Monday, 15 November 2010

Tea Times and Training

I spent the weekend in Dublin with my mum, we booked it a while ago as an early winter pick-me-up; the right mix of chilling and shopping before the Christmas rush. We travelled down through the rain on saturday afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in front of a log fire having our tea topped up. I got a rhubarb and vanilla infusion, I'm constantly trying out unusual tea flavours. After some vegging out, we headed down to the pool. I had a great swim, as it was a small pool with only two other swimmers in there at its busiest. That's what I love about hotel pools. I was able to put my head fully under the water a few times, although I hadn't taken my contacts out, so I didn't trust my goggles to hold them in place, and I had no spares with me.

After our pool session, we got dressed for dinner. We ate in the hotel's restaurant. The menu had no vegan options, but I ordered the poached fig, rocket and walnut salad without blue cheese, which was rather bland- the figs were pretty much flavourless but the walnuts were nice and so was the balsamic dressing. For a main, I got a pea and broad bean risotto minus the dairy. As I've been keeping my diet quite low fibre recently, the amount of legume in the risotto was rather hard on my tum. Dessert saved the night, my mum got a chocolate mousse served with poached pear and chantilly cream, I ordered the pear with blackberry sorbet and melted dark chocolate on the side. When it came, they had put fresh blackberries out too, and it was a fantastic combo, blackberry, pear and chocolate. Yum! We had Pouilly Fume and I had Tokaji as a night cap. Unfortunately there are no pics as the restaurant was VERY dark (it's called The Cellar).

The food upset both of us, I got really queasy earlier in the morning and had bad tummy cramps all the next day. My poor mum came off worse, and actually threw up in the early morning. While my mum lay on to recover, I went down for another swim. Despite my tummy being a bit off, I had a GREAT swim, I remembered to leave my contacts out and swam properly, putting my head under for the whole session for the first time ever. This has totally inspired me to get back into a regular swimming habit and get fit again.
I headed back to the room and mum was feeling better. We went down for breakfast, me armed with a mini soya milk so I could have some muesli, which was delicious with lots of dried strawberries, yum! I followed up with some grilled tomato and portabello mushroom on toast.
We checked out and left the hotel for the first time since arriving. It was a beautiful morning, so we walked around the park for a while before hitting the shops.

Foodwise, I picked up some treats- this unusual tea:

And some King Soba products: the tofu and ginger miso (dried) soup, the pumpkin, ginger and rice noodles, and the brown rice and wakame noodles. I've been trying to track down those noodles forever! I'm so excited about using them. I also picked up some hazelnut dark chocolate.

Back at work today, my order from Steenbergs arrived in the post. So tonight I tried out the laksa spice mix I got in a coconut sauce with tofu and greens, served with limey rice.
Oops, sorry about the shakey shot

A very good weekend for all things liquidy; tea and swimming. And with a whole new set of spices in the kitchen (including a beautiful Herbes de Provence mix and some smoked paprika), I should hopefully be churning out some more solid consumables. I am still keeping my diet pretty low fibre at the moment, it seems to help a lot with bloating, gas and cramps, and I definitely noticed how much worse it got with all the legumes, salad and muesli over the weekend.


  1. Sorry to hear about the dodgy tummy episodes! That's rubbish. I'm glad you had a good weekend though. I love Dublin! We always eat at Cafe Mao (think that's what it's called) when we visit. I'm glad the diet's helping- at least even if it isn't a long term thing it'll help you tweek your normal diet. I had hummus and a beany soup yesterday and my stomach is so crampy today. IBS systems are sensitive ones! Hope you have a great week xxx

  2. Yeh, I read your post about Cafe Mao, sounds great, but not really my mum's thing but definitely worth a visit with my boyfriend. We usually eat at Cornucopia on Wicklow St (an all veggie restaurant with good vegan options) but it's always packed and it's kind of hearty veggie stuff which can upset my tummy although it tastes great. Cafe Fresh in Powerscourt Townhouse is similar but not as nice and I wanted to try Blazing Salads on Drury St (it's off Wicklow St) but they were closed on sunday- it's an all vegetarian vaguely macrobiotic place with wheat free, vegan and yeast free marked but sadly not gluten free (although I'm sure some of the food is gf as coeliac disease is quite common in Ireland). Here's the menu: We had lunch in Avoca, Mum had a slice of cake and I had some salad and a soya cappuccino.
    IBS is definitely at least partly genetic- both my parents have tummy issues. I am pretty hopeful that this diet will help me see what upsets my tummy, because stuff I love is probably to blame and I've been ignoring it!

  3. Mmmm that tea looks delicious :)
    Sorry you got sick, but sounds like you had a nice time anyways! I am interested in your low-fibre experiment. I do think that too much fibre upsets the belly, and am curious about how it makes you feel.

    Have a great week!

  4. While the tea is delicious, it doesn't taste of coconut at all!
    I have seen a significant difference in all my symptoms. Although the food is rather boring, which is why I haven't been blogging much. I'm going to write about how the low fibre has helped soon though:)

  5. What a cute outfit!!! That must be so fun to swing down to Dublin for a quick vaca. :)

    I've also had trouble with fiber this week. Too much fiber can be a bad thing!!!