Monday, 12 September 2016

Cauliflower rice with mixed veggies

Speedy and super tasty

A scrumptious dinner in less than 10 minutes
Love carbs but hate the feeling of getting bloated? Like rice but don't have the patience to cook it? Have no fear, for cauliflower rice is (finally) here. A recent discovery of mine (thanks to reading the Minimalist Baker's superb blog post), this white rice dupe is the perfect light supper option. Simply buy some cauliflower, mince it up in a food processor (or a box grater if you don't have this fancy gadget), saute it in a pan and hey presto, there's your dinner! To avoid blandness, I recommend adding a good sprinkle of salt, pepper and lemon/lime juice when you're cooking the rice. I also topped mine with some red chilli flakes, just for an extra bit of spice and tastiness. Serve it with whatever you want (in my case, boiled veggies).

A healthy but filling way to end the day. Totally beats a microwaveable TV dinner. 

Recipe from: 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

3 ingredient pancakes

Monday morning inspiration 

Yummy + nutritious = perfect brekkie combo

If you're always rushing to work and can't afford to spend hours cooking a decent breakfast, then this pancake recipe by the internationally renowned top model Karlie Kloss is definitely for you. Simple and easy to make, you only need 3 common household ingredients, specifically 1 egg, 1 banana and some porridge oats, to whip up this delicious and vegetarian-friendly morning treat. Feel free to spruce it up with some other add-ons like cinnamon, blueberries, and maple syrup to make your breakfast extra scrumptious. 

Guaranteed to taste waaaay better and more filling than a shop-bought muesli bar (which used to be my go-to brekkie option whenever I was dashing out to beat the morning traffic). 

Recipe from: 

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Brighton & Whitby

When it rains, it pours

That was precisely what was happening outside my window at around 9pm last night till the early hours of today (i.e. Sunday). Fortunately, the wet and thundery weather appears to have made its departure before I woke up this morning. Although it won't be long till it returns...

When will it stop?
As much as I appreciate the rain, it wouldn't be a "Sun"day if there was no sun.

There's no way we can control this inclement weather. But what we can do, or at least what I usually do, is to think back to all the good ol' days when the sun actually kept its promise.


Lunchtime in Brighton
I'm sure the majority of you would have heard of this place. However, if you haven't, Brighton is essentially a large seaside town located in East Sussex. It's become a popular destination for those craving a day away from the hectic city life in Southern England or simply overseas tourists. 

The one thing that did sort of surprise me when I went was the lack of sand on the beach. Obviously, this didn't fit my existing schema of a white, sandy beach that I'd grown up to love whilst I was living in Australia. However, with a variety of other Georgian inspired attractions, vintage shops, plus funfair rides and games, I think these landmarks have clearly made up for what the beach itself lacked. Plus it wasn't that uncomfortable to sit on the beach (just make sure you bring a mat).

Amusement attractions at Brighton 
Sunset ferris wheel ride
Looking out towards Brighton pier
If I had to pinpoint a favourite moment of my visit, it would definitely have to be exploring the Royal Pavilion. It was simply an amazing building on the outside and the inside. Totally not what I would have expected from a seaside town.

Brighton's Royal Pavilion 


When I was studying in North East England, people would often ask me how much sunlight we got each day. Their assumption was that the weather was probably horrid, dark and gray. However, my photos have often proven them wrong, especially the ones I took at my favourite UK seaside town: Whitby.

Out at sea

Strolling on Whitby's beach
From boating trips and a steam train adventures, to Captain Cook's memorial museum and confectionary shoppes, Whitby is definitely a place where you need to spend an entire day at (especially since this place ACTUALLY has sand!).

Whitby train station
All aboard the Whitby boating tour!
Replica of Captain Cook's ship
Obviously I cannot guarantee that you'll definitely be graced by stunning weather. However, if you do happen to be blessed, I suggest walking around the entire town to explore every nook and cranny before you narrow down on what you want to see first.

Heading out to sea, Whitby lighthouse on the right

Looking up towards the Church of Saint Mary
Aside from its seaside attractions, Whitby is also home to the famous Whitby Abbey. Ever read about or at least heard of Dracula? That was the historic ruins that inspired Bram Stoker to write his thrilling but fascinating tale. It's definitely worth visiting, although you do have to walk up the famed 199 steps staircase in order to reach it. Was good exercise for me especially since I'd just had a really unhealthy but ever so delicious ice cream from one of the local stalls...

Heading towards Whitby Abbey

Enjoying the glorious sun
That was despite the fact that I decided to end the day off with a good old fashioned meal of beer-battered fish (minus the chips) before taking the 6pm train back to reality.

Last photo at Whitby

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Castle Combe

A rainy day adventure

Sometimes you encounter the unexpected whilst travelling. In the UK, this generally relates to weather conditions. A grand day out is always better with plenty of sunshine, there's no doubt about it. But there's got to be a bit of rain every so often to balance things out. 

Arriving in Castle Combe 
The Yellow House
And that's precisely what happened when I first ventured into the picturesque county of Wiltshire.

Clearly, heading outdoors would not be ideal under such wet conditions. But I like to be daring every once in a while, so it was off to Castle Combe for me.


The lone bridge
With a population of only 344, this is probably one of, if not the, smallest and prettiest villages I have ever visited in England. Despite its size and demography, it's played a major role as a backdrop for several poignant films and TV shows. Think War Horse,  Agatha Christie, and also Downton Abbey. 

Time for (another) cuppa

Taking photos is clearly a must. If you want a photography bucket list, then I suggest including pictures of doors, postboxes and souvenirs - they've all been so uniquely designed haven't they? There's a nice array of signage dotted all over the place as well. 

Homemade delicacies 
Still really pretty though!

Oh and don't forget about the scenery. Definitely a worthwhile snapshot.

Picture perfect
Pano again!
Another highlight of my day trip was lunch. The salmon I ordered at The Castle Inn hotel was delightfully scrumptious. There's also the Manor House Hotel in case you fancy a taste of 5-star luxury dining experience. 

All in all, another wonderful UK adventure. Who would have thought that a rainy day could be so beautiful?

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Worcester, Witley Court & Church

I've never been THIS excited about blogging before

Usually it takes me about a week of relaxing to recover from the exhaustion (and thrill) of travelling. During that period, I most commonly begin to contemplate whether or not I ought to blog about that particular experience. It generally is a big fat "yes" from me, but for some reason, writing somehow gets delayed by all the other interesting things I get involved with in life.

In other words, I procrastinate (sometimes).

But definitely not this time! After visiting Witley Court on an incredible sunny Monday (yes this was just yesterday), I was motivated to start blogging about it (almost) immediately. So, here goes.

Entering Worcester Cathedral
The medieval church of Saint Andrew
Sailing down the River Severn


To get to Witley Court, which is located near Great Witley in Worcestershire, I had to head to the city of Worcester by train in order to catch the 758 bus to this English Heritage property. I'd made sure I'd left enough time to explore Worcester, mainly its Cathedral, as well.

Seagulls on patrol
Frequent flyer
A fine day in Worcester
If it's a very sunny day when you go, you should definitely take a walk by the River Severn as it looks absolutely stunning in the sunshine. There's also an opportunity to take a cruise up and down the river. Unfortunately, I didn't have time for this but I guess this, and the fact that I didn't get to see the other museums in Worcester + buy Worcestershire sauce, means I'll definitely have an excuse to go back again!

Walking to Witley Court

Witley Court's river

Witley Court

This was the main highlight of my day trip. And I am thoroughly pleased to say that I was NOT disappointed by it at all. In my opinion, the history of Witley Court is to an extent bittersweet. Although originally one of the most extravagant country houses in the UK, it suffered from a terrible fire in 1937 that has left the majority of it in ruins. Fortunately, a great portion of its beauty and charm has still been retained as the pictures show. And with the help from a series of info panels accompanying the key highlights of property, it's still possible to imagine how luxurious and spectacular the decor used to be.

The south facade

Inside the conservatory

Peeking through Witley Court
Personally, I would say that it is genuinely one of the most romantic and attractive Grade 1 buildings I have EVER been to in the UK.

The east parterre

Roaming around the garden

Next to the south facade
When I travel, I like to go in whatever direction my mood and guts take me in. Having ground rules can make travelling too stressful! However, if you did want me to recommend a must-see part of Witley Court so that you can plan out your route, then you should certainly pencil in the Perseus & Andromeda Fountain. It's design based on the Greek myth about Perseus flying on Pegasus to save his to-be-spouse, Andromeda, from a terrifying sea creature. An eye-catching masterpiece, water is shot from the fountain at every hour between 10am to 5pm. It's definitely something you HAVE to photography (and also film!).

The Fountain's sleeping

The Fountain's alive!

Great Witley Church

Outdoor tearoom
Taking it easy
Which way is which?
If you're feeling a bit peckish and tired after walking around Witley Court and all its garden trails, then head next door to the lovely little outdoor tearoom run by Great Witley Church . The pear flavoured popsicle is highly recommended (by me), just to let you know. And whilst you're there, why not check out the Church itself? I mean, who would have thought that a church with such a simple exterior could be so much more extravagant on the inside? See my pictures if you don't believe me.

Arriving at Great Witley Church

The Church's baroque styled interior
There are 48 ceremonial counties in England alone, and I have now officially visited 25 (= an average of around 6 new ones annually across the 4 years I've been here).

Bring on the next one :)

Mondays could never have been this enjoyable