Archive for April, 2010


Not lunch but dinner

April 14, 2010

As I forgot to photograph my lunch, i thought I would keep my informal holiday food journal up to date with a piccie of dinner instead.

The chicken was drizzled in olive oil and rubbed with some Basil Salt I found in the cupboard! It was then roasted for about 40 mins with some garlic. Served with potato & celeriac mash and ratatouille.

The serving plate was also in a cupboard within the accommodation, but not the same one as the salt!!!


Moules Roquefort

April 13, 2010

Second in a series of lunches I have had.

Today was at L’Ocean Creperie in Ars en Ré.

Nikki had Moules Marinere…

whilst I had Moules Roquefort…

I’ve never had this one before but it was really good, so I will be trying that at home very soon.

Can you spot the difference?


Galette de Fruits de Mer

April 12, 2010

Mussels & Scallops to be exact.

We found “Le Pot D’Etain” just ambling round the back streets – very rustic & charming inside.

Nikki had a Galette de Fromage et Jambon and we shared a little carafe of Merlot Rosé – yummy!!! Samuel had a sausage and cheese galette whilst the girls had Caramel (Lily-Anne) and Chocolate (Grace) crepes. The children then had ice cream – Nikki & I had coffee.

All in all, a very civilised way to pass the time of day.


And in an update..

April 7, 2010

The trouble with rumours is they are just that….

There are no facts here Mam, just speculation.

This target is moving more than “insert comedy target simile here”!!!


Could it be….?

April 6, 2010

I can’t say it’s been the easiest weekend ever.

We are all so connected these days. It means being able to instantly see anything that happens anywhere else in the world. And this is not always a blessing.

Apple launched the iPad this weekend. I know this because I have seen video’s of people getting them from Apple stores.

It was tough watching from this side of the pond – we may be connected but I can’t buy one. Now, you don’t have to be American to buy one. Stephen Fry has one. Jonathan Ross announced on Twitter that he has one.

You just have to be in America to get one – and that’s the rub.

But maybe not for much longer. It’s only a rumour but April 23rd looks like it could be the date for the UK.



iPhone update

April 5, 2010

I dropped my iPhone last month and smashed the screen. It still worked fine but I had to look through the smashed glass when using.

At first, it seemed like the perfect excuse to replace it when the new 4th gen one comes out in the summer – it’s not that long after all. However, it was proving a pain using it on a day to day basis and all of a sudden June/July seemed a long way away.

If I replace it now, I could get a 3GS for approx £200 but would have to commit to at least an 18 month contract. That would scupper any plans for the new one in the summer.

A quick Facebook pole about whether to replace now or not, and a couple of people suggested that I could get my smashed machine repaired and then sell it on eBay in the summer. I would probably get most of my money back. Never thought of that!!!

So a quick trip to the Apple Store in Meadowhall and a refurbished 1st Gen iPhone was mine for £140.

Who’d have thought a new one would look so retro already.

Look – no scratches…

So back to normal. Which is great.

There has been a couple of little bonuses to. The old phone had a dodgy headphone port which sometimes cut out when running – not anymore.

And the loudspeaker is miles better. When they released the 2nd Gen iPhone – the 3G one – they upgraded the loudspeaker, making it much more useable as a speaker phone and when calls/texts come in. I have always noticed this with my phone as Nikki has a 3G one and it is just louder.

Well – I reckon they have used a new spec loudspeaker in refurbishing the 1st gen one I bought.

I actually hear it now when the phone is ringing!!! Who’d have thought?


Carnivores on tour…

April 4, 2010

Having spent so long abstaining from meat, I was always going to make an event of returning to the fold. Whilst in Cheltenham this weekend, we decided to eat out to celebrate Easter Sunday and went to The Storyteller Restaurant & Wine Room

What a great place!!!

The food was very good without being pretentious, they had loads of wine to choose from at good prices (more of which later) and they are very children friendly – all of which adds up to thoroughly enjoyable time!

Irrespective of where we went, I was always going to have a steak with a bottle of red….

Steak red wine

It’s not hard to get it right but all too often you can eat out and they get it wrong. Steak please… “And how would you like that cooked sir?” It is such a minefield. I like mine rare but I don’t want it cold. Technically, it is medium rare where the steak is pink and bloody in the middle whilst being juicy and warm – but so few places get it right. Talking it over with the waiter, I ordered it rare and it came just as I wanted. Brill!!!

The wine room is an area just by the bar where they have a large selection of wines available at pretty reasonable restaurant prices. The normal rule of thumb for wine mark up in a restaurant is to times by 3!! If you can buy it wholesale for a fiver – it will be on sale in a restaurant for £15. They have to make a margin after all. (And I have never had an issue with this BTW). As we were ordering wine at the beginning of the meal, I noticed a Sauvignon Blanc on the card in front of me but it was from Australia. My favourite white tipple is New Zealand Savignon Blanc (I will save that story for another day) so I asked if they had a NZ SB and they mentioned a couple – one of which was Cloudy Bay!

Now, Cloudy Bay is still the best Sauvignon Blanc from NZ but it’s reputation means that it is very expensive. Last time I bought some from Majestic Wine, it was £19 a bottle so to pay £29 in a restaurant – well I was quite pleased with that. It’s still nearly 30 quid for a bottle of white, I know – but you wont get better. And I am sure there are other places who will charge you over £50 it – correct me if I’m wrong!

We then had a nice bottle of Australian Red to go with the steak. And sod it, we thought we’d have a pudding too.

Pecan Pie Mississippi Mud Pie

I had the Mississippi Mud Pie. Nikki wanted the Pecan Pie. When I ordered it, I asked the waiter if he had ever seen “When Harry met Sally”?!??! He didn’t get my odd film reference. He was too young of course. Am I am getting old?

Overall, a good meal and a great night out.

And I am glad to be back into the meat eating fold!!!