Jul 012017 Tagged with 2 Responses

Asparagus, easy to grow and SO easy to eat

There are a few foods that are really seasonal and are with us for just a brief period – my two favourites are Cherries and Asparagus.  I absolutely love both of them and neither of them are anywhere near as good eaten out of season.  So when the season is right we eat them most days and enjoy them while we can.  Asparagus is really easy to grow and even a small patch will provide you with some mouth-watering meals. Read More…

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May 292017 Tagged with , , , 0 Responses

Cotswold Gardens – Hidcote and Kiftsgate

Hidcote and Kiftsgate gardens have always been my big favourites.  I must have visited these wonderful garden at least ten times, but haven’t been for nearly TWENTY years.  In the interim they have been busy adding new gardens and vistas.  You can visit both in an afternoon with Kiftsgate opening at 11am and Hidcote not closing until 6pm.  They are virtually next door to each other.

I’ll never forget seeing the Hidcote red border (pictured above) for the first time in my mid-twenties.  The impact it made on me lives with me today.  Enclosed behind high hedges there is nothing to draw the eye away from the intensity of the colour schemes created.

Red is always the last colour to appear in quantity in the garden so it was no surprise that the red border was full of promise, but not full of colour.  All the rich golds and purples were still to show.  Lucky for us we could colour in most of the patches as we are familiar with the foliage on show!  Note the use of NZ red cabbage trees in the foreground.

What never fails to surprise me is the height they get in their borders.  And yet again I go home vowing to manure the garden to death with Tui sheep pellets and rich compost this winter.

I’ve told Phil he needs to retire real quick while he’s still strong enough to wheel a heavily laden wheelbarrow down to the bottom garden and back.  AND we need to get then digger in to deepen the pond!

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May 292017 0 Responses

Segovia – stunning last stop

Segovia – chosen by default as close to Madrid airport.  We had wanted to finish up with another walking destination as neither of us are city lovers, but Segovia is so well situated, only an hour from Madrid and what a history we found.

A small walled pedestrianised village with a Roman aqueduct that is nearly a kilometre long!  So large in fact that you can’t get it all in a photo.  The stones aren’t even set in mortar!  Be sure to visit the museum which has a fabullus exhibition on the aqueduct and how it was built.

Segovia is steeped in history – churches, plaza, castle and very good shopping all in one little town.  Not to mention the Palace and gardens of Jardines del Palacio de San Ildefonso with its 20-odd fountains which is only 12km away and makes for a pleasant day trip.

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May 292017 0 Responses

Leon and the Camino

Our last two stops enroute to Madrid were south through Leon and Segovia.

As we approached Leon the “pilgrims” on the Camino became more obvious.  Now and then as we crossed the Trail we had seen a few walkers, but Leon and it’s Parador is a real highlight for many people travelling the Camino.

Our hotel for the next couple of nights (courtesy of a great Booking.com special) was the Parador which had originally been built many centuries ago to care for pilgrims on the Camino.  If you look up Trip Advisor or Booking.com the reviews are predominantly by Caminos who are breaking their journey here.  They made an interesting sight at dinner with their walk shorts/lightweight trousers  and then their sandals poking out from underneath the heavy linen floor length tablecloths.   Beautifully uniformed staff carrying their packs to the rooms.  I’m sure the Caminos were only too willing to give their bags up, if only to the distance to their room!

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