Day 556 – #27 Go to the cinema 5 times

16 07 2011

Oh my goodness.  I went to see the final Harry Potter last night in Chippenham cinema.  In 3D!  Never been to a 3D showing of anything and I was quite impressed.  (I wasn’t impressed with the queueing system they now have in Chippenham – no ticket booth anymore, everyone pays at the food counter – very tedious)

Anyway, aside from all that – it was amazing.  Really, really good.  I’m so glad I went to see it and I really want to read the book again now.  I’ll have to send Mark up into the loft!  A few bits were rushed through (Ravenclaw’s diadem) but it was to be expected and it wasn’t as bad as some of the previous films.

The bit in Gringotts was great – loved the dragon!  The Snape bit was very sad.  So many bits had me sniffling.  I didn’t notice but Mark said the whole cinema was blubbing 🙂  Molly Weasley got a huge cheer which made me laugh.  The only tiny annoyance I had was that they did the 19 years later bit, which I *hated* in the book.  It was cringeworthy.  And it wasn’t much better in the film!  But I suppose they couldn’t leave that out.  Mark said it was to cheer everyone up again, which is probably a very good point.

Anyway – go and see it.  If you don’t, you’ll regret it.  The end of an era. [sniffle]

Day 556 – #67 Have a meal out once per month

16 07 2011

At the beginning of the month, I went out for a meal with my friends to The Poplars Inn in Wingfield.  It was Rach’s birthday so I went with Rach, Alex, Katie B, Esther, Kim & Claire over to Wingfield to meet up with Lucy & Paul.  I was quite interested to see what it was like as I’m due to go to Jon & Claire’s wedding there at the end of the month.

The pub itself is very nice.  A typical country pub, very cosy and welcoming.  The printed menu isn’t huge but the specials board makes up for that with a wide variety of dishes.

I didn’t fancy any of the starters, so I just ordered the Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Tomato Sauce from the specials board.  Amongst the other dishes ordered were 2 types of lamb, a pork dish and chicken with asparagus.  When my dinner arrived, it was a nice sized portion.  Substantial enough but not overwhelming and it was lovely.  The addition of the tomato in the sauce meant that it wasn’t too claggy and it was very tasty.  All the other meals disappeared pretty quickly too!

I had no room left for dessert and I’m glad I didn’t succombe.  They were huge!  Lucy & Paul and Alex & Rach shared a shortcake stack between them which was two millionaire’s shortbread with toffee ice-cream sandwiched in the middle!

The prices were very reasonable and we had a great evening.  I’d definitely recommend it.  Apparantly the sunday roasts are well worth investigating…

Day 542 – #55 Another 3 recipes tried out

2 07 2011

We are having a party for mum’s birthday and I was allocated cakes!  So I’ve been donning my best pinny, invoking the spirit of Nigella Lawson and firing up the Kenwood Chef….

I have made cupcakes (chocolate & vanilla) topped with buttercream and white chocolate stars & pink sprinkles respectively.  These were from a Wilton recipe I found online.  It worked brilliantly and was dead easy.

Then I made the lemon drizzle cake which is a Mary Berry recipe.  It’s a bit of an odd recipe (found it online) and made a very small loaf cake, but it tastes great which is the main thing.

Finally I wanted to make something vaguely reminiscent of a birthday cake.  So I found this recipes, again online, for a Malt Chocolate Cheesecake.  Milk chocolate, white chocolate, cream & cream cheese.  What’s not to love?  It probably contains a million calories but who cares?  There will be 11 of us to share the load 🙂

Day 541 – #67 Have a meal out once a month

1 07 2011

I’ve delayed writing about this meal in case we went out for another meal somewhere better in June.  Unfortunately we didn’t, so the Lock Keeper gets it!

It was during our holiday on the boat that we moored up next to the Lock Keeper one evening.  It started off so well!  We had the dogs with us so we went in the bar side, which was very nice – a proper old-syle pub bar which is just up our street.  The bar staff were all very friendly and made a massive fuss of the dogs.  Pedro loved it, Malcolm hid.

We had a look at the menu and there was also an extensive specials board in the (very sunny and pretty) conservatory. We opted for the Squid rings to start with, I opted for steak and ale pie and Mark chose the chicken curry from the specials board.  They didn’t have the pie so I switched to sausages and mash.

The starter came out quickly but was awful.  The batter was really, really greasy and the squid was tough as old boots!  Not good.  Next to arrive was my dish of local sausages and mash.  The sausages were gigantic and luckily there wasn’t *too* much  mash and there were no vegetables at all (apart from the copious amount of onion in the gravy – yum!).  Mark advised me to tuck while we waited for his to arrive.  We waited and waited.  I’d got through one sausage and still no show.  So I went off to find the waitress to find out where it was.  I was told “I didn’t hear you order that”!  What?!?!  The main bar maid was very apologetic (unlike the one who’d made the mistake) and rushed off upstairs to place the order.  She then came over to us and apologised again and said it would be with us ASAP.  Mark was pretty annoyed by this, but was hungry so kept it zipped.  I was just finishing my final sausage when the chef came down and said there wasn’t enough curry for a full portion and would he like something else?!  Needless to say, the answer was a resounding no.  We got my meal for free and only paid for the horrid squid rings and left.  We went off into Keynsham to find a chip shop so poor Mark could finally get some dinner.

It wasn’t a great evening and the quality of the food that we did get was mixed.  It was such a shame as the setting was lovely.  Hopefully we just caught them on an off day but I doubt that we’ll try again to find out.