Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Cotswolds: Broadway

At the foot of a steep hill, the village of Broadway used to be a major stopping place for coaches travelling between Worcester and London. Later, it attracted writers, musicians and artists and played an important role in the development of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Nowadays, the high street is lined with art galleries, antique stores and other independent shops and is very popular with tourists visiting the Cotswolds. And it was just a short bus journey from where I was staying in Winchcombe.

A 17th century coaching inn houses an outpost of the Ashmolean Museum. I would have liked to visit the Gordon Russell Design Museum, but it’s closed in January.

There is a wonderful deli, a wine store, and various other specialty food stores. Be sure to try English wine and cider and the Cotswold Handmade Meringues are really, really good.

I had morning tea with a toasted tea cake at the Broadway Hotel, a pub lunch at the Swan Inn overlooking the village green, and afternoon tea and cake at the Leaf & Bean (lots of loose-leaf teas, including oolong!). I highly recommend them all.

If the weather is good, you can walk up to the Broadway Tower.

Or you can just walk the length of the high street enjoying all the old cottages.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 26, 2015

Drift Sidewalk Café, Feb. 3

Drift Sidewalk Café, next door to Escape Sports, is tentatively scheduled to open on Feb. 3.


Chefs’ Gala & Showcase, Feb. 7

The Saskatoon Chefs’ Association, in partnership with 4 local theatre and music groups, is hosting the Chefs’ Gala and Showcase on Feb. 7. Tickets are available on Picatic.

Valentine’s Day Tour/Tasting, Feb. 14

Book a complimentary tour and tasting at Lucky Bastard Distillers and pick up a gift card so you’re sweetie can leave with a gift of their choosing.


Craft Beer & Cheese Festival, February 27

Prairie Sun Brewery is hosting a festival of local food and drink on February 27. In addition to beer, there will be local wines and liqueurs. You can eat, dance, drink, and learn from the local food experts.


Vegetarianism on the Rise

12% of the UK population identify as either vegan or vegetarian, and 20% of 16-25 year olds self-identify this way. "With more people becoming plant curious, restaurants and supermarkets are realising they need high quality plant-based food options to satisfy consumer demand," explains Pardoe.


Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products.


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Monday, January 19, 2015

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 19, 2014

Flavourful is short and sweet this week. Enjoy!


The Food Centre is offering a Fermentation of Vegetables workshop on Feb. 27.


Here are a few English food items that I found interesting.

Growing Grapes Under Glass

I had a very nice glass of wine from Strawberry Hill Vineyards in Gloucestershire this week. Climate change means warmer weather and England is making more wine than it has ever done before. Strawberry Hill takes advantage of cool-weather grapes, but they are also growing some of their grapes in greenhouses, lengthening their season by 4-6 weeks.

Scotch Eggs

Scotch eggs are traditionally made by adding a coating of sausage meat to a hard-boiled egg. But the Handmade Scotch Egg Company has applied a little creativity and come up with over 40 different varieties, including some vegetarian ones.

Smoked Cotswold Brie

Brie is always a favourite cheese, but I was surprised to find a smoked Brie. Simon Weaver Cotswold Organic Dairy uses apple wood smoke to add a subtle smoky flavour to the cheese.


Top Vegetarian Restaurants

The Coup in Calgary has been named one of the world’s top vegetarian restaurants. The Acorn in Vancouver also makes the list.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Cotswolds: Snow in Winchcombe

It snowed overnight, but traffic seems to be moving so it can't have been enough to stop traffic up Cleeve Hill.

It's sunny now, but they're predicting heavy rain and gales for later in the day.

I must be getting soft, because it felt quite chilly at zero degrees. My Vancouver friends will understand.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 12, 2015

Eat local . . . drink local

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria 
River Heights will soon have a new pizzeria. Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria will be opening at 300-136 Primrose Drive on January 19. They promise to deliver a hand-stretched, hand-tossed pizza cooked in a traditional fire-roasting Italian pizza oven. Famoso opened in Edmonton in 2007. They now have locations in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Sunday brunch at Prairie Sun Brewery 
Brunch is now being served from 11 am to 3 pm, Sundays, at Prairie Sun Brewery. And, yes, there’s a vegetarian option – thanks, Tom.

New PA Businesses
Two new businesses are opening in downtown Prince Albert. Rock Creek Café, a licensed restaurant with a northern-inspired menu, hopes to open in February or March.

Melanie Quintal, owner of Funky Fresh Bistro, went to Belgium to become a certified chocolatier, and will now be opening a chocolate shop, that will also serve as overflow space, adjacent to the Bistro.

Signs of Spring
Grandora Gardens reports that their first tomatoes and cucumbers have sprouted. Surely spring is just a little ways down the road ;-)

Seabuckthorn Crisps
Sarah Galvin has posted a recipe for Seabuckthorn Crisps on her website. It looks like a tasty way to take advantage of our local seabuckthorn berries.

Enhancing Saskatoon’s Dining Scene 
Noelle Chorney suggests a number of different ways in which we could improve Saskatoon’s dining scene in her Planet S column. I particularly like the idea of embracing our native ingredients and of giving veggies some love.

Flower Sprouts 
Speaking of veggies, I’ve been shopping at Winchcombe’s farm shop and have discovered a new favorite vegetable.

Flower Sprouts are a cross between kale and Brussel sprouts. With curly green and purple leaves, they’re really attractive, and they have a milder flavour than Brussel sprouts. Plus, they contain a generous serving of vitamins B6, C and E.

Maybe one of the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market vendors will be interested in trying them out.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Cotswolds: A Sunday Morning Walk Above Winchcombe

The sun was shining so I headed out the door for a walk bright and early this morning. With a little experimentation and some helpful advice from a local, I was able to complete a circular route on quiet country lanes.

I entered the grounds of Sudeley Castle by the back gate.

I then crossed a stream inhabited by ducks and swans.

After leaving the Castle grounds (unfortunately, the Castle is closed in the winter), I followed a quiet country lane. There were some lovely old houses. This one had an enormous walled garden - I would have loved to be able to peek inside.

There were fields full of sheep . . .

. . . and kale.

Winchcombe lay sprawled in the valley below.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Cotswolds: Winchcombe

I'm looking after two cats for three weeks in Winchcombe, a small town near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. I feel like I'm living in a picture postcard. There are centuries-old buildings and green rolling hills dotted with sheep. I hope that my photographs will give you a taste of Winchcombe.

I'm staying in the flat above The Cat's Whiskers

This is the view from my window of Winchcombe's High Street.

Winchcombe was a royal town in Saxon times, a pilgrimage centre in the Middle Ages, and a prosperous town in Victorian times.

Dent almshouses, 1865

St. Peter's Church has over 40 gargoyles, including a self-portrait of the stone mason himself.

King Offa of Mercia founded a nunnery here in 787

A number of long-distance footpaths radiate out from Winchcombe, and I enjoy walking along a quiet country lane much frequented by dog owners and runners.

The Cotswolds are renowned for their local food products and I'm eating extremely well. There are pubs and restaurants, cafes, a grocery store, a farm shop, and a delicatessen.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 5, 2015


Wine & Beer
Riversdale Delicatessen is now offering beer and wine.

City Perks Coffee Shop has applied for a liquor permit.

Sale - Dad’s Organic Market 
Dad’s Organic Market, Saskatoon, is holding a Hoopla Sale with big discounts on almost everything on January 16 and 17.

Ukrainian Christmas 
Makivnyky (poppy seed rolls) and Kolach (braided bread) for Ukrainian Christmas are available at The Night Oven Bakery this week.

Ugly Fruit & Veg 
Asda, the UK’s second largest supermarket, will be selling misshapen fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste for a discount, starting at the end of January. The retailer’s research “showed that 65% of its customers were now open to the idea of buying oddly shaped fresh produce, while 75% would definitely buy “wonky” if it was cheaper.” 


Eat Your Peas 
The English love their peas and beans, and they use them in some interesting ways, often flavoured with mint. I had a lovely pot of Broad Bean and Asparagus Hummus with Mint from Marks and Spencer’s, and I’m currently enjoying a ready-made Yorkshire Pea, Apple & Mint Soup.

Here are a few recipes to help you eat your peas!
Pea Hummus
Easy Pea and Mint Soup
Sweet Pea Salad
Minty Pea and Potato Soup

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Favorite Books of 2014

Reading is one of the true pleasures in my life and I read voraciously. Here are a handful of my favorite books from 2014.


Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry’s
For entrepreneurs and business owners, there’s an ongoing struggle between making a profit and contributing to society. Ice Cream Social discusses how Ben & Jerry's evolved, how they tried to involve employees, use their buying power to make political changes, and run an ethical business. In the end, they sell the business to Unilever, but they persist in their efforts to run an ethical business – a fascinating and optimistic book.

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
Chip and Dan Heath write awesome books, informative and eminently practical. I started using their suggestions before I had finished reading this book.

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products 
If you’re curious about how Apple products are designed, here’s your answer.


Tea & Bee’s Milk: Our Year in a Turkish Village 
Tea & Bee’s Milk is an absorbing account of an American couple’s year-long stay in a small Turkish village. It paints a picture of how the locals live, from their farming practices to their electrical wiring.

Grape Expectations: A Family’s Vineyard Adventure in France
You have to be slightly crazy to buy a vineyard and start making wine when you have absolutely no background in the industry. It’s a struggle, but this Irish couple and their children are making a go of it.

Falling in Honey: How a Tiny Greek Island Stole my Heart
This is another book for those of you who share my daydream of living in a foreign country. And who wouldn’t want to live in on a Greek island, swim in the sea, and fall in love with one of the locals?


Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen 
I was fascinated to discover the ins and outs of communal living on a Hutterite colony. And there are recipes for those of you who are so inclined.

Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey through Today’s China
The author attends cooking school in China, then apprentices at a noodle/dumpling stall before moving on to a classy Shanghai restaurant. The book is an eye-opening look at cooking in China.

The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement
Food banks are a stop-gap measure as they don’t address the underlying problems. The Stop gave me insight into what the Saskatoon Food Bank is attempting to achieve by setting up a garden, offering cooking classes, and participating in government committees.

My recovery from back surgery this past year was slow and painful. Two books showed me the way forward.

The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency
Polio didn’t stop Roosevelt from becoming President of the United States. I also gained a better understanding of polio and what my mother went through as a teenager.

New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir
Gail Caldwell is surprised to discover that a hip replacement can give her back her life. It’s painful, but she embraces the unexpected and moves forward.

I wrote a longer review of these books here: Bibliotherapy for Legs that Don’t Move the Way They Should

Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them
Shopping for Votes is a depressing but informative look at how we’ve turned democracy into a marketing campaign.