Saturday, 23 April 2016

Run.

I don’t really know where to begin. The last time I wrote I wasn’t in a great place. I felt an awful pang of uncertainty. I was sinking.
But moving house did happen. Leaving behind the horrible Monday morning goodbyes and separation. We are together, and that is all that matters. The house is very new to us, and there has definitely been a sense of value brought into our lives. 
In-between commuting and moving, I got offered a place for the London Marathon. Anyone else would have declined, surely it would be crazy to even think of something so big. But, I don’t always make the most radical decisions. 
It’s been all kinds of strange, preparing for a marathon – living out of plastic bags and cardboard boxes, working flat out and wondering how the hell do you balance all of these things?
The answer is you don’t, this year has taught me that life is not only tough, but busy. Exceptionally.
But, I’m okay with that. Because if I run the best race of my life on Sunday then nothing else matters.
I am running for Children with Cancer, if you can sponsor or donate, I would never be able to thank you enough.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/alicetaylor
Alice
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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Flat

I’ve fallen into a realm of sadness recently. I’ve lost my spirit, my identity and my truest feelings.
I wonder if I will ever crack the shyness that swarms me every single day. My insecurity and lack of confidence seems to thrive when I am going through tough times, which are rapidly stacking up against me.
Thailand 2015.
The scariest part is, I don’t recognise myself very clearly anymore. I miss the burning passion and the wild roars in the pit of my stomach. I can’t remember the last time I smiled.
The truth is, I haven’t been very kind to myself lately. Influenced by circumstances out of my control (trying to buy a house, dealing with endless problems regarding searches and paperwork and trying to relocate to a new home as fast as possible), I have fallen at every hurdle and I wish more than anything I could find some strength to pick myself up again. I feel like Flat Stanley.
Where’s the girl who fell in love with an elephant, ate a dozen Dragon Fruits, travelled the world with her heart intact.  Because, I don’t know her anymore.

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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Magic at the Wychwood Brewery

I’m going to confess; I am not a beer drinker. I remember naughtily sipping my Dad’s beer on a family holiday when I was around ten years old. My older brother dared me to, whilst my Dad wasn’t looking – it was a bad move, because it really wasn’t very ‘nice’ and my Mum wasn’t too impressed!


Since that moment, I have never felt compelled to taste it again. So this may be a surprise, especially for me, to find myself absolutely fascinated and excited about a brewery tour. Well, this little trip came about a while ago when I went to the BBC Good Food Winter show in November, I spotted the Hobgoblin stand and made a bee-line! My husband loves beers and real ale, especially bottled beers, and I couldn’t resist treating him to a little gesture of good will.  

Three bottles of beer chosen, I brought my husband a booklet back which detailed the brewery tour in Witney, Oxfordshire. It immediately interested us both, I work in food marketing so am always intrigued by great food and drink stories. It was booked for Valentines weekend – the perfect little getaway.


When we arrived, after a horrible pursuit down the motorway on a damp cold February morning, we were instantly greeted by a warm and snug setting. Walking straight into the shop and being surrounded by goblins was quite a joy. Next, we were transported right into the bar – a real bar, to meet our fellow drinkers!


Yes, unfortunately for me – it was time to have a sip and a sit down! I did taste Hobgoblin (it would be rude not to), and it was pleasantly surprising! I may just have found a tipple I like.
So after a drink, a meet and a greet the tour began, we stepped straight into the barrel store, and were told the great story of the origins of the Wychwood Brewery and the story behind it all.


Of course, I believe every great product has an even greater story and Hobgoblin is no exception, the first batch was created for a friend’s wedding – something to give the guests, and to celebrate a day of incredible love. I think, in 1988 Chris Moss not only created a token of love, but he bottled a taste so rare and loved by all far and wide. Magical.

Although the Wychwood brewery is actually very small, it still produces some 50,000 barrels a year! Although there is not bottling done at the brewery anymore, it can still be tasted authentically at the bar.
We then made our way through to the brewing area, and I was simply mesmerised by the machinery and barrels. Tasting malt was certainly a new one for me, and left a burnt toast taste in my mouth.

Malt - a key ingredient.
I think what is most special about this brewery is the fact it still is very much alive and pays homage to its roots (the ancient Wychwood Forest being a stone’s throw away). The brand has expanded rapidly over the years and is wild in its ideas, art and marketing. But, the fact there is still early artwork framed at every corner you turn (even in the toilet) goes to show just how tradition stays close to home.


After seeing where the craft happens, we were invited to a tasting of each variety back at the bar! Bliss and very humbling to sit on a bar stool within Wychwood!
I definitely enjoyed the tour and glimpse of the pure magic and witchcraft of Hobgoblin and it’s many wicked beers.

Great brewery, great beer, even greater taste! 
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