Friday, 29 April 2016

Homemade Bath Bombs

Last weekend my son and I attempted to make Bath Bombs. I don't think Lush has anything to worry about, however, it was quite a fun thing to do on a rainy afternoon and pretty straight forward.


To make around 6 decent sized bath bombs you will need:

* A few drop of your favourite Essential Oil. We chose Lavender as that's all I could find on the High Street which meant our house has smelt of Grannies bloomers since Sunday.

* A few drops of food colouring of your choice. We used green, yellow and blue, basically what we had at home.

* 300g of Bicarbonate of Soda

* 100g of Citric Acid. It sounds scary putting 'acid' in something that's going to go in the bath with your precious child but its OK. Its apparently made from citrus fruits and is used in, among other things, wine making. I bought mine from Tesco although the lady on the counter did ask why I needed 4 boxes of it... If you were worried or couldn't get the acid there is a recipe online using Cream of Tartar instead but I have not tried this.

* Water in a mist spray

* A mould. We used a silicone mould that I bought for making cupcakes and have used once. You can  buy special moulds to make round ones (like Lush) but the silicone mould was fine for us. We weren't aiming for a professional finish as you will see.


* In a bowl mix together the Bicarbonate of Soda and Citric Acid.

* Slowly add a few drops of your chosen essential oil and combine.

* This stage is the tricky bit. You need to use the water spray to slowly add water until the mixture just holds together. We added slightly too much to the blue and yellow ones and they started fizzing before we had even got the mixture out of the bowl. But once it dried we just crumbled it into the bath anyway. As long as you are not trying to sell them it doesn't really matter what it looks like!

* Once the mixture has come together, press into your mould and leave to set (about 45 mins).

* Voila! Home made bath bombs.

(The March Hare takes no responsibility for any possible allergic reactions)

VERY EASY Lemon + Almond Flour Biscuits

Not since the 'Banana Loaf' of 2012 has there been an easier and more delicious recipe.

Banana Loaf

Visitors to our house will be relieved to learn I have discovered a new sugary treat. May I present to you, the Lemon and Almond Flour biscuit. Also, they contain no wheat so are good for my wheat free friends and are probably the easiest thing I have ever made.

* 3 eggs whites
* 300g Almond Flour
* 150g Castor Sugar
* Rind of 1 - 1.5 Lemons
* Icing Sugar to dust

This makes around 25 biscuits

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees (Fan oven)
* Put egg whites, Almond Flour, Sugar and Lemon rind in a bowl. Mix together.
* Take walnut sized pieces of mixture, roll into balls then roll around in a bowl of icing sugar.

* Put icing sugared balls onto a baking sheet, squash down with the back of a fork.

* Cook in oven for 15 minutes of until golden on the edges.

* Told you it was easy. Plus any that you don't eat, as this makes a lot, can be frozen and heated when you want them. They would also make a nice gift. Simply brilliant!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, Mill Lane, Baylham, Suffolk, IP6 8LG

Another great day out we had recently was at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, about 40 minutes by car from the centre of Colchester. I can't recall how I heard about it, most likely some furious googling, there certainly isn't any literature about it in Colchester...

So, we went during the Easter weekend and did some serious Lamb Cuddling. It was great, and actually very busy but certainly worth a visit on a sunny day. It costs around £7 per adult (children under 4 are free) and this included a bag of animal feed, access to wander round the farm and see all their wonderful rare breeds and a big ol' Lamb squeeze. There is also a nice little cafe on site and I believe you can host a child's party there!  Here are a small section of pictures from a lovely day out:

Parking is available (for free) in a nearby field and then you access the farm by a little road over a stream.

There is a box of sticks and instructions for 'Pooh Sticks' as you cross the bridge. Nice touch!

You can hug a tree...

..and see the most beautiful beasts!

Very relaxed rabbit.

Fluffy cow.

Hairy pig.

Grinning hog.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Bambu Vietnamese Restaurant, 95 Quayside, Colchester, C02 8GN

If you go down to the Hythe today, you are in for a big surprise. BAMBU VIETNAMESE! The Nosey Parker i.e. me, heard that a new restaurant opened last week and we made it our mission to go there for lunch this Saturday. Having lived by the Kingsland Road in Hackney for 20 years, I have eaten a lot of Vietnamese food over the years as my elasticised waistband will testify so I was very keen to get down there ASAP. As it's in Colchester it was obviously quite hard to find (78 roundabouts before we got there) but we persevered, it's opposite the Lightship and on the other side of the road to B+Q on the riverfront, and were blown away by the experience.

Firstly, the restaurant has been very well done. It's the sort of place to take your mates who are visiting from "The London" to show them that Colchester has it's finger in the pulse! Secondly, the staff really could not have been friendlier. These guys deserve to thrive here simply for their great customer service. And finally, the food was very very good. The Hythe is an area that has a lot of local support by people who want to make it a great destination and Bambu is a perfectt example of what can be achieved here. I'm really excited for them and the area as a whole after our visit.

They don't seem to have a website up and running yet but you can find them on Facebook:


The Lightship


Delicious Vietnamese Coffee.

Sharing starter.

Crispy Squid.

Chicken Curry.

Shaking Beef.

Exciting times colchester!

High Woods Country Park, Turner Road, Colchester, CO4 5JR

I've written about High Wood's Country Park before, but we had such a great walk there yesterday morning I thought I'd post some more pictures.

It's a beautiful place and great for kids as they have several play/climbing areas for them. They also have a Bulldog/Pug meet up every few weeks. Our dog thought he had died and gone to heaven. Don't forget change for the Car Park though...

Don't panic. There aren't giant bugs in the woods, we hid these for our son to find...

Colchester's Roman Circus Centre, Roman Circus Walk, Off Butt Road, CO2 7GZ

A couple of things have brought me out of my blog retirement this weekend and I have a little spare time today to crack on with a bit of Colchester PR which I think we all agree is seriously lacking!

First up is the Colchester Roman Circus, somewhere I have been meaning to go for a while. This is another hidden gem, totally unique to Colchester, and sadly, little known about. I only heard of it I spend too many hours of my day on Twitter trying to connect and engage with the area and its inhabitants. Where are the posters about it around Town? At the Station?.... This is when we need my sentry box idea at the train station. Tell visitors and locals what is here!

The Roman Circus Centre is the site of Britain's only known Roman Circus and its huge! I don't know too much about it but believe the site was discovered when building work was taking place to turn the old Army Barracks into housing (and might I say the houses in the old Barracks look VERY nice). I'd like to live there if I wasn't too lazy to move house again.

Anyhow, The Centre had a sort of Open Day on Saturday so we popped along for a snoop. It's free entry so really there is no excuse not to visit. They had bike hire, a little cafe with live music and clog dancing on top of the archaeological gubbins. Hopefully the busier and more well known they get, the more days like this they will have. It's actually a great spot for people with young kids to meet up when the weather is good. The local NCT group should really set up some coffee mornings here. Its exactly the type of place I would have loved to come to when we moved here with a baby.

The only criticism I have is that the signage is pretty poor. As with most things in Colchester you really have to seek them out (PR! PR! PR!) and we couldn't even find the entrance to get in. If you are driving don't listen to your Sat Nav if it send's you up Napier Road or you will be driving round for hours.

Old Army Vehicles parked outside the Centre.

Penny Farthing anyone?

Local Clog Dancers, 'Annies Fantasies'.

Information about the site.

Reconstruction of Starting Gates.

One of the Displays.

Model of the site, it would have been massive!