I ate out this wekk at The Harbourmaster on Milford Marina. For a Thursday night, I was surprised how busy it was-good job we had booked a table! It happened to be ‘Curry Night’, and although you could still choose from their standard menu, and their specials also, I decided to try their Chicken Balti (which comes with a free drink too!). There were plenty of people enjoying the evening sun on their large terrace overlooking the boats.
We had a thoroughly great night, my friends chose Fish & Steak and their meals were good also and we had great service from very pleasant staff. Check out their website www.theharbourmaster.co.uk for a look around the premises and a sneaky peak at the menu!
Well, this week I was host to two ‘old’ colleagues of mine from my banking career-Mike & Peter, who were walking a piece of the coast path. I took them to Buccibar Indian, a new enterprise on Milford Marina. I can highly recommend this- 5 star surroundings, not your usual Indian, pleasant staff and no rush to get you out to resell the table. All the usual suspects on the menu and some new ideas too! I was a bit worried, as Peter is a bit of a curry expert, but he did say it was the best curry he had had!! Praise indeed. Great surroundings being on Miford Marina-put it on your list of places to go.
And just look at the pickle tray, not your usual stainless steel job!
And then last night, I was out with Gill for a catch up after her holidays, and we ate at Martha’s Vineyard-again at Milford Marina. Here I had the 4oz fillet wrapped in ham and topped with cheese-fabulous! So, again, another place to visit. Then just to top the week off, I am off to a Musical Sunday Lunch at Wolfscastle Hotel with my parents- so I shall report on that next time, although I am already expecting this to be stupendous! So much for my diet, but it’s all in aid of guest research-I can’t recommend somewhere unless I’ve tried it, can I???
Sunday 24th January sees the start of Breakfast Week 2016.
Shake Up Your Wake UP!
Breakfast Week is run on behalf of arable farmers, the purpose being to raise awareness of the benefit of eating a healthy breakfast and highlight the abundance of fantastic produce that is all around us.
Here are the key messages:
Breakfast Eaters are normally slimmer than breakfast skippers
Breakfast gives you many of the nutrients and energy to start your busy day ahead
There are a vast number of options for your breakfast choice
This fits well with us here at Fields Lodge, as we are the double award winning Bed & Breakfast for Pembrokeshire’s Finest Breakfast. We pride ourselves on sourcing locally the best ingredients, cooking them well and providing as healthy a choice for breakfast as we can, catering for all diets and tastes.
I am currently working on some new recipes to add to the menu over Breakfast Week, I plan to add a ‘special’ onto each days menu. If they prove popular, then I may well add them into the standard menu.
Today, I have been trialling Buckwheat pancakes, I do want to offer pancakes, but I do not want to offer wheat ones! Following on from the ‘healthy’ options, I am trying to create a pancake that will satisfy the most discerning of pancake eaters(me) that is wheat free. Oh, and sugar free too!
My efforts today were okish, I am trying tomorrow, a recipe I have found that adds a banana in and uses tapioca flour and potato flour-so look out on the menu.
I am also thinking along the lines of a kedgeree, an Eggs Cymru(my version of eggs benedict), a smoothie and a bircher muesli made without wheat. So look out for news of a new Breakfast Menu once the week is over!
I am delighted to be joining forces with Ellen Picton, a qualified nutritionalist, of Healthaspire-based at Milford Haven Marina.
Ellen has planned a busy 4 day, 3 night, Detox weekend to kick start your health for spring. It is a residential weekend, based here at Fields Lodge and at Ellen’s offices during the day.
The detox will follow The Harcombe Diet principles, which will allow your body to be free of any intolerant foods over the 4 days and give you a great kick start to healthy eating.
It is an all inclusive offer, with all meals following the same principles of The Harcombe Diet, all based on real food where you should not find yourself hungry at all. With greater focus being brought on the effect of wheat, gluten and sugar in our diets, this is a guided weekend to put your body back into order.
The weekend of April 17th, 18th & 19th is planned as:
Friday: Arrival at 3pm at Healthaspire Headquarters
You will be contacted by Ellen prior to Friday to advise you what to eat for Breakfast and what to bring with you on the car journey to Milford Haven
Introductions / goal setting / health check.
Check in 5pm to Fields Lodge
Dinner served at 6.30pm
9 am Breakfast
Bacon / eggs / toms
Coast path walk / outdoor exercise with personal trainer Gerald Brace
Lunch and half day at local spa with treatment included.
Nutrition Course – weight loss for life
Dinner, followed byevening entertainment
Coast path walk / outdoor fitness /
Cooking demo and shared lunch
Nutrition course – what we need and what we don’t
Roast dinner followed by evening entertainment
Monday – 10am depart after Breakfast with goodie bag, action plan.
One week later – 30 minute phone session
It’s an exciting venture and is offered to Fields Lodge guests at a massive discount of £200 off the normal price, resulting in a cost of £275 per person sharing a twin/double room-all accommodation, meals and drinks based on Harcombe Diet principles.
I am very proud to report that Fields Lodge has been awarded for the second year running, the title of ‘The Finest Breakfast in Pembrokeshire’.
The awards, as given by Pembrokeshire Tourism and the breakfast category sponsored by Pembrokeshire County Council, were judged by two independant judges who came to sample my breakfast offering many months ago in July. I had just returned from a short break away, the following day being the day chosen for the Breakfast Judging.
My own Masterchef!
I was first to be judged, which meant I went straight from a busy breakfast service, straight into welcoming the judges.
It was my very own little ‘Masterchef’ competition! Cooking up various items from the breakfast menu and waiting whilst they were tasted, was, for me, nerve racking. I love to cook for people and want nothing more than to provide a really great breakfast and breakfast experience-which, going by comments and reviews, I do achieve…but having to be judged is another game all together!
Anyway, after creating a usual Fields Lodge Cooked Breakfast, Cnwd(guest producer that week) Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Egg on a hot buttered muffin, Smoked Haddock with Tato Cymru (which is my name for a crispy potato cake cooked with Welshman’s Caviar-dried and toasted Laver seaweed, courtesy of The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company)topped with a poached egg and served with hollandaise sauce, lovely kippers from Milford Docks and never mind the local berries and fruit selection, homemade granola, yoghurts, bircher muesli and smoothies, all finished off with homemade bread toasted and topped off with homemade preserves, the judges were bloated before moving on! Phew!
My 1950 Aga, did me proud, cooking everything and making it all taste so yummy, it’s a pleasure to cook on and show off to anyone who is interested, it really is like a member of the family and it does have it’s off days…wind…it really doean’t like the wind! Yesterday I made a lovely multi grain loaf that normally takes 45 mins to an hour to bake…..I took it out of the oven at 8pm-I started it at 9.30!! The wind had sucked all the heat out of the Aga and because it stayed windy all day, it just had no chance to catch up and get back up to heat. That’s the downside of Aga living here, it’s deceptively high here so we catch the wind coming striaght off the heads of the river and of course, I never know how the Aga has been affectted overnight until I come in to start breakfasts in the morning!
Coming back to the awards, they were presented in the Wolfscastle Hotel, just outside of Haverfordwest. The Wolfscastle is my favourite place to eat in Pembrokeshire, it offers fabulous food from a great chef(he appeared on Masterchef!), the service is really great and the surroundings are modern and newly refurbished. It ticks all the boxes for me.
There were many categories of award, and it was lovely to see so many people receiving recognition. For a full list, please check out Pembrokeshire Tourism’s site.
Whilst the awards were being presented I waited with baited breath, not really being able to enjoy my meal as the awards were next. The competition was strong, the 2 other B&Bs that made the finals to be judged I know offer great quality breakfasts and are equally as good cooks, we all promote Pembrokeshire and Local Produce and use this extensively, so for me, any one of us could have won. I was delighted to hear that I had been judged the winner!
The award, created by Steve Robinson in St Davids, is really lovely. An absolute pleasure to have as pride of place as you enter my hallway and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s very satisfying to have my dedicated work and enthusiasm to do a great job for visitors and Pembrokeshire recognised and acknowledged!
I have been reading quite a bit lately on the benefit of ‘activating’ nuts before use. I hadn’t heard of it until recently, and then, of course, once you start delving you find out loads!
In a nutshell(no pun intended), nuts in their natural state contain toxins in their husks that are hard for our bodies to digest. Soaking and then drying them causes them to sprout, which activate enzymes that make them easier to digest. It produces a crunchier and a bit toastier version of the original nut, I must say I can’t really tell much difference in taste. Almonds (have you seen the price for a small tin??), walnuts, pistachios, pecans and pumpkin seeds work best, while the ‘oiler’ nuts such as macadamias or cashews can go a little soggy, so only soak these for 6 hours.
So, what do you do?
Soak the nuts overnight in water and a little salt in a covered bowl of water. Drain then spread out into a single layer and dry in the oven for 12-24 hours, depending on how low you can get your oven. On a gas oven, just the pilot light is sufficient. In my Aga, I found that 6 hours dried out the cashews ok in the bottom oven but the other nuts needed longer and I ended up burning them, hence I discovered the top of the cooler cooking plate does a fine job over nearly 24 hours!
Once they’re done, you can store them in an airtight container in the freezer and use them straight from there, as they don’t actually freeze!
I have learn’t this in the main from reading the I Quit Sugar book, which then led me onto further reading.
So, now I have my activated nuts, I need to do something with them!
I have tried a new Granola recipe, which is fructose free, which is great for anyone trying to follow the IQS eating plan, or just generally wanting to be healthier, as there is no sugar in this recipe. It’s very yummy, and I do believe is nicer than my previous recipe, which, although healthy, did have honey in it, which is 40% fructose. This recipe uses Rice Malt Syrup(if you want it a bit sweeter), which is a blend of complex carbohydrates, maltose & glucose, which means it’s a relatively slow releasing sweetener, so doesn’t cause those sugar spikes, that eventually end up with the munchies..well they do with me!
Mexican Communal Dining was the order of the day at Halen Mor last night. A 5 course Mexican inspired meal with some suitable cocktails-my favourite Margerita. The picture above is of the second course, Queso fundido
3 cheese fondue with mozzarella, cheddar and feta with homemade mexican style chorizo, spicy tomato salsa and crispy flour tortillas. Quality food was evident throughout the night.
The first course was a Salmon and avocado course:Tequila cured salmon ceviche with avocado green chilli and fresh lime, followed by the Tortilla pictured above-these were so nice we asked for a second bowl! Then we moved onto a pork dish, Pork Pibil:
A pork casserole with habanaro chilli and achiote with Mexican green rice, black bean stew, pickled cucumber salad and re fried beans. This was finished with a Palate cleanser-
Mango, lime and star anise granita. Then onto the last course, a scrumptious avocado and spiced green apple puff pastry parcel with smoked peach sorbetto. For me, the smoked peach was a bit too smoked, but I am not a fan of smoked foods normally!
Halen Mor pride themselves on offering good quality food, rather like myself with my Breakfast produce. I believe that if you start with good quality ingredients then, hopefully, you can always improve your food further! Adam, the chef, prides himself on producing great plates for diners to enjoy and like myself with my breakfasts, I like to see empty plates coming back into the kitchen!
Halen Mor opened their doors a little before Christmas 2013 and have already built up a good following of foodies and regularly hold Communal Dining Evenings- the next one being Greek on 8th, 9th & 10th April.
Their phone number is: 01646 693017. If you’re interested in going then do ring up and book your table early as these seats do go quickly!