Dinner and Gin

Do you fancy going out to dinner, I will drive?

Its Thursday night so why not, so off we went for my first visit to The Westbrook (Bromham) and what a treat.  Yes it was a bit expensive but that is because we had three courses and gin!

Oh, did I not mention gin?  Well they have a gin menu with 11 good quality gins served up with the various fever tree tonic options and of course accompaniments.

The menu caters for all tastes from the traditional pub grub, various steaks (including rib eye) to something a bit more different.

King ScallopsWe started off with scallops served on a comfit of belly pork and a black pudding fritter with apple and calvados sauce,  and a deconstructed cocktail with lovely home baked warm bread,  followed by cod Florentine and Chicken Ballontine.  The Cod Florentine was very tasty with decent size pieces of fish on a bed of spinach and cheese sauce, served up with baby potatoes.  It was lovely and hot with lots of sauce.  Chicken Ballontine is breast stuffed with chorizo and apricot por
t stuffing then wrapped in Serrano ham and accompanied by a roasted pepper sauce, it did seem a little dry but not wort
hy of a complaint and it was full of flavour.Cod Florentine

Gin, mustn’t forget to mention this, what a fab menu and a great choice to serve any palate.  I try to taste different gins when going out and these were the ones we drank tonight:

Williams Chase Elegant Crisp – apple cider is used and they are harvested in the area, this is also Britain’s only single estate gin – a very pleasant gin.

King of Soho Gin – this is a London gin which is a tribute to Paul Raymond who was known as the King of Soho.  It has a citrus bias and is light and fresh, very drinkable, oh yes did I mention the bottle – it is a work of art and worth purchasing just for that as an added bonus.

Gin Mare Williams Chase Elegant Crip Gin– this gin has been on my radar for a while, simply because it is usually prominent in the duty free shop! It is Spanish and produced in a small fishing village and I have seen a review say that you should let the smoke of burning thyme into the glass, rub a lemon wedge in the glass before filling, serve with rosemary, them and lemon zest – sounds like an adventure to try – stay tuned.

Opihr – this is one of my favourites and one that we have at home.  It is a spicy gin which I serve with Fever tree ginger and cardamom pods.

Almost forgot the dessert – oops.

Well I have the Champagne Rhubarb Crème Brule with was served with the obligatory shortbread biscuit.  I quite liked the rhubarb at the bottom, it added a nice twang but I did think that the brule was a bit too solid – if you get my drift and the top could have been crispier.

The Eton Mess is served in a sundae glass and looked very filling, the strawberries appeared to be either hard or slightly frozen, however it is not really the season for strawberries so perhaps they were just a bit hard.

Cappuccino @GateauThe Cappuccino Gateau was very light and a very good sized portion was served, my dining partners said that it tasted like a light tiramisu and is one to have again.

So that was my first visit, a very pleasant one with great company.  The restaurant area is very tastefully decorated and on the walls are pastel drawings for sale of local landscapes.

The staff are very friendly and attentive, this appears to be also a local watering hole and is a popular place to visit so it is worth booking in advance.

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Longleat

So what to do on Mothers Day?  Off we trundled to Longleat using our Tesco Boost vouchers as the cost is about £30 per adult.  Of course on Mothers Day one of you can go free with a voucher – still cheaper via Tesco.

The giraffes were in their pen and not roaming by the feeding stations as the weather is not quite warm enough yet – Sunday was hot!

This time we took my Nissan Juke and decided to avoided the monkeys as I have a rear window wiper which is staple food for the Longleat monkeys.  As we drove past we were not missed as monkeys were climbing all over the cars and dismantling them.

Then in to the deer enclosure, last time we went it was rutting season but they were out and about although the feeding station was not dispensing!  This was good fun to watch as the deer were wallowing in mud and were completely covered head to hoof.  I stopped the car to view some deer eating hay and one walked over to say hello.  What a beauty, no food but I managed to spend quite a while tickling his head and causing a wonderful traffic jam.

Now for the big cats – window up.  The tigers were sitting up high and providing wonderful photo opportunities and when we reached the lions they were all in their pride flat out with twitching ears and tails.  The cheetahs were nowhere to be seen and the wolves were right in the middle so not a good view at all.  We did not see Anna the rescued elephant and the rhinos were also in their yard.

So we parked up and went foraging for food because at the African village the cafe was disgraceful, dirty tables, very little food available (1.30pm) and lacklustre staff.  So off to the rain forest cafe which provides the noises but sadly no longer the water (I wonder why).  After enjoying a very good jacket potato off we trundled to find the lorikeets.

These are funny little parrot like birds which you can feed using nectar pots at a cost of £1 per small helping.  I love this, it is so much fun and very entertaining.  Then off to see the penguins who last time were very poorly and locked away.  They are so funny and very graceful underwater.

It’s worth ducking into the touch pool area to see the rays and we saw one that had been born that very morning.  Now off to the lake to see the sea lions, another highlight and another cost of £1 per pot but great fun.

We didn’t see everything on this visit as time ran away but there was just enough time to see the bats – magnificent and a truly amazing experience.

So loved Longleat – as always – but wish they still did the passport ticket – sadly not.

 

Bertha now has her water heater

So I purchased from Ebay a Rinnai water heater and it arrived!  It is an older model but to be honest Bertha is over 20 years old.

Gary my LPG Gas-Safe engineer came round to fit it and first of all it was a matter of transferring over fittings – all good.

Then putting the vent pipe on – oops the heater is slightly longer – it fitted.

Time to test and we kept our fingers crossed – hurrah hot water into the sink it works, how excited was I ?

The best of all is that the shower works with good pressure and is hot as well – double bonus.  Now all I have to do is flush through the tanks with the appropriate solution and away we go – I am so pleased.

Bertha needs a water heater

So I pondered a while about this one as last year we did not use the water heater at all.  Most of the washing up was done on site or using a kettle and we did not use Berthas shower.

Time to bite the bullet, I contacted a local guy off the GasSafe register who is LPG trained, told him about the heater and he popped round for a 15min free check.

The heater looked very clean and there were high hopes until I switched on the water – then it sprang a leak, oh dear, what to do?

Options: 1. Buy a new water heater, 2. buy a new heat exchanger 3. do nothing.

Time to Google……

On eBay I found the next model up which will fit everything for £150 with all the fittings. It was second-hand but had been bench tested – so I have ordered it, found out my lovely gas engineer will charge £80 to fit so just waiting for delivery.

Stay tuned…..

This Is It

This is it I cannot write these words without singing the song in my head and it is a good thing.

I am new to this type of blogging and really I am inspired by a Blogging For Fun session I joined which was presented by Rachel Broome #tallrachel

So I have started, please stay tuned if you happen across my blog.

 

Why Gin?

Why not?  So many questions could be said here.

However the main reason is that I started dieting (Slimming World) and being a big red wine drinker I soon discovered that the 2 do not mix.

However gin with a slimline tonic does work – sorted

We visited a pub in Bremhill called the Dumb Post Inn and they had a gin festival which introduced us to the many types and accompaniments, this intrigued us and we though “what a lovely idea”.  Now we have about 12 bottles at home and when we are on our travels it is a great idea to test out the local gin.

#gin #slimming #slimline #TheDumbPost

Bertha – the big machine

Bertha

Bertha is a Talbot Highwayman Motor Home – that is all we knew about motor homing and it was a start to a brand new adventure.  She is an old F-reg with plenty of life left but is creaking here and there.

We aim to go out on many adventures around the UK, sometimes ‘wild camping’, also doing pub stops and then being very sensible and stopping at camp sites.

So my aim is to talk about her adventures.

#motorhome #travel #Talbot #camping