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Food Tour in Rome: 8 Must-Try Dishes

Food Tour in Rome: 8 Must-Try Dishes

If you come to Rome for the first time, the urge to visit all the famous sites might distract you from the sheer abundance of great quality food in Rome. The world famous pizza and pasta are well known to everyone, but if you search […]

Winter Picnic with Barleycup

Winter Picnic with Barleycup

Some of you have said recently that you are trying to switch from coffee to an alternative drink, to cut down on your caffeine intake. While caffeine does have a number of health benefits for some adults, if you exceed the recommended daily allowance, it […]

Healthy Snacks for Adults and Kids: Nim’s Crisps

Healthy Snacks for Adults and Kids: Nim’s Crisps

January will come quicker than I want and after indulging at the Christmas table, I know I will be on the look out for healthy snacks for myself and my family.  I want to share with you a completely natural product, which is entirely fat, gluten and dairy free as well as being vegan certified.

Nim’s crisps are made out of airdried fruit and vegetables, so there is no oil used in their preparation.  

I had an opportunity to try three different products: 

  • Vegetable crisps
  • Fruit crisps
  • Edible Fruit Tea

Christmas dinner inspired vegetable crisps 

I loved their names: Beet and Butts (Beetroot and Butternut Squash), Brussels and Bubble &Squeak (Red Cabbage and Sweet Parsnip).  The crisps were perfectly crunchy and offered a great alternative to fried potato crisps. Brussel sprouts crisps were also the prettiest – they looked like dried flowers!

Edible Fruit Teas

These were my absolute favourite!  The first time I saw the pack, I had a double take, as I never even heard about Edible teas before. Basically, it is an air dried pineapple and kiwi slices, which you would steep in boiling water, drink the tea and then can eat the rehydrated fruit. The rehydrated fruit can be used as a topper for your granola, porridge or a greek yogurt. Genius and very tasty too! 

I used two packets for my infuser and the taste was delicate and slightly sweet, I did not feel I had to add any extra sugar or honey to it. I think the tea would also make a great option in the summer, as you can brew it, cool it down and then have it as an iced tea, garnished with fresh berries or more fruit. 

Kids Fruit Crisps

As for the kid’s choice, there are fruit crisps: apple and pineapple. The packs are great to go into the lunchboxes or taken for a walk when hunger strikes. 

As I already mentioned, all the fruit crisps are done without using any fat, oil, chemicals or additives, so you can be sure that your kids are staying healthy and eating their 5 a day. The taste of apple crisps reminded me of dried apples I used to get as a kid- yummy memories!

More than 80% of the fruit and veg used by Nim is grown in the UK and the majority is sourced within 40 miles of the factory. Nim’s is the brain child of Nimisha, who was inspired after becoming increasingly disenchanted by the lack of suitably healthy snacks on offer for parents and toddlers. 

The whole range can be bought online or at independent retailers. 

Christmas Gift Ideas: The Towel Shop

Christmas Gift Ideas: The Towel Shop

It is not a secret that pyjamas are an all time favourite gift for Christmas. But this year, I suggest a slight spin on this tradition: give a bathrobe! Warm and fluffy it will keep you dry after the shower, or if you want an […]

Product Review: Lost Sheep Coffee

Product Review: Lost Sheep Coffee

One of the prettiest towns in Kent is Whitstable: seaside location, great food and plenty of independent shops and small producers. I was delighted to discover Lost Sheep Coffee, which is roasted in Whitstable and grown in Colombia. The packaging is lovely, the colours are […]

Best Gifts for Travel Lovers

Best Gifts for Travel Lovers

What do you give someone who loves travelling?
 
A plane ticket would be an obvious answer,  but it is not always possible due to budget constraints. I am saying: ” Inspiration books!” 
 
These are going to create some wanderlust for your travel obsessed friends or family members. In fact, these books can even help them to choose where to travel next, as sometimes we overlook certain destinations, as we do not know enough about them, while some places stay undiscovered.  
 
Rough Guides, a well-known travel guide series,  have produced two beautiful editions for 2020, which will inspire any
travel addict not only in 2020, but in years to come. 
 
“The Rough Guide to the 100 Best Places on Earth 2020” ( 1st edition, published September 2019. Editor: Helen Fanthorpe)  features jaw dropping photography and makes you want to book  that plane ticket straight away.  It is a hard cover book, which you can pick up and get some inspiration from the pictures and short description of such places as Red Square in Moscow or Nusa Tenggara.  This is a definite coffee table book! 
 
“1000 Ultimate Travel Experiences: Make the Most of Your Time on Earth”  ( 4th edition, published 2019. Editors: Joanna Reeves and Aimee White)  goes further and gives you all the pointers  on where to go exploring next. Each of the experiences described  can be on your bucket list, whether it is trying gourmet coffee in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica  or meteor-hunting in the Sahara. 
 
If you have already done all the obvious sites, then it is time to move to the next level, and I felt that this book describes a lot of sites, which would appeal to a more seasoned traveler. There is literally 1000 ideas crammed into this book with a brief summary of listed experience and a small reference , which will provide further details on where you can find more information on this place or activity. When I got my hands on this book, I was lost for a few hours!
 
 
Another idea is to find out discretely where your travel lovers are going this year and order the Rough Guide to this particular destination. While a lot of us , nowadays, gather their travel information from the web and social media platforms, I always find it helps to take a guide book with you.  A good travel guide will provide useful insights into the history of the country, has all the information in one place and can be a great resource when your phone is not working or there is no connection available. Over the years I have accumulated a fair number of travel guides and I just keep adding to my collection!
 
Rough Guides  have also just published their annual list of recommended places to go in 2020, so I dare you to have a look at it here and decide where are you going in 2020! 
 
Christmas and New Year are only a few weeks away, so make sure you are prepared and ready to gift! You can find both books on my Amazon page for easy ordering.  
 
 
 
Cooking Plov in Tashkent: CookBook Workshop

Cooking Plov in Tashkent: CookBook Workshop

The one dish, which you have to try in Uzbekistan, is plov. Plov is many things: it is love, it is family, it is  a wedding and it is health. I recommend that you try plov in every city and town that you go to […]

Top 6 Sights to See in Samarkand in a Day

Top 6 Sights to See in Samarkand in a Day

Samarkand is one of the jewels in Uzbekistan crown. When we were walking with our guide in Bukhara she said, that Bukhara is like a beautiful girl without make up and Samarkand is a beautiful girl with make up. She used make up as an […]

10 Must See Places in Bukhara: Day Tour Itinerary with Global Connect

10 Must See Places in Bukhara: Day Tour Itinerary with Global Connect

Bukhara is full of ancient treasures and one great thing about Old Bukhara is that you can walk to majority of the sites.

We again met up with our tour guide Munisa  from Global Connect and started our day tour of Bukhara. I want to share with you 10 must see places in the Old Bukhara Town. 

1.Nadir- Divan Begi Medreseh

Be fascinated by the  external decorations and numerous arches. Once you step inside, there is a big courtryard where a nightly performance of Traditional Dance and Song Show is taking place. Also, the inner courtyard is home to numerous shops, selling local crafts and souvenirs.  At some stalls it is also possible to see local craftsmen at work.

Directly in front of the Medreseh there is  Lyabi Hovuz ,a beautiful pond surrounded by trees and offering a nice seating area. There is a restaurant as well, but I would  only recommend drinks, as I heard that food is not very nice. 

2. Trading Domes 

Trading domes still perform their function as a market place , like they did hundreds years ago. There is a lot to see: wood carvings, carpets, materials, and embroidery. I am sure you will be able to find something that will please you. Munisa told us that the way trading domes were built ensured that the inside space was cool in the summer and warm in the winter .

3. Kalon Minaret.

The legend has it that Genghis Khan was so impressed by the minaret’s beauty, he did not destroy it.  It is one of the oldest buildings in Bukhara with magnificent brickwork.  The minaret is wonderfully lit up in the evening, so make sure you see it during the day and have a stroll there in the evening.

4. Mir-i-Arab Medreseh

On the same square, where Kalon Minaret is located, you will see two medreseh which are facing each other. Mir-i-Arab Medreseh  is still a working religious school, which is considered to be very prestigious. You can only go so far and glimpse at the current scholars through the mesh.

5. Kalon Mosque

My favourite building in Bukhara, apart from Kalon Minaret , is located opposite the working Medreseh. It is considered to be one of the largest working mosques to date. There is a tree growing in the middle of the courtyard. I could have sat here for hours appreciating the peace and how quiet it was, you could hear all the birds and feel the gentle breeze in the air.

6. Bukhara Plov

I tried plov in every city I visited in Uzbekistan, and Bukhara version was definitely a highlight for me. We tried it in Zargaron Plov Restaurant , and it was a wonderful combination of rice and meat. It was not overly heavy with oil and quite fruity, due to more raisins being used than you would find in other versions of plov.

7.Samanidov Mausoleum

This is another example of the oldest architectural treasure in Bukhara. The beauty of the mausoleum is all outside: intricate brickwork, which serves as a single decoration. It is located in a city park, and walking to the mausoleum is easy and pleasant. 

8. Magoki Ator Mosque: Carpet Museum

The mosque makes for an interesting place both inside and out. You can see how low the mosque sits compared to the rest of the street.

 If you decide to visit the carpet museum inside, you will be able to see the cultural layers from different centuries.  The carpet collection is quite small, so I suggest to pay the admission if you are a carpet enthusiast. 

9.Puppet Workshop

This little place will be a kids pleaser, as you can see how puppets are made and even have a go at directing one of them. There is alos an opportunity to buy small puppets or have one done to order.  

10. The Ark 

This is an ancient fortress, which have been used up until 20th century by Emirs of Bukhara. Inside you will find small museum with objects from the past and telling you the story of the fortress and how different areas were used. The shape of the fortress is quite unusual and it is a great place to while away an afternoon. 

How to Beat Tiredness This Winter

How to Beat Tiredness This Winter

Winter is officially here and I am always on the look out how to raise my energy levels during dark mornings and feel less tired in the evenings.  I wanted to share with you a couple of suggestions on how to reduce tiredness and lift […]