Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmassy Days In Kent

Doors to houses I envy in Sandwich!
As much as I adore nights in by the fireside, I think the Christmas holiday is the time to get out and about, to soak up the crisp air and all the festive goings on in your local area. I don't know about you - it must be all the festive cheer- but I'm also happier to spend money on little bits like lunch out or that unnecessary, indulgent coffee around Christmas time. This week I've spent the last two days before the final door of my advent calendar on the 24th (weep), seeing friends, generally wandering and treating myself to bits and bobs and yummy food and drink.

On Monday morning, I had a leisurely stroll round my quaint local town of Sandwich, just by myself, as I wanted to look for any last minute Christmas gifts in the four charity shops there. I ended up finding two adorable, traditional gifts for my best friend's baby boy, who I can't wait to meet next April. I can't really say what they are yet as I've wrapped them up for her for Chrismas day! I was also so pleased to spot a gorgeous shearling trimmed denim jacket, and in my size- I've been wearing my Dad's for ages on dog walks but it was obviously massive on me! It's in perfect condition, has a cute mustard lining (I love that colour at the moment) and it will be super snug while making a nice change to my smarter leather jackets or blazers. Plus it was only £5!

I then went to meet three of my friends in our local city of Canterbury, where we went to a wonderful place called The Chocolate Café. It is definitely a place inspired by Bruges, and the whole café just sang out 'luxury chocolate'. The colour scheme was brown with dark wood and quirky décor; there was even a glass panel in the floor with a Christmas tree in it! We had a teeny but characterful round table (it had a sketch of a grand-looking couple holding hands beneath a lamppost on it!) and we all ordered something different to get a real sample of the quality food and drink. I had a delicious blueberry tea, a flavour I haven't tried before, while one of my friends had a very nutritional Matcha green tea - she said it was interesting but not great!! My other two friends went for classic milkshakes of cinnamon and chocolate. They looked amazing. My tea came with the cutest touch- an egg timer especially for black tea, so you know when to take the teabag out. I've never seen one before! Food-wise we ordered various Italian style cold dishes- I had a lovely mozzarella, goat's cheese and rocket focaccia with balsamic dip and an olive. My friend had the yummiest looking slice of cake ever- a green tea cake! When paying I clocked the incredible selection of hand-made, artisan chocolates, but sadly I was too full to sample them! I will have to go back with my boyfriend Matt, especially as they do gluten free cakes (still quite a rarity for independent cafes!) and he's a coeliac.

Monday was rounded off nicely with a cocktail or two at a trendy local bar, run by New Zealanders. Their French Martinis and even their mocktails are delicious. On Tuesday, I took two university friends to another charming place called The No Name Shop in nearer Sandwich- a homely French delicatessen and bistro. Downstairs is an authentic collection of counters selling cheese, quiche, freshly baked breads, cold meats and patisserie. We ate upstairs at a round tiled table (they were packed so we had a table of eight for three of us!), where we ordered hot drinks and a light lunch of brie and bacon baguette, croissant and warm scones with butter and jam. As usual, we nattered all afternoon and it was the perfect way to spend Christmas Eve Eve!

Photo from The Lane


Seeing as I won't be posting tomorrow, all that's left to say is Merry Christmas everybody! Have a well-deserved, wonderful break from blogging and I wish you all a happy, healthy 2015!!


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