Matcha, dumplings,walks and dislocations

I’ve really been trying to gather my life into some sort of routine – getting up at the same time daily etc to try and maximise productivity and make the most of every day! So far I am not doing too well at organising everything, but this is a new week so I’m going to REALLY try now! One thing I do need to work on is this blog. Before I started blogging I would read others and wonder why they only post once or twice a week, if that. Now I totally understand. I now retract my ‘I’m going to blog everyday’ statements. Fully. And I apologise for being to naive! So this is a little late, but here goes…

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Last weekend was full of promises of wonderful treats. I set of to Bath early Saturday morning to drop Dan at jiujitsu (I’m not entirely sure that’s how it’s spelt!?!) and made my way into town to visit some of my favourite shops. I went to Uni in Bath and lived there for a year so it’s a town full of nostalgia. I’ve said before I think it’s one ofΒ the only cities in the UK I would happily live in. I managed to mooch around Anthropologie and Hay before receiving a phone call from Dan to inform me he was in A&E with a dislocated shoulder. For a split second I was angry he had ruined my shopping trip (selfish cow I know!!) then I quickly felt guilty rushed to the car park to head to the hospital.

We had planned to visit Comins Tea Shop and after a couple of hours in A&E decided it would be a great way to chill and for Dan to relax a little after his morning’s antics! We met the owner at Abergavenny Food Festival and he introduced us to Matcha Green Tea – my new fave! Comins is all about the whole experience of tea drinking, and is not your typical tea and bun cafe. Each tea is served in its traditional teapot and receptacle, and comes with a timer and a flask of hot water (the temperature of water is again different depending on the tea). I first went for the Matcha – a fine powder which is sifted before being whisked into hot water in a small bowl. I won’t lie it looks a little bit like frothy pond water, but it’s such a deliciously fresh tea – and bang on trend! Dan had a Green Sencha which was served in a Japanese Kyusu teapot. We ordered some Japanese dumplings to go with our tea – the perfect accompaniment! I would recommend Comins to any tea lover – and in fact to anyone who is open to trying something different!

Our Sunday morning plans weren’t affected by Dan’s accident and we headed to Westonbirt Arboretum. The colours haven’t quite turned yet so we will be visiting again in the next couple of weeks for the gorgeous orange and red glows! One thing we weren’t expecting was the new treetop bridge. I’d read about it but because we haven’t visited for so long we hadn’t yet seen it. The bridge is pretty amazing and far longer than we anticipated. It was absolutelyΒ full of people though so it will be nice to go back at a quieter time. Westonbirt is such a beautifully maintained arboretum and I can’t wait for the Autumn and Winter events there!

Some friends of ours – Will and Kat – recently took over the Royal Oak in Leighterton. They’ve spent the summer stripping the pub back, redecorating, sanding, varnishing, building and accessorising, and Sunday afternoon was the first time we got to fully experience their hard work. They have done such a beautiful job to create a warm and welcoming feel – a traditional yet contemporary country pub. The selection of ales and cider has been as carefully considered as the decor, with a range of local Uley ales and Black Rat cider and perry among them. The Sunday menu was impressive and I opted for the tomato and mozzarella arancini, roast beef and bake well tart. The food was absolutely incredible, and the beef quite possibly the BEST I’ve ever had! I urge you all to pay the pub a visit – you will not be disappointed!!

I find the best way to help a big meal settle is an afternoon stroll. After gaining directions from a local farmer, we set off across the fields of Leighterton for a brisk walk to try and burn off some of the thousands of calories we had consumed!! I’ve never really explored the area before but in the early evening light it was absolutely stunning! Even more of a reason for you to go and visit the Royal Oak!