Saturday, 14 April 2012

Easter fun: A week of foodie fun!

So the week before Easter we got to spend a whole week at my parents in Shropshire.  The thing I love about where they live is their proximity to other places, we love nothing more than checking out as many towns and villages as we can when we visit.  So the day after we arrived we headed to Nantwich.

The flowers were definitely in full bloom and looking lovely! 

and we managed to check out their pretty good farmers market they had.  We even got some goat from one of the stalls which By turned into a Jamaican goat curry for us.  There was another stall selling Mango and Lime homemade squash so we bought some of that and planned a whole Caribbean dinner, complete with coconut and mango cream pie from me too.

Of course my ulterior motives usually involve cupcakes! I had read about Homemade and couldn't miss the chance to check out their treats! It's a cute shop where you can buy fabrics, paint pottery and of course buy some homemade cakes! 

I went for the chocolate/chocolate combo and it didn't disappoint! 

After that we headed to Market Drayton for their farmers market.  I seriously love how many markets and foodie towns there are in this part of the world! It is awesome! 

Randomly, there was a guy showcasing his owls so Mom had her picture snapped with the cute little baby owl.  

By was slightly more adventurous and braved stroking this rather mean looking owl! 

and I chickened out on stroking any of them by just taking pictures!

Of course another market means more cupcake stalls.  This time from The Little Round Cake Company who are one of my faves! The M stands for Millionaire's Shortbread flavour.

Probably my favourite find of our whole visit was this place - Shrewsbury Bakehouse.  Shrewsbury is the main town near my parents and I just love it! It has exactly the kind of shops I adore, I can always find beautiful gifts, and creative cards (I am a very fussy card buyer) and I've noticed even in the past year they have sooo many deli's and food shops popping up which obviously makes it very appealing to me too! 

Let me start by saying I am not a pastry lover.  Take me to any bakery selling brownies/cupcakes and I won't even take a glance over at the pastry section but this pastry caught my eye! How could it not when the topping was fresh raspberry and melted white chocolate chips! We bought it for breakfast one morning and it was so good I had to save half of it and take it in to my mom at work to let her try it too - seriously the best pastry I have ever tried!! We all went back on Saturday morning to get round 2 for breakfast from there as well! 

and there's a new cupcake cafe in Shrewsbury too - Designa Cake.  So I couldn't pass up the chance to give one of their cupcakes a try too - I went for the coconut and raspberry combo and whilst I wasn't overly impressed with their piping efforts it tasted so delicious so I let that one slide! 

Of course no visit back home is complete without a trip to pie night at the 'local' ...almost local pub. Where else would you get a pie serving like that with chips and veg all for £5! The plates are always enormous, the pies always delicious!

Our annual Easter egg hunt was moved forward from Easter Sunday to Good Friday since we were going to be heading back to Wales on the Saturday.

We were all very excited when Mom told us the bunny in the drive signalled that the Easter bunny had been! 

So we set out on our hunt.  Our long term Easter Bunny was on crutches this year and so he had to get his helper (mom) to hide the eggs.  Luckily that meant they were in slightly easier places! 

So I actually managed to find mine this year! Unlike last time when By found loads and I was struggling! Speaking about last year, can you believe we were doing our hunt in our shorts with amazingly sunny weather and we made that awesome slip and slide! This year it was all coats and Ugg boots! What a change!

It was smiles all round, probably just cause we were so glad we could go back inside again - it was pretty chilly! 

We realised, although we hadn't planned it, we were all part of the purple brigade! purple is a favourite colour of all the female members in our family (but definitely not the males!)

After that we headed to Church Stretton, a beautiful town in the heart of the Shropshire hills that is often referred to as 'Little Switzerland' due to it's amazing scenery that I neglected to take any pictures of - sorry! 

Obviously I'm more interested in the foodie side of things! My mom knows all the best places so she took us to Van Doesburg's, an award winning sandwich shop and deli.   

I think it's pretty obvious to see from my turkey and cranberry sandwich why it wins awards! This was seriously delish.

We drove on to Ludlow, another very beautiful town - also known as the foodiest town in Britain, a claim which I was looking forward to testing out but we were so full at this point that we just enjoyed the charm of the old skool buildings instead! 

I love the turrets on this building! 

We were hoping to walk along the river but couldn't find a path so we resorted to posing instead! 

How awesome is this building! 

and this one! I've never seen so many blue plaques outside of London as we did here.  It seemed to be steeped in history.  

We had planned our 'American' dinner for Good Friday but clearly because of everything we had consumed during the day we ate as late as possible.  Mom cooked up some gourmet style burgers with fat fries, Mara supplied the A&W Root Beer and we had Oreo cupcakes for dessert, made by me!

and check out those awesome serviettes my mom got! We even had a few cupcakes topped with Mint Oreos thanks to my sister who got them in a candy swap from someone in the States! 

On Saturday we finished up our week away by visiting my mom's favourite Cheshire towns; Knutsford and Tarporley.  They had a lovely little farmers market going on, and tons of nice gift/homeware shops, and we had our Jones family tradition of fish and chips at Loch Fyne - if you've never tried their fish and chips it is some of the best around!  They are also especially good for their second hand shops because it is serious footballer country around here, which is evident from the crazy amounts of ridunculously expensive sports cars that frequent the streets! 

We also stopped off at The Hollies Farm Shop - another amazing place with so much delicious looking food inside! We got some sourdough bread which Mara used to cook us up some Bill Granger delights when we got home! We couldn't resist posing for a pic with the cow (and the injured Easter Bunny!)
If you ever want to check out this lovely area of the world, you should definitely look at the Forest Lodges on site at the farm shop.  They are pure luxury and pretty inexpensive, we may just do it ourselves one time for fun! We enjoyed taking a little walk around and checking them out whilst we were there.

It was such a great week indulging in my two favourite things: family and food!