Category Archives: Out & About in Bath

Flaunt Your Haunt – Bath City, UK

Today, I’m taking part in the Travelodge #FlauntYourHaunt campaign and I’m going to share what I love about my home city. I’ve lived in Bath for sixteen years now, but not a day goes past that I don’t count my lucky stars that I ended up in this incredible place!

So what makes Bath so special to me?

Bath Abbey in November

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Filed under Out & About in Bath, Reviews, Walking & Hiking

Bath Half 2015 – I did it!

I did it! I actually completed my first half marathon!

Bath Half 2015 - I did it!

And what an incredible experience it was to be in the midst of all these runners making their way round my home city

Bath Half 2015

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My ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots look the wrong way round as I started the race soaking wet and finished it dry. As we set off for Bath city centre, there was a cool breeze, the sun was shining and the sky was clear blue. I kept calling out to the family how it was the perfect day for running… no sooner had I uttered these words than the sky went dark and there was the most almighty downpour!

Bath Half 2015 - before shot

Stupidly, I hadn’t packed a waterproof coat or an umbrella, so I ended up soaked to the skin and freezing cold. Instead of heading to the runners village, I popped in Cafe Nero’s to try and warm up. At least I managed to stop shivering! Luckily, the rain stopped just before the race began and the sun started to peep out.

With thirty minutes to go until ‘the off’, I headed up Great Pultney Street to the ‘starting pens’. It felt surreal to be part of the running crowd. I couldn’t quite believe I was there! Suddenly the race started, and the only sound I could hear was the ‘pitter patter’ of thousands of feet. It was such a unique sound. I found it mesmerizing.

Bath Half 2015 - Bath Chronicle

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The first four miles went really fast, then it started getting tougher. I tried to keep up with ‘Pound Coin guy’ for a while. I did manage to say hi to him, but even his pace was too much for me. To ignore the fact my feet were screaming, I focused on the crowds and ‘hi fiveing’ all the kids I passed. Seeing their smiley faces definitely kept my spirits lifted.

Pound Coin guy

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Another highlight for me was being lapped by the winner, Paul Martelletti and runner up, Dean Lacey. I can’t believe how fast those guys can run! If I’d blinked I would have missed them! Paul was the first British guy to win the Bath Half in twelve years, finishing in 1 hr 5 minutes.

Paul Martelletti

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That’s a whole hour faster than me! I ended up finishing in 2 hours 5 minutes, which is quicker than expected. I even managed a kind of hobbled sprint finish 🙂

Once over the finish line, my body pretty much refused to move. I could barely bend over to reach the time chip on my shoe. I hobbled my way through the exit pens and collected my medal, finishers t shirt and ‘goodie’ bag.

Bath Half 2015 Medal

I loved the t shirt but the ‘goodie’ bag was pretty dismal. I was kind of expecting a protein bar or energy drink. Something to rejuvenate me after the big run. But no, here’s what was inside…

Bath Half 2015 Goodie Bag

Dairy milk bars and a Dairyfine Titan. Glad to see they catered for the plant-based runners 😉

But joking aside, I’m so glad that I took the plunge and signed up for the Bath Half. It was a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for me, and one that I’ll never forget.

Bath Half 2015 - I did it!

The fact I got to run for such a worthwhile cause was the icing on the cake. Thanks to you guys, I’ve raised £436 for Mercy In Action. I have been so touched these past few weeks by your kindness and generosity. I can’t thank you enough. As promised in this post, I’ll be picking three sponsors at random to win some of my home-made chocolates. Since donations are still coming in, I’ve extended the deadline until this Friday, March 6th March. I’ll notify the winners by email.

Thank you once again, to everyone that’s donated and offered words of advice and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you xx

 

 

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Filed under Fund-Raising, Out & About in Bath, Running

Something for the Weekend – Pineapple Sunshine Deepcrust Pizza

When the sun’s shining, June has got to be the most glorious month of the year in England, don’t you think? The countryside is lush and green, the roses are out in full force, and gardens are a hive of activity.

Roses in June - By the K&A Canal

And after all those months of rain, it’s so refreshing to go out running without an umbrella (yes, I did actually resort to that, much to the amusement of others!) and head out on my beloved bike.

Countryside around Bath

It feels so liberating to travel around on the bike. No queuing in traffic, no waiting for a bus or driving around looking for a parking slot, no expense. Just lots of fresh air, exercise and a chance to take in the beautiful views along the way

Kennet and Avon Canal with Swans - June

Swans and cygnets - K&A Canal - June

I much prefer to take the scenic route into the city centre rather than along the main roads. It only takes a couple of minutes extra, but it’s so worth it. I get to see lots of gorgeous creatures along the way, like these beauties.

Cows and Calves - Bath Countryside

I always give them a wave and often stop to say ‘hi’. They’re very patient with me and this one in particular politely feigns interest in my incessant chatter 😉

Cows in Bathampton

Along with my exercise and travel routines, this time of year, my appetite changes too, and I’m craving lots of fresh salads, fruit smoothies and frappuccinos.

Though my appetite for pizza is year-round, the toppings change to suit the season. To celebrate the arrival of summer, for me, nothing beats our ‘Pineapple Sunshine Deepcrust Pizza’.

PineappleSunshine Deepcrust Pizza (Vegan Style)

This is my vegan take on the classic Hawaiian pizza. The ham’s been removed, and replaced with an array of tasty, sunshine-filled veggies. If you wish, you could sprinkle on some vegan cheese, but these days me and the boys prefer to leave our pizzas cheeseless and let the veggies take centre stage.

Vegan Pineapple Sunshine Deepcrust Pizza

If you’re a subscriber to The Vegan Kind Monthly Subscription Box (TVK), you’ll have spotted this pizza on the June recipe card. It was tucked in with a whole bunch of fab vegan and eco-friendly goodies, including a jar of Mr Organic Italian Sun-dried Tomato Pesto. It was the first time I’d ever tried this brand of pesto and I seriously loved it! It has the most amazing flavour and it works beautifully on the pineapple pizza.

TVK8 Collage

For those of you that don’t receive the TVK box, I thought I’d share our pizza recipe here. I’ve also added some notes about gluten free and speedy options, as well as my vegan cheese recommendations (just in case you still love your pizzas cheesy 😉 )

 

Notes
GF option – I haven’t made a GF pizza myself yet, but ready-made bases/crusts are available to purchase in stores and online. In the UK, the Venice Bakery gluten free pizza bases come highly recommended (I’m looking forward to trying them myself!)

If you wish to add some vegan cheese, I can recommend the Violife brand. It tastes incredibly similar to dairy cheese, yet it’s made with coconut oil! In the UK, you’ll find it in independent health food shops and online.

For a super speedy dinner, we love to make French bread pizzas using a large multigrain baguette or ‘Grand Paysan’ loaf. Roast the veggies for about 15 minutes in a little olive oil. Slice the bread in half and lightly toast on both sides. Spread on the pesto, then pile on the veggies and serve.

What are your favourite things about June?
What kinds of foods are you enjoying right now?

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Filed under Dinners, Out & About in Bath

Bluebell Woods and Bath Skyline

I don’t remember a year ever being as wet as this one! Here in Bath, rarely has a day gone by without rain. In the press, there’s talk of an impending heatwave. Hmm I’ll believe it when I see it.

Last weekend we finally had a break in the weather and we were itching to get outside and make the most of it. It was actually a Bank Holiday here in the UK and we had three days of warmth and sunshine

We were pretty much outdoors for the whole weekend. On Saturday, we headed out on our bikes along the Kennet and Avon Canal and rode the Two Tunnels circuit. This is one of my all-time favourites cycle routes. I love riding through the Combe Down Tunnel. It’s got such a cool vibe! Just over one mile in length, it’s the longest cycle and walking tunnel in the UK.

Riding along the Kennet & Avon Canal Towpath

On Sunday, we met our friends for a drink in Marlborough then headed to West Woods at Clatford, North Wiltshire. English bluebells bloom in late April/early May and you’ll find many woods are literally carpeted in them!

Bluebell Woods Clatford

We timed our visit to Clatford just right. By going later in the day we found that everyone was leaving just as we arrived. For most of the walk, we were literally alone in the woods. It was an incredible experience. Truly magical!

Of course there were plenty of sticks and climbing to keep Lil’ L and our friends’ grandson happy 😉

Bluebell Woods at Clatford 2

On Monday (our bonus day off), we went for a hike along the Bath Skyline. We did the circuit back to front and started at Bathampton Woods. Another magical place, filled with mossy trees and stones

Bath Skyline Walk 1

Bath Skyline Walk 3

It’s super steep in places, so a great workout!

Bath Skyline Walk 2

The official circuit guide says that, on average, people burn 735 calories on this walk! Luckily M had stuffed his backpack with leftover pizza and trail mix to keep us going.

Bath Skyline Walk 4

Bath Skyline Walk 5

The climbs are worth it as you’re rewarded with the most spectacular views of Bath city. It was pretty hazy on Monday but the views were still incredible!

Bath Skyline Walk 6

Bath Skyline Walk 7

We finished our walk in the city centre, which was abuzz with tourists and locals. It’s amazing how a spot of sunshine can totally transform the vibe of the city. It actually felt like summer had arrived! The bars and cafes were packed with people drinking and dining al fresco. Sadly it was short lived as the rain started again on Monday night, but at least we made the most of it while it lasted!

How’s the weather where you are? Today it’s so dark and rainy that it actually feels like winter’s returned! Not great weather for us, but perfect if you’re a slug or snail 😉

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Filed under Holidays, Out & About in Bath, Walking & Hiking

Christmas has arrived in Bath!

First, we had the Bath Christmas Lights switched on by Mary Berry.

Bath Christmas Lights Switch On

Then there was the Bath Lantern Parade, filled with a huge array of paper lanterns which danced its way down Pulteney Street to the beat of Samba Sulis.

Bath Lantern Parade 2013 1

Watching Bath Lantern Parade 2013

The Bath Christmas Market has been in full flow for the past couple of weeks. It’s been bigger and better than ever this year!

Bath Christmas Market 2013 2

The Lantern Parade and official opening of the Christmas Market were even more special for me, as my mum and her best friend came to visit for the night

Bath Christmas Market 2013 1

My favourite time to walk round the Christmas Market has been during the evenings, when the crowds have started to subside. It looks so pretty lit up, with beautiful Bath Abbey as its backdrop.

Bath Christmas Market 2013 3

And last weekend, Christmas came to our house too!  M and Lil’ L headed to Colerne to buy a tree. When they returned home, they decorated the tree and the living room as a surprise for me!

Christmas Tree 2013

After all this activity, the boys definitely deserved a cup of hot chocolate, which I made with the Elements for Life Spiced Raw Hot Chocolate, and topped with some vegetarian marshmallows from The Vegan Kind‘s latest subscription box.

Vegan Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

And now it’s time for me to treat three of my lovely readers with an early Christmas pressie   The Raw Chocolate Making Kit giveaway ended at midnight last night and the three winners, chosen at random by Rafflecopter, are…

93 Tamzin

339 Poppy

522 Jane

Congratulations to you all!  I’ll be in touch to arrange delivery x

And I must say a big ‘thank you’ to Elements for Life for enabling me to host such a fabulous giveaway!

Elements for Life has a fantastic range of chocolate-making goodies and super foods available from their online store. They’ve kindly given me a discount code which entitles my readers to 10% off any products on their website. Just enter BOTGS10 at the checkout. This code has no expiry date!

Are you feeling ‘Christmassy’ yet? Now we have a tree, I’m definitely starting to feel more festive 😉

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? I only started mine yesterday!!!

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Filed under Holidays, Out & About in Bath