Over the County Line to Kent

4 Dec

Bexhill on Sea sits in the county of East Sussex.  Not too far away is the county of Kent, often known as The Garden of England because so much of the UKs fruit and vegetables (not to mention hops for beer making) is grown here.

A few weekends ago we celebrated our 7th anniversary. It actually falls on 11th November which many people here in the UK know as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day in honour of those who died in action and to commemorate the end of the First World War (the War to End All Wars…if only) at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  A notable date for many reasons.

We headed over from East Sussex to Kent to stay in the beautiful fishing village of Whitstable, famous in particular for its Whitstable oysters.


On the morning of 11th we went to nearby Canterbury, a beautiful medieval city and saw some moving Remembrance Day ceremonies.


We even managed to get into the Cathedral during the service, but it was packed so we retreated to admire from the outside.


We had two beautiful meals in local restaurants.


We ate oysters out in the cold winter sunshine.


Look, they recycle their shells, how clever is that? Not sure what they do with them though!


We walked along the sea walk to the harbor.


Admired the beautiful choice of fish for sale.


Of course, Big Man enjoyed a pint of the local beer.


And we ate a curiously quirky but wonderfully delicious dessert of Blue Cheese Ice Cream. I´m determined to work out how to make it (unless anyone has a recipe) as I imagine it would be incredible with walnuts, honey, figs, dates etc as an alternative to Christmas pudding.


Of course, all good things must come to an end. Back to work Chica and Big Man!



55 Responses to “Over the County Line to Kent”

  1. Sue & Danny December 4, 2012 at 13:25 #

    Your trip sounds wonderfull, and so “romantica”.XXX S & D

  2. chaiselongue1 December 4, 2012 at 13:38 #

    Congratulations on your 7th anniversary! It looks as though you celebrated well. I’ve never been to Whitstable but have often wondered how the oysters there would compare with our local ones here. Bon courage for the continuing work!

    • Chica Andaluza December 4, 2012 at 14:32 #

      Thank you! And maybe I shouldn´t admit it, but I prefer the regular rock oysters to the Whitstable ones (maybe because the Whitstable ones are smaller!)

  3. thecompletecookbook December 4, 2012 at 13:41 #

    Oh Happy Anniversary to you and Big Man Tanya. Wishing you both much love for your year ahead and many many more to follow.
    What a fun outing, well as you know, except for the blue cheese. 😉
    Can’t wait to see more updates on house 2.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza December 4, 2012 at 14:32 #

      I do seem to be having a bit of a blue cheese fetish right now – sorry! More updates to follow soon 🙂

      • thecompletecookbook December 4, 2012 at 14:39 #

        I think you are enjoying an extra portion of blue cheese for your besty and for me. 😉 xo

  4. cookinginsens December 4, 2012 at 13:49 #

    I covet those oysters. Happy Anniversary!

  5. Michelle December 4, 2012 at 14:03 #

    What a lovely day. Happy anniversary!

  6. globalgarnishgeek December 4, 2012 at 15:14 #

    Oh, you are making me homesick for my second home: UK. I love all the little villages (we were lucky to live in one of them). They each have their unique character.

    I hope you had a lovely anniversary!

    • Chica Andaluza December 4, 2012 at 18:32 #

      Thank you for your good wishes! And yes, there are some truly beautiful little villages to discover here 🙂

  7. Mad Dog December 4, 2012 at 15:42 #

    Happy anniversary – that looks like a great day out! Fancy getting Big Man to drink English beer 🙂

  8. Tandy December 4, 2012 at 15:55 #

    Happy anniversary! Looks like you had an amazing celebration 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 4, 2012 at 18:34 #

      We did have fun – and it was good to get away from the refurb for a few days too!

  9. ChgoJohn December 4, 2012 at 18:25 #

    Happy 7th anniversary, Tanya! You guys sure picked a nice way to mark the occasion, too. On one of our competition-style cooking shows, they are forever making ice cream out of weird ingredients. I bet you could google “blue cream ice cream” and have more than a few recipes from which to choose. Now, just whose idea was it to share a platter of oysters on your anniversary? 😉

    • ChgoJohn December 4, 2012 at 18:26 #

      “blue cheese ice cream” ARGH!

    • Chica Andaluza December 4, 2012 at 18:33 #

      Ah well, Osyers and romance – it had to be done! And I thought “aargh” when I heard about the ice cream but honestly – it was amazing in the same way that salted caramel is!

  10. expatchef December 4, 2012 at 18:40 #

    Happy belated anniversary! And to celebrate in the wintry sun with oysters, sounds perfect to me!

    • Chica Andaluza December 5, 2012 at 09:07 #

      There´s something very special about a cold and sunny day by the sea!

  11. Bluejellybeans December 4, 2012 at 19:48 #

    Looks like a very fun day Tanya 🙂 About you wondering about what they do with the shells, I found this, is from the US, but I suppose it applies here too: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/oyster-shell-recycling-program
    Keep up the hard work!! 😉

    • Chica Andaluza December 5, 2012 at 09:07 #

      Thanks so much for the link. We saw large piles of what looked like grit or sand (but was probably crushed oyster shells I realise now) and machinery to move it around – it all makes sense now!

  12. Pendle Stitches December 4, 2012 at 20:44 #

    I don’t do oysters, but I do do Kent. How green am I at the moment? I would live there in a heartbeat. And it’s only a stone’s throw from France. Sigh

    • Chica Andaluza December 5, 2012 at 09:08 #

      I do do Kent too – so beautiful! Mind you, your part of the world is gorgeous too 🙂

      • Pendle Stitches December 5, 2012 at 18:21 #

        Can’t argue with that…we’re just not quite as near to France! 😉

      • Chica Andaluza December 5, 2012 at 18:22 #

        That´s true 😦

      • Pendle Stitches December 6, 2012 at 17:10 #

        😦 indeed…I’m missing Paris at the moment.

  13. Charles December 4, 2012 at 23:49 #

    I’ve been to Canterbury… only once though… and I was way to young to remember anything. I think we went so my father could pore over some old manuscript or something in the cathedral, haha 😀

    That’s so cool (and slightly weird) that they recycle oyster shells… what on earth do they do with them – I’d love to know?!

    • Chica Andaluza December 5, 2012 at 09:10 #

      We didn´t see as much as we´d have liked due to all the Remembrance Day services. Would have liked to go on a river trip too but it was soooo cold and I had a terrible cold that weekend! It wouldn´t be so far for you to do a quick weekend jaunt over on the shuttle to Folkestone then on to Canterbury!

  14. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen December 5, 2012 at 02:51 #

    What a fantastic day of great sunshine, excellent food and relaxation.. perfect for an anniversary, I think! Happy 7th Anniversary!! I hope you do figure out the Blue Cheese Ice Cream.. it would be fantastic.. and makes me wonder about all sorts of other cheese ice creams as well:) xx

    • Chica Andaluza December 5, 2012 at 09:14 #

      Thanks you Barbara – it was wonderful and I am already on the trail of the ultimate blue cheese ice cream recipe!

  15. Eha December 5, 2012 at 04:16 #

    Thank you for sharing an obviously happy and full day with us: have not been back to England for quite awhile and was kind’of peagreen in a nice way!! Loved to see such v English words like ‘Whitstable’ and ‘samphire’ [yes, we do actually grow it on the Southern seashore!] . . . I guess the beer still comes warm . . .[naugthy!]?

    • Chica Andaluza December 5, 2012 at 09:15 #

      Glad you enjoyed sharing our weekend with us! And I know what you mean about English words. Oh yes, that beer is not served deliberately chilled, but now the temperature has dropped, so has the temperature of the beer in the kegs!

  16. Karista December 5, 2012 at 06:37 #

    What a wonderful post! I love seeing pictures of where you live, work and travel.looks like such a lovely place in the world. And the oysters looked divine!

    • Chica Andaluza December 5, 2012 at 09:18 #

      Yes, our temporary home is indeed lovely. It´s good to see and do something different and have new experiences. The oysters were perfect and couldn´t have been any fresher. The guy who opened them even pointed out to sea to show us where they had been harvested that morning!

  17. Karen December 6, 2012 at 15:19 #

    What a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary. I grew up in Texas not far from the Gulf and they used the oyster shells to pave country roads.

    • Chica Andaluza December 6, 2012 at 17:03 #

      It was a wonderful time! And those oyster shells seem to be very useful!

  18. narf77 December 6, 2012 at 18:44 #

    Happy aniversary 🙂 I have to say…when I first read the title of your post I thought that The Big Man and yourself had decided to abscond away and do a bit of pirating…your romantic interlude was an acceptable departure from my anticipated pirating event however :). Every time you mention the name of a county etc. I am reminded of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall who mentions all the same names. You must be somewhere in reasonable proximity of my foodie hero? Have a great weekend and hopefully it isn’t getting too cold over there 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 6, 2012 at 19:05 #

      It did sound exciting didn´t it! HFW is off to the West in Dorset, we´re sort of in the middle of the south coast and Kent is off to the East – but from where we are all is just a couple of hours drive away. I love him too! Have a great weekend too 🙂

      • narf77 December 6, 2012 at 19:10 #

        HFW is apparently off to the colonies next year! We are being bombarded with “G’day Orstraaaaylia” advertisments about this exciting new idea where he is going to film at least 1 show here about sustainable living. It will be great to see him over here in Antipodean exile with the rest of us and hopefully he gets to see a bit of how very different it is here and how different our conditions are from the U.K. 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza December 6, 2012 at 19:12 #

        ooh will have to look out for that one – maybe you should invite him to film at Serendipity Farm. Have I ever mentioned that´s one of my favourite words?!

      • narf77 December 6, 2012 at 19:22 #

        🙂 We liked it…the property was called “Highfield Gardens” which sounded like “Gorden Porty” and “Nob Hill” to us and was decidedly NOT the property that we inherited which could have been more appropriately called “Forget-me-not-farm” (sigh) but we saw it as a most serendipitous chance for us to leave a tiny little mark on the world and plant out our edible food forest tree by tree…shrub by shrub… and I guess Mr HFW would appreciate that but I am TERRIFIED to apply for the competition to have Hugh come to our property! I am absolutely squeaking with fear! What if he didn’t like it? What if he said “errr… NOPE!”… I think I would like to be a bit further along on our journey than we are at the moment before the big guns came to judge it 😉

  19. MySpanishAdventures December 7, 2012 at 05:23 #

    Happy Anniversary!! What a fun getaway!

  20. gardenfreshtomatoes December 8, 2012 at 13:16 #

    Huh, this didn’t show up in my reader….or I totally missed it somehow!
    Love the photos from your anniversary trip! I’m good for bleu cheese ice cream…I know a certain chef in Providece who might be able to figure it out for us, if he gets the chance…he did a bacon ice cream last winter, paired with a warm brownie. It was heavenly!

    • Chica Andaluza December 9, 2012 at 10:07 #

      Ooh I´ve heard bacon ice cream is amazing too! Have tracked down a recipe that looks good (and simple) so am hoping to give it a go this coming week 🙂

  21. spree December 8, 2012 at 20:41 #

    Happy (now-belated) anniversary young lovers! 🙂 And I’m already tasting your blue-cheese ice-cream with walnuts and figs and honey. (I’m even starting to feel the bulge coming on!) Much continued happiness to you two!

    • Chica Andaluza December 9, 2012 at 10:08 #

      We´re young at heart romantics! Yes…I was imagining all those flavours together too. Am on a mission this week to make the ice cream 🙂

  22. annashortcakes December 8, 2012 at 23:48 #

    I sent the package to you about a week ago. I got to busy I forgot to let you know. Please let me know when you get it. If not, I’ll send you another. Congrats to you for the award!

    • Chica Andaluza December 9, 2012 at 10:08 #

      Ah, that´s very kind of you. Will let you know when it arrives 🙂 And double thanks too for the award 🙂

  23. waterfallsandcaribous December 11, 2012 at 00:47 #

    Mmm oysters by the sea – love it! Looks like you had a lovely time! We’re just catching up on what everyone has been up to over the last couple of months so HI and apologies if we’re a bit behind in the eight ball! Hope everything is great with you 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 11, 2012 at 11:33 #

      Hope you´re having fun, I know life is busy busy for you guys right now!

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