Biking at Ashton Court & WIAW Fun, Food & Fitness

First off, I’d like to wish all my lovely American friends a very happy 4th July! I hope you’ve all had lots of fun today 🙂

So it’s July already? Unbelievable! With all this rain we’re having here in Bath, it doesn’t feel like July at all! I feel totally out of sync with my American and European foodie friends who have moved onto sorbets, granitas and popsicle making. I’m still making soup and big bowls of warm porridge!

The crazy English weather continues!

Last weekend was yet another weekend of mostly rain. However, on Sunday, after a morning of heavy rain, it suddenly stopped and the sun came out! To make the most of it, we decided to head to Ashton Court Estate in Bristol with our bikes piled high on top of the car. It was the first time we’d ever been there and we were looking forward to checking out their (fairly new) mountain bike trail.

The Ashton Court Estate is a beautiful, historic 850 acre parkland….

… with the most fantastic views that stretch right across the city of Bristol.

Check out how lush the grass is (thanks to all that rain!)

There are two deer parks on the Estate, one with fallow deer and the other with a large herd of red deer.

There are ancient woodlands and beautiful meadows filled with wild flowers.

There’s lots of wide, smooth paths perfect for walking and family cycling.

 

And for the more adventurous, there’s the Blue (intermediate level) mountain bike trail.

This is where the fun really began for us 🙂

Lil’ L absolutely loved it! As soon as we’d finished the trail he asked if we could go round it again.

I thoroughly enjoyed it too and the technical level was just right for me. It was very ‘twisty turny’ through the trees, with the occasional step to ride off, but nothing too scary. Along the trail, there were a few forks where you could choose to do the red (advanced) sections, then re-join the blue trail. This suited M, and even Lil’ L had a go at some of the red sections, while I was happy to stay on the blue.

 

On the Estate, there’s a new cycle centre with a cafe that I’m looking forward to checking out next time we go. There’s also a cafe at the Ashton Mansion house, where we did stop for a drink.  As a post-ride snack, we had a couple of these spicy little gingerbread fellas that I’d made the night before.

 

We had such a great afternoon at Ashton Court and I’m looking forward to heading back there as soon as the weather cheers up again. It’s such a beautiful place to visit!  For anyone else that’s interested in visiting, here’s the website www.ashtoncourtestate.co.uk  and postal address for sat navs: Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN.

Moving onto….

WIAW Party Time!

 

The theme of July’s WIAW parties is Fun, Food and Fitness. What a great theme chosen by Jenn over at Peas and Crayons!

Well I’ve already mentioned the fun and fitness highlight of our week so far, so it’s now time to move onto the food 🙂

For this week WIAW party, I thought I’d share our eats from yesterday (Tuesday).

Breakfast
At the moment, one of my favourite breakfasts is my ‘Buddha Breakfast Bowl’ where I basically go along the line of cereals and seed/nut jars and tip a little bit of everything in 🙂

On Tuesday, into my bowl went some Shreddies, Mornflake Superfast Oats, Granola, Muesli, flaked almonds, gojis, hulled hemp seeds and ground linseed. After I took the pic, I added a cup of Alpro Soya Milk. It was totally lush!

Lil’ L had a similar bowl (minus the gojis) and M had porridge (as usual!)

Lunch
For lunch, I had a spinach pancake, topped with avocado, tomato puree, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and a drizzle of Linghams Chilli Sauce. Lil’ L and I created this pancake topping after school last Friday. He ate it as a snack (without the chilli) and I ate it for my (very late) lunch. It tasted so good that I chose to have again for lunch on Tuesday 🙂

In their lunchboxes on Tuesday, both M and Lil L took home-made spinach and tofu ricotta filo parcels. They loved them so much that they took them again for lunch today 🙂 

Dinner
Before heading to my study class, I made a big pan of veggie chilli, which we served with brown basmati rice and toasted tortilla segments. Apologies for the rubbish picture, but I only had a couple of seconds to quickly take a snap of it before I had to serve it and head out.

Every time I make chilli it comes out slightly differently as I use whatever ingredients I have to hand. In this chilli I added:
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1 medium courgette (zucchini)
handful mushrooms
1 finely grated carrot
1 can black beans
1 cup red split lentils
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1.5 cups of vegetable stock
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp agave syrup
salt & ground black pepper

After I served Lil’ L’s portion, M and I added some Linghams Chilli Sauce to our portions to spice it up a little more.

The chilli was really tasty and we had enough left over to freeze for next month 🙂

Dessert
I didn’t have time for dessert, but Lil’ L and M had blueberry muffins and pineapple smoothies when they came back from dropping me off at my class.

Snacks & Drinks
Me: 1 apple, 1 black coffee, nettle tea, cherry & cinnamon tea, lemon & water
Lil’ L’s morning snack: 2 sunflower seed crackers with humous
Lil’ L’s afterschool snack: 1 banana pancake (leftover from Sunday) with chopped pecans, ground linseed and a drizzle of agave syrup.

Right, it’s time to head over to Jenn’s, check out the gorgeous eats and get inspired 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone! xx

This time last year…. Colourful Vegetable Pastry Bake

8 thoughts on “Biking at Ashton Court & WIAW Fun, Food & Fitness

    1. Thanks Becca! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to visit Ashton Court. I’ve been meaning to go for years. I imagine it’s a fantastic place for picnics. The views are amazing and I love all that lush green grass! 🙂

    1. The countryside’s green and lush enough now so please rain clouds move somewhere else… preferably away from the UK next week when the schools break up. Rainy summer school holidays are not going to be much fun 🙁

  1. Some very good food for the day…I love those little gingerbread cookies.
    You have such a wonderful setting for exercise with all of the trails, and it is quite lucky that you all enjoy going on these rides.
    Keep up the good work and the good pics (I just love all of the nature scenes).

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