Tag Archives: sunshine

Strawberry Weekends Forever…

We’ve been trying to make the most of the summer sun, while it lasts – we love autumn (the colours, the food…) but we’re not in a rush to see the back of the warm weather. What better way to enjoy the sun that a leisurely walk surrounded by some great scenery? Somerset (the land of cider, ooh arrr…) is a great place for it, and we found a great one this weekend.

South Bristol is a wonderful place to live – we can hop on a train at Parson Street or Bedminster station and in 5 minutes we’ll be in the middle of the countryside. It’s a really underrated part of Bristol, but don’t tell anyone – it’s quite nice to keep it quiet for a little while! Yatton station is a 15 minute train ride, and that’s where our walk started.

The start of the Strawberry Line
The start of the Strawberry Line

We followed the Strawberry Line for about an hour before lunch. The walk is as scenic as the quaint name – apparently given for the excellent strawberries of the south Mendips – would suggest. The path is extremely popular with cyclists (Fats loves cycling, Bird not so much – long story…) and they were out in force this weekend.

The walk we had found on the internet had suggested that we loop back round when we reached Congresbury and head back to the train station, but after sitting down for some sarnies (British for sandwiches – home-made white bread with local Somerset cheddar cheese and onion chutney) we decided to go on a bit of an adventure.

The church at Congresbury. The only way this could get more Somerset is with a barrel of cider and Phil Harding.
The church at Congresbury. The only way this could get more Somerset is with a barrel of cider and Phil Harding.

So we got our OS map out and plotted a walk that would take us through Ball Wood and up Cadbury Hill. This is an ancient late Bronze-age hill fort – about 3000 years old – though the last time it was occupied was during the Dark Ages. We fell in love with some of the houses on the way down, but thought it would be a bit cheeky of us to start snapping pictures! You can see the route we took below, so check it out for yourself if you’re ever in the area.

Walk map
The route

After wandering back through Yatton towards the station, we arrived on the platform just in time to see our train pull up – pretty fortunate since they only go once every hour!

PhotoGrid_1377967968897After all the walking, we thoroughly deserved a hearty meal, so we threw together a really easy curry, using half a jar of Patak’s Rogan Josh curry paste, along with a couple of sweet potatoes, some frozen spinach, peas and cashew nuts. Divine! Check it out on instagram.

After last year’s wash-out summer in the UK the recent sun has been most welcome, long may it last!

The Curious Incident of the Giant Magical Teapot

This weekend it was the Harbour Festival in Bristol which is always worth attending if you’re in the area. It’s a riot of sound, colour, smells and people absolutely everywhere! Spread across several key sites alongside the water in the city there is live music, dance performances, street performers, local producers selling their wares, amazing freshly cooked food, local beer and cider tents… sounds pretty good right?

Snapshots of the day
That’s two more Gromits ticked off!

We headed down at about midday on Sunday and were both starving so we got stuck into some burgers fairly quickly, I went for a classic local beef burger and Fats chose a venison burger. They were delicious but gone in no time so after a quick wander we picked up a fresh strawberry and cream tart to share.

Oooh you tart!
Oooh you tart!

One thing I was very excited to see was the giant Clipper tea Magical Teapot and it did not disappoint! There were girls in cute teaspoon embroidered dresses handing out free tea samples of their Big Bright tea and a wheel where you could spin for a chance to win a Clipper mug and guess what?

This image in no way captures how bonkers the display was... there was green smoke and everything
This image in no way captures how bonkers the display was… there was green smoke and everything

We tried the Big Bright tea that night and it was delicious, it’s perfect for summer when we don’t fancy black tea as much because it is light but still with great depth of flavour. We’re already big fans of Clipper (their tea and their ethics) so will definitely be purchasing this when the samples run out.

Flushed with victory we wandered round to the Cascade Steps and spied a new restaurant, The Stable, which we are now desperate to try – it’s right on the harbourside and serves pizza, pies and cider which sounds absolutely perfect for a summer evening. Apparently they have over 60 different types of cider available! Look out for a review coming up very soon I hope. Having just been on their under-construction website it turns out they have an all you can eat toast bar from 8-11 which might just be the most genius idea we’ve ever heard.

Bristol has to be one of the best cities to live in during the summer, we both came here initially as students and we never realised what we were missing during the break – there is a festival of some kind on almost every weekend, but the Harbour Festival is one of the biggest and best. Can’t wait until next year!

Fats and Bird feeling reflective..... geddit?
Fats and Bird feeling reflective….. geddit?