Every now and again you come across somewhere in your vicinity that you didn’t even know existed. Just such a thing happened today when my bestie Linda and I had coffee and cake at the Wild Goose in Dodleston. We had no idea it was here! Hidden in the Cheshire countryside, but only a few miles from home.
To be fair, it’s only been open for a few weeks. It’s on the site of Chester Lakes, a fishery which has been popular with anglers for a long time.
Anyway, I had won a Facebook competition for coffee and cake, so it was the perfect excuse to try it out (and follow it up with a visit to the nearby Grosvenor Garden Centre).
The décor is very country chic, with a quirky bar made up of wine crates.
Outside there are the cutest little huts overlooking the lake which would be perfect on a summer night. Pity it was pouring with rain!
The menu looks good enough to tempt us back for dinner too! PS I can recommend the chocolate cake!
When shopping in the Grosvenor Precinct in Chester I came across this shop selling the most beautiful glass. I got chatting to the lady behind the counter and it turned out that she is not only the owner of the business, but makes each piece of art herself.
These coasters were only a fiver each and I bought a set as a gift for my niece who fell in love with them too.
Ella Rosinkrans, the artist, is Icelandic and people from all over the world collect her art work. This is her website if you want to take a look.
The bigger pieces of art are beautiful and would make good wedding or engagement presents. There really are pieces for all budgets.
I rather liked this glass heart dish which I think would look great on my dining table.
If you’re in Chester, pop in and have a look! Otherwise you could check out her online shop. I really do like to see independent shops and it is lovely to buy one off pieces now and again.
Hello fellow Scadsters!
A couple of weeks ago, Becks Breslin, a pioneer of the UK beatSCAD charity, asked me to provide an update on what life is like five years post SCAD.
The beatSCAD website has lots of useful information for those newly diagnosed with this scary and bewildering condition. I really wish it had been around five years ago when every cough, sneeze, ache or pain threw me into panic mode thinking I would have another dissection.
Anyway, still alive and kicking, this is the update I provided for the website:
I’m now over five years post SCAD, just coming up to 55 and the happiest I have ever been in my life. So what’s changed?
- I got healthy through eating well and exercising moderately (gardening, yoga, walking, badminton)
- I chucked my stressful job and now write a 50 plus lifestyle blog over at https://flowerpowerlife.wordpress.com/
- I re-joined my choir (Chester Ladies) and will become chairman next month. We are a registered charity and I will be doing lots of public speaking (as well as singing of course!).
- My strategy for the future is ‘always have the next holiday booked’ so you have to be there for it!
- I travel extensively, although on a budget. The picture is of me on the Brooklyn Bridge during a recent girls only trip to NYC!
- I don’t have much cash any more, but I spend on experiences, not things, which are no longer important.
- I’ve embraced charity shops!
- I am no longer scared of lifts (the worst already happened and I survived)
- I no longer get panic attacks (ditto)
- I still get premature atrial contractions, days when I’m exhausted, and days when my heart seems to play up all day, but I have faith that it will pass, so I don’t dwell on it. I take my medication and hope for the best.
So what does the future hold? Well, I’m thinking I may reach menopause this year (it’s now seven months since my last period) with the hope that my PACS will go away, or at least improve. I’m waiting for my referral to Dr Adlam to come through so that I can perhaps ditch some of this medication. I want to travel more, blog more, experience more, do more and just have fun. I’m saying ‘yes’ to everything I can!
A few of my favourites from last weekend’s foodie festival at Chester Racecourse.
The Mezze Company
We sampled a few of these, but it was the black olive tapenade which made it into my shopping basket.
Choose Real Food
These ‘guilt free treats’ were super tasty. I chose a cacao and coconut ball to take home. Not too sweet and very filling.
I fell in love with this pottery from Sytch Farm Studios. If I’d had cash to spare I would definitely have indulged! It’s gorgeous.
L20 Hotel School
Fine dining from budding young chefs for only £4 a course? John and Greg eat your heart out!
I picked up two cheeses from The Saddleworth Cheese Co: the first, a creamy blue which Steve really enjoyed and the second, a creamy Camembert style cheese which is probably the best and creamiest I’ve ever tasted.
Thanks to CH1 Bid for the tickets!
Do you watch those programmes where someone takes a property in need of some TLC and turns it into a sparkly new, bang up to date, palace? I do too.
Well, something similar is happening to the choir that I sing with, Chester Ladies. We’ve been working with our new musical director David Bebbington BMus (Hons), PGCert, MA, DipLSM, FLCM, FHEA for about nine months now.
David is a talented vocal coach, pianist and teacher as well as a long established musical director and is bringing a fresh approach to learning and performing choral music.
Rehearsals now include vocal warm ups, tips and techniques on how to improve the voice, and a distinct focus on perfecting rhythm and musicality. Many of the choir are reporting an improvement in their vocal range as a result of the exercises.
We’ve been tackling some really tricky pieces such as Bill Withers classic Lean On Me, which is not only vocally challenging, but requires sound effects which make us giggle but are certainly effective.
There’s no doubt that being in our choir is not an easy, once a week hobby. It requires commitment to learning words, as we perform without copies, and we are encouraged to stretch ourselves vocally. You never know what you can achieve until you try.
We welcome new members, so if you love to sing and are willing to commit your time and energy to being a better singer, then why not give us a try?
Today we’ve been unravelling the mystery of the Deva Codex Cat Quest in our home city of Chester. This is a fun treasure hunt which takes you to many of Chester’s hidden historical places, giving you an insight into what really happened in the city in days gone by.
It starts in Pierpoint Lane and ends at the Northgate, but that’s all I’m going to tell you because there’s another week to go before the quest closes its doors on January 31st and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you!
If you manage to crack the code, there is a £300 prize up for grabs which you can spend in Chester’s many shops. Of course, I hope I win, but we saw a few other treasure hunters on our tail, so who knows!
As all intrepid treasure hunters know, you need sustenance, so we started with brunch at The Three Kings Studios and finished with a cuppa at Tea On The Wall.
Have a look at some of the sights! Anyone else cracked the code?
Our friends in the north know a thing or two about getting through the cold dark months and I can tell you that deprivation and frenetic gym visits are not on their agenda. If I lived in Copenhagen I’d be indulging in ‘hygge’: getting cosy with the fireside, a couple of blankets, cashmere socks and the cat on my knee. Well, it’s true that I’ve been spending more than the odd afternoon immersed in my Christmas box set of Game of Thrones, but now that January is here, I am making an effort to be more active and eat more healthily.
This morning, we’ve been for a long walk along the River Dee in Chester and had brunch at my current favourite independent tea shop Three Kings Studios.
I’m back to my usual classes at the gym too, but promising not to be too hard on myself. After all, you can’t restrict comfort and joy to just one month in the year! I’m intending to enjoy January and I hope you are too.