Day out – Co- op Food show Wherstaed Park Ipswich

ipsw fd show

A Yummy day spent trying new and exciting food products from stall holders, many that source their ingredients locally.

There was everything from condiments to meat and fish, fudge and even wines to sample.

The building is home to one of Suffolk and East Anglia’s most versatile events venues; it has a glass-roof with a year-round temperate climate.

The part of the building that the food hall was held in looks commercial and the surrounding rooms look like offices but towards the other end of the property stands a beautiful Georgian Mansion, both available to hire for events.

inside food hall

Facilities include a canteen area with seating and toilets. Also a cash point, which was invaluable as many stall holders were having issues with their card readers.

On entering and paying your admission fee (a flat rate of £1.50), we were given a Co – op Bag for life, nice and sturdy – perfect for all our goodies!

All the  stall holders I spoke to seemed very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their products.

Exhibitors included:

  • Bhaji Man
  • Breckland Orchard Posh Pops
  • Bollywood Nights At Home
  • Coffeelink Ltd
  • Crush Foods
  • DJ Wines
  • Dotty Bakers, The
  • East Coast Chilli Company
  • Fairfields Farm Crisps
  • Fruits of Suffolk
  • Gnaw Chocolate
  • Great British Sauces
  • Great Tilkey Honey
  • Greene King
  • Havensfield Eggs
  • Hill Top Smokehouse
  • Keejays Chinese Sauces
  • Lady Bakewell Park
  • Lane Farm Country Foods
  • Margaret’s Frozen Luxuries
  • Marybelle
  • Mystycroft Quality Meats
  • New Twist Foods
  • Nudge Smoothies
  • Rossi Ice Cream
  • Sam Cole Food Group
  • Samphire Shop
  • Scarlett and Mustard
  • South African Food Company
  • Stokes Sauces
  • Sutton Hoo Chicken
  • Suffolk Larder
  • Sym’s Pantry
  • The Cake Shop
  • The Cookery School at Braxted Park
  • The Ooo Company
  • The Smoke Bloke
  • Yare Valley Oils
  • Yum Yum Tree Fudge

I will be talking in a future post about some of the products and of course reviewing them for you, I also hope to include some info about the creators of the products! 🙂




One of my favourite places

I love staying in Brightlingsea, it’s one of my favourite places to visit.

I love being surrounded by Animals, nature and being so near the beach.

This time when I visited the first few days were grey and dull thankfully I had a wood burner (fire) to keep me warm!

I had heard rumours that recently some of Brightlingsea had been evacuated due to flooding!

On one of my Dog walks I started to notice the devastation the flood had left behind, there were upturned beach huts that had been lifted by the water and piles of rubbish, broken glass/rubble.

Further down the beach the scenery was beautiful, as usual.

When we go on our walks one of my favourite things to do is to be sociable with other people joggers, dog walkers etc.

Luckily on my walks my two boys (furry friends) are sociable and most of the time gentlemen! 🙂

It’s not always reciprocated, especially with owners that have perhaps unsociable dogs.

Never the less I say ‘Good morning’ to just about every one I see, if it gets me a smile I’m happy. 🙂

While I was away I did a bit of foraging and cooked some of the greens like spinach and added it to a chickpea curry! x

The view from the Shard


The Shard  has become an iconic, landmark building on the London skyline, designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano.

It’s 1,016ft (310m) tall, currently the tallest building in Western Europe.

In a high-speed lift you travel to Level 69 where the 360 degree view can be seen, you literally walk around the pillar in the middle ( that consists of lifts and stairs). You are encased in glass and on a windy day the building sways!!


For the best view go to Level 72, at 244m,this is the highest level open to the public, this level is slightly open to the elements and feels very similar to being up high on a mountain.

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If you have a no-reflection option on your camera it’s definitely worth using it, I found it difficult to get clear pictures.
There is also no time restriction on your stay, I can imagine this would be a great place for Artists and Photographers alike.

I would compare the Shard to the Empire State building, both with its views and notoriety.

I think it’s a must do for tourists and a missed opportunity for local residents.

The staff that direct you to stairways lifts and answer any questions are very friendly and helpful.

I wasn’t overly impressed with the ‘posed photo’ against a green screen where later a super imposed picture of a view is put in and then put on sale for £25, but that’s just my opinion.

There were also great interactive screens that are free to use, that when directed out of the large glass window recognise buildings and identify them for you.

What have you been upto?

I hope every one had a lovely Halloween and Fire work night and every ones furry friends were safe and sound indoors while all the sparkly fire works were lighting up the skies!


In the last few weeks I’ve been to Wimbledon to watch the Hairy bikers Show at the Theatre, there was a lot of audience participation, singing, dancing spandex (don’t ask!) and cooking of course!

The Hairy Bikers (Simon & Dave) were looking half the men they use to be literally after their new dieters series they brought out on Tv, and although they did touch on it in the show, the show wasn’t based around it.

A tip for any one that fancy’s watching their show if they ask for a member of the audience to come on stage and play their game, volunteer! There were lots of goodies to be won!

I also visited a Buddhist temple called the Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon.

It was a new experience for me, it was beautiful.

Buddhapadipa in London was the first Buddhist temple to be built-in the United Kingdom.  It was established by the London Buddhist Temple Foundation with the objective of creating a centre for the dissemination of theoretical and practical Buddhist teachings in Europe.

You are not permitted to take photos inside the temple so I’ve taken a few off of google.

The interior was stunning, a feast for the eyes, murals covered every wall.

There was an altar/shrine at the front with many gold buddhas, candles, flowers and lamps.

The day I visited people were bringing in lots of food to share, and flowers and eggs as offerings which they put in front of the altar/shrine.

The garden was very impressive, lots of Buddhist quotes,alters, streams, offerings,

statues and photographs of loved ones.

I also looked around a lovely local market that sold lots of Arty hand made things and spent time in the Wheel house,

A pottery shop and historical site that holds children’s workshops for making pottery. The Wheel is fully restored and in working order and dates from 1885, though there were previous mills on the same site for hundreds of years before then. The wheel turns every weekend during the market. Liberty’s used it for rinsing the gum off the printed silk, and inside you can still see the spools it powered. Nowadays the Wheelhouse is a pottery, and the wheel is used to turn the potter’s wheel, the only one in the country directly driven by water power. It also generates electricity and powers other machinery including a lathe. The Wheelhouse is maintained by the volunteers of Wandle Heritage Ltd, a charitable company supported by The London Borough of Merton.

I watched a man giving pottery lessons and saw some beautiful items for sale.

Before having a gorgeous walk surrounded by the autumn coloured leaves I admired a Heron standing with the ducks as a little girl and her Dad fed them.

Before it rained we managed to find a little National trust run cafe and I warmed up with a hot chocolate.


A few days later I found myself back in Wrexham, where me and my partner lived for three years whilst he was studying at Glyndwr University because it was his graduation ceremony!

He was off of the stage quicker than a flash of lightning, but I was very proud.

Below on stage in their gowns the Tutors and all the people who support Glyndwr University.

It was a good day, the ceremony was quite long, spoken in Welsh and English!

My partner and his class mates all looked very smart.

Things of Late….

So the move to Essex is officially complete, and although I have not set up home properly and still have lots of Boxes to sort through and re-pack I am in Essex! 🙂

I’ve been staying in the lovely Sea Side Town of Brightlingsea, Surrounded by gorgeous Coastline, colourful beach huts, lots of animals, (Pets, Wild life and Farm Animals that is!)

And am soaking up as much as I can, Making, Baking, Foraging and Photography.

I had a lovely day out yesterday with my Mum, I bought and old retro lap tray that needs a bit of TLC and a new lease of life, but I think It will come up just fine 🙂

I also went to a Jubilee themed Charity Event had a lovely cup cake, a Cup of tea and two mini sausage rolls, not to mention I won a really cute little toadstool candle on the Tombola and I guessed how many sweets were in the jar and won them 🙂

So all in all a good start to my move back to Essex!

Photos to come and I will Document my progress of the Lap Tray/Tea Tray I’m going to Make over!



Becketts Bed and Breakfast Review (Kent) UK

I stayed at ‘Becketts B&B’ Pylegate Farm Hartfield Road, Cowden,Edenbridge Kent TN8 7HE  for a short stay and explored the surrounding areas.

Now I have to say Kent is one of my favourite places and while I was looking forward to soaking up everything the surrounding area had to offer I wasn’t prepared for just how lovely the place we stayed in was going to be or how lovely the owner was going to be.

The B&B is a 300 year old Listed Barn, set in the countryside, It was full of character, surrounded by pretty countryside and the Owner/s were lovely.


Jacqui was full of local information and sat down at breakfast with us to chat, it was a charming and friendly environment and she clearly genuinely cares about her guests and that they get what they want out of their stay in Kent.

She even accommodated our request for an extra bed in the room we had booked! It was a ground floor twin room with double patio doors for direct access to private garden with secluded seating.

The En suite was spotless and had some really lovely toiletries available for our use.

Breakfast was lovely absolutely no complaints, the sun was shining threw the glass doors, and our conversation with Jacqui was very informative.

Most of the food is locally sourced including sausages, eggs, bread, honey and fruit juices from local orchards. They also have a variety of unusual homemade jams and marmalade such as lime with kaffir lime leaves, plum and cardamom, damson, blackberry and many more. They also cater for vegetarians and vegans!

There was alot to see and do in the surrounding areas including walks, Historic buildings to see, places to eat at villages to visit.

Here are some of the places I went to when I stayed at the Becketts B&B:

Rudyard Kipling’s house (Author of The Jungle Book) owned by the National Trust and open to the public is a moment frozen in time, it allows you to see how he lived, where he worked, private moments in his life. Address: Bateman’s Lane, Burwash, TN19 7DS.

It’s surrounded by beautiful english country gardens and even has a working Mill on the Land that has live demonstrations!

The next village we visited was the charming village of Chiddingstone,


The Labrador’s name was Charlie owned by a lovely Lady that runs the Post Office and was well-known by every one in the village, including the children who came to buy their sweets after school. I think I’ve made a friend 🙂

We also went for a walk down the road to the village of Cowden,to the ‘Fountain’ for tea the building dates back to the Eighteenth century. Serving locally brewed beers by Harvey’s of Lewes. Traditional English fayre from fresh fish and steaks to sandwiches, cut to order. It’s a local pub that’s very welcoming.


We also had a walk after our tea around the local Church grounds.

On our last day we stopped to admire one of the many Castles

I had such a lovely time in Kent and a wonderful stay with Jacqui, I hope to return again in the future and see more of the interesting sights in Kent!

For more information about staying at Becketts B&B and more information on what there is to see and do please follow the link;

You can contact Jacqui by phone: +44 (0)1342 850 514

Or Email:

Mistley Place Park Animal Farm and Rescue Centre Review

Mistley Park Farm is a sanctuary, over many years they have rescued thousands of animals and birds from slaughter, ill-treatment and neglect or from homes where they are no longer wanted or can no longer be kept.

The farm opens its gates to the public and makes for a great day out in the UK,

Mistley Place Park

New Road, Mistley, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1ER


Animal Rescue Centre 01206 396048


Children up to 16 £3.00

Adults £4.00 per person

Senior Citizens £3.50

Children under 3 go free

Animal Park Opening times;

Every day 10am – 5pm (Except Monday)
Bank holiday Mondays 10am – 5.30pm


Tea Rooms and Gift Shop Opening Times;

Tues to Sun 10am – 4pm
Bank holiday Mondays 10am – 4pm

Bags of food are only £1 each and will give you and your child the chance to get up close and personal to a variety of animals.

This Animal rescue centre is home to over 2,000 rescued animals and birds ranging in size from Mice to Shire Horses including Cats and Dogs, in fact most indigenous species.  Many of these animals roam around the site freely (where practical and safe).

One of the Farms aim is also to re-home animals and the volunteers at the farm clearly love what they do, with a smile on their faces even the cafe staff are bright and bubbly.

The Cafe is a welcomed stop after exploring Mistley Park and a hot chocolate and lovely home-made food, certainly hit the spot!

Me, my friend and her three-year old little boy spent the day at Mistley Park Farm, but I could have happily moved in!