Monday, 29 April 2013

Another terrific Cider House

Am down in the West Country at the moment, and visited another really great cider house, the Orchard Inn in Bristol.  Very friendly atmosphere, plenty of customers with dogs, and an amazing selection of ciders.  I went for the Surfin Turnips scrumpy from Solway Cider in Cumbria which was just about perfect.  Basic choice of food but none the worse for that, the Cornish Pasty was a real treat.

Cider houses do seem to share an exceptionally hospitable ambience, so it was a real disappointment that Bristol's best-known cider house, the Coronation Tap, was not at all what it was when I knew it thirty odd years ago

Formal Wear

Classic white on black, as requested by Janet.

An Apron for every Season

The blog returns!  Apologies for the long silence.  To mark the occasion, four aprons, one for each season of the year.  Flowered and ruffled to perfection.





A really big thank you to Lori for making these for me.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Time I cracked the whip!

Kathleen writes:
It's a long time since I posted that Stephen would be back soon and the blog seems to have gone from quiet to quieter. This is a shame because I know that Stephen's domestic quest is going very well indeed, and it is time he got back into the habit of writing his routines up.

There are reason's Stephen's not been able to blog, and at the moment he is away at a summer school learning knitting skills, but when he returns I will take him (and this blog) in hand. That's a promise!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Nooks and crannies

I think that most homes have places that are not used too often but they still need cleaning from time to time, and that is what I've been doing this morning. This skirting board is well overdue an encounter with the Dyson.

I have mixed feelings about cobwebs. Our domestic spiders are not dangerous, in fact quite the opposite, and sometimes vacuuming the cobweb takes the spider with it. The spiders have definitely moved on from these though.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Staying with friends

As I did last year, I'm down staying with friends in Wiltshire and having a great time; I'm heading home tomorrow but not really looking forward to it. Since I've been here we've visited several pubs; meals at the Quarryman's Arms in Box and The Raven in Poulshot were both very good (I can recommend both, if you want a meal at the Quarryman's it's best to book). But the real pleasure was yesterday when Lorna and I went to The Brewery Inn in Seend Cleeve, not for the food but for the cider. This was very much a 'local' with friendly and very inclusive banter and strong rural accents. There were almost as many dogs there as there were customers and Fergus, an 8 month old Bedlington Terrier who doubled as a licking machine was far too gorgeous to escape a photograph.

Then there was the cider. We started off with the Cheddar Valley, an exceptionally dry scrumpy which was the most extraordinary red colour that I've ever seen.

The we moved on to the Heritage scrumpy, not quite so dry and easier on the palate as a consequence. No unusual colour this time though. Incidentally both ciders were from Thatchers. The cider alone would have been worth the visit but the pub was so exceptional that I'd have enjoyed it almost as much if we'd found that they'd run out of alcohol before we arrived. Congratulations to Norm and Stella who know exactly what a pub should be. Reluctantly, very reluctantly, I recommend the pub; my only hesitation comes from the fear that too many visitors might end up spoiling it.

So what's all this got to do with housework? Well, when I was down last year the Dyson was not working properly, and I had to clear an almost impossible amount of hair and threads from around the brush to bring it back to life. I thought that I'd check it again this time and this is what I found:

Not as bad as last time, but it still needed a good clean out; here's what it looked like afterwards:

Then there's the dishes. Lorna and Mick kindly humour my enthusiasm for washing-up and the dishwasher stays turned off while I'm down with them. The pleasure is all the greater for there being so much more to get through than I would have at home; here's one happy human dishwasher at the sink:

There's a fair amount of drying up to do...

...but finally all done.

Lorna and Mick are always exceptionally generous with their hospitality, so my heartfelt thanks to them. They always feed me too well, I'm going home noticeably bigger than when I arrived so I'll be needing to go on a diet I think.

Lorna has just started her own blog, so go and give Lorna eats out a visit and leave an encouraging comment.