Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category


The Adventures of Moopy in Sheffield: Part 1

August 18, 2009

A while ago I took part in my first softie swap. I love softies but hadn’t really made any before, except for little tiny ones made from felt. Unfortunately the photos I took of my softie are on another camera that I can’t find the lead for at the moment so I’ll have to share them with you another time.

My partner was the very talented Lisa and she made me a lovely mini moopy:

Sheffield 021small

Moopy came to Sheffield with us so that I could show you some of the places we visited without having to get in front of the camera myself! The photo above was taken in a little pub in Bakewell, where we spent a nice relaxing afternoon pottering around the shops and walking along the riverbank.

Sheffield 019small

Of course, being in Bakewell we had to try a proper Bakewell pudding!

Sheffield 024small

It was deemed acceptable by the highly critical panel.

Sheffield 025small

Since we were last in the city, the Wheel of Sheffield has been put up at the top of the high street. It is a bit like the London Eye but smaller and you get your own little capsule as long as it’s not really busy. Of course we had to have a go, but unfortunately Moopy wasn’t with us as we were on our way back from quite a smart restaurant (Silversmiths, the one Gordon Ramsay sorted out last year).

Sheffield 077small

Sheffield 062small

It’s getting late so I’ll save the rest of the trip for another post. Happy Tuesday! (just)


River Cottage

March 29, 2009

Yesterday Matt and I visited River Cottage for their “Get Growing in Spring” event. This is the headquarters for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall‘s food and farming empire and is somewhere that I love to visit.

This is the view as you walk down to the farm. I think it looks so romantic, snuggled away in its little valley.


I love Hugh FW’s outlook on food, it should be as local, seasonal and organically grown as possible, and I’m glad that local food is becoming more widely available in farm shops, and even some supermarkets. I’ve always believed that even better than buying locally produced food is having a go at growing it yourself! That way you know exactly where it has come from and it tastes much better knowing that you put the time and effort in!


These beautiful rows of seedlings planted in drainpipes were an inspiration as to what can be grown if you have the space. Unfortunately, I don’t. At the moment my growing space is limited to a small plot in my parents’ garden, but I guess it’s a good idea to start small and just grow what you can!


There was a lot going on, with demonstrations and talks about growing veg and how to cook what you grow, sample allotment layouts and ideas of how to get the most from a tiny plot, and a chance to see some of the livestock on the farm, including the new lambs, who seemed to be the star attraction!


There was also a produce swap which was a great success. We took two jars of our homemade apple and date chutney and took home a jar of windfall pear and walnut chutney and a lovely looking cranberry jam.

We were lucky with the weather most of the day (except for a 2 minute hail storm which seemed to come from nowhere) so were able to enjoy a walk around the farm and nature trail in the sunshine. It was a really nice day out and I’d recommend a trip to a River Cottage event if you get the chance. There were also a lot of experts there to ask if you have any problems or just a niggling question about any aspect of growing veg or rearing livestock.


There was also a lot of information about a new scheme Hugh is setting up to find land for people who are interested in growing veg but don’t have the space. It’s definitely something I’m going to look into. It involves matching landowners who have the space but not the time or inclination to grow their own with people who would love to get growing but don’t have anywhere to do it. This is the Landshare website with more info if you’re interested (and live in the UK).