our friend, the mosaicist…

our friend, the mosaicist…

Many years ago, when we had a website called Didsbury Life, promoting independent businesses in Didsbury and West Didsbury, we had a beautiful office, right on Burton Road. We designed the logo for this business and commissioned our very talented friend, Amanda, to create a mosaic sign for the front of the premises.

This mosaic came back to our West Didsbury home when we gave up the office premises and sat in our garden for a good few years. When we had the house and garden renovated, it was properly installed on a wall and was only taken down to be safely bubble wrapped and packed for the journey out to Istria with us, where it still sits in our garden. She’s a bit weather worn now and the effect of hot sunshine and rain and frost has meant that some of the tile pieces have fallen off, but she’s still as beautiful as the first day she was handed to us, and she is a reminder of our West Didsbury life.

However, she’s not the only mosaic we have by Amanda, because when we renovated our home in West Didsbury, we asked her to create a piece of art with the name of our road on it, which we displayed in our bathroom. The black and white mosaic, set against white metro tiles, looked lovely.

And, six years later, we’ve finally found a home for Arley Avenue. She’s never been on the wall here, as we’ve never found the perfect place – until now. The house is being spruced up to go back on the market and as well as lots and lots of painting, we’ve also been de-cluttering. Or “packing up” in preparation for a potential move, and so wall space has revealed itself a whole lot more, and our M20 mosaic has found a new home. For now.

Amanda has a huge repertoire of mosaics and is widely commissioned to create individual and bespoke pieces. If you are interested in acquiring a very unique piece of art – for yourself, as a gift (we had one created to celebrate a family wedding) or as signage, for example – check out Amanda’s work. As an artist, I’m sure she’d be delighted to receive enquiries – and possibly commissions. And, she’s blooming lovely, too!

Amanda also offers workshops, where you can get to learn some of the skills required, and come away with a mosaic of your own. Very popular are the “Make a Manchester Bee” workshops at Manchester Art Gallery. Full information on Amanda’s website.

 

 

 

christmas : 2022

christmas : 2022

Well, that’s almost a Christmas wrap. We’ve spent the last few days hunkered down, with the wood-burners on, lights twinkling, candles flickering and eating all manner of luxurious food at the most inappropriate times of the day. Chocolates for breakfast, with a tot of Baileys is perfectly acceptable at this time of year, I think. We’ve also not seen very much out of our windows because a thick Christmas fog has been clinging on for days. Very atmospheric, but we’re now starting to crave a bit of blue sky.

Like the last two years, we’ve spent our Christmas, at home, in Istria, rather than travelling back to the UK. In 2020, travel restrictions were in place so that was a definite no-go. Last year, although things had eased slightly, we still felt it was too much of a risk travelling across multiple countries, staying in different hotels and then when in the UK, still being largely on the move and then doing it all again on the way back. This year, we decided to stay put because again of rising Covid rates and not really wanting to expose ourselves, and family and friends, to any infection we could have picked up en route. But, added to this in 2022, we’ve had to also assess the situation with strikes in the UK, a country which feels is currently grinding to a halt. Border force staff out on strike on key dates – so whether we drove or flew, we’d inevitably have been affected, and then highways staff on strike, meaning that once we arrived and were on the road, car journeys would have been a nightmare. We salute the strikers and everything they are attempting to achieve and had we travelled would have reminded ourselves constantly of this, but I think with hindsight, given the length of the journey, we’d have been too frazzled to have actually enjoyed any time with family and friends. However, there have been two other considerations and this is where things have become a bit more complicated this particular Christmas.

Our passports expire in August 2023 so we need to renew them pretty quickly. We had considered doing it when back in the UK by just going to the passport office in Liverpool. But – and it’s a big but – if timings didn’t work and we couldn’t make it back for ferries etc, or if the passport office staff went on strike, this would have added another layer of stress. Plus – and it’s another biggie – Croatia is set to join the Schengen zone on Jan 1st. In itself, this is the most brilliant, fantastic news, for us. But not if we’d be middle travel. On the way out, pre Xmas, Croatia would still have been OUTSIDE the Schengen zone, meaning our UK passorts – because of f*ckin’ Brexit – would have to be stamped as we entered Slovenia. This isn’t usually a problem, as we tend to cross the border to go to the supermarket in Slovenia or Italy and and return within the day, or if staying over, within a few days. We definitely never exceed the 90 days which – even though we have Croatian residency – we’re now stymied by, because we are currently UK citizens/passport holders. But, joining Schengen will eradicate all of this as long as we stay within the zone. No more stamping of passports when we travel in Europe. (Until we return to the UK – which probably means in the near future we’ll fly as that will be easier than trying to navigate French borders, with a UK passport and Croatian residency. It’s very complicated, currently, and so with all things considered, we decided that staying put until we were 100% sure of the situation, on all fronts, was the best idea). However, if we were returning AFTER Jan 1st, we’d have to ensure that when we exited Slovenia, we’d still have to have our passports stamped, to tally with the stamp we got on the way out. Because if we didn’t, further down the line, we could have problems if it was seen that we’d out-stayed the 90 days. Which we would have done because we live in Croatia. See how complicated it all has been?

So, our third Christmas has been spent in Istria, but because we do get to see family and friends via Zoom and Facetime, and keep in regular touch with calls, we still feel we get to spend quality festive time with them. And, because of where we are currently, we also get to enjoy a Hygge kind of Christmas. Because when your house is at the top of a very high hill, surrounded by forests and swathed in thick fog, it’s the perfect place to get all Scandi over the festive season.

In the spring and summer, our house is light and bright and airy, as windows are always open, the front door is open and sunlight streams in. But in the winter, it takes on a different personality, as the days are shorter and darkness falls much earlier. I’m an absolute sucker for candles – the more the merrier – and especially of the scented variety, so most rooms will usually have at least a few tealights. Pillar candles are also a bit of a favourite, and for some reason, they are very inexpensive out here, so these are burned most of the time.

Although it’s not freezing by any stretch of the imagination, there is a chill in the air when the wood burners aren’t lit, so the excess of faux furry throws also come into their own over the winter, and there’s nothing more luxurious than covering yourself in one, and snuggling down on the sofa. It’s what Christmas is all about…

We made sure, before Xmas, that we stocked up the fridge and that the wine rack was full, because there was no way we were going out – anywhere – after Christmas Eve. And that’s just what we’ve done. We’ve locked the door, pulled over the big navy velvet winter curtain, drawn down the blinds, lit the candles and over indulged in delicious food. Even though we’re up in the Istrian hills, we’re still very close to all amenities and so can get most of whatever we need from big supermarkets nearby. But, since discovering British Cornershop, we’ve also been able to get hold of those little luxuries which have so alluded us – Cadbury’s chocolate, M&S crumpets, chocolate yule logs, salt and vinegar crisps – and so our Xmas cupboard has had the addition of some much missed treats. As well as a traditional Xmas lunch, we’ve had Baileys for breakfast. Smoked salmon and poached eggs for brunch. Cheese platters – with delicious local wines – in the evening. We’ve made bread too, as we’re definitely not heading out to a supermarket, just yet – but this is the easiest bread recipe, ever. Baked and ready to eat in less than an hour. Everything you want but can’t justify usually – especially, as it seems currently, day after day. Still, we’ll soon return to normal and so we’re making the most of festivities in the fog.

It’s still not over. We’re in those strange days between Christmas and New Year, when you’re never sure what day it is, but the house still feels like Xmas. The decorations are still around. You’re still eating a tube of Pringles (salt & vinegar) in one sitting. Mulled wine at 2pm is a good idea. You’re catching up on all of that TV you’ve missed.

But, as lovely as these days are, that just roll into the next one, we do still need a bit of normality. A day when we’re not eating from the moment we get up and day when we do actually get out from under the throws and off the sofa. And that day is today…

Although it’s still technically Christmas, it’s also the start of Project23 for us. Things are hopefully going to be taking a very different direction, but first, the house is going back on the market. As much as we love here, it was never going to be our forever home and so we are pushing ahead with a new plan, which only came about when the Printworks plan fell through, leaving us a bit devastated. But that feeling has changed and we are now super charged about what may be coming up. But first, house maintenance and a bit of exciting renovation, mixed in with some festive sparkle…

 

 

 

 

 

 

pre christmas dinners…

pre christmas dinners…

Now that we don’t have a supermarket on our doorstep, I like to plan ahead. Not that it means we are ever really without anything, or able to buy milk, for example, if we run out. The nearest supermarket is only about 10 kms away, and in the time it used to take us to get from West Didsbury to Cheadle at the busier times of day, we can even be in Trieste and have a much bigger choice of supermarkets. And, since British Cornershop started delivering again to Croatia, post Brexit, we’re rarely without anything we really need. But, you know how it is before Christmas – food in cupboards, fridge and freezer, but it cannot be touched yet, because it’s for Xmas…

So, with just a few days to go before we can eat the Christmas stuff – because that’s the law – we’ve been creating meals out of what we’re allowed to eat. As in, food that isn’t just for Christmas! But, also food that’s a bit healthier and lighter as we know we’ll most probably be over-indulging over the next week or so. Last night’s dinner was what our nephew would call a “mash-up”, and it was pretty delicious and tasted all round healthy.

A big chunk of halloumi, cut in half, and lightly fried with lemon juice until all sides were nicely browned, but the cheese inside, still nice and squeaky. Thin slices of potatoes, smothered in olive oil, rock salt, black pepper, smoky paprika and chilli flakes and baked in the oven for about an hour, until the edges were crispy. A salad of rocket, cherry tomatoes, spring onions and cucumber, drizzled with nutty olive oil. And finally, a tin of smoked tuna, heated up in the microwave. Just the tuna, not the tin, as well. This is from a Greek range called Eridanous, which is often stocked in Lidl, and is very, very tasty.

So, a big plate full of salad leaves, fresh and healthy, spicy potatoes, cheese and tuna. Admittedly, it sounds as if it was all chucked together, and it kind of was, but the flavours were just perfect. Nice also, to have a winter dinner, that wasn’t just comfort food. Almost as if spring was just around the corner…

 

 

spiced up red thai chicken soup…

spiced up red thai chicken soup…

The base recipe for this soup is exactly the same as the one I posted last year, but this time I did a couple of things differently. I decided not to whizz the soup this time, keeping the vegetables a bit more chunky – this made the final broth a little less creamy in texture and a bit more robust. I think I must have also added quite a few more fresh chillies as it definitely had more of a kick – perfect for a cold winter’s night.

For a bit more substance, fresh noodles were added at the chicken stage, making the soup a lot more substantial. Using a fork to twirl the noodles around the spoon made it feel more like a main course, than a soup. The addition of a side helping of fresh crusty bread and rock salt butter – utterly decadent – meant we were pretty full after a nice big bowl, with more than enough left over for lunch the next day.

 

 

 

 

 

winter chicken casserole

winter chicken casserole

As the temperatures have started to plummet – the fires have been lit just recently for the first time this year, so this chilliness, even in December, has caught us on the hop – and so our thoughts are turning very much to food that is winter warming. And just recently, I’ve had a hankering for a good, old-fashioned, hearty chicken casserole. The kind of casserole that just fills the house with the delicious aroma and evvelopes you in warmth and goodness. And this simple from Good Housekeeping, just ticked all of the boxes. No fuss or faff and prepped in no time time, with minimal washing up, too. Always a bonus. It can also be cooked entirely on the hob, in a thick enamel casserole pot – or even a deep pan with a lid – but we finished it off in the over, as per the recipe.

ingredients

  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 large chicken breast, cut up into chunks – we used free range chicken and the difference in the quality of meat was incredibly noticeable, and now have a second piece left over to make a spicy Thai Chicken Soup
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, cut into thick rounds
  • 2 leeks, sliced into chunks
  • 4 or 5 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 level tbsp plain flour
  • 600 ml hot chicken – or veggie – stock
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • Lemon, cut in half and one half squeezed
  • salt & pepper

 

method

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, flameproof casserole. Season the chicken pieces and brown all over for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside. Preheat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan oven) mark 6.
  • Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, leeks and potatoes to the pan, and cook, stirring, for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the flour, cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the stock. Season well, then return the browned chicken to the pan. Add the rosemary, squeeze over the juice from the lemon half and pop the other half of the lemon half into the pot. Cover and bring the casserole slowly to the boil, on the hob.
  • When boiled, transfer to the oven, and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is piping hot and thickened. Serve immediately with crusty bread or mashed potato, or leave in the casserole pot, with the lid on, to let the flavour increase in intensity.

This recipe really is so, so simple and the results are amazing. The depth of flavours are really intense, and I found this all the more surprising as the only seasoning to speak of is salt and pepper, rosemary and the lemon. I had thought it might be a little bland, and in need of lots of salt and pepper, but it doesn’t. The carrots and celery provide a sweetness which is balanced by the leeks and onions – and if cooked to the timings above, the chicken is moist and succulent. Best thing of all is, we have half a casserole pot still left, which will be heated up for lunch and that extra chicken breast will be used tonight in a spicy Thai Chicken Soup. So, it may be freezing cold outside, but a chicken casserole doesn’t half heat you up and give you that lovely warm feeling, much needed on a winter night.

 
 

kozlović winery : momjan : istria

kozlović winery : momjan : istria

Kozlović winery is one of the best-known wineries in Istria. The family has been producing wines since 1904, and today, the winery is run by its fourth generation. We are lucky that it’s about twenty minutes from our house and so we can visit at less busy times – because during the months especially, this winery can be extremely busy and often, you will need to pre-book a table/seating area.

As well as being a renowned winery, this destination in the north of Istria, is also a fabulous eaterie. Although not a restaurant, it does serve fantastic charcuterie boards – either meat or veggie. These sharing boards are substantial and are packed with locally made cheeses, breads, olive oil and other seasonal delicacies. We rarely eat meat and so can’t comment on these boards, but every time we’ve been, they look very popular.

Spring-time at Koslovic. The perfect place to sit out on the terrace and watch the world go by.

Even in the winter, this winery is set up for outdoor eating and drinking, as there are now fire pits and outdoor wood burners, as well as big blankets to wrap around yourself.

However, if you find it just a bit too chilly, but don’t want to miss out on the Koslovic experience, there is some indoor seating, too, as well as the opportunity to purchase some of their fine wines. We always seem to return home with a few more bottles than we anticipated. Just can’t think how this happens…

 

san servolo pizzeria : buje : istria

san servolo pizzeria : buje : istria

San Servolo is a well renowned independent craft brewery in Buje, in northern Istria, producing excellent beers and pale ales. I’m not a beer fan, but have been known to have a bottle or two of the gorgeous red beer, so that’s a recommendation in itself. As well as the brewery, if you are a fan of all things meat, they have their own steak restaurant. If you fancy a spa experience, why not try the Beer Spa? Yes, this really is a thing. And to further add to the experience, since lockdown, a fabulous wellness campsite has opened. Forget soggy tents – this is a five star rated family, premium or luxury pitch, some with a private hydromassage bathtub.

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com/wellness-camping

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com/wellness-camping

Even though we live less than 20kms from this resort, we have tried to stay a number of times, to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation, but it’s so popular, it always seems to be fully booked. Never mind, though, we’re not ones to be put off and we’ll keep on trying. What we have experienced however – on more than one or two occasions – is the new pizzeria. As expected, it’s top notch and way, way above the standard of most of other pizzerias we’ve eaten in. It’s contemporary in its interior design, with glass sliding doors, opening out on a balcony over the pool and a terrace with additional seating to the side. Attention to detail is on point. There’s nothing that doesn’t seem to have been thought about, from the wall art to the menus to the lighting. Staff are perfect – knowlegeable and friendly, but not over the top, and cool, but not so cool as to be off-putting.

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com

But the stars of the show are the pizzas. They really are exceptional – by far the best we have had so far in Istria, and I’d go as far as to say they are up there with the best we’ve had in Italy. Very thin bases and light on the toppings. Not in a measly kind of way. In the way that shows that they know how to create a fantastic pizza. The menu is not extensive – which is always good because you know then that the food is fresh, not frozen – but it’s excellent. There are traditional choices such as Margherita, Bufalina, Napoletana, Quattro Formaggi and Capricciosa, along with more unusual pizzas from the Gourmet selection. These include Pera e Gorgonzola, the San Servolo and the Mortadella. Often, a special is on the menu – we’re not huge meat-eaters at all, but the Beef Carpaccio was once tried and given a huge thumbs up.

The pizzas are quite filling, so in order to leave room for a dessert – again, only two or three are ever on offer but they beyond delicious! – we pass on the starters and opt for the olives. These are just amazing – big, fat juicy green olives and salty black olives, in a chilli marinade. And, served warm. If you’ve never had a warm olive before, you don’t know what you’ve been missing!

Bufalina Pizza, San Servolo

Bufalina Pizza, San Servolo

Christmas Special - Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese & Caviar

Christmas Special – Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese & Caviar

Tuna, Red Onion & Black Olive Pizza - San Servolo

Tuna, Red Onion & Black Olive Pizza – San Servolo

Tiramisu - San Servolo

Tiramisu – San Servolo

San Servolo Pizzeria, in its contemporary surroundings, and modern menu, is very good on price, too. When we first visited, we expected to pay more than we would in a “normal” pizzeria – as we used to back in the UK. But that’s not case here – or Italy, either. Every bill we’ve had has been comparable with other places we eat at – and all, are much less expensive than we ever paid back at home. So, excellent food, in beautiful surroundings – you also get to see the sun setting over the Adriatic – at a very fair price. What more could you ask for?

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com/pizzeria

Image credit : https://sanservoloresort.com/pizzeria

irregular crockery

irregular crockery

Our renovated kitchen is small, but with everything we need, and is painted in a soft grey to maximise the feeling of space. Worktops are kept largely clear of clutter, again to ensure that we don’t feel hemmed in. We carefully worked on the design of the room, to ensure that we had sufficient cupboards, drawers and shelving so that most things could be kept behind soft closing doors.

But, even in our new de-cluttered world, I still have a bit of an obsession about beautiful crockery. Not the expensive kind, that you’re too afraid to use, in case it gets cracked, chipped or smashed. Not so much the IKEA kind, either – although we do have crockery from here, it’s the bog-standard sets which are easily replaced when frequently cracked, chipped or smashed. What I like are pieces that are fairly inexpensive and a little bit different. And that’s what I recently found on a trip to Jysk. Check out this store if you’re not acquainted with it, as it’s a bit of a gem. (And, for Manchester friends, there’s one in Stockport).

When I spotted the crockery (above) it was a no-brainer that this were exactly what was needed in the newly painted kitchen. Unlike crockery you buy in sets, these are all individual pieces and as such, none match exactly, making them even better. The colour is predominantly a very soft blue, but greys and greens also run through the ceramic. As well as being mismatching in colour, the shapes are also irregular – the plates are quite oval, but the edges aren’t perfectly rounded. Same as with the bowls – which are the perfect size for pasta dishes and soups and stews. The one part of the “set” that is missing – because we also have small mug/cups – are side plates, which unfortunately, Jysk doesn’t seem to stock. A real shame, as these would finish off the collection.

The crockery is substantial and quite heavy, so less likely to crack or break, and is glazed, so retains its sheen. Best of all, it’s completely dish-washer proof – always a result in my book.

 

autumn in the garden : istria

autumn in the garden : istria

Although it seems like no time since the long, heady days of summer, we’re well into October now and only a week away from the clocks going back an hour. Usually, we’ve had the wood-burner lit by now, and our logs delivered. But not this year. Since early April, we’ve had pretty glorious weather, but along with that, we’ve also very little rainfall, so the garden has struggled at times, despite regular watering. Flowers haven’t bloomed for as long as they normally would, and there just hasn’t been the intensity of colour that we usually have, when we have our normal rains. But, one thing that is definitely happening now, is a bit of a garden resurgence.

Temperatures are still relatively mild – low to mid twenties, most days – and we do seem to be having rain some nights. And, what we’re seeing now, is that a lot of plants which are normally finished by this time of year, are springing back into life. Or, plants which have been pretty dormant, are now growing and blooming. This time of year is usually when we’re packing up the garden, emptying pots, clearing up leaves etc and it always makes us a bit sad, as things start to look a little bleak. But, not this autumn…

Passionflowers winding up & over the shed, and blooming.

Passionflowers winding up & over the shed, and blooming.

Blooming passionflowers.

Blooming passionflowers

New strawberries.

New strawberries.

Tiny lemons.

Tiny lemons.

Emerging squashes.

Emerging squashes.

Nasturtiums & pansies growing through the cracks and stones.

Nasturtiums & pansies growing through the cracks and stones.

Courgettes still growing.

Courgettes still growing.

Towering cosmos, grown from a seed.

Towering cosmos, grown from a seed.

Pink dahlia bloom.

Pink dahlia bloom.

Crimson dahlia flower.

Crimson dahlia flower.

White dahlia flower.

White dahlia flower.

Burgundy dahlia flower.

Burgundy dahlia flower.

Colourful cosmos flowers.

Colourful cosmos flowers.

Pink cosmos.

Pink cosmos.

Flowering purple hearts.

Flowering purple hearts.

Dahlia blooms.

Dahlia blooms.

Tall cosmos.

Tall cosmos.

Yellow cosmos.

Yellow cosmos.

Mimosa already beginning to bud.

Mimosa already beginning to bud.

Seeing all of this colour, so late, in the garden, is making me very hopeful that winter may not seem quite as long as it often does. And that before we know, spring will have returned…

 

 

 

 

 

 

british corner shop…

british corner shop…

We’re not short of places to buy food here. Istria is stuffed to the gills with supermarkets – Lidl, Spar. Kaufland, Konzum, Studenac, Eurospin, Tomy, Plodine, Butiga Ultra. They come in all shapes and sizes from the small convenience store (think Tesco Express) to the super-sized, massive stores. Just across the border into Slovenia, we can easy get to Hoffer (Aldi), Tuš, Mercator, Lidl and Spar. And the just a teeny bit further on, in Trieste we have another massive variety – Spar (from small to super-sized), Conad, Coop, Eurospar and Famila. Plus, we can also order online from Valfresco, and get home delivery. So, we’re definitely not short on options and so far, living in Istria for the past five plus years, we’ve never felt that we’ve been missing out on shopping opportunities.

Until I discovered British Corner Shop, online.

According to the website, British Corner shop is “…the online grocery store for British expats around the world. Whether you miss Marmite or crave Warburtons crumpets, we can deliver your British favourites straight to your door. Our website stocks over 6,000 products from Britain’s most loved brands, meaning you can enjoy the British food you miss, wherever you are in the world.

But, when I discovered them, deliveries to Croatia had been suspended. Post- Brexit (🤬), they relocated their distribution centre to the Netherlands, and certain countries were not included in the initial wave of delivery options. This was so disappointing, especially as I had been on the website and saw that, as well as many familiar brands being available for purchase and delivery, they were also partnered with Waitrose and M&S! Just the sight of some of the goodies made me drool – and despite the many supermarkets at our disposal, I just had to get on their mailing list so that I’d be notified when Croatia was back on the list. And, this summer it happened. Deliveries to Croatia were back on, and even though Waitrose were no longer official partners, it made no difference. M&S still were and they had CRUMPETS in stock! And pikelets. And our favourite M&S crisps, including the salt and vinegar ones that make you suck your cheeks in. Plus, a whole section of branded groceries that you’d get any day of the week from a UK supermarket, but aren’t available here. And all of a sudden, I realised there were MANY things which I’d missed – Cheddars, sage & onion stuffing mix, mushy peas, Cadbury’s chocolate, to name but a few.

I know. I know. All things we could definitely do without. But, when you’ve not had them for a while, they become irresistible – and so the first order was placed. I have to admit, it’s not cheap. Some of the products are way overpriced, but I guess that’s the name of the game. You want it. They have it. So you have to pay them, as there’s no other way you’ll get it, as easily. Looking back, the first order was ridiculous but I justified it to myself. The delivery charge for quite a small parcel (about 2kg) is quite expensive – but the delivery price remains the same up to 30kg, so I convinced myself I was actually making a saving, the more I put into my online basket. Anyway, the order was placed and the service was really quite amazing. The order could be tracked easily and British Corner Shop communicated regularly – often with additional discount codes & offers. Yes, once again, I know...

Five days after placing the order, a big box was delivered by courier and my shop had arrived!

Everything that I’d ordered was included – no replacements or substitutes – and everything arrived as it should have done. Anything which could break or be squashed or smashed was extra securely packed. A couple of personalised postcards were also included – a nice little touch. But best of all, was the excitement of receiving goodies which we’d not had for a long time…

We have ordered subsequently from British Corner Shop and the service has been equally as good. No problems with the online shopping, good communication, no issues with delivery and everything delivered that was ordered. I’ve got over the initial excitement of being able to choose whatever I fancy, and now just top up with essentials (or treats!), so think that I’m using this service a bit more effectively. Although having said that, the Christmas products have just been uploaded and I don’t know how I’ll resist a bit of a festive splurge. In the meantime however, I’m happy enough that I can get a regular crumpet and pikelet fix. Nothing better for breakfast, with a cup of Early Grey tea…