Archive | December 2013

31 December 2013


Kiz: ‘I’ve been decorating this evening and am now sitting down with a nice cuppa. Happy New Year, Sooze!’

Girls behind the bar at The Bell at Stow on New Year's Eve 2014

Sooze: ‘The best way to spend NYE? Working in a fabulous pub/hotel! Two sittings of serving delicious top-quality food to happy customers, live music from Cameron Dunbar and a spontaneous set by Robert Spencer. Shattered, no sleep, more of the same next year please.’


30 December 2013


Kiz: ‘Mum and Dad are popping round for a visit shortly, and just as I was emptying the bin as part of my tidy up, this happened.’


Sooze: ‘Making biscotti…’

29 December 2013


Kiz: ‘It’s just not Christmas without my mum’s Christmas pud. She gave us three small ones made with her lovely traditional plum pudding recipe. We always had it with sweetened white sauce growing up, so I knocked mysef up some of that too, for nostalgia’s sake rather than that of my waistline!’

Coke Zero Suzanne

Sooze: ‘A gift from my friend Simon. Neat! He found this on a shop shelf months ago and has been hanging onto it ever since. Thanks Simon! I don’t drink this stuff – can I use it in a recipe…?’

28 December 2013


Kiz: ‘I realised I made it through Christmas day without a single mince pie, and I have a craving, so I made some. Including making the pastry from scratch. I also made some oat and fruit spiced biscuits, which make the whole house smell amazing. Can’t wait to sample!’

Broadway Deli

Sooze: ‘Stopped at the Broadway Deli for coffee & cake. I thought the village would be fairly quiet but no, it’s still full of holidaying hoorays.’

27 December 2013


Kiz: ‘I’m chilling out late watching a film on my laptop and the dog has crept in and made himself comfortable on my legs. I can’t actually feel them any more.’

Smart odometer

Sooze: ‘Smart clocks up another 1000 miles…’

26 December 2013

islay nativity

Kiz: ‘Mr B’s family have travelled south to visit the family today bearing gifts from us. I’ve been getting lovely thank you messages via text for the presents, including the most popular ones which are, “Awwwwww…” photos of Islay in her pre-school nativity. (She’s the red King.)

Decorations at The Bell

Sooze: ‘Another busy day at The Bell. Here are the nice decorations in the window of the private dining room. Not pictured: the big party of 17 having a three-course lunch in this room. After spending the whole of Christmas Day eating, how do people do it all over again on Boxing Day?’

25 December 2013


Kiz: ‘Mr B’s family are after a family photo to go on their mantlepiece, but poor snotty, Christmas-tired Islay was having none of it so the pictured chaos ensued. I’m not sure they’ll be using this one…’

Sooze in the kitchen with Rob (potwasher), Mikey and Cuba (commis chefs) at The Garrick

Sooze: ‘My favourite place to be on Christmas Day? Waiting tables. The Bell at Stow is closed today so instead I’m at The Garrick in Stratford; here I am with the commis chefs and pot-washer.’