Weekend Coffee Share – Post Denmark

The coffee is strong this morning, I wasn’t in charge of the number of scoops…..I’ve taken a few gulps and gone back for some more hot water…….that’s better.

Back into the swing of things now although the schools haven’t gone back. I’ve been trying to hold onto that holiday vibe whilst trying to jump back onto the project express at work…..and it is fast.

Writing up my notes from our Danish Adventure, has been happening and a nice way to review and reflect on the journey. I always think I’ll blog about the holiday. It never happens but this time with a little determination and the fact I took a few notes as I went has helped.

For those that popped by for coffee last weekend, apologies for repeating myself…updated links are here:

Before we got away for the holiday we’d managed to get the patio done and replaced. After 3 years of being here the garden is finally taking shape. I’d been worried that the new lawn wouldn’t have had any rain. I’d needn’t have worried I came back to a mini jungle. I’ve started to dream about pots, planting and sorting out all the other niggles. I’ve got a big re-pointing exercise around the wall. Having pulled out a few wall hugging plants.

Had to re-start my sourdough project, one of the casualties of the Fridge giving up the ghost whilst we were away. Thankfully the warmth and the fact I had some good organic wholemeal…it looks like I have a new starter in the wings. Had a disaster with a new recipe for Rye bread (taken from Copenhagen book) a ferocious mould within a few days. Might give it one more go…..if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

The Edinburgh Festival has kicked off and in full swing. I was fortunate to attend the opening classical concert with my favourites being the John Williams Star Wars, ET and Superman sections.

Edinburgh Internation Festival – LA Philharmonic

Hope you are doing well and thanks for sharing coffee, I know the weather front is crazy for some folk. Yo-yoing extremes, the sun is blazing at the moment at the same time I can hear the sky rumbling, I hope all is well.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook or my latest adventure then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Billund to Skagen

Day 5…….

Cowboy, Toilet Door
Cowboy, Toilet Door

The whole place awash with western Lego images, country music playing through the toilet block.  It’s been a pleasant short sharp stay in Legoland campsite.  The plan always to stay one night and move on.  As part of the package we were given or opted for the two day ticket.  

The youngest wants to milk the deal for what it’s worth, the 15 year old non commital and the adults ready to move onto the next adventure.

Sensing an opportunity to get a morning of adult time we strike a deal of the boys getting to the park for opening time whilst we wrap up and get a coffee in Billund.

Dropped the boys by bike off at the entrance to  Lego land, checked they got in ok and arranged to meet them back at the bikes for 12:30.  Finished packing up the van which was practically done and moved it off the pitch to the check-in car park, reception gave us a free voucher for the parking and we headed into town with our bikes.

The centre of Billund feels very much under re-development around the heart of the newly built Lego house…more a museum come homage to Lego without the amusement rides. Very strong design and Apple feeling, shop felt special compared to Lego land. Large open space and could easily have whiled a day away here. Does feel very much aimed at the younger Lego enthusiast though. It was just nice to enjoy the vibe. The tree in the middle is awesome, the Lilly pond, the dog at the lamp post and the ice cream stall just great to see. If I lived locally I’d get myself an annual pass for sure.

The bakery in town was just what you could hope for, way too much choice, seats and great coffee. Alongside that came across a great kitchen shop Imerco….which we’ll speak of some more later in the holiday.

Back to the van, our bikes on, then picked the boys up at there bikes and good as gold they arrived at 12:30. Rolls were had and we were on the road…..good nice summer vibe through the fields, Meny supermarket and ice creams, another hour.

Drive went fine until we hit the tunnel, at Aalborg, this added on a hour and then the roads were fine again.  Stressful awning pitch up as everyone wanted to muck in and be helpful which just made it harder.  Determined not to crack, I relented, got into direction mode and took a few deep breaths.

Simple pasta and Ragu tea from the freezer that we brought….which was just perfect, with a glass of red in the sunshine.  Up until this point just felt like we’d been waiting for this moment a real taste of being on holiday.  Finished the day of with a cycle around the campsite and a beach walk as the sun went down. Idyllic.

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Beach memories #beach

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Day 6, Skagen is coming…..as part of the Danish Adventure

Ribe to Billund, Legoland

Day 4….

When ever I mentioned Denmark in conversation as our summer destination I was either met with chat about Copenhagen or Lego.   Denmark being the home of Lego how could we not visit with two boys in tow (that was my excuse!)…..and the good news we could camp right next door.

Legoland Billund

Camping in Ribe we woke at 7 to the alarm and the sun blaring through the canvas vents.  The boys in a tent beside us, we were packed up for 8:40

Popped into føtex for sandwich and breakfast number 2.  Huge disappointment as the sandwiches we spotted yesterday weren’t ready so it was mad dash picnic gather.  Bread rolls, ham and pre-sliced port salut.

The drive fairly easy 55 mins, through fields of wheat, barley and flowering potatoes.  Driving through the arable land on traffic free roads calming.

As we approached Billund the traffic was fairly light and as we approached Legoland a small traffic queue was forming for the Legoland carpark which we cut short by taking the campsite turning.  Our pitch was ready, so no temporary parking issues. Into the park for 10:30 looking for coffee.   We could see someone had one but couldn’t find an open station, we ended up in pirates cove on a boat waiting for the pirates café to open at 11 which seemed like the standard opening time for eateries.

Coffee and pastry fuelled we were  good to go.

It’s a theme park, and food wise the usual was on offer.  Did walk by a Mexican place and passed someone who had a bowl of appetising  bean stew that made me look twice.

We’d opted for freshly baked rolls from the supermarket as per above and left the teenage boys which left myself and the boys wanting more, the wind was taking its tole on our appetites.   In comparison to our small rucksack, which did get searched people were taking in small trolleys and cool boxes.

We bailed out at 4, getting our hands stamped for a re-entry later for the rides that are just that much more quieter.    The boys got onto a few things a couple of times this way without queuing at all.

The campsite as you can imagine is busy, reception was busy, they have pitches and sleeping options of all shapes and sizes.  With differently themed areas.  I don’t think I’ve ever listened to as much country music in my life and couldn’t help singing along to the Gambler whilst brushing my teeth.  Public areas are good, communal cooking area and seating area all good.  Camping at Legoland is a short distance from the site, but definitely recommended.

Legoland for my eldest, a 15 year old at time of writing…..probably on the verge of being a bit too old, that said he went back in for the morning the day after on our 2 days for 1 deal as part of the camping package.

All time favourite hero

Day 5, Billund to Skagen is next…..as part of the Danish Adventure

Hook of Holland to Ribe, Denmark

Ribe Cathedral

Day 2…..

A long long drive lengthened by a key junction being completely shut near Bremen.  The diversion sign missed or invisible to the naked eye sending us in the complete opposite direction.  The Garmin and I had a serious falling out as it insisted on taking us straight back into what seemed like miles and miles of a tailback.  In the end I cut through some of rural Germany using my internal compass and a battle of will against the tech.

We arrived at the Ribe campsite, at 7pm almost 11 hours of being on the road. 

The wind a howling we were in no mood for cooking anything let alone the chicken drumsticks from yesterday.  The site café minimal in its offering did have pizza on the menu and a pint of draught beer.   Slowly things were put right in the world.  Cheese, bread and beer…what’s not to like.

Day 3…..

We eased into the day with an excitement of being in a new place and nothing dictating our attention, a coffee, some muesli and then a small cycle into one of Denmark’s oldest towns.

Ribe, quaint and beautiful we realised fairly quickly it was closed except for a few random shops and eateries.  It was a Sunday and a country known for its work life balance was sticking to its traditions!  We were happy meandering and cycling through the streets letting the new location soak into us where every doorway had amazing flowers.  Came across a house I just couldn’t cycle by captured by the Rose bush. A cream and a pink almost…..edible.  My name for it is marshmallow and candy floss.  I’m trying to find the real name of it now.

The wind was a blowing with a cut through the cloth kind of chill.  We were not really prepared for the first day of the holiday.   Holidays in the summer are supposed to be warm right?  There was some discussion before we left about Denmark being level with Scotland geographically which didn’t translate into packing wind proofs.

Rather than a mad hunt we took refuge in a place that just looked so appealing from the outside, a mixture of an épicerie come coffee shop.  A couple of things were off the menu for it being a Sunday, so we ended up digging into the platter options and a cup of coffee that didn’t disappoint.

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Great Coffee and Epicerie, Ribe #epicerie

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Some more cycling around town, supermarket drop, back to the pitch for a little R and R.  Got ourselves organised for tomorrow’s move on, a bit of tea prep and then a bit of another cycle through the countryside.

The day seemed to brighten and although the wind stayed we warmed up….we were on holiday.  The wheat fields rolled by, the crops of peas and corn a mix of colour that just soothed the soul.  As part of the cycle we came across Kammerslusen at Ribe.  A canal lock that joined up with the sea barrier,  a great view with this part of the world being very flat.

We closed the day with tea in the communal cooking area, a luxury kitchen…..what a way to camp!  

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Communal #cooking #denmark🇩🇰 camping style!

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The journey continues……Ribe to Billund is coming soon, and the previous day can be found here

Notes:

Ribe Camping is part of the Elite Camping group.  From the Ribe campsite I’d definitely consider the others in the chain.

Terpager & Co,  https://www.terpagerogco.dk, Great little coffee and french speciality shop.

Weekend Coffee Share – The start of a Danish Adventure

Did you sleep?  It was the first question I was asked after turning the alarm function off, we’d both woken before the buzzer kicked in.  I had, but I don’t think my brain had rested was my response.  I felt hung over with no drink involved.  The start of our holiday.

Destination Denmark…… a big travel day, Scotland to Harwich to take a ferry overnight to Holland and a small job to do via the auction house.

The coffee is strong and I’m sat at the computer doing some final admin, playlist adjustments and a few thoughts on waking.  The bikes need to be loaded onto the back of the van along with the last odds and sods that seem to be spread round the house in various piles.  The joy of a camping holiday allowing you to take all the silly creature comforts that you need.

I write four sentences before I have to flip to my work email, realising that I’ve not checked since going to bed….the project I’ve been working on is flagged red by testing for the mere fact we are running to time and taking an environment away and he’s probably got tests to run…..I really need to get away.

We get two miles down the road before a voice pipes up from the back, ‘I’ve forgotten my pillow’.   Needless to say I didn’t consider it an essential item.  When I was a boy I didn’t get a sleeping mat, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t get a pillow….We didn’t turn back.

We’re away for two weeks so the van is packed within an inch of its life alongside this we have some temporary cargo.  The drive down includes a trip to an auction house.  Both bitter and sweet, the toys of my childhood have been valued quite highly so worth a slight detour.  I try not to think about the sentimental value as I handed over the boxes, the Snow-speeder, the Ewok Tree village and my prized Millennium Falcon. 

It’s a new ferry crossing for us so new roads, new timings and we’ve just recently come across the book ‘The Extra Mile’.  A guide to the foodie places that are just a few miles off the motorway.  I’m up for supporting local businesses that provide great food at a reasonable price rather than motorway fodder at day light robbery prices.

Lister Farm:  Butchery with a huge selection of bbq wares, it was surreal.  Opted for a herby drumsticks….I’m always amazed by the number of chicken breasts on sale compared to the other bits and pieces so although I like a chicken breast as much as the next guy sometimes I can’t face thinking they’ve been massed produced in a battery barns whereas I hope the leg cuts are left over from some form of butchery, a more reliable source.  I know the butchers around the corner from home they come from a blue plastic container pre prepared.  The shop had a nice small café and picnic benches.  A little field where kids could let off some steam if needed.

We’d made good time and a late night crossing allowed for a further stop which we made at the Anchor Inn, beside the River Stour at Nayland.  I don’t know how the Inn had made it into the book as the Garmin took us some back route roads for more than a few miles.  We had the time though and I enjoyed the break from the dual carriageway.  Food was good, it was warm, sunny and 40 or so minutes from the ferry….the holiday and our Danish adventure was starting.

Thanks for reading so far….the weekend coffee share is my friend in helping me to write. It’s been a while, life just keeps happening and 1 weekend missed turns into 4 maybe 5. The coffee hook gives me a mental switch to be able to start again…..so I intend to write more about my Danish adventure and what I learned along the way. I’ve just described day 1, the UK leg in red and there is more to come …..The Danish Adventure!

Danish Adventure

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share – Campsite Peace

If we were having coffee, it would be at a campsite, the door of the van open and the air though cold would be welcome and refreshing.   Its been raining since yesterday afternoon and at this moment in time there is nothing to rush for.

Its early and the campsite is coming to life, the ebb and flow of the caravaners coming and going.  The Sunday paper run for the guy who doesn’t walk anywhere as he comes back from the shop.  The dog walkers, the umbrellas, the dressing gown walk to the showers.  Its all just drifting by. 

In this moment I find an element of peace.  The boy on the top bunk is still fast asleep and I’m enjoying watching the rain clouds float by. 

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share – Braemar

If we were having coffee it would be in the small village of Braemar, in the highlands of Scotland. A lovely feeling of remoteness where the main thing on offer is fresh air, relaxation and time away from the office.

A Sunday morning run in the bag, bread in the oven and the paper to read, the week is starting well. Trying to forget the shower incident. The call from son number 1 who managed to break the shower, or to find the only thing with the potential to stop working in the place. Mainly we couldn’t get the shower to switch off. A hunt for the stopcock ensued, cutting the water off at the mains. Perfect timing in terms of me needing a post run shower!

Back to the coffee though, and breathe…… the shower now fixed post a quick visit from the owner of the place. The cottage is tranquil and warm, surrounded by great views. In April the camper van although an option is hard in damp, dreich and cold climes. The four of us for a week, we’ve tried in the past, no one comes back happy from being cooped in a small tin on wheels. The highlands at this time of year is still cold, below zero overnight and the mountains still covered in patches of snow. The appeal of a cottage was too great to ignore and the boy needed a place to revise with Exams kick in when we get back.

The main agenda of the week, to cover some of the hills in the area, mainly soak up the air, detox from the office and spend some time with the boys.

….…the week went by quickly, we were blessed with blue skies, albeit very cold days.

Managed a couple of Munro’s in the area. Carn Bhac….One of the less visited and we suffered for it struggling through peat bogs to get from Beinn Iutharn Mhor albeit we did it in reverse to the route suggested from walkhighlands. Mountain bikes to altanour lodge were a godsend for the way back.

Carn a’Mhaim from the Linn of Dee my favourite of the two hill walking days, the lush green scots pine against the blue skies, the rivers and the views from the top were just amazing. Another one of those if you could bottle up the feeling for the day and take a drink when you’re back at the office in order to deal with 200+ emails a day kind of moments….would make the office a better place if you could share the feeling. The mountains have been there for thousands of years….and will be there for a little longer.

Back at home and eager to get a few things done, my pc running like a dog, a week of being switched off has put the final nail in the coffin….I feel a rebuild coming on….but the whole recovery disk and Windows 10….has moved on…they don’t make it easy……..more coffee?

Various pictures on route to the top of Carn a’Mhaim

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

The Weekend CoffeeShare – Spring is in the Air

Longing for the first few days of March to show the markings of Spring. Storm Freya put a stop to any thoughts of me going out for a run, so I’m sat with my coffee browsing the Borough Market recipe book.  Willing the spring section to come up with inspiration.

The recipes talk about late spring, April even and I sigh. I think March is a hard time for a cook, on the cusp of something that’snot quite there.  The tail end of the winter root veg.  The beetroot in the veg box this week was massive and will take an age in the oven.  I’m looking to start turning my hand away from the comfort stews, something lighter and healthier but just can’t take that leap as another gust of wind buffets against the kitchen windows.

Eventually I came across a pot roast chicken recipe with a carrot top pesto that I think will aid my transitional state of mind.

Chicken not a problem….but finding young carrot tops is. Maybe they are in abundance in the London Market and to imagine that the greenery has been left on….well I had no such luck.  Closest I came to young carrots made a big thing about them being trimmed!

A week later I’m sat at my PC, with a nice strong coffee and wondering how time keeps flying by.   I didn’t manage last weeks post but for completeness I’ve included it here. I’ve wrestled with a sore throat all week,  which has given me an excuse to lay off the exercise in fear of coming down with the whole man flue thing.   The days are getting longer and at some moments showing some signs of warmth.  

Not today, Sunday morning and the boy has a football match. So before taking him up to the school I managed to get a stew in the oven.   The beef cheeks in the freezer finally coming out to play.  I also managed to soak some beans last night…so it’s more of a store cupboard stew with the root veggies from this weeks box, a splash of wine and some stock and tonight’s tea is in the bag.  

Lunch is from last nights remains where I’ve managed to grab onto last weeks feeling of needing more salad.  Waitrose supermarket provides a great little bag of mixed grains, combined with some Camargue red rice, zest and juice of an orange as a base for healthy carbs, served with greens and Annie Bells Quiche Lorraine (not so healthy).  A coleslaw from the veg box cabbage and I think we have picnic lunch for work tomorrow as well.

At some point during the day I need to get out in the garden, I want to move the gooseberry bushes before they spring into real life.  They haven’t moved on like I’d hoped and sure they will do better in a sunnier place which I don’t have yet.  Garden plans imminent……so a false economy I know I bought a couple of planters to keep them portable for now.  Would have been cheaper to buy new plants!

Thanks for joining me for this weekends coffee share.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

The Weekend CoffeeShare – Dancing on the Clouds

If we were having coffee we’d be marvelling at the moon, and discussing how over the space of the week the light has got better and the day slightly longer. 

I’ve had the title of this post bouncing in my head all week since Monday.  I had the pleasure of seeing a full moon at both ends of the day. 

With a 6am start it drifted across the house roof tops that we can see from the kitchen window and then slowly drifted below sight as I packed my bag.  Then later that evening just before leaving work.  At the moment I’m fortunate to have a seat that has full view of some of the castle, and the moon in full splendour moved across the horizon just dancing on the clouds.

I’ve taken pictures before, but the reflection of the office lights on the glass always detracts from the image.  I get the same feeling when I walk in onto the office floor….I’ve been getting in early as part of my new routine, usually first in where I trigger the annoying sensors that flick on the minute I open the door.  Just once it would be nice to walk up to the window and take a deep breath before turning the lights on.   Still I have amazing moments from my vantage point that I know won’t last as the ebb and flow of office movements take place as teams morph and change to meet the needs of the organisation.

This week has been a hard come down from the last, and a great deal of will power to reduce my calorie intake of the bad stuff (not a diet!) in order to reverse the cheese and wine effects of last week.   I thought the scale was lying last weekend……amazingly today I feel slightly better as I’ve brought the needle into tolerance levels, albeit high….so lots to do.

I tackled the Cullen Skink recipe from “The Almanac, a Seasonal Guide to 2019”.  A fairly healthy version of a chowder, just full fat milk rather than cream.  I made the mistake of adding mushrooms which turned it a little grey in colour…but none the less tasty.   The Almanac is a lovely little book, a reinvention of a traditional rural almanac with charts, thoughts, seasonal ingredients,phases of the moon, sun, tides and recipes. This month I have my eye on the blood orange and pistachio cake.   I’m trying to use it as a prompt….if I make one thing this month it will be….

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli