Wednesday 29 July 2020

Day trip | How to spend a day in Matlock Bath

Let’s be real there aren’t many good/positive things to come out of 2020 for any of us, but there is one huge thing that this shit show coronacoaster has taught me, and that’s...Lockdown has allowed me to discover the true beauty and excitement of day trips locally. An afternoon out exploring a new place with those close to me will forever hold more memories and value to me than a quick shopping trip or meal out at the same restaurant on repeat ever will. And the best bit is these gems are right on my doorstep too, but had this situation not happened I probably wouldn’t have discovered this passion of mine. 

So today I want to introduce you all to the beauty that is Matlock Bath. 

Of all of the places I’ve visited lately Matlock is definitely up there as one of my all time favourites. In fact, as soon as we drove into the little village I fell in love almost instantly. There’s a fish and chip shop almost every other shop and the amount of old fashioned sweet and ice cream shops are endless. They also have the arcades, a few little pubs and the chance to ride along the river and give your rowing boat skills a go. It has such a seaside feel to it which is strange to say as there’s no sea or beach but as soon as you visit you’ll know immediately what I’m talking about. 

Anyway enough of the rambling before I bore you all, here’s how I spent my day seeing the sights...

As there aren’t too many spaces to park and you only get a very limited time of an hour, we decided to park further up at the pay and display car park around a three minute walk away from Heights of Abraham. I thought including this information would be handy for any of you wanting to visit as finding a space could prove to be a bit of a nightmare, especially when it’s partcially busy, so this is my first tip. 

Unfortunately Heights of Abraham wasn’t open when we visited but I’d definitely recommend as it looks like it would be an amazing experience taking in all of the stunning views from above. Because of this our first port of call was a stroll along the river whilst nosying at all of the shops and experiences on offer. The little rowing boats are £15 and look so so fun. I imagine on a sunny day the walk along the river would be even nicer. 

Our next spot was the small aquarium next to the arcades, it’s only a very tiny place but at £3 an entry you can’t complain and it was quite enjoyable in its own little way- obviously the real life nemo fish being my favourite thing about it. 

Of  course we then had to have a play in the arcades on the slot machines and grab a cute snap in the photo booth to remember the day by. I think now you may realise why I mentioned earlier about Matlock having a real seaside feel to it which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. However, on the flip side if that doesn’t appeal to you quite so much there’s still stunning views to take in and activities to enjoy without feeling too ‘ typical touristy’. 

All of the sight seeing can prove to be quite thirsty work so pub trip it was. There’s a few pub choices if I remember correctly, but we chose the first one we came across which was Rose Cottage. Being my first pub visit since they reopened I was a little apprehensive as to how it would all work but it turns out it’s actually planned very well as far as distancing from others goes. All in all plenty of space and the perfect spot to people watch and take in the surroundings. 

It would be criminal not to spend at least ten minutes browsing each sweet shop like a child when there’s so many staring at you screaming to come in. Either I’m very easily pleased or this is just the best sweet shop to exist?! Another thing I adore about Matlock are the cute, quirky ice cream and chip cone characters outside the shops along with the Union Jack flags, those kind of things make me the happiest as everywhere you turn there’s a perfect photo opportunity. 

PS: Please do not buy the extra extra sour watermelon sweets, they’ll have you foaming at the mouth like I did, they’re 100x worse than five toxic waste sweets at once...lesson learnt. 

 No British day trip would be complete without fish & chips would it?! We decided that we definitely had to end our day sat outside one of the many chip shops talking through our day. I’ve got to say we definitely chose the right chippy as they were gorgeous. 

And that’s it, my very first visit to Matlock Bath, and it certainly won’t be my last. To summarise: a beautiful stroll along the river boat spotting, my first glass of wine at a pub for months, making friends with the real life Nemo’s in the aquarium, nosying at all of the cute shops and arcades, and then finishing off with good old fish & chips. Basically a day at the seaside... just without the beach. 

I can’t wait to visit again, lots of people say it’s incredible in the evening when they have their illuminations so that’s the one thing I cannot wait for this year. Derbyshire villages really do have a special place in my heart and I certainly won’t be forgetting about this one in a hurry, it really was the dreamiest day ever and I can’t even tell you just how happy it left me feeling. 

Have you been to Matlock Bath before, what do you think? And if you decide to visit after reading this post I hope that you enjoy just as much as I did! 


Monday 27 July 2020

Buttermilk pancake recipe: Nutella or Biscoff

What’s better than breakfast in bed? A buttermilk pancake breakfast in bed, that’s what. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll probably have guessed that I have a bit of an addiction to sweet breakfast foods: pancakes, croissants, waffles...especially when topped with either Nutella and strawberries or Biscoff, and you all seem to share the very same love too. 

So today I thought I’d share my very favourite buttermilk pancake recipe so you can all recreate and treat yourself to the best possible start to your day...because no bad day starts with pancakes, right? 

Recipe for fluffy, amazing buttermilk pancakes: 

•350g self-raising flour 
•1tsp bicarbonate soda
•1/2 tsp salt 
•2 tbsp caster sugar 
•200ml buttermilk
•400ml semi-skimmed milk 
•2 medium eggs 
•85g unsalted butter (and a little extra for melting in pan) 

M E T H O D 

1.) In a bowl sift together the flour, bicarbonate soda, salt and sugar. 

2.) In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, milk, eggs and butter. 

3.) Create a ‘well’ in the middle of the flour mix and then pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to mix (PS: don’t overmix, just mix until combined and then stop). 

4.) Melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan, then pour some batter into the pan to make a pancake. (I usually like to make smallish but thicker style pancakes so don’t overdo the mixture, but if you prefer you could make them bigger so add more to your preferences.) 

5.) Cook your pancakes for about a minute, or until the underside is golden brown and the top is bubbling. Turn them over using a fish slice and cook for another minute. It usually takes me a few attempts and they get better as they go along. 

6.) Top with LOTS of Nutella/Biscoff, a drizzle of white chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate chips and your favourite fruit. 

Notes: *Preferably try not to set the smoke alarm off when frying your pancakes so your boyfriend thinks that you’re burning the house down like I’ll get laughed at!!! 

Ta da, flipping perfect every single time, I hope that you enjoy! Don’t forget to take photos as always, you know how nosy I am! 


Frozen slush Aperol Spritz recipe

FROZEN SLUSHIE APEROL COCKTAILS...aka what absolute summer drink dreams are made of. Such a bold statement but these might just be a new standout favourite of mine, 10x nicer than a standard Aperol Spritz that’s for sure (and they take some beating). 

Think classic Aperol but with an ice cold, much more refreshing, thirst quenching twist. They’re also one of the easiest cocktails to make, no fancy skills required. To taste test I got my Grandma on the job and she was also a massive fan, so much so we even spent majority of the afternoon talking about just how incredible they tasted whilst sitting back in the garden basking in the sun < I highly recommend you do the same once you’ve whisked a couple up for yourself. 

you might just become addicted...

Recipe for Aperol Slushies (makes 2): 

•6oz Aperol 
•6oz Fresh orange juice 
•Half a bottle of prosecco
•8-10 frozen strawberries 
•2 ice cubes 
•Orange slices to garnish 

M E T H O D: 

1.) Freeze the Aperol and orange juice in ice cube trays *separately* (it takes around 2 trays), and leave to freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Also remember to freeze your strawberries at this point too. 

2.) Once fully frozen chuck both sets of ice cubes and strawberries into a blender along with 2 standard ice cubes,  and then pour your prosecco over the top and blitz quickly for around 15- 20 seconds. 

3.) Pour into a chilled gin glass and garnish with orange slices and finish with a tiny pour of prosecco over the top for extra fizz. 

Notes: *The Aperol won’t fully freeze so don’t worry if they’re still a little slushy, as long as they’re almost frozen/slush consistency it’ll still make a lovely drink once paired with the other ingredients. 

*This recipe is very easily doubled if you have more friends round, or you know just because if you can’t get enough of the taste. 

I hope that you all enjoy, please do let me know if you give them a go, I’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to spam me with your photos on Instagram @itslittlelauren -I do love a nosy! 
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