So, without further ado...
Thursday's dinner was a house classic - rib eye grilled to medium rare perfection served with roasted broccoli and asparagus and baked (okay, microwaved!) sweet potato. This meal is like a bear hug - comforting and leaves you feeling all warm inside.
With a busy foodie weekend ahead of me, I wanted to start Friday right with a mackerel and roasted vegetable frittata. No muss no fuss.
Friday at work was cray - non-stop all day long. But, a healthy-living gal ALWAYS makes time to eat a proper lunch and take a walk with her friend. Mental and physical wellbeing, y'all - don't neglect it. Lunch was an Albacore tuna salad with avocado with a generous helping of gossip. Mmm mm.
Before I knew it the day had raced by and it was time to speed off to Cheltenham and the first stop of the weekend, Andy's old friend and running partner and his girlfriend.
We went for a lovely meal at a local country pub called The House in the Tree. Despite having had steak the night before, I was in the mood for meat. I went for cajun-spiced lamb in a tomato and pepper stew with new potatoes. The lamb was cooked to pink perfection, lightly chargrilled and so, so tender. I loved it.
We left around 10pm and it was still light - the longest day. Got to make the most of these light nights. The pub had a little petting zoo and we saw the goats and pigs all tucked up ready for bed. So cute!
Saturday morning rolled around and while the boys went for a run, I hung out at the house and took a little walk in the local park. Breakfast was a cuppa or two plus porridge oats with a seed and nut mix thrown in. A nice break from the norm. I enjoyed relaxing in front of Saturday morning TV until the boys got back and washed up and we headed to...
I've been once before but was just as excited to go again! Andy and Malc humoured me, and we got some lunch before taking a look around the shop.
I went for a cooked lunch rather than the salad bar. Grilled sardines, roasted vegetables and, my favourite, roasted butternut squash with onions and dried cranberries. Delicious, although not cheap at £9.50. I expected a bit more fish! Still, it is Disneyworld! I had an almond milk capuccino on the side. I've yet to find anywhere else in the UK that offers almond milk at their coffee bar. They also do coconut milk.
And then we got to shopping. Check out the instore bar - 'Fill your flagon'!
It ain't all mung beans and carrot sticks, you know.
While the boys got their second free sample of brownie sundaes, I stocked up on some healthy snacks and soaked up the atmosphere. I'll show you my haul later...
We bid farewell to Malc and Cheltenham and headed off to Droitwich Spa, about 30 minutes away, for part two of our adventure. We pitched up at my friend Karen's place and headed straight to a local food festival on foot with Karen and her husband, Colin. I told you it was a foodie weekend!
See - happy blogger! The weather threatened, but the rain held off and we sampled lots of goodies. And I mean, lots - from sausages to local wine to cheese to fudge and everything inbetween. It was great! I left with some lavender dark chocolate for me and coffee dark chocolate for Andy and he bought a bottle of the rather good local wine for us to share later.
Before heading back we stopped for a coffee - vanilla freddo in my case. Seriously good.
We strolled home along the canal and spent a couple of hours enjoying some wine and a chat before heading out to Rajdoot, a local Indian restaurant in a little village. This was seriously good Indian fine dining.
I had a vegetable side as my starter - Gobi Masala, which was cauliflower cooked in onion, cumin and tomatoes. Really good, vibrant, with a slight crunch.
For my main I fancied something with coconut and plumped for King Prawn Narial - prawns in coconut cream sauce with a hint of mustard and coriander. The prawns were really juicy and I could have drunk the sauce! I had a light and refreshing Kachumber salad on the side which had radishes, cucumber and carrot, and we shared Bengan Aloo - aubergines and potatoes. Plenty of red wine was quaffed, too.
As we were going all out, I didn't bother resisting pudding. I went for Gajar Ka Halwa - 'finely grated carrots cooked on slow heat with delicate touch of cardamom, garnished with pistachio nuts, served with vanilla ice cream'. Lovely, light and fragrant. The perfect way to end the meal.
We stayed up chatting quite late so I was a bit bleary-eyed when I surfaced this morning. Luckily our hostess with the mostest was ready with this breakfast spread.
I had some of the gorgeous fruit salad with yoghurt and muesli and plenty of tea!
We headed in to Worcester for a walk and light bite, although I wasn't hungry, so just had a cup of tea at very cute cafe called The Little Ginger Pig which specialises in local produce. Worth a visit. We said goodbye and hit the road around 1pm. I soon felt snacky on the way - luckily we were all stocked up, so I nibbled on these:
Check that ingredient list. No crap in there! They were good too, but expensive. A good treat for rare occasions!
I snoozed a bit on the journey and before I knew it Andy had got us home safe and in good time. Love that boy.
Check our booty!
Sweet potato crisps, vegetable crisps, the aforementioned chocolate bars, banana crunch bites, coconut water, my crackers (all gone!), fig bites, kale chips, and walnut and maple coffee.
I was proper hungry when we got back so I used up some leftovers from the week to make a mackerel salad. Never fails. Then I headed off for a walk to try and revive myself and get my steps up - I managed 10000 a day over the weekend so far.
I walked through the rose garden and saw a group of people meditating. I envied them being able to bliss out like that. I'd love to give it a go but am so impatient and fidgety... precisely why I need it!
I also snacked on some fig bites - fig balls rolled in shredded coconut aka heavenly little balls of sugar - and kale chips. Love these things. Again, pricey but such a great treat. Nom nom! I also drank a cup of the maple and walnut coffee. It was really good - not bitter at all and a nice mellow taste. I mainly bought it to make iced coffee out of. Can't wait.
I found this fragrant little rose head in the rose garden and bought it home. Now a bit of evening relaxation awaits and the sun is coming out. Time to water the garden, make dinner and relax.
Food highlight of the weekend?
Too many to choose!