Tag Archives: walking

Boarshead and Laurel Fruit Farm Shop

10 Feb

The walk

I am well-organised for once! Spent some time yesterday looking through the pub strolls book, researching a walk to do and loading it into Outdoors GB. Having to go further afield now as I seem to have done most of the walks near Plumpton (in this book, anyway). So, after dropping the girl at college, I drove on another 40 minutes to just north of Crowborough – Boarshead, and started my walk from the access road just off the A26.

Boarshead loop

I had planned to continue on a few miles after the walk to visit a farm shop which I had also researched but I saw one right at the start of the walk: Laurel Fruit Farm Shop, so decided I would try that instead. Went wrong almost immediately, as I needed to, in fact, go through the farm entrance and start from there. I don’t know if the book is a little out of date now, but this seemed to be the theme of walk and I would have struggled without the app.

Laurel Fruit Farm

Lovely start to the route, walking through the farm orchard, with nice views over the fields, a flat, grey day, cold but not freezing. The hat and snood came out pretty quickly but I refrained from using my gloves as I have to take them on and off frequently to take photographs. Took a phone call from a work colleague and was nice to say I was in an orchard while she talked about work – it seemed a million miles away.

Laurel Fruit Farm

Pecan maple cookie

Through the orchard was a small seat and a view so I took the opportunity to have my coffee stop and maple cookie (recipe on The Kitchen Shed), I was hungry already despite the scrambled eggs and seeded toast I’d had for breakfast. After the break, I headed down across field, across a small stream and into another field, where things started to go wrong again, two paths presented themselves, one higher, one lower; I took the lower, by the meandering stream, which meant I missed the fingerpost sign I was looking for. I soon realised my mistake, however, after checking the app, and cut back up to it. Here, I felt the route instructions let me down, as they said to ignore paths right and left, when in fact I needed to turn left across the field to the woods. I eventually realised my mistake and tramped across the farmer’s field, which he was spraying, so I felt very self conscious and expected to hear a shout at any minute; ‘Get orf my land!’.

Laurel Fruit Farm

From there, a wooded section began, which was a little spooky! Some great tree roots to photograph though and a fair bit of uphill. Eventually coming out of the forest with nice views over the fields, from there it was simply a matter of following the unmade road back to the busy A26 and time to check out the farm shop!

The farm

 

Apples were clearly their specialty and they had a lot of different types: Cox, Gala, Fuji, Russet, Golden Delicious, Bramley etc. they could be bought loose or bagged up. I chose a bag of Gala and headed inside to see what else they sold. Apple juices, bread and cakes, pickles, a small selection of vegetables, greetings cards, and a fridge with a few cheeses and game. I chose some venison burgers and then headed for the Boar’s Head Inn for lunch. A nice old pub with open fires and low beams, dating from 1636, friendly and already with a few customers, though it wasn’t quite midday.

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The lunch

The food menu had a reasonable choice, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, soup and a list of mains including liver and bacon, plaice and chips, cottage pie and lamb shank. I ordered the special which was vegetable chilli and rice. I ordered early as the blackboard said all food was made to order so there could be a delay. I saw this as a good thing as it sounds like it is all home-cooked. The vegetable chilli didn’t disappoint, sweet and spicy just what you need on a cold day! Afterwards I had a filter coffee which came with a piece of melt-in-your-mouth marshmallow on the side.

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A muddy walk along the River Ouse

12 Jan

The run/walk

This is a post I had intended to publish before the Christmas chaos set in but I didn’t quite manage it! This walk was from the 15th December.

I had planned on doing a walk around the chalk pits today, but after driving past the starting point twice, and finding nowhere easy to park on the busy road, I lost heart and decided to head for Lewes, parking in Tesco car park and taking a walk along the Ouse. It is prone to muddiness, and although not actually raining today, it had rained heavily at the weekend, and so I knew I was in for a muddy one. As such I am glad I wore my wellies as I headed off along the river bank. The beginning part is nice and sociable, along the river, near the town and through the park with dog-walkers and toddlers aplenty to smile at, but once on the more rugged river path, only the hardened dog walkers are in evidence as it is indeed, cold and muddy here today.

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River Ouse

The clean-eating challenge is over now, and I am basking in the glory of having done better than expected, here are my starting, mid-point and finishing stats:

In summary I lost 8.5kg and 8% body fat, my muscles are popping out of my shoulders and I feel good, both health-wise and in the knowledge I have gained. Although I will doubtless go back to drinking alcohol and relax my eating regime I feel that many of the habits I have learned are sustainable long-term and I look forward to putting them into practice. (As I write this, post-Christmas, I have embarked upon the kitchen shed 30-day clean-eating challenge).

I do get stuck in the mud on my walk and struggle to get my foot out without losing my Wellington boot!

River Ouse walk

A quick coffee break is taken on the muddy bench, a peanut butter muffin defrosted from the freezer and a chance to take in the glorious sunny morning.

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The lunch

I had decided to treat myself to lunch out, rather than packing my own, this morning, but found I did not have quite enough time to go to a cafe or restaurant, I could find nothing ‘clean’ in the Costa coffee in Tescos, and desperately perused the lunch section of Tesco for something suitable, finally settling on this salad, which in no way filled me up, I should have bought a piece of cooked salmon to have on the side.

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Still, it got me home where I was able to construct my favourite smoothie: a variation from Bubbles and Booyah of blueberries, raspberries, banana, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, flaxseed and almond butter!

The shopping

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Some new foods to try (Freekeh, Food Doctor crackers) and some old favourites (walnuts, brown soba neeodles)

Forest Row and The Seasons Health Food Shop

27 Nov

Forest Row

The walk

Bright and cold this morning. A welcome break from a day of rain yesterday.

Had decided on a circular walk near Forest Row and utilise the shops there afterwards. A long-ish drive from the college at over 30 minutes but without lunch to factor in, I reckoned I had time. Lovely drive through Chailey Common and Ashdown Forest, a low sun, and autumnal colours on the trees. My Tom Tom took me most of the way there with a slight hiccup at the end when it wanted me to go down a private road: we fell out about that. Found one of the two car parks in Forest Row (23 hours free parking – that’s as rare as hen’s teeth! And a lovely on-site toilet – who could ask for more?)

Forest Row

Started off badly with the instructions – I don’t think it helped to start from the wrong car park! But Great Britain Outdoors soon had me back on track. Set off by walking through the town and heading off down by a stream, from here the instructions were very simple to follow and I didn’t have much trouble finding the route. In contrast to last week it felt very busy and industrious round here (of course, the weather was far better) but I was never without the hum of some farm machinery, or a dog walker, bike rider or pony trekker. A mixture of streams, fields, tracks, bridle ways, disused railway lines and roads, I enjoyed this one more than usual. I don’t know whether it was the variety or the sunshine but everyone I met was in a good mood. I am also enjoying walking rather than running because you can see more and converse more with people you meet.

Coffee break

I stopped for my coffee break on the bridge over a lively stream – everything was wet from yesterday’s rain so there were no convenient sitting places. Passed a farm with chickens wandering freely in the fields and then on past the spectacular ruins of Brambletye House. This was the home of Sir Henry Compton, built in 1631. It fell into ruin by 1683 said to have happened when the family fled to Spain after Sir James Richards (described as being ‘of Brambletye House’) was accused of treason. Novelist, Horace Smith romanticised the ruin in his book ‘Brambletye House or Cavaliers and Roundheads’ which has confused the history somewhat. The full article is here

Brambletye House

The shop

My shopping today was mainly centred around The Seasons a health food shop in two parts, one near the car park on Lower Road selling mainly fruit and vegetables, cosmetics and toiletries. From there I bought avocados, blueberries and some letterpress Christmas cards and tags.

Letterpress Christmas cards and tags

Then, the main shop is across the road and through the back entrance up some stairs or from Hartfield Road. This is well-stocked with all kinds of grains, nuts, dried fruit, teas, honey and spreads, as well as fresh bread, cheese and tofu. From here I bought brown arborio rice (for a chicken and asparagus risotto I intend to make tomorrow), some Greek yoghurt (which I am having tonight with some roast pears, and some nutritional yeast flakes (which is a substitute for Parmesan apparently).

 The Seasons Health Food Shop

The lunch

Had my lunch – haloumi salad with pomegranate seeds in the car, a woman rapped on my window – I thought she was after my space but she just wanted to express her disbelief and incredulity at the free parking!

Haloumi salad

The farm

Was about to head back to the college when a text came through from Dear Daughter’s TA saying they would be late back from the recycling centre (their trip today) so I took the opportunity to visit Townings Farm shop and bought some chicken and enquired about Christmas cakes. She is taking orders for 5 and 6″ iced ones and 8″ un-iced. I ordered an un-iced one, I usually make my own but I am going to be busy with work from now until Christmas. As I left the large rooster and his hens were pecking about the yard.

Townings Farm Shop

Chelwood Common and Veasey & Sons fish shop

22 Oct

The run

Picked a shortish one today – only 2.5 miles, having run 9 miles yesterday and coming up to a big event at the weekend, I felt in need of a bit of recovery. In fact, in the end I didn’t run at all but walked it, somewhat out of necessity as there was a lot of uphill! Left the college and set the Sat Nav to the researched post code and set off on the lovely drive through Chailey Common, enjoying the autumn colour and the feeling that I now get of the different areas beginning to join up. I love to drive past somewhere and think, been there, ran there, ate there. I reached Chelwood Common in about half an hour but the Sat Nav seemed to take me to someone’s house, I drove up and down the road thinking ‘It can’t be that hard to find the pub’ and circled the village several times before stopping by the pony trekking centre.

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Intrigued by cobnuts – what are they like? I should have bought some! Instead I wandered up and down the village street looking for the pub, eventually asking a roofer if he knew where it was, but he wasn’t from the village so I asked another family who were out in their garden and they gave me directions – behind the houses and down the hill. Parked up in the pub car park and set off, walking. Very straightforward instructions, it was nice to feel like I wouldn’t get lost this week and be able to enjoy the countryside. Much of the walk was through woodland, with a few fields of sheep and horses thrown in.

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In quite a few places the route went uphill, quite steeply – good to get the heart rate up! There were also several streams to cross with footbridges and quite an impressive tree house in the woods!

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I wished I had brought my flask of coffee and fruit and nuts snack with me because it would have been pleasant to stop and take in the scenery. I forget, when I am walking that there is more opportunity for that. I didn’t really see anyone on the walk except for a man and his dog, Rufus. The dog had just got over an elbow injury (I didn’t know dogs had elbows) and it was his first walk in a long time. He seemed to want to come along with me which was the opposite way to the way his master was going!

Funghi on the trail

Funghi on the trail

Towards the end of the walk I thought I was going to get lost again, as the instructions did not seem to marry up with what was in front of me. Sometimes it is difficult to interpret the distance intended, and you have to keep faith and continue on. Soon I was heading back down the hill and the pub was in sight. I passed this produce stall on my way back to the pub, the sign reads; ‘We are sorry. Due to theft approx £30 last 6 weeks only limited supply of eggs. Any required call at house, Russell.’ Ooh egg-rustling in Chelwood Common!

Who's been stealing all the eggs?

Who’s been stealing all the eggs?

The farm

As most farm shops seem to be closed on Mondays I decided, instead, to head for Forest Row and go to Veaseys & Sons award-winning fish shop. The only thing I know about Forest Row is a friend of my son’s used to go to the Steiner school there. He was once invited to this boy’s birthday party and it was the most bizarre thing as most of the boys started fighting but the parents didn’t seem the least bit concerned. My son and I just looked on in bemusement – maybe it’s part of the Steiner philosophy? Anyway, I managed to park up in the free car park just behind the shop, and had a little look in the window before wandering around to see what else Forest Row had to offer. It had a very good organic wholefood shop called Seasons which seemed to be very well stocked and the selection of bread looked amazing (it’s a shame I didn’t need any). The town also had a nice toyshop which I visited in order to buy a birthday card, and several alternative health shops (it seemed like that kind of place). Returned to the fish shop, having worked out roughly what I was going to buy – I needed some white fish to poach for a clean eating recipe I am going to try as part of my challenge. I was the only customer and the shop is quite small so there was limited browsing time, however, there was an attractive display of fresh fish, including organic salmon, fresh sardines, cod etc, a counter of cooked fish (mackerel, salmon, seafood etc) and a freezer full of squid, crab and more. I explained what I was cooking and the fishmonger recommended a couple of fillets of cod. The recipe was delicious, quick and easy, the ginger worked particularly well. I also bought a piece of oven roasted salmon which I have just eaten for lunch with the left over leeks and noodles from the cod dish. Would highly recommend a visit. Get some bread from Seasons while you are at it!

The lunch

Lunch was made this morning, as per the rules of the challenge and brought with me. I made a ham, cottage cheese and salad wholemeal wrap which I ate in the car. There must be a secret to stopping a wrap falling apart which I am not party to – or maybe I overfilled it?