A Day in the Life: Lincoln Ghost Walk

I have been wanting to do the Lincoln ghost walk since last year when some of my close friends invited me along, but unfortunately I couldn’t make it. So when freshers week came around we decided to all head up Steep Hill and do the ghost walk!

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Lincoln Ghost Walk

The walk starts from the castle square between Lincoln Cathedral and Castle, at 7pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. As it is a walking tour and there is only one per evening we arrived 10/15 minutes early to make sure we didn’t miss the start. The walk takes around 2 hours and costs £4 per adult and £2 per child (Under 12), which I think is a good price for the tour that we got.

We met our tour guide at around 6.50pm, and brought our tickets ready for the walk to begin at 7pm. Our guide was a really lovely women dressed in long black robes who had a little toy ghost hanging from the front of her mobility scooter – making her easy to follow as it got darker! Her husband also followed us round, helping out by shining a torch onto things of interest that we couldn’t quite see as it got darker. We started the tour in front of the castle gates with an introduction to the walk, how it started and how our guide came to do the guided walks.

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We then continued our walk back towards the cathedral, into the medieval Bishop’s palace and garden and around the back of the cathedral next to the Chapter house, where we finished our tour. It was a clear night when we visited, so we had beautiful views of the cathedral and out over Lincoln. At the end of the walk our guide gave us a Lincoln ghost walk sticker to help keep away unwanted spirits, which was really nice! Throughout the walk she told us several places where sightings had been, and that we could take photos there to see if we could see anything too. Not sure if I found something or not but here are some – maybe you can see something?

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I really enjoyed the walk, I won’t spoil the tour by retelling any of the stories we were told but they were all very interesting and intriguing. Many of the stories and sightings have been told to the guides by people who have been on the walk. As well as these she also told us some fascinating history about the cathedral, castle and other historical buildings we walked past. A few of my friends had been before and mentioned that the stories and sightings that our guide told us were different from last time, which was good. In case you were wondering it isn’t a ghost walk where actors jump out at you!

I would definitely recommend this walk, as it is really interesting even if you aren’t a firm believer in ghosts. Our guides were very friendly and welcoming, as well as having a great knowledge of the sightings and history of Lincoln. It can get a bit cold, especially now we are in October but you do keep moving quickly so as long as you wrap up fairly warm it should be fine!

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A Day in the Life…

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A Day in the Life: Wagamama’s, Brayford Wharf, Lincoln, UK

Before Wagamama’s opened up in Lincoln I had never really tried Japanese food, but now I am a complete convert. I have been several times since my first group visit last year and I really love the restaurant atmosphere, how the food is presented and of course how it tastes.

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Wagamama’s Lincoln

The restaurant is built on the site of the old habour master’s building which sits over the Brayford Pool and has amazing views of the pool and University of Lincoln behind. Inside, the restaurant is minimalistically furnished and seating is communal, which personally I really like. We visited late on a Friday night and didn’t book a table, so we had to wait for around 15 minutes to be seated (Which was fine as by the time we were seated we had decided exactly what we wanted).

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We ordered our drinks first, and all decided to have the free green tea. I also ordered a peach iced tea and the rest of the group ordered drinks from Wagamama’s selection of fresh fruit juices.

This time I visited with a group of friends, so we decided to order two starters – the chili squid and duck gyoza. I have tried the duck gyoza a few times before but not the chili squid, so I was excited to try something new! The squid came presented as twisted small sticks, with a chili, garlic and coriander dipping sauce on the side. They had a really interesting flavour which was a mixture of salt and shichimi (A Japanese spice mixture containing seven different flavours) and were complemented very well by the chili sauce. I will definitely be ordering them again!

The duck gyoza were as good as I remember, packed full of shredded duck and wrapped in deep fried pastry. The spicy cherry hoi sin sauce is delicious and has a great flavour. They are definitely one of my favourite dishes, and worth a try if you decide to visit!

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Chili Squid with dipping sauce

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Duck Gyoza 

We ordered our main dishes at the same time as our starters, and they came just as we finished. Wagamama’s serve your order as soon as it is ready so not everyone on your table will get their food at the same time. In our group we ordered three different dishes – Chicken Katsu Curry, Pork Ramen and Yasai Wagamama Pad-Thai.

The chicken katsu curry is a deep fried chicken breast coated in panko breadcrumbs, topped with rice covered in curry sauce. It also comes with a leafy salad topped with red pickles – which are really tangy and delicious! This dish is a pretty safe introduction into Japanese food if you have never had it before, it isn’t as spicy as some other dishes and has interesting flavours. A lot of Wagamama dishes are fairly spicy and tend to come with very large portions of rice, which I almost always have to leave.

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Chicken Katsu Curry

None of my friends have had the pork ramen before, but it sounded really interesting so two of them decided to give it ago. It comes served in a large deep bowl, and is filled with noodles in miso, ginger and chicken soup. On top are slices of barbecued pork, pea shoots, wakame (Edible seaweed), spring onions, menma (Japanese bamboo shoots) and one of my favourite Wagamama’s additions – half a tea stained egg. The pork was slightly fatty, but the broth was packed full of noodles and vegetables. Which made it pretty filling and warming on a cold evening.

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Pork Ramen

The Wagamama Pad-Thai is my all time favourite dish, and no matter how many times I say I’m going to try something new and look through every dish on the menu I always end up choosing it. It is the perfect combination of lots of different Japanese flavours, textures and tastes, which means you get to try loads of things all in one dish.

It comes in a shallow bowl, with tamarind egg fried rice noodles in the bottom – this is topped with a mixture of egg, beansprouts, leeks, chinese chives, spring onions, garlic, ginger, mint and chillies. On the top are fried shallots, peanuts, coriander cress and a slice of lime, which give an interesting crunchy and citrusy taste to the whole dish. You can either order the Pad-Thai with chicken and prawns, or Yasai (Which is fried tofu). When I first ordered the Pad-Thai, I had never tried tofu before so I decided to play it safe and have chicken and prawns, which was really good. However, one trip I decided to give the tofu ago, and I have to say I actually prefer it to the chicken and prawn. The fried tofu is soft inside, slightly crispy on the outside and soaks up all the delicious juice.

I really love the Pad-Thai and would definitely recommend it, however it can be fairly spicy with the chillies and may be too hot for some people who aren’t a fan of heat.

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Yasai Wagamama Pad-Thai

I definitely recommend visiting Wagamama’s if you are interested in Japanese food, or just feel like trying something a bit different. The service is quick and friendly, and the experience of communal dining is really interesting and fun. There are loads of different types of Japanese cuisine on the menu to try, from ramen (Noodles in broth) to Kare (Japanese for curry – typically with coconut milk and lemongrass at Wagamama’s).

I will hopefully be visiting again soon, and will try and choose something different, maybe the chicken raisukaree or chicken itame (But I always say that and it never seems to happen!). I would also really like to try some of their desserts, as I always end up too full by the end of the meal. In particular the sweet ginger and apple gyoza or interesting flavoured ice creams 🙂

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A Day in the Life…

A Bake in the Life: Lemon Muffins

I had a big bag of lemons to use up so I had a look through my favourite muffin recipe book and decided to make a batch of lemon muffins. I wanted to make them a bit more interesting so I decided to use some ground almonds in the mixture, lime juice in the icing with desiccated coconut to decorate.

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Lemon Muffins

You will need:

For 12 muffins:

10oz/280g Plain Flour

1 tbsp Baking Powder

Pinch of Salt

4oz/115g Caster Sugar

2 tbsp Ground Almonds

2 Eggs

9 floz/250ml Milk

3oz/85g Butter

Zest of 2 Lemons

For the icing:

6oz/175g Icing Sugar

Juice of 1 Lemon/Lime

Desiccated Coconut

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6.
  • Grease/line your muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the sugar and ground almonds.

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  • Measure out the milk in a measuring jug, then add the eggs and lightly beat. Add the butter, lemon zest and milk/eggs mixture then combine until smooth.

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  • Before I pour the mixture into the cases I always spoon the mixture from the mixing bowl into the measuring jug. This makes it a lot easier to pour the mixture into the muffin cases.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until the muffins are well risen and golden brown on top.
  • Leave the muffins to cool in the tin for around 5 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

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  • To make the icing combine the icing sugar with a few tablespoons of lemon/lime juice. If the consistency is to your liking spoon over the cooled muffins. If not, add more juice until it is to your taste. Top with a sprinkling of desiccated coconut.

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  • You are all done! 🙂

Like most muffins, these lemon muffins are really easy and simple to make. The addition of ground almonds give a slightly marzipan taste which is complemented well by the lime icing and coconut decoration.

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Lemon muffins are so simple to make you could add in almost anything: poppy seeds, sultanas/raisins, lime/orange zest, honey… the list is endless and I will definitely be trying out some of these alterations soon 🙂

A Bake in the Life…

A Craft in the Life: Peppermint Sugar Scrub

I am still completely in love with the lemon sugar scrub I made last month. Not only was it easy, simple and inexpensive to make, it works really well – giving good abrasion, leaving my skin feeling soft and smelling like fresh lemon! As I used up the last of the scrub this week, I knew I definitely wanted to make another batch, but try something a little different. So after decided to save using other citrus fruits for another time, I chose to try out peppermint.

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Peppermint Sugar Scrub

You will need:

8oz/225g Granulated Sugar (Make sure it is granulated as you need the abrasion. You may need a little more depending on what consistency you like your scrubs!)

2oz/56g Coconut/Almond Oil (These are solid in consistency, and can then be melted. I used coconut oil and found one in Boots for £2.54 and one in Superdrug for £2.29)

Few drops of peppermint oil/extract (This also varies based on what consistency you like your scrubs!)

Jar to store your finished scrub (I used a metal clasp jar, but you can use an old candle jar or recycled jar – just make sure it’s clean)

Let’s get started!

  • Weigh out your granulated sugar, place in a bowl and set aside.

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  • Weight out your oil and place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the oil for around 30 seconds, until melted (If lumps are present don’t worry just mix with a spoon until smooth).

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  • Pour the melted oil over the sugar and mix until combined.

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  • Add the peppermint oil/flavouring to the sugar/oil mixture. Stir until combined.

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  • If the mixture is too dry for you add a few more drops of peppermint oil/flavouring. If the mixture is too wet for you add up to another 4oz/112g of granulated sugar.
  • Pour your final scrub mixture into your chosen jar.

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  • You are all done! 🙂

This scrub was quicker and easier to make than the lemon one, as you don’t need to grate or juice the lemon.  It is also slightly less messy than the lemon, as you don’t get bits of zest all over the bathroom! However it is slightly drier than the lemon as you don’t have the juice of the lemon. If you prefer a wetter consistency I would either stick to making scrubs with citrus fruit (Lemon/Lime/etc) or use the juice of a citrus fruit in combination with your oil/flavouring.

This scrub works as well as the lemon, giving good abrasion and leaving my skin feeling soft and moisturised. I will definitely be making this scrub again, with another alteration! 🙂

A Craft in the Life…

A Day in the Life: Museum of Lincolnshire Life and Ellis Mill, Burton Road, Lincoln, UK

Last year when my parents stayed with me in Lincoln they decided to visit the museum of Lincolnshire life and really enjoyed it. Ever since then every time I spoke to my parents my dad would ask if I had been yet, and for various reasons I never got round to it! So, with the weather taking a turn for the worse, I decided to finally make my dad’s day and visit the museum.

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Museum of Lincolnshire Life

We decided to walk to the museum, however the museum does have free parking around the building. The museum is free to visit, and is open every day between April and September from 10am-4pm (Between October and March: Monday-Saturday). While Ellis Mill is only open at the weekends (On both Saturday and Sunday between April-September from 2-5pm, and then only on Sunday between October-April from 2pm till dusk).

You enter the museum through a large black iron gate, and turn immediately left into the gift shop and information desk. We were quickly greeted by the staff behind the desk, and given a map of the museum. Heading out the door on the right, you walk straight into the courtyard which is filled with old farm equipment and a children’s play area.

You can do the museum in any order but the guide recommends starting on the right, next to the tearoom which serves cold and hot drinks, as well as some food. We decided to follow the guide, so I won’t show photos of every part of every room we visited just some parts I found particularly interesting!

IMG_2338Central Courtyard inside the museum

Bedroom

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Kitchen

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Parlour

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Wash House

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Saddlery and Stable

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Blacksmith

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Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Galleries

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Transport and Industry/Agriculture Gallery

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Stonemason

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Ironmonger

Basket Maker

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Print Shop

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Co-op

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Post Office

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Chemist

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Classroom

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I really enjoyed our visit to the museum, as there was a wide variety of rooms to see with plenty of interesting things in each. Unfortunately when we visited Ellis Mill was closed, as it was a week day. However we did walk round and have a look at the Mill, although we couldn’t go inside. I will definitely be visiting again, so we can see inside the Mill and explore the courtyard at the museum as it was a bit cold and wet to do it when we visited!

A Day in the Life…