Thursday, August 30, 2018

Visit to Spa19877 in Sheffield

When I was researching spas to buy my mum gift vouchers for, for her 60th, I came across Spa1877 in Sheffield. It is a Turkish baths, like the one in Harrogate which I've been to a couple of times, so I knew my mum wouldn't like it, but I knew Sam would. We've enjoyed the Harrogate baths the twice we've been, so I suggested that I buy her the taster experience for her birthday, and we set a date in July to go.

The taster experience is £30 each and it lasts for three hours. This is slightly more expensive than the Harrogate baths, but you do get more for your money. In all, Sam and I both felt that we preferred some of the bits of Harrogate baths but we liked Sheffield more as a better experience overall, if that makes sense.

We arrived just before 11 and had to fill in a medical questionaire. Then we were given a basket containing flipflops, a robe, and a locker key. We were shown upstairs to the changing rooms. We got changed into our costumes and I was pleasantly surprised to find that although the robe didn't fit me fully, it fitted me enough to feel comfortable to wear. We went back downstairs to the Relaxation Room. This was pleasantly warm, but not hot, and there were cold drinks and fruit to eat.

We were shown round the spa. The main area is the hammam, which is gently hot. It has lots of benches to sit on and it's quite dark, although I still managed to read. There's lots of little towels for you to take if you want to sit on them or use them to dry yourself off.

Then there's a sauna, which was way too hot for me, and I don't like dry heat, so I didn't go in it. There's a little room with a shower in that has a hot setting, a cold setting, and a rainforest mist (which was lovely!). There's the first steam room, around 45 degrees, which is quite aggressively steamy. There's an ice cave, which has crushed ice for you to rub over your body. Then there's the hotter steam room, which isn't quite as steamy and which varies in temperature. I found it okay near the door, but Sam, who likes the very hottest part of Harrogate baths, ventured all the way in.

Then of course there's the plunge pool. In Harrogate, the plunge pool is quite a few metres long and you get in and swim to the end and back, but you never quite get used to it. In Sheffield, the pool is only a few steps down and about a metre square at the end, and you just sort of have to dunk yourself. I liked it a lot better. You think you won't be able to do the cold plunge, but honestly it is definitely worth it because your circulation goes crazy and the endorphin rush is brilliant.

We did a few circuits, getting hot and hotter and then plunging into the cold, and then we had a break in the relaxation room. We got free hot drinks and there were lots to choose from. I had a hot chocolate which was really nice. There were quite a few people there but it didn't feel full even though it's quite small.

We stayed until 2pm, and then we went upstairs to have a shower. There's just two, but they're really lovely. I feel like we really got our money's worth and I would definitely go again.

We headed up the street to West Street and had Chinese food which was cheap and delicious so why complain!

Me just before we went downstairs into the spa

The outside of the baths - it used to be huge but now the building as a whole is a few different things

And the sign on the end of the street to direct you to the right place!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Trip to Leeds in July

The day after I'd been to Manchester I went to Leeds. I had a really busy few days and was glad when they were over, to be honest, I needed a bit of time to rest. But I'd heard about a temporary exhibition called Queens of Industry at Leeds Industrial Museum, so I arranged to meet my friend Sam there and then asked Lee to come along too.

Lee and I said off just after twelve as we weren't wholly sure where we were going. We found it, though, and went in. The museum is an old woollen mill (Yorkshire was more famous for wool and Lancashire was more famous for cotton) and so a lot of it is about the woollen industry. We hadn't been there long when someone gave us a demo of the spinning mule in action, which was really cool. It'a a huge machine.

We headed downstairs to where there's a cinema, which does show actual films from time to time for £5, it's really cool. They had a film on showing memories of holidays at Butlins and stuff like that. We watched that for a bit then headed into the Queens of Industry exhibition. It was much smaller than I was expecting so I was glad there was the rest of the museum to look round too. But it was good. Sam met us there.

I liked the museum, I'd say it's worth the £4 entrance fee but not good for disabled people as the car park is ages away and there's no lift and a lot of stairs.

Lee and I then went round to the Vue cinema on Kirkstall Rd to see Ocean's Eight. I was wanting to see it and thought it would be good to slot it in, and I was right! It's an excellent film - the whole cast is great, I would have liked more Rihanna, and I thought it was so refreshing to see a film where no women were used as sex props. It was so much fun, like Ocean's Eleven, which I now need to rewatch!

THEN! I suggested going to Pieminister for tea. We didn't have anything planned at home and we'd been saying we would go for a few weeks, so Lee was easily persuaded so we set off into the middle of Leeds. It was empty in the restaurant, probably due to the heat, which worked out great for us!

I had saag pie-neer and mac n cheese - I love their mac n cheese a LOT as it's so sticky and unctuous. The pie was good too - crispy round the edges and filled to the top. Lee had chicken and mushroom pie and mash. I like Pieminister a lot, it's really good food and not too expensive.

After that we came home - knackered but we'd have a lovely day!

Lee and I in the car on the way to Leeds

The canal as we walked over it

Monument on the way in

The spinning mule

I love old signs like this

I also love the film Metropolis

I decided to be Queen of Coal

There wasn't loads about the Queens of Industry but it was interesting anyway

I love old Singer machines, they're so beautiful

Imagine a whole factory floor full of them

I didn't know Burton menswear was originally a Leeds shop, did you?

Sam modelling a Burton jacket

I told you I love old signs

The Queens of Industry sign

Sam decided, being from Huddersfield, to be Queen of Wool

I loved the old cinema ticket office

Mac n cheese! I really ought to make myself some again

And finally, my very delicious pie

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Trip to Manchester in July

At the beginning of July I went to Manchester to see my friend Amy for food and then to the theatre. Amy and I haven't hung out just the two of us in about half a decade so it was really lovely! We made plans to meet at V-Revs/Vegan Revolution, where I went for the first time last summer. It's in Manchester's Northern Quarter, where I know there's street parking, so I set off around 3pm and managed to find a space just a couple of streets away.

The football was on so the streets were full of drunk people which made me really anxious, but I quickly got into V-Revs to wait for Amy. She arrived and we tried to decide what we wanted. Amy finds it hard, as a vegan, to make a choice when she has so much choice. I wanted the Vietnamese fries that I had last time but sadly they don't do them anymore :( We also decided that we'd have milkshakes for dessert.

I finally decided on a hotdog and Southwestern fries, with a cream soda (I love cream soda so much). Amy went for three little dishes - Southwestern fries, "chicken" tenders, and mac n cheez. She had a ginger beer. We both liked the food, but felt there was a lot of sauce on everything which sort of ruined it. Plus, the bottom of my fries had a lot of vegan cheese sauce on them which kind of made them a bit soggy. But, we did enjoy it!

We each had a milkshake like we'd said we would. Amy went for chocolate peanut butter and I went for cookies n cream. Last time I had a vanilla one but the fact that vegan milk is often already sweetened meant it was just too sweet for me. The cookies and cream one was better, less sweet and made with Oreos (which are vegan), until about the last centimetre which kind of tasted like it had curdled.

This sounds like I'm dissing the food and I'm really not - I think it's great there's vegan restaurants like this. I would totally go again and try other things on their menu.

After food we moved the car to nearer the theatre and parked, then called into Paperchase on the way to the theatre. There was a huge sale on so I managed to get four writing sets for under £10! I love Paperchase.

We went into the theatre and got a drink. It's an amazing building - it's an old building a lot like the Corn Exchange in Leeds, but then there's a spaceship shape of theatre plonked into the middle of it. So weird, but really nice! We went up to our seats, which afforded us a good view from the top. The theatre is in the round, which I really like.

We were seeing Queens of the Coal Age which is by Maxine Peake and which is about Women Against Pit Closures and how they barricaded themselves into a mine to protest its closure. It's a really small main cast and it's very moving, I really enjoyed it. I even cried! I'm from a mining community myself (and now live in an ex miner's house) so it's definitely something close to my heart.

I had such a lovely day hanging out with Amy - we'll have to make plans to do it again soon!

Seitan hot dog with garlic mayo, crispy onions, and barbecue sauce

Southwestern fries

Cream soda - it was so good

Cookies and cream milkshake

This is the face a vegan makes when you take them to V-Revs

The banner inside the theatre - I love community banners like this because such a lot of work and love went into them

The advert for the play

And looking down upon the stage

Thursday, August 23, 2018

What I Wore July 2nd

On July 2nd I went to my craft group at Penistone library, I think I've mentioned it? It's mostly knitters and crocheters but other crafters sneak in. I took my cross stitch actually on this day. It was still really hot and this dress was at the front of my clothes as I'd taken it on holiday but not worn it.

I bought it six years ago for Lee's 30th birthday party. I went back in my archives to look, but I didn't start my blog until early 2013 so I have no record of it! But, I'm pretty sure that's the one and only time I've worn it, which is a shame because it's a really lovely dress in a really lovely shape.

I said how I'd binned my white cardigan, well I'd ordered this as a replacement and it arrived the day we got back from holiday. It's nice - not exactly like my old one but I like the fact it looks crocheted. I  might crochet a tie for it because I'd like it to be fastened somewhat. I slung it on over the dress and headed off to craft club.

I asked Jane, one of the organisers of the group, to take my photo after it finished. She was a bit bemused but did it anyway! Hence the photo isn't perfect, but even so. I love the colour of this dress and think it really suits me!

Use your local library because if you don't, the government WILL close them all!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

What I Wore June 30th

I lied, I do have one final Cornwall post, although it's only what I wore to travel home in. It was hot, so although I really dislike my upper arms and usually cover them with a cardigan, I threw caution to the wind and just put this dress on. It's one of the Lollidot dresses and I love the hearts. I hadn't worn it all week, but knew it would be cool and comfortable to drive home in.

I wish it had pockets - similar dresses do and I really like them to put my phone in. I was talking to Lolly herself about these a couple of weeks ago when I met up with her in Meadowhall and she suggested sewing pockets on - so I might just do that at some point! The wind was blowing right up my skirt, but who cares, I think this is a cute photo!

Oh, finally finally, here's the caravan we stayed in all week. We stayed at Park Dean resort in Mullion Cove and this was the cheapest of their caravans and the second cheapest of their accommodation. They have lodges which are cheaper but they honestly looked tiny. This was the cheapest caravan though. It has two bedrooms and you can supposedly sleep two people in the lounge too - I think though that six people would be really crammed in, but it's fine for a couple or a couple and a baby. I really liked it, although it was really hot inside most of the time and we could have used a fan! But it's cute, isn't it?

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Trip to Cornwall - Our Last Evening and What I Wore

As I said, we had planned to go out to eat for the last evening of our holiday. We wanted to go back to Porthleven to try one of the other restaurants there, so we headed across. However, it was absolutely packed full of people, and the couple of places we tried had no tables. I fancied some pasta, so I googled and found an Italian restaurant in Helston, so we just headed back there.

It was called Giuseppe's and was actually run by Giuseppe, so it felt very authentic. It wasn't at all busy, which was good. We had a starter and a main course each. I had mozarella sticks and then carbonara, which was nice but had a bit too much ham for my liking. Lee had whitebait to start with (I didn't even know he liked whitebait) and a margherita pizza. It was cheap enough and the waiting staff was really, really lovely.

I had worn this dress again because I love it, and also put this cardigan over the top. It's a Joe Browns one but I got it into the sale for a ridiculously small amount. It's really nice and thin and it also ties up if you wanted that look. I love the lime green colour!

After we'd eaten we went back down on to Lizard Point for one last look. It really is so beautiful and I'm so glad we made that our base for our holiday.

New cardigan and dress

Mozarella sticks

Nice, but too much ham, I left a lot of it

Sun setting over the Point

You can see the old lifeboat station again

Panorama from the top

I love the colours in this

And in this

And finally, a sunkissed selfie

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Trip to Cornwall - Day 7

We decided, due to the heat and due to the fact we had to spend Saturday in a car, that we would spend Friday round the pool. It was around 28 degrees which is plenty hot enough for us. We went to the pool around 10.30, just as it was heating up. There were tons of people there already though.

At lunchtime Lee went back and got stuff from our fridge, and we ate it at one of the picnic benches just by the pool. We had a Calippo each in the morning and then in the afternoon a Cornetto, which I'm only saying in order to prove just how warm it was! We sat in the shade for a bit in the middle of the day because we really didn't want to get burnt, but we ended up not leaving until they closed at 4.45. I love lazy days round a pool like this but you don't often get them on holiday in England!

Honestly, I'm sweltering at home a week later as I write this, so I'd really, really love to be back here right now!

Lee ended up borrowing my headscarf so he didn't burn his head!


I was wearing my hat - I bought it at Go Outdoors last year and while it's not glamorous it is quite cute

We had slushes at lunchtime

And then an afternoon ice cream

This is what I was reading, I finished it later that night

Pool in mid afternoon

And then at the very end of the day when everyone was leaving!

Finally me, looking sweaty, sun soaked, chlorine soaked, and ready for a shower!