Category Archives: Close-up

Eliza’s Tea Room & Gift Shop

After picking our own plums at Secretts (PYO) we stopped off at this busy little tea room situated at Hurst Farm in Milford.

Eliza’s Room & Gift shop has been refurbished and is now under new management by the owners of Butter and Cream who are responsible for a fabulous range of cakes and cupcakes.

With that in mind we just had to order an Oreo and a Salted Caramel cupcake, which meant blowing my diet of avoiding bad/empty carbs, wheat and sugar.

Eliza's Tea Room

Eliza's Tea Room


The Aubergine Café, West Kirby

Set in a sleepy side street called Crescent Walk in the coastal town of West Kirby on north-west corner of the Wirral Peninsula, the Aubergine Café is one of those wonderful cafés that you can’t help be keeping going back to again and again.

The Aubergine Cafe (image via Trip Advisor)

It warm, welcoming and friendly café, were the staff know their regular customers and chat to them like old acquaintances.

The Aubergine Café

Charmingly decorated with whimsical wall plaques espousing life mottos and saccharin wisdom and beautiful ornaments and china.

The Aubergine Café

The Aubergine Café

We opted to sit inside, and not brave the wet weather by sitting out side in the covered area… despite the cozy and inviting look of the wicker furniture with its luxurious array of cushions and rugs.

Our lunch time visit was a much welcome break after our wild coastal walk from Moreton/Leasowe. We were spoilt for choice and in the end I opted for Grilled Goats Cheese on ciabatta with onion chutney
The Aubergine Café

while my husband plumed for the Club sandwich.

The Aubergine Café

Great wholesome food in generous portions, filling the hungry amongst us. I was tempted by the Soup Sandwich combo which as Sweet Potato with Ginger and Lime.

Despite my every effort to be good and not over indulge, we couldn’t resist a slice of chocolate cake to share (a small compromise on not having cake or having a piece each). Again the choices exceed my imagination.
The Aubergine Café

Watercress Festival

Today was the 10th annual Watercress Festival in the little Hampshire village of Alresford.  We made use of the Festival Park & Ride at Ropley and hopped a very crowded and warm stream train on the Mid Hants Railway for the short journey over.

Watercress Festival 01

The Watercress Festival is an annual street festival celebrating the locally grown watercress. The festival also draws together other food producers from all over the local area to create this free food festival.

Watercress Festival 04a

The colourful Morris men and women were performing at top of Broad Street and attracted a good crowd, both young and old.

Watercress Festival 04

The Food Market was situated in Broad Street and had over 40 stalls from Hampshire Farmers Market.

Watercress Festival 05

There was plenty to tempt even the steely-willed of us from olives to handmade breads.

Watercress Festival 06

For our mid-morning “coffee” we popped into Caracoli Café and Food Store also located in Broad Street.

Watercress Festival 10

We have been meaning to visit this café since seeing the chefs participating in day time bakery competition on ITV a few months back. The coffee I am told was impressive.

Watercress Festival 09

For our journey home we could not, not purchase one of these naughty fresh fruit cupcake.

Watercress Festival 07

Bluebells and Azaleas

A bright but chilly start to the May Bank Holiday weekend with temperatures only just above freezing. After seeing many inspirational photos recently from friends of the bluebell displays around the South East, it prompted me to drive over to the National Trust’s Winkworth Arboretum with my camera.

Bluebells and Azaleas 2014

Probably just in time too, as the helpful lady at the entrance was saying that this was probably the last weekend for the bluebells.

Bluebells and Azaleas 2014

There were plenty of bluebells still to see and admire.  Often the camera just doesn’t do the carpet of blue justice.

Bluebells and Azaleas 2014

The blooming azaleas were  stunningly magnificent in their white and pinks.

Bluebells and Azaleas 2014

Christmas fairs and markets

Really getting into the festive preparations this year by visiting Christmas markets and fairs.

Christmas markets and fairs

Found this gorgeous little stall on the bridge in Guildford selling this cute handmade knitted hats.  I am exploring taking up knitting again, so was fascinated by these creation.

Christmas markets and fairs

Then it was off up to Guildford Cathedral for their Christmas Winter Market & Fair. Here are some pictures from our visit.

Christmas markets and fairs

Christmas markets and fairs
A Christmas Cracker.

Christmas markets and fairs
Christmas decorations

Christmas markets and fairs

A Taste of Christmas – Food & Craft Fair at Secretts

For an early taste of Christmas, we popped over to Secretts in Milford for their Food & Craft Fair (which runs until Sunday 17 November 2013). 

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 01

Plently stalls ladden with delightful christmas ideas and scrummy treats on sale.

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 02

Christmas bunting and hand-craft sewing ephemera

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 03

Tempting turkish delight

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 04

Smelly cheese (my husband favourite stall)

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 09

This stall is much more me, and I couldn’t resit making a small purchase of their lovely guest soaps: Fresh Earth, Black Rice, Cinnamon, Safflower, Mangosteen and (the more traditional scent) Lavender.

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 08

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 07

These simple handmade wooden Christmas decortations are cute.

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 06

A Taste of Christmas - Food & Craft Fair at Secretts 05

Farewell flowers

Farewell Flowers

There is nothing like receiving an unexpected bunch of flowers from a friend as a thank you and a farewell.