Spring

My instagram photos this last week paint a telling picture; spring has sprung. The dappled green of new shoots against bursting blue skies; the pastel white of tulips standing proud in salute of the sun; sweet little daisies huddled together against freshly trimmed lawns. All snapped to the sound of chattering birds, as happy and relieved as we are that winter has finally passed.

Tulips in London, VictoriaPitch and puttSpring

Broad bean dip

Lunch for the week ahead is this minty broad bean dip with toasted wholemeal pitta.

Pulse in a food processor:
150g broad beans, boiled for 3 minutes and podded
Handful of torn mint leaves
1.5 tbsp creme fraiche
Squeeze of lemon
Grind of salt and pepper

Mint
Podded broad beans
Broad bean dip

Wansfell Pike

Uplifting April sunshine set the scene for what was a perfect last few hours in the Lakes. A morning hot cross bun from Ambleside’s The Apple Pie bakery, a round of pitch and putt and what’s now become a ‘traditional’ stroll up my favourite Lakeland fell, Wansfell Pike. Lying on the grassy verge with the sun on our faces and an unspoilt view of Lake Windermere is a memory I’ll relive over and over again for some time.¬†

Troutbeck
Wild flowers
Village well
Lake Windermere
Wansfell Pike
Lambs
Glorious sunshine
Lake Windermere
Troutbeck
Wildflowers

The Lakes

Waking up in the Lakes to sunshine on the last morning of an impromptu few days away. Yesterday was the most glorious day here – spring sunshine, hopping new born lambs and my first stunning sunset of the year.

The last 48 hours have been packed with new experiences. On Thursday we had to abandon our walk due to the sheer strength of the wind. Tackling the final ascent proved nigh impossible for my small frame – clinging on all fours to an unstable fence marked the moment we turned back. Never, have I ever experienced wind like it. Then Thursday evening was spent ‘caving’ 30 metres below the Yorkshire Dales. What an opportunity and adventure. Squeezing through naturally-formed channels raging with spring water, slipping through crevices, climbing up waterfalls – all by torchlight with not a ray of natural light in sight. And yesterday afternoon was spent harnessed and hanging on to the side of a Lakeland fell, testing my nerve and upper body strength on a mountain-side assault course.

Here’s to the final day of this memorable break and the road trip back down south. The sun’s shining, the bakery’s open and the crazy golf course awaits. Happy spring Saturday everyone.

Lambs
Yorkshire Dales
Honiston
The Lakes
Honiston
Sunset

Tuna Nicoise

Tuna Nicoise
Tuna Nicoise

Shake together:
splash of white wine vinegar
dollop of dijon mustard
1 chopped little anchovy
1 crushed garlic clove
3 or 4 glugs of olive oil
squeeze of 1/2 a lemon

Chop and mix:
handful of black olives
3 or 4 spring onions
another little anchovy
steamed green beans

Griddle in a scorching pan for 1 minute on each side:
1 seasoned tuna steak rubbed with oil and lemon zest

Layer it all up together and enjoy!