There’s no denying it – beer is big at the moment. Small breweries and micropubs are popping up all over the place, more and more pubs and shops are selling so-called “craft beer”, and sales of cask beer and real ale are on the rise. And, as evidenced by my recent trip to the Southampton Beer Festival, everyone – young and old, male and female – is on board.… Read more
Tiff and I aren’t the types to pop out for breakfast or brunch on a weekend. However, we stayed at Tiff’s dad’s in Marlow last night and he offered to treat us to breakfast at the cafe at the garden centre on the Stubbings House estate.
The garden centre and nursery is a short way up a pleasant drive, not far from the A404 between Marlow and Maidenhead.… Read more
Last weekend, our friends Lee and Becks took us on a mini tour of the Stroud area on the western edge of the Cotswolds.
The first stop was Stroud itself. We spent a short while looking around the weekly farmers’ market then popped into the Stroud Ale House for a drink (or several, as it turned out).
What a place! Located in what used to be a large bar/nightclub, this venue could be described as a “macropub” if such a thing exists.… Read more
On Wednesday night, Tiff’s dad’s friend Janet treated us to dinner at the Shoe Inn in Exton, a village in the South Downs national park just off the A32 between Wickham and Alton.
Tiff’s dad picked me up straight from work so we arrived just before 6pm. I’d directed us on a bit of a detour down some extremely narrow lanes.… Read more
I don’t really enjoy bottled beer, so I’m quite lucky to have a few breweries close by that do public sales such as the Botley Brewery down in the Botley Mills and the Bowman Ales brewery near Droxford.… Read more
Every year around this time, Tiff and I make a few batches of elderflower cordial to drink over the summer.
Elderflower seemingly pops up everywhere in late May and early June. Yet we always struggle to find any in a good spot – on a public right of way, easily accessible (not too high up!) and away from traffic fumes.
One reason for this is that the elder tree is inconspicuous for most of the year – only when it’s in blossom or in fruit is it easy to find.… Read more