“My month with mum” or “How I became a holiday foodie”

[:en]“Oh, we’re not on social media”, some of my friends said to me when I told them I would be posting photos of my trip to the UK on Facebook and Instagram. “You’ll have to email them to us or show us when you’re back”. Or I can put them onto my blog which is part of the Social Media Universe too. After all isn’t that why I set up this new “Beyond Baking” section?

England like the rest of Europe is enjoying some fantastic hot weather. And everytime my mum and I are out we always end up in a café. So I’ve decided to post a few photos of the places we are visiting plus some infos on the cafés we have been to. Being a holiday foodie is so much fun!

14. July 2018/Update
I won’t be writing a new post for each café or restaurant I visit, so I’ll just continue to add onto this post.

Beach huts on Hove promenade
The wonderfully colourful Hove beach huts

Hove (actually)
Hove lies to the West of Brighton, right next to it. To distance itself from its noisy neighbours Hove residents apparently answer the question “Do you live in Brighton” with “Hove, actually”. Haha. Mum and I walked along the Hove seafront back to Brighton (we had taken the bus down) passing the West pier and “The Doughnut” as locals call Brighton’s answer to the London eye (it’s really called the i360).

The West Pier Brighton
The West Pier is being reclaimed by the sea – such a shame.
The i360 in Brighton
The i360 aka The Doughnut

We stopped at “The Lawns Cafe” on the Hove Promenade where we enjoyed a cup of tea and a quick snack. The staff are very friendly and dogs are welcome. I ate a very delicious vegan pie with Thai vegetables from Lizzie’s, a bakery from Burgess Hill who offer a wide variety of cakes and pies for cafés, but The Lawn Cafe itself also offer their own snacks and of course cold drinks and ice cream. A no-frills seafront café great for grabbing a quick bite and drink and watching people walk by. 

The Lawns Cafe on Hove Promenade
The Lawns Cafe on Hove Promenade

Banbury & Co.
Friends for life are rare. And one such friend is my friend Heidi. We met at school when we were 11 and here we are nearly 40 years later still friends. Everytime we see each other we promise not to leave such a long time between our next visits, but life is what happens whilst you’re busy making other plans as they say. We saw each other 7 years ago, but we keep in touch via phone and email, so all is not lost. And the great thing is that we just continue where we left off last time. Just wonderful.

Welcome sign
This just made our day. So welcoming!

Arriving from Brighton on Saturday on the train we had lunch at the delightful “The Straw Kitchen” in Whichford. Initially the barn at the bottom of the Pottery was converted into a straw bale barn to feed the hungry team. Luckily the idea expanded and the café now serves tasty lunches, teas and magnificent homemade cakes for everybody. Do definitely visit the pottery afterwards too. You don’t need a big car to load in all the beautiful handmade British flowerpots as there are many smaller items available too.

My lunch: beetroot & feta on toasted bread & fresh salad
My lunch: beetroot & feta on toasted bread & fresh salad

Mum and I were treated to an amazing dinner at the “Wild Thyme” in Chipping Norton in the evening. The owners Nick and Sally personally manage the restaurant and Nick, the chef, uses only the freshest seasonal ingredients to create amazing modern British food with Mediterranean influences. I didn’t take any photos of the food as we were so engrossed in talking and catching up that the opportunity just didn’t arise. I had aubergine cannelloni and the hot dark chocolate fondant with a salt caramel center. To die for! So delicious. Take a look at the summer menu.

More to come!

20. July 2018
Looking around a book shop the other day I came across the book by Caroline Taggert called “Around Britain by Cake: A Tour of Traditional Teatime Treats”. Seems like doing a similar thing but obviously not as professionally as Ms Taggert!

So here come the cafés and cake shops I have recently visited. I bet you’re getting the impression that I am only out in cafés all the time but you’ll see on my Instagram account that I am actually also doing some home cooking whilst staying with my mum.

In August I’ll be in the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary and Elephant Nature Park in Thailand for some volunteering so the next posts will be about elephants and most probably photos of super delicious Thai and Cambodian food!

The beautiful chalkboard at the “Coffee & Carrot” café. The food was delicious. The fresh fruit smoothies are fantastic. I much prefer visiting and supporting independent cafés and not the big high street chains.

Chalkboard menu at the Coffee & Carrot café
Chalkboard Menu @ the “Coffee & Carrot” café

The Hove Park Café
Another post about Hove, actually. My mum goes walking here a lot with her friend. And after two rounds around the park they stop off at the café. So far the best soya cappuccino I have tasted. Ever. Not only during my stay here in Brighton but seriously the best so far ever. The coffee, the perfectly heated milk…it all just fits perfectly. They offer breakfast and lunch with vegetarian and vegan options available too. And their cakes…delicious. “Death by chocolate” is just that but well worth it! Again I can only say: Choose independent cafés and not the big chains. You won’t regret it.

The best cappuccino ever @ The Hove Park café
The best cappuccino ever @ The Hove Park café

Crumbs & Doilies, London
Last time I was in London I didn’t have the time to stop off here. This time around I was running late as well as I wanted to get back to Brighton before I hit the rush hour on the train. It was mad getting to Jemma’s famous “Crumbs & Doilies” cake shop as I had forgotten the anti-Trump demo! It was a hit-and-run visit with me rushing back to Victoria clutching my little cupcakes-to-go parcel (cardboard boxes, of course). The cupcakes were well worth the sprint at Victoria station. Really really delicious. Next time, more time! Check out “Cupcake Jemma” on YouTube if you don’t know her. Her videos are great and so easy to follow. And she also shares some of her cake shop recipes too.

Outside Crumbs & Doilies, London
Outside Crumbs & Doilies, London


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