Tag Archives: Suki tea

A rainy day in Lewes

8 Nov

Awoke to hear the rain lashing against the window – really terrible weather, heavy downpours, then easing, repeat… Still. Travel hopefully, I thought and prepared as usual; put on my running gear and packed my bag with spare clothes, snacks, coffee and water but added in my book as a contingency plan.

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On reaching the college and dropping my daughter off, the weather was as bad as ever, so I decided to abandon my original plan and instead head to Lewes and spend the time investigating independent shops for healthy food for my clean eating plan. I parked in Tesco’s car park for the three hours free parking as I thought it would be useful for toilet stops etc! Then walked into town to see what I could find. The first place that caught my interest was Lansdown Health Store on Cliffe High Street in which I spent a long time browsing, finally buying some tea: pukka chai vanilla (I have had this before and it is delicious),  some chia seeds (I had a recipe in mind for this), protein powder, peanut butter and honey (likewise).

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It seemed a very well stocked shop and I would have loved to have bought more but I was conscious of spending too much money and then not finding a use for the products so stuck to things I immediately had a recipe for.

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It was hard to stick to my ‘independent shops’ theme and I was next drawn into Holland and Barrett in the hope of finding the things on my list I couldn’t get in Landsdown Health Store, certainly the maple syrup was cheaper there! I also bought rice cakes and walnuts, which I know you can get at the supermarket but I wanted to experience as many shops as possible and I don’t normally go into Holland and Barrett so it was interesting to look around. They also have a huge range of teas, nuts and seeds and protein powders, although I could only see the flavoured ones.

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I did end up doing some of my shopping at Tescos when I went back for my coffee and snack and to use the toilets, I bought the wraps, almond milk and Total yoghurt there. I was looking for products with less than five ingredients as this is one of the clean eating principles but both the wraps and the almond milk had more. I looked at all the comparable products but they were all the same.

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On walking around Lewes I had found Anne of Cleves house which I had not visited before, unfortunately it opens late on Mondays (the Monday curse!) so was closed, but as I had some time to kill before collecting my daughter I decided to drive back there and see if I could take in some culture. Alas, it was not to be, there were no parking spots and someone was right behind me so I couldn’t dither about, so I headed out of Lewes and was soon on the road to one of my favourite farm shops; Spring Barn Farm. I decided it would make a good lunch stop and I could peruse the shop and see if they had any new and interesting products in light of my clean eating regime. I also thought it would be a good place to buy a couple of ready meals for the boys as I am out early evening on a Monday teaching my evening class.

The farm

It was looking very festive in the shop as they had cleared away all their Hallowe’en stuff and had the Christmas tree up with decorations for sale and a good range of do-it-yourself hampers with some ideas to get you started. I looked all around and noticed they are no longer selling as much Suki tea as they used to, I chose the Vitality tea so I would have a range of teas to try at home. I also bought some Springs smoked trout and two ready meals for the freezer. The verdict on the chilli was very positive – nice big chunks of meat and plenty of it! I have yet to get an opinion from the vegetarian!

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Afterwards I sat in the car and had my lunch – a tuna wrap with lots of salad.

The recipes

So, now to what I made with all this produce. Well, first off, I had some pumpkin purée to use up so I decided to make pumpkin protein bars using the protein powder, peanut butter and honey that I bought. These were very easy to make a are a substantial portable snack.

Next I used the trout in a Scandinavian winter salad with egg, capers and a yoghurt dressing. This went down well with the husband. I must say the trout was expensive though at £8 for 4 fillets.

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Finally, I decided to make the Chia pudding with the Chia seeds, almond milk and maple syrup. You make it the night before and it is ready in the morning for breakfast. Although it tasted nice I found the colour and texture quite off putting so I don’t think I will be making it again. Sorry, all you Chia fans.

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I still intend to make these protein energy balls with the pumpkin purée I have in the freezer along with the maple syrup, walnuts and peanut butter. But more about that later.

 

 

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Southease and Spring Barn Farm (again!)

18 Jun

The run

Parking at Southease station (over a rickety bridge in the middle of nowhere) I followed the second route from a series that I found here. Good clear instructions – no ambiguity or getting lost today!

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River Ouse

River Ouse

It began with an easy flat alongside the River Ouse, popular with dog walkers (I made a few new friends including a greyhound and a terrier!), before turning off towards the village of Rodmell, where I was greeted by the sound of a woodpecker hammering away against a tree! Here you can find Monk’s House, home of Virginia and Leonard Woolfe. Looks like it would be worth a visit one day.

Monk's House

Monk’s House

Rodmell is a very pretty little village with roses-round-the-door and thatched cottages. Here I met a pretty tortoiseshell cat.

Rodmell Village

Rodmell Village

Passing through the village and into farmland (thankfully no cows) and across a field of peas, where I met another small dog, comically jumping up from the peas as it tried to orientate itself – if I was a more skilful photographer I would have taken a picture.

Field of Peas

Field of Peas

A small amount of road running followed before turning up through Northease Farm (where they make Breaky Bottom wine), and on up to the Downs.

Breaky Bottom

Breaky Bottom

Farm track all the way and not too steep, with all the cows safely where they should be – on the other side of the fence!

My nemesis

My nemesis

Turning left along the top of the downs I met some German walkers enjoying the countryside.

South Downs

I ran along the top for a few minutes before pelting down the other side to a farm and following the road back to Southease.

Downward pelt!

Downward pelt!

 

Southease Church

Southease Church

The farm/The lunch

I hadn’t researched a new farm shop and the one I passed on the way was closed today, so I headed back in the hope of finding a hidden gem with a fallback of Spring Barn Farm which is where I find myself now. It really is very good here, with spacious toilets for the runner to get changed, a fully-stocked farm shop, good-looking staff and a cafe serving delicious home made food and Suki tea. What’s not to like?

Goats cheese salad and red berry tea

Goats cheese salad and red berry tea

The cafe conversation: Swanage, starting school, dog poo, the sponsored walk, ‘meaningful children’s books’ (Alice in Wonderland, The Bible)

Spring Barn Farm

Today’s Spring Barn Farm haul

 

Glynde and Spring Barn Farm

21 May

The run

Having passed the sign for Glynde many times I decided to make it my mission to find a run in the area. After a quick search on the internet I found a couple of 6-ish mile routes from Lewes to Glynde and back and also one which began and ended in Glynde. Find the route here. I decided on the latter partly because I am a right skinflint and don’t want to pay to park in Lewes and partly to drive somewhere different.

Glynde seemed quite busy for a small village, with cars whizzing through and several walkers and cyclists. I parked in the Main Street and began following the instructions for the walk. It all started off well enough, I enjoy following these step-by-step instructions, until point 3 when we were supposed to go through a gate to the top of Mount Caburn and then retrace our steps back to point 3 – why would I want to do that? It didn’t make sense no matter how many times I read it, retrace my steps?

The offending instruction

The offending instruction

I ended up circling  a nettly field to no avail before spotting a runner ahead and realised that was the way to go. The ‘retracing’ steps still didn’t make sense though, you basically headed to the summit of Mount Caburn and then hopped over a stile and ran down to the valley floor.

Mount Caburn

Mount Caburn

So, the ran began with a gentle uphill and then a sloping downhill to a dew pond that was surrounded by COWS!!! If you have read my blog before you will know that I am not a fan of the ruminators. I checked the instructions several times to ensure it was absolutely necessary to cross the field and looked up to see a couple of walkers crossing the field in the opposite direction. ‘Safety in numbers’ I thought and set off to meet them. Checked directions with them and admitted to my fear of cows before heading away towards Lewes Golf Club at the top of the hill.

Glynde

Uphill out of Glynde

Cows - from a safe distance!

Cows – from a safe distance!

Instructions were to go through the golf course but I felt very out of place among the smart lady golfers: they looked like the equivalent of yummy mummies only with golf caddies instead of buggies. Breathtaking views of Lewes on one side and the South Downs National Park on the other made it all worthwhile though.

Lewes

Lewes

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

Ran down the access road out of the golf course and, as per the instructions turned sharply right up some steps where I bumped into a couple of fairies making a movie – much to my surprise! Continued back up onto the golf course again which I had to try and cross but all the signs warning of flying balls were panicking me even though there wasn’t a golfer in sight! I could just imagine myself lying with a concussion on the 9th hole waking up and not knowing who I was (aka Goldie Hawn in Overboard!)

Memorial at Lewes Golf Course

Memorial at Lewes Golf Course

Skirted round the edge and eventually found a stile to get out and….uurgh…another field of cows! ‘Bold and confident’ I repeated to myself as I strode across the field – why does one always sit right in front of the gate you are trying to go through?

More confusion with directions here – instructions to continue to the Dew Pond threw me until I realised there were two Dew Ponds on the map. Saw another walker up ahead so decided to follow her. I hope I didn’t freak her out too much as I ran closer. Good instructions until I reached the second Dew Pond and was supposed to be skirting a quarry which I never found. Views of Glyndebourne: check. It would be nice to go there one day.  The instructions from there did not make sense so perhaps I went wrong somewhere? Whilst perusing my instructions I managed to stumble into a nettle patch and my calves and ankles are smarting still! Dropped down onto the road by Glyndebourne and decided to finish the run on the road – about 1.5 miles. Not particularly pleasant due to the narrow road and traffic but as the phone was nearly out of juice I couldn’t risk getting lost in the countryside.

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The lunch

I decided to move on as Glynde didn’t look too promising for lunch and produce. There is a post office, general stores and tea rooms and an interesting looking blacksmith’s forge but all seemed very sleepy after the morning rush so I made my way to the wonderful Spring Barn Farm where I knew I would get a good lunch. The food is excellent, albeit a little dark in the cafe and frequented by toddlers. I chose the feta salad with couscous and humous and a pot of the delicious Suki tea: Earl Grey Blue Flower and sat and wrote my blog and thanked my lucky stars I no longer have toddlers.

Earl Grey Blue Flowers Suki Tea

Earl Grey Blue Flowers Suki Tea

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Chilli feta, humous and couscous salad

Lewes and Spring Barn Farm

9 Oct

The run

I had some things to do in Lewes this morning so I planned a run nearby, choosing a 10k that someone had posted on Runkeeper. I didn’t know the area or route so there was a fair bit of stopping to check the route on my phone and my screwed up print-out of the map. It began by heading north out of Lewes past South Downs College and going under the A27 to some farmland. It was a still and misty morning and all was going well as I followed a well-worn farm track. I had seen very few people when I came to a farm where a fire was burning outside and there was a rusting caravan In the yard. Not sure of my direction, and to be honest, with every horror and serial killer movie looming in my mind, I got totally creeped out and decided to head back down from whence I’d come! I returned to the point where the road went under the A27 and noticed another fork of the road which I suspected would be where I would have finished the route had I continued the circuit. Rather than head back to run around the town (a cop-out) I decided to explore and see where it took me. In this direction it felt safer and I passed a cyclist and a man pushing a baby in a pram plus a couple of dog walkers. Headed out past Lewes Rugby fields and continued running alongside the road until I came to Spring Barn Farm. Curiosity got the better of me and I thought I’d check it out to see if I should come back later for lunch. Decision made, I turned around and completed my run back to Lewes.

Lewes run

The farm

A very inviting farm shop with friendly attentive staff. A good range of produce from local beers and wines to homemade ready meals and gifts. As I was stuck for ideas for our evening meal I chose the farm’s own frozen vegetarian chilli ready meal. There was plenty for two and enough leftover for lunch, they were quite pricey though so I shan’t be stocking the freezer anytime soon!

The ducks of Spring Barn Farm, nr Lewes

The lunch

After my rushed experience at Middle Farm last week, I allowed plenty of time for lunch – no need to worry though – very quick service and lovely helpful staff. I chose a mushroom burger with hand cut chips (the special) and a pot of Suki tea which sounded so delicious from the menu I couldn’t resist. I don’t normally go for fruit teas but this sounded extra special…it was! The food and tea were exceptional, apart from the decor, which was a little dark and dated, the ambience felt more like a restaurant than a farm tea room.

Suki tea

Couldn’t resist taking some of this home too!

The freebie

This week I gave the freebie – as I was leaving Plumpton College with my daughter, I noticed a student standing at the entrance hitching a ride back to Brighton, so he jumped in and we heard all about the Estate Management course…