A Lush Stay at Chicheley Hall

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il trading binario funziona We recently had a lovely family weekend break at Chicheley Hall. I’ve raved about getting away as a family before, even if it is only for a day and a night. I know prepping to leave for a night away with a baby can be a bit daunting – but it’s so worth it!

http://aquanetta.pl/?kostromesp=opcje-binarne-jak-to-dzia%C5%82a&d84=41 Even one night away allowed us to recalibrate and reconnect as a family, minus all the distractions of every day life. Especially after a prolonged back injury that my other half has had. Luckily, the drive wasn’t too far from us – with Chicheley Hall being in the lush green countryside of Buckinghamshire. We passed through some cute villages en route too and I even drove on the motorway for the first time!

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diventare trader opzioni digitali Our first impressions upon arrival was how charming the grounds and drive to the house was. Chicheley Hall is a gorgeous English Baroque style country home which promised a lovely stay.

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source url Each bedroom is named after a distinguished scientist. we stayed in the Bohr room – he developed the structure of the atom and was a major contributor to quantum physics. I felt this added a little quirk and uniqueness to Chicheley Hall. Our room had stunning views of the grounds. It’s always so lush to wake up to big windows overlooking beautiful grounds in the morning as the sun creeps through.

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go We had a baby cot provided, but as usual he works his way in between us during the night so it didn’t get much use! Arthur loves a good roll around the bed so he had endless fun wriggling about and playing with the velvet cushions. Who needs toys?

binary option mt4 We had a handy sofa in the room also which was nice to chill and read a book while Arthur napped. There are lots of interesting reads available in the hallways.

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EAT

Chicheley Hall are somewhat forward thinking with their menu. They are purposefully improving this to be more inclusive for certain dietary requirements, particularly for vegans. It’s always reassuring when the menu specifically states vegan. Additionally, with Arthur having potential allergies, the listed allergens are highly important for us.

Afternoon Tea

We were treated to a beautiful afternoon tea soon after arrival. It was perfect timing after our drive there.

On the vegan platter I had a selection of sandwiches, cakes, puddings and fresh fruit. I was especially impressed with the lemon drizzle cake as this is my favourite! This was closely followed by a gorgeous coconut pudding.

We enjoyed this afternoon tea by a gorgeous bay window as we unwound after our drive to Chicheley Hall.

My other half, who is not vegan had a massive tray to get through and would have been ideal for sharing.

Afternoon tea with a very wriggly and active baby proves interesting. Getting my hot drink and shovelling cake down my face while bouncing an almost 11kg baby is quite the skill. Although there was a high chair provided, he didn’t last in it very long so was on Mumma’s lap trying to grab my cup and everything in sight.

Dinner

It’s always so lovely going out for dinner and even more so that Arthur could be by our side for our evening meal. We keep meaning to have a date night by ourselves. For the first few months of being parents we couldn’t bare the thought of leaving him at night. That along with the tiredness, I’m not sure we’d even manage to get out the door.

The restaurant began serving at 19:00 which is Arthur’s bed time usually. However the restaurant itself was fairly quiet meaning he slept soundly in his pram without disturbance. This gave us some quality time to munch, chat and get a little merry on the vegan wine.

I was really impressed with the bar staffs knowledge on vegan drinks. He knew which wine was vegan – which typically not many people are aware of this. He too showed a keen interest in certain allergens with minimal prompting.

The service is great at Chicheley Hall, with our needs being tended to diligently. I had a delicious, creamy parsnip soup to begin. This was followed by a flavoursome main course of Gnocchi and rocket salad. Although this was the only vegan option, I was totally satisfied with it. I am certain that if I wasn’t happy, it would be no hassle in requesting something different.

 

Room Service

After our two course meal felt like blobbing out on our massive bed and getting Arthur into his. We were delighted to get our desserts delivered by room service a short while later. This vegan dessert was like a flavour explosion! A trio of sorbets with fresh fruit was the perfect end to our evening of food.

Breakfast

For breakfast, the usual buffet is available. With hot cooked foods, cereals, fruits, breads and juices. Although not exclusively vegan, I always know the stuff to go for! Namely beans and hash browns which are my go to for a hot savoury breakfast. The buffet mushrooms were cooked in butter so the chef, without even asking made me some vegan ones.

One thing I will admit to missing was having a choice of milks for breakfast. I am usually an oat, coconut or nut milk fan over soya. The manager seemed quite receptive to this idea, so I’m trusting my feedback might contribute to their progress in further veganising the menu.

Afternoon Stroll

Chicheley Hall is typically hired for weddings. This really isn’t surprising as it’s beautifully kept English baroque style grounds makes a lovely backdrop. We had a nice afternoon stroll after lunch, taking in all the fresh air and even saw some spring flowers come through. The nearest large town to Chicheley Hall is Milton Keynes. We weren’t keen to leave however as we just wanted to settle and take things slowly.

 

Overall, we had a lovely stay at Chicheley Hall. We felt completely comfortable and at ease, from the great service to chilling in our lush room with our robes on by Saturday night.

We stayed here for one day and a night which was the perfect amount. It was like a country get away where we could forget about our chores and just relax. We can see how Chicheley Hall would make a special location for an event like a wedding and equally for a quick family break.

Disclaimer: Our stay at Chicheley Manor was hosted in return for an honest review. All words are my own.

Slow Cooker Vegan Lasagne

I love any excuse to get the slow cooker out. It was our saviour when we first moved into our new home two years ago and we didn’t have a fully functioning kitchen. It got us through the winter months on a daily basis until bit by bit we go more appliances. We made all sorts from curries, tagines, chillies to asian broths – even though it wasn’t the typical appliance to make these dishes – it was a life saver. We then added a camping to stove to our collection, later followed by the oven and last to come months later was our hob. Our kitchen was slow progress but totally worth it in the end. Needless to say, I had to get creative with the slow cooker. Sometimes I think about us sitting cross legged on our sitting room floor with chilli for days back then!

One thing I never thought of making was a slow cooker lasagne. I saw someone posted about it previously and thought I’d give it a whirl with what I have in the kitchen. The slow cooker is great for getting dinner ready early and for extra flavour as it marinades, cooking slowly. The reason I made this was to save time in the evening so I could spend it with my family rather than faffing about in the kitchen at babies bed time.

So here was my first ever slow cooker lasagne – sloppy, easy, comforting and filling. Bare in mind, I often cook with what ingredients I have in my kitchen. You can easily sub certain veggies such as mushrooms, eggplant and celery for ones I have mentioned below – depending on whats in yours. I’m not one for sticking to recipes or buying fancy ingredients. It’s amazing what you can create with simple ingredients.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 lasagne sheets
  • Drizzle of olive oil

 Tomato Base:

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp marmite
  • 400mls organic pasatta
  • 3/4 red split lentils
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 tsp each of oregano and parsley
  • 1 can of organic kidney beans
  • 300mls veggie stock

Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp nooch
  • sea salt
  • sprinkle of garlic powder, turmeric and veggie stock

Method

  1. Turn on slow cooker to a low heat.
  2. Fry onion and garlic for a few minutes in a pan. Add chopped veggies with a little water.
  3. Add all of your herbs and spices, pasatta and marmite – then add lentils
  4. Pour through veggie stock and leave on a low heat while you make cashew cheese
  5. Add soaked cashews, water, spices and notch to high speed blender and blitz until creamy. Do a taste test and adjust to your taste.
  6. Layer the tomato base into slow cooker, followed by a layer of lasagne sheets. Presuming the slow cooker is round, you will need to break the lasagne sheets up. Add a layer of cashew cheese and so on.
  7. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and finish with a layer of cashew cheese. Add some vegan cheese if you like.
  8. Cover and cook on a low heat for around 4-5 hours. Check on it’s progress half way through – you can make sure it’s not sticking to the sides with a spatula and if so add a little water down the sides.

Serve and enjoy! Lasagne usually keeps it’s form better once cooled – this slow cooker recipe is a little sloppy but so worth it 🙂 For some other vegan lasagne inspiration – click here for a slight variation in ingredients – including some pesto!

Have you a favourite slow cooker recipe or secret lasagne ingredient? Comment below!

Eat Vegan at The Manor Country House Hotel

Recently we had the pleasure of staying at the Manor Country House Hotel in Oxford, with the aim of writing a guest blog for Travel Mad Mum. This beautiful manor home is located in the lush countryside, just fifteen minutes from the centre.

The Manor Country House Hotel

As our first family weekend away with baby Arthur, we were excited but also a little nervous about what to pack and whether it would be worth our while packing everything up for two nights. We get so comfortable at home it’s easy to never leave the house sometimes!

Once we arrived on the Friday evening, we felt right at home entering the cosy lobby with the fire blazing. The staff were so lovely, helping us bring our bags and baby stuff to the room.

The Manor Country House Hotel was the perfect choice for this Autumn break. They had everything we needed as a family with baby.

FOOD at the manor country house hotel

I was pleasantly surprised for such a traditional manor home, they were forward thinking with the menu and exceeded my expectations.

Dinner at the manor country house hotel

We enjoyed our five year anniversary dinner Friday evening in the grand hall. Arthur was quietly sleeping in his pram as we relaxed with a glass of wine. We had the choice of a fine dining menu, with some deliciously crafted raw food dishes. Also on offer was the bar food menu which was a bit heartier, so satisfied the other half after a long day working and driving. Due to the lights being dim in the hall, it did not serve to get great food pictures. I enjoyed a quinoa, roasted roots and cauliflower purée dish with a side of chunky chips. I adored the brownie dessert – I love how raw desserts taste so decadent and luscious.

Most memorable of this evening was how relaxed and at home we felt. We were well attended to and had benefit of great food, good wine all while baby Arthur was by our side.

Breakfast at the manor country house hotel

The next day, we enjoyed a buffet breakfast, served hot drinks by the friendly staff. We had the choice of cereals, toast, fruit, nuts and juices. The chef whipped me up a cooked breakfast as it’s always nice to have warm food after a couple of glasses of vino the previous night. It was our anniversary after all. This set us up for our day exploring Oxford town centre.

Afternoon Tea at the manor country house hotel

Having spent the morning exploring Oxford Town Centre, we were excited to get back to the cosy Manor Home for our planned vegan afternoon tea. This was such a lovely experience. We dined in the lovely, bright front room with a view of the lush gardens.

I had Arthur in his wrap all cuddled up while we sipped on fresh teas. The cakes and sandwiches were so good, all the sandwiches were varied so we didn’t get bored. We even had warm fresh scones jam and a vegan cream. I couldn’t have asked for more and Arthur was happy chilling on me while I munched and sipped away.

Room service at the manor country house hotel

On our final evening, we were fairly tired after a big day out exploring. We were happy to chill in our big, cosy room, watch Saturday night television in our cosies and order room service. I was so happy to hear they had vegan gnocchi. I’d never had this before so had to order it with a side of olives.

Being a breastfeeding Mumma, some of you will understand how ravenous we get! I mean, we’re technically burning up to 700 calories a day, rapidly growing our wonderful little beings. This is why the food would always be a highlight for me, with brownie points for establishments that make the effort for vegan options. It was actually quite nice that we didn’t have to venture out of the hotel grounds for good food, especially not feeling too comfortable being out late with baby.

Overall, The Manor Country House Hotel really exceeded our expectations. Read more about our stay and the family friendliness of this cosy, lovely manor home. Check out my guest post for Travel Mad Mum here.

Our stay was gratefully hosted by The Manor Country House Hotel in exchange for an honest review.