Thursday, 16 October 2014

Postcards from Tenby

I love a spontaneous adventure. We're a pretty indecisive couple sometimes, what film to watch and where to eat can take hours. This year however, we've become pros at just deciding that we want a holiday, so we're going on one.

Which is how, after a bit of a moan to each other on a Thursday lunchtime, we ended up in a lovely little B&B (Sunnybank, for those interested) with our toes in the Tenby sand by Sunday afternoon.

Tenby is one of our favourite places. It's home from home. Especially this place...

It's so picturesque, and such a jewel on the Pembrokeshire coast. Everything seemed to gleam a little bit brighter in the September sunshine. 

Two nights by the sea is the cure for all moans and groans! We were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunshine filled weekend, with temperatures in the early twenties and nothing but a few candy floss white clouds in the sky.

Looks like someone else wasn't ready to go home either...

These few days away for our anniversary were full of nothing but walks on the beach, lazy drinks overlooking the sea and huddling by the fire by night. Is there anything better?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Scaring Myself Silly

Down at the National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) in Chepstow lives a 700 metre long zip wire, suspended 70m above the 80m deep flooded quarry. It's one of the fastest zip wires in the UK, reaching speeds of up to 40 mph.

Now I hate heights. Terrified. In fact, I'm not even that fond of going fast. Thrill seeker I most certainly am not.

So, this is why, when the opportunity to ride this zip wire and raise money for Macmillan came up a couple of months ago, I jumped at it along with a few of the ladies from the office. What better way to raise some money for a very worthy charity than to scare yourself absolutely witless?

The next few months went by in a flash, and as we raised money through our Just Giving site and via sponsor forms, I had the occasional 'I'm so scared' moment, but didn't allow myself to give it much thought.

On the morning of the Zip Wire, the 6 of us made our way up to the top of the quarry. And that's when it got scary. There is no way on earth I would have gone through with it if we hadn't raised the money that we already had, as I was having a right big wussy moment.

A friendly guy told me as he harnessed me up that in five minutes I'd be at the bottom, begging to have another go. I didn't believe a word he said. All of a sudden, there was just enough time to be clipped in, pulled back, and without so much of a 'ready?', we were off.

I screamed like a girl. I'm not even ashamed of it because I'm that much of a scaredy cat. After a few moments though, the wire levelled out, and I managed to have a little look around at the views, which were pretty impressive.

In a blink of an eye, it was all over and I was being unharnessed and on my way back to the group! Whilst I didn't quite have it in me to go and have another go, I spent the rest of the day feeling pretty smug with myself and conquering my big baby fears!

In all, our team raised over £1,200 for Macmillan, and the entire event over £14k, which is incredible. We more than doubled our target, and raised so much more than we expected.

So here's a really big THANK YOU to everyone of my friends, family and colleagues who donated to such an amazing cause.

(P.s. the just giving page is still open for a short while, so if you feel inspired enough to make a donation, here's the link)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Cider, Tea, Rum and Crab

On our last day in St Ives, we finally ran out of luck and the clouds and drizzle crept back in. What’s one to do on a day like this?

Visit the cider farm of course!

We huddled back into coats and hoodies and set off to Healey’s Cyder Farm, just outside Newquay. Here, you can wander in and out of the small barns on the farm and poke your nose in on all the busy worker bees bottling and packing the lethal ‘Rattler’ cider.

I couldn’t help but get distracted by all the animals dotted around to pet and dote on…

But the Mr found something else to coo over…

We jumped on the back of a tractor trailer to take a tour of the orchards, and spotted a few other furry beings.

No, not those furry beings.

All that bumping and jiggling around on the tractor had made us hungry however, so we snuck back to the café to sample one very Cornish delicacy that we hadn't yet managed to wolf down.

Cream Tea!

After all agreeing that clotted cream was most definitely meant to be on the bottom, we dusted off our crumbs and headed back for a mid afternoon snooze.

Led by our stomachs once again, we headed back into town to try one place which has been on my radar ever since we decided on our trip. The Rum and Crab Shack.

The name pretty much sums it up. The food revolves around a number of seafood dishes, everything from a spicy gumbo to a whole lobster, and everything in between.

The drinks menu is unrivalled by anything I’ve seen before. There is a set menu dedicated to all the rums available, split into categories such as light, dark and overproof etc. It almost sounds like a challenge to try each one…maybe next time!

For those not quite ready for a rum, there are a number of craft and speciality beers both on tap and bottled, and of course a number of cocktails. I had to try a mojito at the rum shack, after all!

Being my birthday treat weekend, as soon as I saw the menu I knew I was going all out. Steak and ½ lobster for me please! I look pretty happy with it, eh?

Unfortunately the lighting (and maybe the rum) didn’t help my amateur photography, but just look how juicy this steak was!

Everything was cooked to perfection, I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful! The lobster was so meaty and covered in a lovely light butter, and the steak was, quite honestly, the best steak I've ever had in my life. It's going to take one heck of a steak to beat that bad boy.

Being a bit of a veg freak, I loved the fact that the salad was such a main feature of the dish, rather than being an afterthought. It's such a pet hate of mine when a really excellent dish is let down by some wilted leaves from a supermarket bagged salad. But don't panic, there were chips too.

Everyone's food was just as huge as mine, so there wasn't a lot of room for dessert, especially after the morning's cream tea. A digestif however, is always a good idea!


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