is only September – but her house is several hundred years old and gets very cold in the evenings!


Today we went into Norwich.

First of all we visited Norwich Castle. The castle, from the outside, is not ornate or anything “pretty” – in fact it looks like a prison, which is what it was used as for most of its history.

The castle was built by order of William the Conqueror in the eleventh century AD, however from the thirteenth century onwards it was used as a jail, up until it’s conversion to a museum in the late 19th century.

The castle now is a museum, with a miniature recreation of the original Norman layout inside – it’s quite interesting as I don’t know much about the Norman period. However the castle was full of a group of schoolkids so it was quite noisy!

After we went to the castle we had lunch at Pizza Express. I had the new “pianta” pizza which is a new cheeseless option. It’s good to be able to order a pizza that’s meant to not have cheese on, and this pizza was tasty though quite spicy.

The leaves are rocket on top! It had artichokes, mushrooms, pine nuts, and a spicy tomato sauce base.


Today we went on a trip to Cromer.

Cromer has been a popular seaside destination for over two centuries – even mentioned by Jane Austen as a great sunbathing spot! It’s easy to see why when you visit – miles of beaches, a lovely pier, cliffs, and many nice small beach villages nearby. Being a popular resort however has the drawback that it can get horrendously busy.

I was expecting Cromer to be quite busy today as the weather was beautiful, but luckily it’s not the school holidays yet and it seemed to be quite empty. The sky was blue, and, quite surpisingly – so was the sea! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the British sea so blue and beautiful! Usually it is a sort of murky grey colour but today it was stunning. We even went for a bit of a paddle!


Today we went to Hunstanton.

We’ve been a few times before, but every single time we’ve been together it has been raining. The first time we went as a couple, we took this picture:

Shows how wet and rainy it was! It was in August last year – so still summer time, but everywhere was closed, all the shops were shut, it was pretty much dead.

Today – no such thing! The weather has been stunning, and it’s warm and lovely. Of course there is always a breeze at the sea which was nice, but it was hot, sunny, everything you don’t expect the British seaside to be.

Just to prove it we took this picture:

Can you spot the difference?!


Today we arrived in Congham, to stay at my Granny’s house for the next few days.

It’s beautiful weather here – for once (usually when we come here it is absolutely tipping it down!) and we decided to make the most by going out into her giant garden. We read for a bit, and then took a football out to have a kick around.

But no! While walking into the garden I spotted a spiky blob in the middle of the grass. At first I thought it was a piece of moss, or mown grass – but on closer inspection, it was a hedgehog. Curled up tight into a little ball, just peeking out at us.

Teeny tiny baby hedgehog! Well, I’m not actually sure how old it was as it was already quite spiky. Apparently baby hedgehogs are not actually spiky.

I did not know what to do, as all I’ve heard is that hedgehogs out in the daytime = bad! If a hedgehog is out in the day, apparently it is sick. So I rang up a few hedgehog sanctuaries in the area, but nobody picked up. Eventually I rang the RSPCA. The guy who answered the phone said that actually, young hedgehogs have to eat throughout the day so are not completely nocturnal. Therefore it was probably ok.

I went outside after I phoned, to check on it. And I was glad that I didn’t call a sanctuary! It was alive and wandering around, happy as anything!

And very cute to go with it!