The Apothecary, Rye

I love discovering new and interesting places to have a coffee when I’m sightseeing, and this is definitely somewhere unique. I discovered The Apothecary in Rye, East Sussex last July with my Mum. My parents lived just outside the market town when I was born, so when I got an interview in Ashford last year, we both headed down to stay with family friends. Interview over, we had a little wander around town and stopped off here for lunch.

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Chris had never been to Rye, so once we’d spent the night in Whitstable I decided to take a longer route home so he could see where we used to live. I don’t remember it at all as we moved when I was nearly 3, but it’s a lovely place to wander round. Incredibly busy and sat on top of a little hill it has a real old world feel to it and antique shops galore.

What I really liked about The Apothecary (other than the coffee) is that it has really gone with it’s theme and the place is decked out with all the sorts of drawers and bottles you’d find in a real apothecary’s shop.

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Does anyone else like to explore new places to have coffee? Any favourite places to share? We’re back off to Amsterdam later this year and sitting in a cafe (not one of those coffee shops!) sipping a cuppa whilst people watching is one of my favourite past times.

King John Inn, Tollard Royal

Way back in August, along with my family and some Australian family friends, we went out for a big pub lunch followed by a walk in the drizzle over in Dorset. The pub (The King John Inn in Tollard Royal) was their suggestion, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect (although a glance at the website game me clues that it was a pretty well-to-do kinda place).

This isn’t a part of Dorset that I know at all, but the beautiful rolling hills we passed on the way there made me keen to go back and explore.

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We settled down outside in the sunshine until our meals were ready. Being a Sunday, virtually everyone went for the roast beef. Whilst a nice enough meal, no-one seemed quite sure it was worth the rather high price point (I think it was £20+). I opted for lobster ravioli, which was delicious but not a very filling portion given that the price was also on the high side.

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But, it was the puddings I really had to share as I’ve never seen anything like it! Several of the others opted for Italian sponge, lemon curd, limoncello and ice cream:

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Whilst the rest of us went for apple doughnuts with toffee sauce and warm mulled cider:

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Oh, and this is a little bit of a weird one, but the ladies toilets had amazing wallpaper in!

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All in all, a nice pub in a lovely location (even when it does start to rain!) but considering the pricey roast, I’d settle for a long walk followed by a warm drink and one of the puddings to warm up with afterwards.

Do you know this bit of Dorset at all?

Whitstable Brewery

I just feel the need to share the epic seafood pizza that I had in Whitstable- beautiful.

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The venue itself was a little too warehouse type airy for a breezy coastal evening and I was really wishing I had packed an extra layer. But with pizza like this, a sea view and loc turnstones walking past the window, I can cope without!

Bargain: The Body Shop Buys

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I recently treated myself to a few bits from The Body Shop and wanted to share a money saving tip with you all. Something I discovered around a year ago on a trip to an outlet shop was that The Body Shop stores at outlet centres carry all the current lines. Just massively discounted- result!

I knew I needed a few skincare bits, so on a recent trip to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, I treated myself. The way the outlet TBS stores work is the more you buy, the more you save- 2 products = 30% off; 3 products = 35% off; and 4 products = 40% off. Considering 2 of the bits I bought were new releases, I’m pretty happy!

I never buy anything from TBS since this discovery as it seems to good to be true. If you don’t live near an outlet, then keep an eye on the website as there is nearly always a big discount code that’s valid.

Any recommendations for my next TBS trip?

Getting a little crabby

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So here’s a past-time I’ve not partaken in since childhood- crabbing. Aberdyfi is perfect for crabbing- with a lovely wooden jetty to sit on and the perfect summer day to just soak up the rays. Crabbing is so popular here that there’s even a whole shop dedicated to it- The Crabbing Shack. They sell lots of crab-friendly (no hook) lines, various buckets and other paraphernalia as well as giving out copies of The Good Crabbing Guide and having an aquarium in the shop for you to learn all about the local marine life from up close.

We only caught a couple of crabs in our net bucket on a wire, but it was very interesting to see these Shore Crabs up close, before gently releasing them back into their natural habitat.

Country Living- October 2013

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Following on from my earlier Marie Claire magazine round up, I thought I’d share another. I’ve really enjoyed being all creative and collaging these little summaries together, so I hope you enjoy reading them. So what’s in this issue that caught my eye?

  • One of my favourite things about Country Living has to be the interiors shoots, they always look so cosy and homely like I’d love to just wake up and have that be my house. This issue is no exception, with a lovely, rich autumnal pallete.
  • Purl and Jane– I’m off to Skipton next July, so I’ll have to have a look and see if there are any courses whilst I’m there. Otherwise, I’ll just have to go in for a browse regardless. I do with I could knit.
  • There are three Sarah Raven tulip collections which have me lusting after them. Just my favourite flowers ever.
  • I’m really wanting to go to the Country Living Christmas Fair in London and a lot of the featured exhibitors look lovely. I’ll have to make sure I keep that weekend free.
  • Apple Day sounds to me to sum up the season. I need to have a search and find an event near me. Otherwise, there’s always the New Forest Cider Festival in October.
  • Another issue, another book added to the wishlist. This time, An Illustrated Country Year by Celia Lewis.
  • The feature on the Great Dixter Plant Fair has my feet itching for a trip to Rye and I don’t even have a garden.

 

I have to admit, I feel that getting into Country Living magazine is a real sign that I’m getting old, but I can’t help but love it!

Whitstable Fish Market

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It really surprised me when we were in Wales, that there were so few fishmongers and fish markets considering we were on the coast. I was massively looking forward to lots of fresh fish, but no, nothing at all. Not so in Whitstable, I’ve never seen anything like it!

Are you a fish person or not?

I left my heart in Whitstable

No, really. I did. We spent one night here over the August bank holiday and I’ve fallen in love with the place. It helps that I just love to be by the seaside, but this town just had such a friendly feel.

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Have you ever been somewhere that you’ve just instantly loved and wanted to live in immediately?

Y Bwtri Blasus, Aberdyfi

I don’t know about you, but I get a bit obsessive about TripAdvisor before I go away anywhere. Although some reviews really do have to be taken with a pinch of salt, on the whole it is a really reliable way of getting to know the hotels and restaurants in the place you’re headed.

No sooner had we booked our week away than I was looking up where we could go. I do like food, in case you hadn’t noticed. Other than the fancy restaurant Sea Breeze (which we never made it to), the place that stood out to me was Y  Bwtri Blasus Deli Caffi. And do you know what? It was packed every time we walked past. When it was still full to bursting on our last day, we hung about outside for a while hoping someone would leave. Ten minutes passed, and I was ready to abandon ship and head home, but Chris insisted we hang on just a little while longer. 

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Twenty minutes later, we finally got a table. By this point we’d been staring at the menu in the window so long we knew our orders by heart. We both opted for the Welsh Rarebit, and it was incredible. Not a dish I think I’ve tried before, but I will certainly try again.

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So there you have it, if you’re in Aberdyfi you may struggle to get through the door, but once you do it is well worth the wait.

The shop also has a great range of deli products and I managed to track down a jar of Lotus spread (literally the biscuits in paste form, amazing) that I’ve been looking out for which was an added bonus.

Marie Claire- October 2013

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Ok, so it’s no secret if you know me that I love magazines. So much so that our flat is littered with ones I’ve read, waiting for me to go back through them and pull out all the things I don’t want to forget. All this gave me an idea, rather than just recycling them once they’re done, why don’t I share what I loved from each issue with all of you in a collage. That way, it spurs me on to read them while they’re current and also means that my flat becomes less of a fire hazard from all the excess paper.

First up? Marie Claire, October 2013 (the one with Lena Dunham on the cover). Here’s the drop:

  • A book to read- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Added to the list once I’ve got through Wolf Hall and then The President’s Hat.
  • A film to see- I cannot WAIT to see Diana. Might just be my friend Caroline in the queue but we are pretty excited. Just us then.
  • Autumn TV- Downton is back, hooray!
  • Wardrobe wants- some chunky heeled, casual black boots for Autumn.
  • Life to lust after- Clemence Poesy. I’m looking forward to the new series she stars in on Sky Atlantic, The Tunnel
  • New discovery- the article about Anjelica Huston made me want to read her biography, A Story Lately Told.
  • And, I am aiming to embrace my pale skin and go with the whole pale but polished look. A coloured lip looks great on these ladies from the magazine, but I need the confidence to pull it off! Top of my list is the slightly coloured nude L’Oreal Colour Riche Lips. The one I’d like? Julianne Moore Barely Peach.

 

Have you read this month’s issue? Anything caught your eye?