Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Easter Blessings everyone!

I took a picture of this lovely Easter table setting at the Country Living Fair last week,
just in case anyone I know may be hosting Easter in their home.  

I just love the simplicity.......

and the little feather tag on the napkin! 

Spring is coming!  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Castle Combe

Castle Combe, renowned for being one of the prettiest villages in England sits in the Cotswolds, about a 2 hour drive from London. This tiny hamlet is a favorite location for film companies......Doctor Doolittle, Wolfman, and recently War Horse. It is said that the Romans used the waters from the river Bybrook to help feed their spa in the Historical city of Bath, just 12 miles from Castle Combe and The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club.

We spent a wonderfully relaxed March weekend here with friends.  It was gorgeous!

Our room was at the highest point with a bird's eye view across the moss covered tiles of the many peaks of the Inn.

And a bath tub to soak away the chill after our girl's day at the spa in Bath....

I did say "relaxed weekend"!

The guys played a round of golf in rain, sun, snow, wind, and muddy conditions ... Rick says it's the best he has played in years! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sandra's Moules Mariniers

We had a very special treat on Mothering Sunday....Chef Sandra  brought a huge bag of mussels from our local market to the kitchens at Chester Row and taught us a few things about cooking... and eating muscles !

First we prepared the little creatures by scrubbing them under cold water, removing the barnacles, sand and grit.  Then we gave the beards a forceful tug with a knife and discarded any that were still open.
Sandra's secret recipe included generous amounts of garlic, shallots, parsley, wine and butter.  She kept the pot boiling until she could see them begin to pop open.  At the very last minute, she "hand-squeezed" a few ripe tomatoes to add color and flavor to the sauce.

Here, "lefty" is showing how to use one of the muscle shells to pinch out the sweet meat of another.  She claims it is "proper" to do this in the finest restaurants ....... I'm not too sure about that!  

One thing I do know is that it is NOT proper to pick up the bowl and drink every last bit of broth,
but we did it anyway!   

Bon Appetit, Mate! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

ALL in a day in London

Morning at the Wallace of my favorite museums in London and off the tourist route!

Allowing Photo's is a new policy! 

Next, Tea at Two in Fortnum and Mason's Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon.

After Tea, a brisk walk to the Piccadilly Theatre for Viva Forever, a musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls.

The cute young girl behind us said it was Fanbloodytastic!  We can't "Spice up our life" more than that! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Goza and the wind....

We arrived on the island of Goza by ferry ..... the water was choppy and the wind was whipping but the island had potential. We were promised Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses, rugged landscapes and spectacular coastlines......

even a boat ride to the Blue Lagoon, some of the best diving in the world...
too bad we didn't have a little warm sunshine!
Two special activities are worth mentioning, first our visit to the Basilica of Ta Pinu.  I borrowed this photo to show how impressive it was as we drove up.  This cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and many believe that she listens to and answers the prayers given in this church.  I said a prayer for  healthy grandchildren, twins, just in case!  

We had lunch at this wonderful farm and vineyard, Ta Mena.  The owner, who had the most incredible blue eyes, proudly gave us a tour and introduced us to his olive oil, tomato paste, olives, and of course his prized wines.  We had a delightful lunch under an awning to protect us from the weather.  

I can not leave this day without one more photo of the wind,
hold on......

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Where is Malta?

It is in the center of the Mediterranean, just South of Sicily and North of Libya.  It was a 3 hour flight on Air Malta from London. It is a country made up of 7 islands which makes it one of the most densely populated countries in the world and we discovered....
thanks to our incredibly knowledgeable guide, Victoria.....
 one rich in history!  At times, too much history for me to wrap my brain around! 

Our sightseeing included a visit to the Hypogeum, an underground stone age temple as well as nearby Tarxien Temples and Prehistoric caves in Ghar Dalam......over 5000 years old!  We walked the harbors as we heard stories of the Knights of St. John, the Maltese Cross and explored the Blue Grotto on the island's coast.

Our luxury accommodations were at the Hotel Phoenicia, just a short walk from the walled city of Valletta.

Every night we would meet in the lobby for a glass of chilled local wine and then head to one of the recommended restaurants for dinner with friends......the best part about any journey together! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

I'm so hungry I could eat a horse!

You might have heard that several grocery stores in the UK have removed tens of thousands of burgers from their freezers after revelations that some contained up to 29% horse meat.  Now it has been reported that those Swedish meatballs from IKEA also contain horse meat. 

Since this discovery, the internet has been buzzing with equine jokes and in the spirit of "a good laugh" I thought I'd share a few with you!

What do you call a burnt Tesco burger?
Black Beauty

Anyone want a burger from Tesco?
Yay or neigh?

Waitress in Tesco asked if I wanted anything on my burger, so I had a £5 each way bet.

Had some burgers from Tesco for my tea last night. I still have a bit between my teeth.

A woman has been taken into hospital after eating horse meat burgers from Tesco.  Her condition is said to be stable.

I've just checked the Tesco burgers in my freezer....and THEY'RE OFF!  

I hear the smaller version of those Tesco burgers make great horse d'oeuvers.