Days Out – Just Visiting – Bodmin Jail

Bodmin Jail (1)I’m a big fan of true crime and ghost stories, which is even more fun if it’s local interest! Considered one of the most haunted buildings in Britain, Bodmin Jail is a great place to visit. Essentially a true crime exhibit based within the walls of the 18th Century Gaol, it’s a really interesting day out, and a bit spooky too! Continue reading

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Days Out – Visiting Sunny St Ives

St Ives March 24th (4)So, we had one of those rare moments recently in which we were both not working at the same time! So we decided to make the most of it, and drive down to St Ives for the day. It was a beautifully sunny day (if a little cold, I think we might have been in double figures for a short while but it was around 8°c)

We didn’t have much of a plan for the day, and while it wasn’t a busy day we parked in the car park at the top of the hill, though recommend parking and catching the train from St Erth, as this is FAR easier in busier months, and then you get to enjoy the views from the train on your short journey into St Ives! St Ives March 24th (21)When we had made our way down the very steep and long hill (another reason to get the train!) we had a relaxed wander through the town, checking out some of the shops, like Cath Kidston and the Whistlefish gallery, before heading down to the coast!

It was such a gorgeous day, and we loved seeing the Turnstones, which were so cute!

It was so nice just to be out for the day, and have a relaxed walk around taking photos, and generally enjoying the atmosphere, before things get too busy.

Of course, when you’re by the coast, what better to do, than stop for some fish and chips for lunch – and of course that’s just what we did! St Ives March 24th (11)We popped into Coast to Go, and had a fab chat about movies with the guy working there, before sitting down (inside to avoid the seagulls) and enjoying a LOVELY meal of fish and chips, which were really reasonably priced too! St Ives March 24th (12)

We had a really nice walk all the way down the coast, stopping off to take some photos of the Tate St Ives, which we want to visit at some point, though neither of us fancied it at the time. It’s a stunning building though, and has had a revamp in the last couple of years too! 

One of my favourite things, was walking out on the harbour to see this cute lighthouse and take some photos

It was such a great day, and it was wonderful to just slow down and have a wander with no agenda! There are so many little towns and villages like this in Cornwall, and it really does make me feel so lucky to have places like this so close to home!

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St Pirans Day – Proper Cornish Pasties Recipe

We had a bit of fun this past weekend, something neither of us has done before, but we thought we’d have a bit of fun and blog about it!In the Kitchen Logo Kay at Home St Pirans Day specialIt’s St Pirans Day today! A day to celebrate all things Cornwall, and though I’m not Cornish, and many would say Stu isn’t either (you have to be born here apparently!) we thought we’d have a go at making proper cornish pasties!

Ingredients:

(Makes 4)

Pastry

  • 450g plain flour
  • 115g lard/fat
  • 115g butter
  • salt
  • a little water

Filling

  • 2 medium size potatoes
  • 1/2 a turnip (swede for the uninitiated)
  • 1 onion
  • 400g beef skirt
  • salt and pepper
  • one small/medium egg (or a little milk)

To Make:

So first of all, make your pastry.

  • Cube the butter and fat and rub into the flour roughly until it’s crumbly, season with a little salt and add a little water to bring it together into an elastic dough that doesn’t crack but is not wet.
  • Don’t over work it. Roll it out and fold into 3, and do this 3 times.
  • Cover it in cling film and put it in the fridge for an hour.

While this is resting work on your filling!

Peel and chip your potato, onion and turnip into small flat pieces, and remove as much fat from your beef as possible, cutting into small pieces also. Mix it together and season with salt and pepper. Pasty Making (1)Once you’ve done all this and an hour or so has gone by, roll out your pastry thin enough to eat, but that won’t fall apart at the sight of  all the filling! Cut into approximately 20-25cm circles (I used a cake tin, but a plate will suffice!) Add a couple of handfuls of filling, season with salt and pepper and gently bring the edges of the pastry together, pinch the edges closed and crimp, bringing a pinch over your thumb, as you go around the edge. Patch any holes with pastry offcuts, sticking them down with a dab of cold water. Personalisation is optional!Pasty Making (2)Brush the pastry with some beaten egg (or milk if preferred) and place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray.

Put in the oven at 220°c for 20 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 200° for a further 30 minutes. Then enjoy (well maybe let them cool down for a minute or ten)!Pasty Making (3)Our thoughts: I still don’t like making pastry from scratch. Traditionally pasties are made from pastry somewhere between shortcrust and puff pastry, but honestly, I’m quite tempted to try this again with pre-made pastry next time, just because it’s a bit of a faff. This recipe is edited because the one we tried, well lets just say we had way too much potato.

They were nice! We did eat them, and enjoy them! Everything was well cooked and really tasty, even if they weren’t as perfect as the professionals. It was a fun way to spend an evening, and we rarely cook together, so it was a laugh to spend time together doing something different. If you do try out this recipe let me know.

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*Date Night* – February 2019

This post does contain gifted items but has not been sponsored in any way!

Just sharing because I really loved things, and thought you might too! 

Ah February! I don’t know about you, but it always seems like a long month!

We’ve not done much this month, because of working mostly, and a fair bit of abysmal weather that doesn’t make you want to go out! But here is a bit of a look over this month!Date Night Logo Kay at HomeValentines! We don’t usually make that big a thing out of valentines, in the evening of the day I worked, so most of the day we didn’t see each other at all! Though Stu met me from work at 9pm and we did get a kebab on the way home, and we watched a bit of Game of Thrones (we’re re-watching them all ahead of the final season!) which happened to be the Red Wedding episode, which we thought was pretty funny… Valentines, Kay at Home Blog PostAs much as Valentines Day isn’t that big a date on our calendar, I did enjoy working on some Valentines craft projects thanks to Hobbycraft (sponsored- gifted) this month, and if you missed it you can check out that post here. Live Dream Rock - KayAtHomeGift wise, for each other, I made Stu this box frame gift, and he got me another Funko Pop! for my collection! I adore Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, especially Edward Elric, (cosplayed as him more than once, including here) so obviously I LOVE this!IMG_0319We went out for dinner again this month, yet again to HubBox, which was totally not planned, but as ever enjoyable! We didn’t even take photos! We have said we’ll have to get more creative with places we eat! Do you have favourite regular places to go out for a meal or do you like to explore?

As I said earlier, work got quite busy in February, I’ve got new hours, which means sorting out a new routine(!) and it’s made me a bit more disorganised, but I’m getting there now, with a bit more of a plan!

Things we’ve loved this month:

At Home:

I’ve been reorganising the craft room again! Exciting things are coming to the blog soon!! The cats have liked the boxes! Me too, as well as what’s in them for, me they actually stay out of the way! Also while you’ve been in the craft room, I’ve played my guitar more learning new stuff!

Speaking of the cats we were sent a couple of goodies this month from the lovely Trevor at Enterprise XD Design, including this 3D printed ball for Sid and Loki! Not only is it the source of new entertainment for the cats, which being indoor, I like to change things up for them every now and again! And (bonus!) it’s bigger than most cat toys and doesn’t actually fit under the sofa! Much happiness all round!! Check out the Loki action shots!!

TV:

We’re still watching Game of Thrones, though we’re watching something else in between and in February, that was third (and final) season of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which we got pretty hooked on though we still can’t really decide who it was aimed at!! We’re up to Season 5 of Game of Thrones now… The finale is near!!

Films:

We’ve been watching a few more from the Movie Challenge list! Some good, some… Less than good. Some surprises. I do worry we’re watching too many of the films we really like too soon… Movie Challenge FebCinema:

We went to see How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which was awesome! And Alita: Battle Angel, Which you didn’t want to see! I know I know, but I loved it.

Days out:

We did of course have a lovely visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, and you can read about that one here! We were hoping for some baby animals, but were a bit early, so maybe we will visit again very soon! I’m sure we will at some point. We do want to do some new things this year though! Heligan Feb 2019, KayAtHome (8)Along with the ball for the cats, Trevor sent us some 3D printed Thorks for taking out on our adventures! These are SO great for just putting in your bag, for snacking on the go, or even at home! 3D printed, and fully customisable to fit your thumb (or finger) uniquely. We’ve used these more than once, for example here with some cake:

They’re great for pasta at lunchtime too. I ate wotsits with mine when I was cross-stitching the other day so I didn’t get orange all over the fabric haha!

I especially liked having them in my bag when we got some chips as an alternative to disposable plastic forks!! So handy, as well as better for the environment! Plus of course I’m a big fan of indie biz! SO if you fancy getting some for yourself visit here! Trevor is also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and other than handy forks and cat toys makes coasters, trinket boxes and so much more… Even earrings like these!! Heligan Feb 2019, KayAtHome (4)Huge thank you to Trevor, it was such a lovely parcel to receive and such a nice surprise to not just get something in the post for me, but a treat for us all! Happy house all round!

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A February Walk at the Lost Gardens of Heligan – Has Spring Finally Sprung?

This time last year, we were facing the Beast From the East, and hiding away from the cold and snow.

Snowman March 2018

Around this time last year we made this guy! Using up all the snow in the garden!

In comparison this last weekend has been beautiful, with sunny skies and temperatures bordering on (dare I say it?) warm!

I had a rare Saturday off work, so we decided to go out and actually enjoy the nice day, and went to renew our annual locals passes at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Heligan Feb 2019, KayAtHome (7)I have blogged about Heligan before, and you can read that post here to find out more. Heligan Feb 2019, KayAtHome (20)

We didn’t have much of a plan, simply choosing to have a wander around, and enjoy the day! I did take a couple of photos though, as coincidentally, there were a lot of crafty activities going on (as it was the end of the half-term break) and I thought it was a great chance to share how great Heligan can be for a visit!

They had crafts in the barn

This was truly stunning to look at!

There were also some animals to be found, though it is a little early for any babies to be around(!) These two were in the barn supervising the crafting!Heligan Feb 2019, KayAtHome (9)

In the Stewards House cafe, (which is closed as a cafe during winter) there were two more opportunities to get creative, though these were more nature based,

There was the chance to make hanging bird feeder treats:

As well as making wildflower seed bombs

I thought this was really fun, and a great chance for kids to get hands on, and develop an interest in nature. Heligan Feb 2019, KayAtHome (8)

Also happening at Heligan at the moment is a Sensory Story Trail, in partnership with the Sensory Trust charity based in Cornwall. This was really cool to see, walking around, with a great opportunity for everyone to have a really sensory experience of Heligan, no matter your age or abilities, with spots dedicated to sounds, textures and visual elements as you follow a story on a flyer and boards throughout the gardens.

It was such a lovely day, and though it was fairly busy, as always we didn’t feel at all crowded. Heligan Feb 2019, KayAtHome (21)We stopped off to buy some plants from the shop, because I got the bug last year, and now have to have outside looking all nice now the weather is getting better! After this we of course had to stop and get a nice cup of tea and some cake too! Heligan Feb 2019, KayAtHome (22)If you’re interested in visiting Heligan and want to know what’s going on, you can find out more on the website.

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This post has not been sponsored in any way

and is purely based on my experience.

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Days Out – National Maritime Museum

It has been quite a miserable, wet January, and so when we were looking for places to visit, we decided to go somewhere indoors!

Cornwall have a lot of indoor attractions, it’s worth checking out what is available wherever you’re staying if you’re in the area, and the weather isn’t at its best. You can also check out this article from Dolphin Holidays, which features a little quote from me too!

We love visiting Falmouth, it’s great for a bit of shopping, or even lunch, or simply grabbing a coffee. This time we decided to check out the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. It’s £13.50 for adult entry, but you get to visit as much as you like for a whole year, so it’s not too bad! There are fun activities for kids in the school holidays too, you can find out more on the website. maritimemuseum28129We were pleasantly surprised entering the museum, to find a bright, airy, open space with all kinds of boats on display, both old and new.

I loved seeing the differences between the boats from the Olympics over several years

There were stories of amazing survivals at sea.

We really enjoyed the current exhibition Titanic Stories, with information and exhibits about both the sinking of the great ship, as well as the tales in popular culture, and it’s effect on areas including film, television and even product branding! maritimemuseum28529The movie lover in me, enjoyed these pieces from the 1997 film.

We loved heading up to the viewing tower, to look out over Falmouth Harbour, as you can see, the sun came out!maritimemuseum281529From the top of the tower, to the underwater viewing area. Unfortunately the tide was too low to see much (something for another visit!) but there was lots of information on things that can be found in local waters.maritimemuseum281929Elsewhere in the museum, there is a bright cafe offering hot and cold drinks and snacks, overlooking the harbour, where we stopped for a cuppa and something to eat!

We then headed to the other side of the museum to check out The Falmouth Gallery, which was really interesting, and also had a nice cabinet of curiosities!maritimemuseum281229There were further galleries, Cornwall and the Sea, and Cornish Quayside, where of course I had to photograph the sailmaking supplies, because you can always trust me to find something craft related! (Shall I make this an aim for every day out? Might be tough for the gardens though!) maritimemuseum282629We’re not really “into” boats, so we weren’t too sure what to expect, but we were there almost three hours, and we could have stayed a bit longer if they weren’t closing, and have already said we’d like to go back again at some point!

This post is not sponsored in any way

and is my opinion, based on my personal experience.

If you’re interested in more days out across the UK check out Days Out Now, a fantastic map based resource, sharing great places to visit, reviewed and shared by bloggers, including me.

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Blogmas 2018 – Christmas Activities – Days Out – Lanhydrock at Christmas

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Throughout this year we have visited a number of National Trust properties, thanks to having couples membership, and it seemed only right to go again this month, before it runs out in January, especially at this most pretty time of year. Last weekend we visited Lanhydrock, one of our favourite of the places we visited this year.

Greeted upon arrival by these cute log reindeer, we knew this was going to be a lovely festive afternoon out. 1Only the downstairs of Lanhydrock house was open to visitors, but it was in full festive spirit,

walking up towards the house, the gardens had been decorated with pretty bauble flowers (we didn’t walk around the garden as it was a very wet day!)

Entering the house, you are greeted by a nativity scene and the first of many christmas trees!

A second tree greets you in the hallway, decorated with family photographs! 9The dining room was all set up for a Victorian Christmas dinner, 11We loved the old Christmas cards on display,12The Christmas tree in the dining room was decorated with pretty handmade felt ornaments, similar to those you can find in shops today, and dried orange slices. 10A fun Lanhydrock House cake greets you as you enter the kitchen, 13The kitchen was full of activity, with preparations for Christmas dinner under way, lots of cakes and pies were waiting to be taken to the table…

In the kitchens you can try your hand at decorating oranges with cloves, stirring the figgy pudding, cutting cookies or rolling butter 16Of course the other kitchen store rooms were packed full of all the things needed for a Victorian Christmas like the cold room with all the jelly! 17Upstairs, a traditional Santa, dressed in green, was meeting children. This was fully booked and of course I didn’t want to take away any time from the kids!

Santa at Lanhydrock

Photo courtesy of Lanhydrock on Instagram – @LanhydrockNT

There was also a chance to add your wish to the wishing tree in the learning room, as well as a chance to hear a story read, and even dress up! They had their own Instagram frame, so it seemed only right! 18

As always we had a lovely time visiting Lanhydrock, it really is a beautiful house, and seeing it all dressed up for Christmas did not disappoint!

There’s still time to see it for yourself, as the house is open every day until Jan 1st, with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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Blogmas 2018 – Christmas Activities – Days Out – Made in Cornwall -Truro Christmas Market

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I look forward to visiting the local Christmas market here in Truro every year, it’s always great fun and a great chance to see some wonderful handmade products made right here in Cornwall. I always try to do a bit of Christmas shopping here, and there are always some cheeky samples to be had too!

While I was having a wander, I thought I’d take some photos of some of the brilliant handmade products around the market! There were SO many stalls I didn’t get a chance to take photos of as it was extremely busy, but here are a few things I loved!

All photos were taken with permission, and I have included links so you can visit for yourself!Xmas Market (2)I absolutely love fused glass products, they are so beautiful and there are such a wide range of pretty things on offer! The photos here are from stalls by Mel West Glass and ARTinside – so festive and fun!!Xmas Market (4)

Xmas Market (3)I genuinely LOVE Kernow Chocolate, and I buy some every year from the market! Their festive bars are a great addition to hampers and SO tasty! We always get enough to keep a bar for ourselves too, as a little Christmas treat.

I have tried some of their other bars too, like their caramel sea salt, bakewell tart, chili and even their milk, white and dark chocolate bars are incredible! It’s so great to know this Chocolate is ethically sourced and locally produced, and I’m doing my bit to support local business!

There are lots of things to see at Truro Christmas market, locally produced drinks, from lager to artisan gin. Locally produced honey, and candles made from beeswax. Stunning handmade clothing, for children and adults. Accessories, for your wardrobe, for your home, and of course for wonderful handmade gifts and beautiful jewellery. Foods, from chocolate to more savoury choices. And of course a HUGE range of handmade items from all kinds of makers. This really is a beautiful event to showcase the array of talent found in Cornwall.

I love the vibrant supportive atmosphere, which is not just for one week, but for every Wednesday in the lead up to Christmas, as well as another market on a Saturday. Xmas Market (5)I loved visiting the DomsPottery stall, such beautiful handmade ceramics! I loved so many things here! As I’m a crafter, I thought I would share these yarn bowls! They are absolutely gorgeous! I love how different they are, and as a crafter myself I know how much love and work went into them! What a joy when knitting something, your yarn safely in a stunning bowl, to know you’ve supported a handmade business too!Xmas Market (1)

These fab handmade bags are from Sherriff Designs, so many of us are now using reusable bags, so why not support an indie business too?!

You can find so many great designs too, so there really is something for everyone. These bags make great gifts, as it’s something that can be used again and again, and knowing they have been lovingly handmade makes them extra special!

I loved way too many products on this stall, all items were handmade by two lovely ladies, and there was something for everyone, from the useful oven mitts and potholders, to hanging decorations, tea cosies and even these fun gingerbread men! Not everything on the stall was Christmas themed, but I did adore the festive look they had going on!

 

Also in town are food stands from local businesses, ranging from vegan foods, tasty treats, bavarian sausages, thai, and of course it wouldn’t be cornwall without delicious pasties! I love to walk through town at Christmas every year, taking in the sights, the aroma of freshly cooked foods, and hearing various musicians playing Christmas music throughout the town centre.

I hope you enjoyed my little virtual walk around the market, and maybe you have been inspired to buy handmade too!

Do you visit any local markets or independent businesses at Christmas, or year round?

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Blogmas 2018 – Christmas Activities – Truro City of Light

The fun of posting about Christmas is that you can share things that go on at home, some things happen way before December though, so I thought I would share this post so you can see what we’ve been up to before Christmas. file15-3Truro City of Lights is a great event, a lantern parade with music and dancing and stalls with great food and drink, and of course the switching on of the Christmas lights in town! I did share “live” on my Instagram stories at the time on November 21st, but really wanted to write a post and share some photos! (Excuse the blurring it was very rainy at some points!)file1-3 (2)City of Lights is an incredible procession of giant handmade paper lanterns floating through the streets carried by professional artists along with smaller lanterns carried by local school children and community and youth groups. So much is supported by local businesses, both financially and of course providing space for the artists to create the lanterns. Events like this are so great for bringing the community together and it’s yet another reason to shop local. file7-3This year it was *RATHER* rainy, but there were still crowds gathered across the route in town, enjoying the atmosphere and generally having a great time! file3-3 (2)There were so many gorgeous lanterns, this year, this was one of my favourites: file12-2 (2)It’s such a fun lively event with music and dancing throughout the parade, it’s so fun hearing all the music, there were drummers, dancers and more!

The theme for 2018 was remembrancefile4-3 (2)But this doesn’t mean it was a somber event.file1-2 (2)Every year I am amazed at the creativity that goes into the lanterns for the parade some of which remain on display in various locations after the event.

Of course I could not leave out the christmas lights in the town which were switched on that night too and look so beautiful!

Do you attend any local events at Christmas time?

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Days Out – Exploring Terrific Trerice

A whole new month has begun, and of course we’ve been busy visiting!

At the end of September, we had to get in a few visits so I will still have monthly content for you as many places close for renovations and refurbishment over the winter months. Also our National Trust membership runs out in January so we wanted to see as much as possible!

Trerice is an Elizabethan Manor House not far from Newquay. It is a fascinating house, with lots of rooms to explore, and the gardens are beautiful, with lots to see and do!Trerice (1)When we arrived, it was fairly busy, but there was adequate parking. It was a short walk to the entrance. Generally it is easy to walk around the gardens, though

people with mobility issues may struggle in some places, and with stairs in the house.There are several gardens at Trerice, including this knot garden, which is a really interesting horticultural feature, and so eye catching as you enter.Trerice (3)We really enjoyed talking with the knowledgeable volunteers about Trerice and its history. We visited a few years ago and it looked very different to the way it does now, thanks to the work of the trust, you can really get a sense of the grandeur of the house, which before was quite empty, and required a lot more imagination.Trerice (10)There were modern elements in the house, as the house was lived in for a very long time. The property was actually rented for many years, and the family funded the majority of the renovations.Trerice (14)Outside there has been a lot of work, recreating the historic gardens, which gave a great glimpse into the past.Trerice (21)We had great fun playing some of the outdoor games at Trerice, such as Slapcock which is a little like badminton, and Kayling which is a cornish skittles style game.Trerice (26)There is also an opportunity for younger visitors to dress up in some Elizabethan style clothing, walk around the turf labyrinth in the mowhay field and do some brass rubbings!

Trerice has lots of events running throughout the year, so it is well worth looking up what is going on when you plan your visit. While we were visiting, there was an archaeological dig on site, exploring newly discovered parts of the house! There was a trail, to find out more, and also a chance to learn and discover local archaeology finds! I obviously had to have a go, and got a badge! So that was fun! Trerice (29)Of course no day out for me is complete without stopping for a nice cup of tea, the restaurant at Trerice, was well stocked with a great selection of hot and cold food and drinks! I had a giant National Trust shortbread biscuit, and it was so good! Trerice (16)

We had a great day out at Trerice, and are so glad to see that it has changed and improved so much since our last visit. It is quite different to a lot of the places we have visited, and there is so much to do, I really recommend it as a day out for all the family!

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Revisiting Trelissick  Heligan Gardens     Cotehele