Witley Court – beautiful ruins

I love this place, I try to go at least once a year. The house and gardens are being renovated by English Heritage and they have just finished a seven month restoration on the main attraction. The Perseus and Andromeda fountain. It is spectacular when it is erupting a huge spout of cascading water over the figures. IMG_1873Everyone gasps as they look down from the ruins and see a truly beautiful site in front of them. The gardens are starting to take shape and is a great safe place for families to have a picnic.

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There are also walks of varying lengths which are not too strenuous for all. There is the old boat house, a play area  and a most magnificent church. To top it off tucked behind the church is a tearoom which serve delicious homemade cakes which you can eat inside or outside under trees.

The history of  Witley Court is fascinating, destroyed by fire and once overrun with bikers at one point, all the information you need to know is on a free audio guide.

Witley Court has a romance about it that draws you back time after time.

So if you are looking for a day out with the family or a walk with the dog I cannot recommend Witley Court enough.IMG_1875

Healthy salads

Salads, yawn, I here you say, but honestly there are so many combinations boring isn’t a word that springs to mind. Fresh, clean and tasty, no way boring.

Apple and pomegranate salad

2 Apples

half a pomegranate

3 spring onions

half a lemon

Sprig of mint

Salt and pepper

Sprinkle of sumac

Chop apples, add pomegranate seeds, chopped spring onions, juice of half a lemon, chopped mint, sprinkle of sumac and salt and pepper. DONE.  How quick was that?

 

Black bean and roasted vegetable salad

I drained and rinsed can of black beans

1 Onion chopped into large chunks

1 green, yellow and red pepper chopped

1 courgette

1 clove of garlic smashed

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

quarter teaspoon of sumac

I teaspoon of mixed herbs

Drizzle of oil

Salt and pepper

Mix everything together apart from the beans and roast in a medium oven until cooked. Add beans and mix. Season to taste.

Garden Salad

Lettuce leave shredded

1 yellow pepper chopped

handful of cherry tomatoes chopped in half

Six inch piece of cucumber chopped

Handful of snow peas sliced

3 spring onions

Seasoning

Mix together season to taste. Add dressing

Dressing

1 lemon juice

1 teaspoon tahini

splash of soya sauce

teaspoon of maple syrup

splash of sesame oil

splash of water

Season to taste

mix together. It does look curdled at times but just keep mixing.

 

Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford England

If you have never been to this museum you are missing a real treat. There is an incredible amount on artefacts that are displayed all around you. But even better, there is drawer after drawer of hidden treasures for you to explore.

There is so much to see that one trip is not enough, you cannot take in the amount of amazing exhibits From tiny jewels to full sizes totem poles.

I loved the shields but sadly my photographs of these did not turn out. The textures, patterns and materials are wonderful. If you are a designer there is so much inspiration to be seen that you would never be stuck for a starting point.

A great day out for families although the shrunken heads may be a little disturbing but oh so very intriguing.