Monday, 31 March 2014

Three Sisters Bake Cookbook Launch

Last Wednesday after a long day at work, I headed along to Waterstones for the launch of the Three Sisters Bake cookbook. As well as launching a cookbook, the three sisters also run the Three Sister's Bake Café and Craft Boutique in a small village just outside Paisley where they prepare and sell soups, salads, cakes and sharing platters from scratch using fresh quality ingredients from local suppliers

Their philosophy is to ‘delight the senses' and the recipes in their cookbook reflect the type of food they serve in the café.

Image courtesy of Palompo PR 

When I had first heard about the Three Sisters Bake I had imagined it was run by three old ladies. I don't know why I had that image in my head so I was pleasantly surprised at the launch to be introduced to three gorgeous young woman Gillian, Nicola and Linsey. The three sisters have had a passion for food from a young age. Their grandparents owned a sweetie shop and their mother was a home economics teacher. In 2011 they opened the café which has grown into a very successful business also catering for weddings and other events. They were then contacted by a London publisher who loved their story and approached the sisters about writing a cookbook which was an opportunity not to be missed.

Image courtesy of Palompo PR 
On the night of the cookbook launch we were treated to bubbly and Three Sisters Bake delights. The food was absolutely delicious. My favourites were the tarts and scones. There is a similar recipe in the book for the tarts which I can't wait to try. 

As I have a love for baking, I couldn't leave without purchasing a cookbook which the sisters were happy to sign. The cookbook is full of delicious recipes that are easy to create at home (well, depending on how good a cook you are). I attempted the banana bread at the weekend which was very successful (if I don't say so myself). I'm also looking forward to a visit to the café very soon. 

Now, time for cup of tea and a slice of banana bread. 



Monday, 3 March 2014

Krakow

One of my absolute favorite things to do is travel. I love discovering new cities and have knocked quite a few of my list over the years. The latest city to tick of my list is Krakow in Poland. Although it's lovely city, I found it was one of the saddest places I have ever visited (due to all the history).

There is a lot to do and see in and around the city including The Old Town, The Jewish Quarter, Oskar Schindler's Factory (from Schindler's List), Auschwitz and the Salt Mines.

We visited Oskar Schindler's Factory and Auschwitz which was really interesting but also very sad.  I didn't want to take too many pictures of Auschwitz as I found a lot of what I seen very disturbing. If you have seen the film Schindler's List then I'm sure you will recognise some of the pictures I did take.

Oskar Schindler Factory 


Auschwitz
My favorite part of the city was the Old Town which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's lined with cobbled streets, beautiful buildings and loads of restaurants and cafes. We took a horse and carriage around the Old Town which only cost 100 pln  (£20). 

Old Town

Wawel Castle Grounds
Main Square
Horse & carriage ride around the Old Town
Wawel Castle

Eating and drinking in Krakow was also really reasonable with dinner and a good few drinks costing us less that £40 (and that was eating in the expensive places).  A cocktail cost the equivalent of £3, a pint of beer around £2.40 and the food was amazing!

Polish stew in a bread bowl
Having a few beers on the main square
Nalesniki

Getting around was also cheap and easy. There is no underground but it has a great tram and bus system with a 40 minute ticket costing around 4 plz (80p). We found most places were within walking distance so didn't need to use the public transport much.

Top Tips

- The train line from the Airport to Krakow City Center is suspended from the 1st February 2014 until 2015 to upgrade the line. In the meantime, the bus is the best way to get to and from the airport and departs every 20 minutes (no 292) or once an hour (no 208) and costs 4 plz (80p). The bus takes you into the main bus station.

- Taxis to and from the airport are affordable costing around 85 plz (£17).

- Trips to Auschwitz cost 130 plz (£24) however it can been done without taking an organised trip. The local bus cost 28 pzl (£5.50) and if you don't take a guided tour (which take 3.5 hours) it is free to enter however a guided tour costs 40 pzl (£8). The trip will take most of the day as Auschwitz lies 75km west of Krakow and takes around an 1.5 hours to get there.

- Buy tickets before getting on the bus/tram and validate on the ticket machine on the bus/tram. Random ticket inspections take place and you could be fined it you don't have a validated ticket.

- Try some Polish Cuisine it's delicious. I loved the stews, soups, potato pancakes and nalesniki (Polish equivalent of French crepes).

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