Friday, 4 October 2013

Guest Post - Camping

We've been sent a couple of fabulous guest posts by the gorgeous Amy recently (yes, she of mermaid fame!) and here's the first!  It really makes me want to go camping again!  I haven't been since we went on a family camping trip in the west coast of Scotland when I was about 10.  (Unless you include sleeping in the tent in the garden with my brother.  Always fun!)  Over to Amy with her tales and top tips for camping...

Last week we went camping in Northumberland. It has been a pretty manic and stressful couple of months since we got back from our honeymoon so it was a very well timed break (and best of all it’s only 2 weeks until our AOWette bought yurt  break - eek!) There is something rejuvenating about camping. We have all our best  talks and ideas when we’re sitting in a field with a fire and a glass of wine, and it’s  always nice for us to get away with Bertie and have a pootle round some winding country roads.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the places we visited:

Corbridge – This is a lovely town perched on the edge of the Tyne and we stopped  for THE BEST afternoon tea. Seriously, it was scrumptious! And a total bargain at just £15.99 for both of us. We each got a pot of tea and 4 triangle sandwiches – I had  crab and James had ham. We then halved both the cheese and fruit scones which  were both really light and fluffy. After that we were too full to have all of the cakes so had the almond and cranberry flapjacks and rocky road bars boxed up for later and  just ate the crème anglaise filled brandy snaps – oh my goodness I think mine was  the best thing I’ve ever eaten!

Alnwick – home of a very famous castle where they filmed parts of the first two  Harry Potter films and also Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. It was also the venue  (and ancestral home!) for the recent ‘royal wedding of the north’. Best of all, it is  home to the most AMAZING bookshop I’ve ever been to – Barter Books, in the old  train station. It’s a labyrinth of shelves, rooms, comfy chairs and quiet nooks and  crannies – it has a café and even a sofa corner where you can curl up with one of the  books and help yourself to coffee (there’s an honesty box). The books are arranged  by genre and the décor is also really cool with literary quotes, (my favourite) neon  lights(!) and even toy trains running along the tops of the shelves. Seriously, it’s a  mecca and you should all go there immediately.

Bamburgh – Another North East town dominated by a castle. This one perches on a  cliff overlooking a beautiful stretch of windswept beach which is perfect for a blustery walk. It is also home to the Grace Darling museum – this year marks 175 years since  the historic rescue when Grace and her father rowed out to rescue survivors of a  shipwreck on the Farne Islands when she was just 22!

Hexham – we didn’t really do very much in Hexham but I had to include it for 2  reasons – 1. the awesome cheese platter we had in Deli at Number 4, and 2. Josie’s  Dragonfly Store! I was so excited when I saw this and immediately took a photo to  send to Bex – it’s a shop that ONLY SELLS THINGS WITH DRAGONFLIES ON!  Having googled it for this post I’ve also found out that all it’s profits go to a local  charity helping young people with cancer - I now feel really bad that I didn’t buy anything but at least I know where to go when it’s Bex’s  birthday!

We also went to Lindesfarne, Kielder Water, a small hamlet called Fallowfield (which was really nothing more than a farm) and various parts of Hadrian’s Wall.

I thought I might also give you a few of our campsite meal ideas. I think a lot of  people think that camping food can’t be any more gourmet than pot noodle or baked  beans, and we are often guilty of falling into a routine of eating nothing but barbeques or bacon sandwiches (not including our all time winter camping favourite – ‘amy & james’s camping slop’ – a beef and potato stew with cheese added to the gravy! It  sounds gross but if you’ve had a long day out in the cold and rain it’s AWESOME).

So on this trip we tried to be a little more adventurous and our three favourite meals  were:

Steak and eggs – this was our first night meal and we were a bit stuffed after our  afternoon tea but still managed to wolf down the whole lot. We barbequed the steaks  and then I slow cooked fried eggs on the camping stove – my top tip is to cook them  on a really low heat and then turn the heat off and cover the pan with a lid or tin foil to finish them through - this stops them sticking which is extra important when you're washing up in a communal outdoor sink!

Barbequed piri-piri chicken kebabs with tomato and red pepper pasta and cheese  sauce – this was really simple and yummy although the pasta pan was a bit of a  pain to clean after making the cheese sauce (my favourite, super simple recipe –  just a small tub of sour cream/crème fraiche, a bit handful of grated cheddar and a  teaspoon of mustard all stirred and melted together).

Barbeque grilled vegetables and haloumi to start, followed by barbequed ribs with chilli crisps and hummus. Yum!

I’d love to hear other people’s camping recipes and also any campsite  recommendations you have around the UK as we are always on the look for new  places to visit.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You make it look so much fun. I've not done much camping but feel I really ought to - it must be so fun with Bertie!

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