Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cycling with Evans Cycles at the National Trust's Polesden Lacey

BB, CC and I love a bike ride, which is why most Saturday mornings we can be found at the National Trust's Boxhill.

Last year we also did an Evans cycles bike ride around Biggin Hill and loved it. So when the opportunity came to combine Evans Cycle and the National Trust, we jumped at it.

It was an early start, finally leaving the house at 7.30 this morning. Fortunately, Polesden Lacey is just a 45 minute drive for us, so practically on our door step.

Like last year, the whole event was very well organised. We took our cycling helmets to register and were given a sticker with a barcode that would be read before starting the ride, and when we returned. It is emphasised that the event is not a race. Indeed some of our fellow cyclists were even cycling a different distance.

This is no easy ride. We chose the shorter 27 mile loop, but in parts the hills were so steep that CC and I got off and walked. Even the more experienced cyclists found those hills hard. It made Boxhill's Zig-Zag look like a walk in the park.

Evans cycles provide a great service with a well-marked route, a map and aid stations along the route, we stopped at around mile 17 and were glad to see flapjacks, jelly babies and other high-energy products. Then we hopped back on the bike and completed the remaining 8 miles, getting off the bike once this time for another killer hill.

We arrived back jubilant, it was CC's longest ride to date. She did really, really well. We walked over to Polesden Lacey's National Trust cafe where we had our usual post-race snack of sausage rolls and pasties. Definitely a post-cycling snack only. Polesden Lacey was very busy, there is live jazz on Sunday afternoons at the moment, a great restaurant and a lovely gift shop. I can't wait to go back and see the house and gardens.

Thank you to Evans' Cycles and the National Trust for hosting the event. This family certainly had an excellent time.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chicken and Chorizo Summer Stew

It's boiling hot outside, but tonight I was fed up of eating summer food, e.g. salad,  that's probably because I've been eating salad since the end of March, willing summer to be here through my food choices...

Whilst it wasn't really the weather for this dish, this is what I cooked. This stew is somewhat of a Spanish-Indian fusion. It was delicious, by the way, and we had it with naan bread and Total Greek Yoghurt. A meal for the United Nations.

Serves 3

200gr chorizo sausage, peeled and chopped
4 small chicken fillets, sliced into strips
1 courgette, chopped into coin shapes
2 small brown onions, roughly chopped
1 carton chopped tomatoes
1tsp turmeric
1tsp cumin
1tsp gharam masala


1. Fry the chorizo sausage over a medium-high heat until the oil runs. Drain off excess oil.
2. Add chicken strips and spices and fry until mostly cooked.
3. Add onion and courgettes shortly after chicken and spices
4. When all is looking brown and cooked tip over the carton of chopped tomatoes
5. I added water to thin out the sauce.
6. Leave to simmer over the lowest heat, so there is just a slight bubble, for 30 minutes
7. Serve with naan and yoghurt and definitely fresh coriander if you have it.

To drink I had tonic water with a squeeze of lime juice and plenty of ice.

I would wait for the weather to cool a little before trying this one.

What are you eating and drinking to keep you cool ?