Category Archives: Places

Once Brewed, Sun and Geocaches 130-133

Today I went to Once Brewed with my dad, who does lots of work with public engagement in astronomy. Once Brewed is near a section of Hadrian’s Wall, which provided a theme for the day as we travelled along various points on its route. My main task was to photograph him setting up his equipment and I also took some pictures of people looking at the sun through the specially designed solar telescope. I had lots of fun with the camera!

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Happily, this being Northumberland National Park, there was a fair smattering of geocaches about! I managed to find three different types today – two traditional, a letterbox hybrid and an earthcache.

The first cache, Once Brewed and the Sill (GC5226C) was very easy. It had been placed at the visitor centre by Northumberland National Park – a very quick find hidden in a very traditional style. Still, a find is a find!

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The second was the earthcache, Cawfields Great Whin Sill, (GC1YH9E), which was at Cawfield quarry.

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Very close by, there was a letterbox hybrid cache, Cawfields Quarry (GCXWCE) with a brilliant container, the first of its type I’ve found. Alison and I spent a few minutes searching in the wrong place.  There we uncovered a milk bottle half-dug into the ground, but closer inspection revealed it was not the cache.

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After relocating slightly, we got our hands on it! This was Alison’s first physical find, so I explained about letterboxing and how the logging works by collecting stamps in a book rather than by writing your name in the cache logbooks.

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After a short drive, we found ourselves by another interesting geological feature at Walltown with a cache nearby, Walltown Quarry (GCK29D). On the way up the hill from the car park we were heard a pack of hunting dogs and dad spotted a deer. We found the cache quickly at the top of a small hill and signed the log.

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At the end of the day as the sun was going down, we headed off to Twice Brewed, a very warm and cosy pub. There was a good pub menu and I really enjoyed my sausage and chips after a long afternoon in the cold! On the way out the barman told us they had the biggest rum collection in the North of England, and the next biggest collection is in Manchester. It seemed an odd accolade for a rural Northumbrian pub!

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I was really happy to get back in the warm after such a chilly day.

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Sugar and Spice Tearooms

Arbroath is a small town by the sea in Scotland. Among other attractions, it has a spectacular coastline and clifftop walk. On a recent visit to Arbroath I was lucky enough to be treated to tea at Sugar and Spice Tearooms. If you didn’t know that the tearoom was there you’d be forgiven for missing it, as it is tucked in the back of the sweet shop of the same name. Once inside, the tearoom offers a traditional style and a comfortable place to sit, along with a conservatory which is beautiful in the late afternoon sunshine.

The portions are ample, and I went for the self-proclaimed “GINORMOUS Meringue”, which definitely lived up to its name. The whole thing was probably the size of my head, and I certainly appreciated the help I had in finishing it. It was fantastic, and you certainly aren’t left feeling hungry. I wouldn’t recommend attempting it alone unless you can handle a lot of whipped cream and sugar!

I was also impressed by the range of cakes and treats on offer. There was a reasonably-priced cream tea and a high tea was also on offer. The scones were equally impressive – huge – and there were plain, fruit and “special” scones on offer. I tasted the apple and cinnamon scone and it was unusual, but very tasty.

Given the atmosphere, the quality and the prices, Sugar and Spice Tearooms offers fantastic value for money, and I will definitely visit again.

You can find out more about the tearooms, as well as the adjoining sweet shop on the Sugar and Spice website.

 

B. Jannetta’s

I am a big fan of ice cream. When I was younger it was a rare thing to find an ice cream shop with more than the standard vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. Occasionally I’d come across a shop with mint choc chip or perhaps banana. If it’s variety of flavour you’re looking for then visiting B. Jannetta in Saint Andrews, Fife is perfect. This business recently celebrated its centenary as it opened in 1908 and has not moved since! There are other branches around Fife and some local venues also stock Jannetta’s ice cream.

I mentioned flavours, and the range at Jannetta’s is unbelievable, in fact it’s a good thing there’s a huge queue on a sunny day as it gives you a chance to pick which flavour you’d like.

I have yet to choose a favourite from the many on offer – their website says 52 are available, but I will be sampling many more of them in the future! The two flavours pictured are Dutch Chocolate and Turkish Delight.

I’m not sure what it is about the chocolate that makes it Dutch, but there is no standard chocolate on offer. In any case, I hardly ever get ice cream from Jannetta’s without a scoop of that flavour. The Turkish Delight flavour was a new choice and was absolutely delicious, like having a bar of the stuff with a whole lot of double cream added (no surprises there!).

In addition to the delicious ice cream they have an adjoining cafe where you can grab a light lunch or a snack, or even a sundae or milkshake. The mint chock chip milkshake is gorgeous and there are 8 different flavours to choose from.

Jannetta’s fully embraces social media and customer interaction, and there are ongoing competitions running. One is to design a flavour – no mean feat given how many they’ve tried. The other competition involves photographing a Jannetta’s tub or wafer in a far-flung location. All of these photographs seem to end up posted around the ice cream shop’s walls, and it’s amazing to see how far some people have taken the challenge.

All in all, B. Jannetta’s is not to be missed.