Speke Hall – A walking tour!

As another weekend of gloomy weather beckoned,  Jack still needed to be walked so off we went to Speke Hall.

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Unusually for us, we didn’t visit the house this time. Instead, we chose to make the most of the dry weather and explore the grounds. We were hoping to do a bit of a Geo Cashing but when we read the reviews online, it seems they may have been moved and my phone was rapidly running out of charge.

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So  instead, we wandered through the garden to the pond. It was such a peaceful place that looked lovely even on such a dull day. I liked the reflection of the trees in the pond and tried to capture it, you may have to use your imagination here,or just believe me that it was a very pleasing sight.

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Eventually, we continued our walk around the perimeter and came to a clearing in the wooded area, we could see the River Mersey and somewhere, not too far away, on the other side is our house. It was strange seeing the opposite coastline, we are so used to looking over in this direction, but we could make out The Eastham Ferry Hotel, so all was well ha!

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We completed the circular walk and ended up back in the garden which was full of beautiful flowers. These pink ones were everywhere and looked so perfect.

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I was told this Ice cream was Cornish but I wasn’t convinced, despite checking with the lady selling them. What do you think? Too pale? Me too!

 

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 Have a lovely day!

We finally found Red Squirrels! 

Yesterday we returned  to Formby Point and I promise,  the picture to the right at the top is of a Red Squirrel!!!!!!!! We finally saw one – well actually three in the end,  it has taken almost 20 years of visiting, but they were worth the wait!

They are so tiny compared to the grey ones and much more timid. The grey ones in The Glade tap on our window when we are eating our breakfast.- so bold!

The Red ones were much more reserved and kept to a safe distance, hence the blurry photograph because I couldn’t get any nearer, even with Jack firmly on his lead.

We also had a bracing walk along the beach, it was really windy and quite chilly. We  cut up the sand dunes a bit further along the beach than usual and at the top we discovered The Asparagus Walk.

It was well marked and in a field near to the beach, we came across  this sculpture (bottom right) of a local farmer Jimmy Lowe who, it seems was a bit of a celebrity  in Asparagus circles back in the 1930’s. It was created by a local sculpturer Simon Archer and there is an audio of him talking about it behind the installation, he was really interesting.

imageWe were there quite early and it really was a dull morning, apparently perfect for Squirrel spotting.

Jack had most of the trail and beach to himself, some squirrels came out to say hello and there was no queue for the refreshment kiosk. It was fab!

We even saw this little chap wandering along the road on the way.

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Have a lovely day!

 

 

 

Hanover Street Social

I wrote on Saturday about having restaurant reservations with friends at somewhere I had been wanting to try for a while, it was here at Hanover Street Social.

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It is based in the centre of Liverpool City Centre. From the outside it looks very unassuming. Those three sets of windows constitute the outside view.

imageWhen we arrived late on Saturday afternoon the restaurant was full and had a great atmosphere. We had to wait at the bar for our table and it took a while to get a picture without catching too many people in it.

There were Gins and Bellini’s of every flavour on offer. The bartenders looked to be experts and they were all beautifully prepared. My friend order a Gin and Tonic which was served with cloves floating on the top, she really enjoyed it.

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We were there in time to order from the LunchTime Menu. It offers two courses for £10.95. This is the Chicken dish with a seed mustard sauce that himself ordered. He enjoyed it but it seems to have been served with sweet potatoes as opposed to the daphanoise potatoes that it was advertised with.

imageOur friend A chose the steak which was served with a dressed rocket salad. We didn’t see the French fries as advertised and, they were not mentioned by the waitress.

He said he enjoyed it too,  both him and himself didn’t indulge in too much conversation until they had finished ha!

imageDisappointingly, there was only one vegetarian choice on offer so, the remaining three of us ordered the Gnocchi with  roasted pepper and tomato sauce, with herbed creme fraiche. When it arrived, it was only warm but I think that might have been the creme fraiche cooling it down.

It was delicious and the sauce was very tangy but not sour, as can sometimes be the case with tomatoes. It tasted like fresh ingredients had been used and I could certainly taste the peppers.

However,  the portions were small and we were very hungry. I forgot to get pictures of the cheesecake that I ordered for desert or the ice cream chosen by the youngest. Nevertheless, my cheesecake was delicious and had a very strong lemon flavour but not zingy which is how I like lemon deserts. Again, it was a very small serving.

I enjoyed the meal, but was left feeling a bit disappointed. The atmosphere was great. The service was pleasant but my  friend was deprived of her second gin because the menu was never brought to her as she had requested. This too was disappointing.

imageThe people watching from our table, we were in a window seat, was very entertaining, these chaps caused particular amusement.

However, as soon as we got home, himself popped out and brought us a takeaway back. We were starving! There are so many fabulous places to eat in Liverpool City Centre, we probably won’t rush to return.

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 Have a lovely day!

 

Red Squirrels : Formby Point

My Sunday Photo this week was taken at Formby Point in Liverpool last weekend.

It is a coastal path that includes sand dunes and, a wooded area that houses red squirrels. We have been before when the eldest was a baby and a couple of times since but, we have never seen a red squirrel!

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This picture of Jack on top of a sand dune has not had any filters whatsoever used on it. The sky really was that blue and the sand that yellow, it was quite amazing.

imageThis picture shows the view over the top of that sand dune, can you see the Christmas trees lined up?

It was quite bizarre, this looked liked a Christmas tree graveyard. We guess, but don’t really know, that it must be what they do with the trees that don’t sell at Christmas time, some were still wrapped in the netting they come in.

The beach was quite crowded and Jack was a bit skittish at the thought of all the picnics  he could potentially liberate. Therefore, we walked back over the dunes to the wooded area that we had driven through en route to the car park.

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We walked the red squirrel trail and, yet again, we didn’t see a single one of the blighters!

However, we have a cunning plan, himself quizzed one of the rangers for the low down, and it seems that we will venture there in time for breakfast in the very near future. Apparently,  it’s the only time they come out to play- who knew?  We are plagued by their grey cousins morning, noon and night in The Glade, but there you go, the red ones must be  shy.

Nevertheless, it was a lovely walk. There was a mobile van selling refreshments and an  ice cream van or two, be warned though, I am reliably informed by Ms Glade that the ice cream was quite expensive ha! I loved it!

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On the way home we popped to Crosby Beach to see, Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place‘.

There are 100 of these cast iron men littered all over the beach, I think they are amazing. He has said that he based them on himself!!

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I am not sure if you can see the people on the beach leading to the water, they are all  iron men too. I liked this scene of the tanker crossing between the wind farm and the iron men. I don’t think I like the look of the wind farm very much, but I know some people do.

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Have a lovely day!

UPDATE : Please see the brilliant explanations below for why the Christmas trees are there, it’s fab and makes perfect sense!! Thank you ladies xx

The Egg!

Apparently it is National Vegetarian week, so to celebrate I thought I would show you one of my favourite vegetarian places .

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The Egg cafe is in Liverpool City Centre, just off Bold Street. It is in the loft space of an old Victorian warehouse. Therefore, the journey up the stairs is not for the faint hearted!

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When you finally reach the skinny purple door, an airy space is revealed. The decor is bohemian in style, which is fitting because the cafe also acts as an art gallery.

In the daytime there are great views of the city and in the evening, it twinkles by candlelight.

Students, artists, families, young old professionals, well just about anyone, can be found sitting at the tables, eating or wiling away the hours. I love this place because it is so relaxed, the staff usually have an air of mañana about them!

There are a selection of hot and soft drinks available but they do not have a licence for alcoholic beverages.  Don’t panic though because you can take your own!!

That was embarrassing, clinking through the few shops we visited beforehand.

imageThe counter is well stocked with seasonal dishes. On Saturday evening, there were a number of freshly prepared specials available and they were all served with a mixture of  salads or rice.

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This is Miss G’s  spicy bean burger, I had the Leek and Mushroom bake and himself enjoyed The Red Dragon Pie, but neither of ours were as photogenic in the candlelight.

Whilst it’s my favourite place to go, I do have one issue in that my choice is sometimes cold in the middle. However, I usually asked for it to be heated again and it is returned to me piping hot with a sincere apology. On Saturday, I  was too hungry and just ate the cold parts, it did give me a bit of a heavy tummy.

However, this does seem to be unique to me because himself and the youngest polished theirs off in super quick time and both were fine. Perhaps I’m sensitive!

We were all too full for desserts but as always there was a huge array of homemade cakes available.

It is a great place and worth the climb up the stairs, even if you just go for coffee and cake, the people watching opportunities are abundant! Give it a try if you are ever in Liverpool and let me know what you think.

Have a lovely day x

 

Camp and Furnace!

On Friday, when the eldest popped home we decided to eat at Camp and Furnace, in Liverpool.

Camp and Furnace is not so much a restaurant as an experience. On Friday nights a Food Slam is on offer! Let me try to explain;

 

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Camp and Furnace is housed in an old warehouse on the outskirts of the city centre.

 

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Food stalls are set up around the outside of the room offering good quality, street style food for sale from different vendors.

 

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There is a bar where cocktails are expertly mixed and delivered. Soft drinks, juices and craft beers are also available. Miss G enjoyed the cider immensely!

 

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The seating is arranged like an outdoor event with long benches and tables arranged in the centre of the room.

 

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Myself and the girls chose a potato curry which was served with rice, flatbread and garnished with coriander. It was very flavoursome and the rice was lovely and fluffy. I opted for the extra chillies and I think it really lifted the dish. Himself enjoyed a chicken version.

The girls had freshly made waffles for dessert that were eaten before a photograph was even considered. I am reliably informed they were gorgeous!

 

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There is also a DJ belting out some brilliant music!

It is one of those places that draws quite a diverse crowd of people. It gets extremely busy which we knew so, my pictures were taken early on in the evening.

There is a real festival atmosphere with students and professional types all mixed in together, sitting on benches. There were other families and a group of girls dressed up, a hen night maybe!

As a vegetarian,  I felt we were restricted on Friday, there was only curry available, a potato one or a chick pea alternative. However, both looked appealing and the potato one was delicious! I just wish there had been a bit more choice.

That said, Camp and Furnace is an experience rather than an eatery . We felt like part of  the Hipster crowd!

Go on, give it ago if you are ever in Liverpool!