Ashmount Hotel – Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales

So it took us a long time to decide on which hotel or B&B to stay in because everything was booked up for the Bank Holiday weekend but eventually we stayed in this place Ashmount Hotel which is located in Rhos-on-Sea. It’s an hour away from Snowdon but that was ok.
It’s a couple of minutes away from the beautiful sea. There’s a free car park outside front. And they do serve breakfast for £9 although we didn’t ask for any. 
We had two twin rooms. Mr Games and Mr Sensible had an en-suite bath/shower attached (didn’t take a picture of the bathroom). They also had a sofa in their room! Not fair!!
And Miss Money and I also had an en-suite shower (also didn’t take a picture of the bathroom). We had a dressing table and cupboard.
Both rooms provided cups, kettles, teas and coffees, towels, shower/bath gel and shampoo. Hair dryers were provided too! You might be disappointed with the coffee if you’re a serious coffee drinker, that’s why I brought my own. 
Plugs were hard to find around the room but look underneath the tables – you will find them there. ^_^
Dining room is big.
Living room is cosy! 
This hotel has been one of nicest I’ve been in so far. Floorboards are a bit creaky but it’s a house converted into a hotel. The owners are very lovely too!! 
You might hear a lot of noise from the next rooms or from above (as we were on the first floor) and also the chirping birds outside.
Not bad!

Snowdonia Hiking Trip 2015: Day 3

Monday 25th May
It was time to say goodbye to beautiful North Wales with its wonderful scenic views from the sea to the mountains to the lakes and nice people. Woke up at 8am, got ready and finished packing. Then ate lots of fruit and drank my own coffee. Miss Money took her time. And the boys were all ready too! 
We left the hotel before 10am to be beat the traffic and rush hour and so off we went. My legs were aching by the way and so it was hard for me to walk down the stairs. Heheh. >.<" Spotted a castle on the way out of North Wales… 
Spot the castle
First stop was a gas station to top up some diesel and where Mr Sensible was trying to work out the air pressure in the wheels since changing the tyre. Then off we drive again.
Next stop we ended up eating. I went for a Burger King meal and the rest went to find Greggs and Costa Coffee stuff. I had the Pulled Pork Burger with these chilli cheese melts. Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with the burger as it didn’t have enough pulled pork in it. Couldn’t really taste much of the barbecue taste of it. 😦 
Where’s the pulled pork?

Not enough pulled pork!
The chilli cheese melts on the other hand were impressive. And for an extra 99p it was worth to try out! ^_^
chilli cheese melts were cool
It was time to head back out again. 
On the way back we saw a lot of accidents. I think we were very lucky not to have been in any of those. Phew. Now Mr Sensible was driving and driving forever before we went for one more stop where I bought a drink and the others went for a McDonald’s. My legs were still aching (they ached for a couple of days). 
Then drive, drive and more driving with some entertainment from Mr Games and chatting with Miss Money and doing nothing until we reached “ugly” London (ugly – as in talking about the scenic views compared to North Wales… I don’t hate London but find it dull and grey seeing miserable people working their backsides all day long just to pay for their food and rent as well as seeing tall grey buildings…). Traffic was pretty horrendous as usual. But well done for Mr Sensible getting us back home in one piece!! ^_^ Car returned back to Waterloo and we tried our best to clean the car… well they had given us the car with some bird poop on it so there may still be some dirt in it. ¬_¬””
Trying to picture the cows here… did you know they are the 4th dangerous animals in the UK?
Back home we went. Exhausted. I think the others are planning to go to the highest mountain in the UK, that’s Ben Nevis in the Highlands, Scotland… I’ll think about it… Is there an easy, easy route going up there? I hope so!! ¬_¬
End of Day 3.

Snowdonia Hiking Trip 2015: Day 2

Sunday 24th May
Day 2 started really early. I woke up at 5am on the dot and unfortunately I couldn’t sleep much that night probably because I was in a new room and I had drunk coffee that night. 😦 The only person that had a bit of a lie in was Mr Games. Wake up Mr Games!! 😛
We left just after 6am and thankfully I didn’t feel too tired. Mr Sensible drove for about an hour until we suddenly stopped on a side road near a campsite with a punctured tyre. >_<"" Oh dear. For me, it was a laughable situation because it was the first time I've been in a broken down car. Hahaha!! So Mr Sensible phoned up the insurance peeps and the maintenance guys to get the tyre replaced. Well we did pay for it, so why not use the insurance! Well done Mr Sensible and Mr Games for getting the insurance. Phew.
Flat tyre! Yay!
We had sat in the car for an hour and a half but each of us took turns going out and exploring our surroundings. Luckily we were right near a bus stop and a pub so if we were in deep trouble we could have hanged around those parts.

Finally the maintenance guys came, found us and immediately changed the tyre. Then off we went to find a parking space!

We went back and forth from the Pyg Track entrance and back again to the car pack near where we broke down. ¬,¬””
From the car pack we unloaded, went to the loo and then a taxi guy looking for customers asked us whether we wanted to take a cab there… why not, it’s £2 person, whereas we would have had to wait for the bus and pay £1.50. Take the taxi!!
The Pyg Track journey begins!
Oh boy, I was already breathless and a little cold after a few yards… 😦 but at least it stopped raining.
We continued going up and I kept stopping because it is hard work going upwards with my short legs. >_<"" Slowed the others down…. Sorry guys!!

Anyway, there were some flat parts and I enjoyed walking through those parts on the Pyg Track.
Looking down from the top was AMAZING!! It was a bit foggy and cloudy but it was just beautiful.

We kept walking then after almost three hours of walking we stopped to eat. This when I realised I lost part of my selfie stick… so if you see a frame that’s supposed to connect to a selfie stick please pick up and re-use. (Thankfully the old self stick frame fits on the new one, phew!). So unfortunately, no great group selfies on this trip. 😦

After eating and being watched by seagulls we carried on walking, obviously stopping at every opportunity.

There was a lot more climbing during the second half and finally I tired out. Mr Games was trying to encourage me to keep going as we only had about half an hour to the top… but I pulled a muscle in my leg and I really couldn’t do anymore… So I said I’m going to leave the guys to reach the top and I’ll journey downwards… Whilst waiting for them I saw a rescue helicopter, lots of people going back and forth and just looking at my surroundings. I did a lot of exercise you know!! ^_^

Well, it took those three ages to come back down and with permission from Miss Money, here’s some pictures from the top. Thank you Miss Money!!!

Then it was the journey back downhill via the Miners Track. Uh oh. This was a hard path too. >.<" Hmmmmmmm. Not happy guys. The muscles in my thighs were hurting because they haven't been used for a very long time. I slipped once and hurt my arm… Basically battered and bruised. T_T Waaaaah. 

In the end we finally made it halfway down the bottom to one of the lakes. Yaaaay!! Almost home!!

Uh, no, we’re not almost home… it was another hour and a half walk to the car park. I want my mum. 😦
More walking…

But it was just so beautiful. Why didn’t we start off with the Miners Track!!! (Next time I’m choosing the simple route up).

Miss Money seemed to have sped up because we lost sight of her. We had to speed through the rest of the way because the last bus was at 6pm. We all made a bet to see what time we would be able to make it to the car park. Miss Money said 6pm, Mr Sensible said 6.05pm, Mr Games said 6.10pm and I said 6.15pm…

We got there at 5.55pm. Phew. Miss Money won. BUT the bus left at 6.05pm. So who really won this bet? Lol
Time to head back. Woohoo!! Can’t believe Mr Sensible was able to drive us back after an epic trip uphill and downhill. Well done Mr Sensible!! (He has long legs and the tallest out of us four). On the journey back Mr Games said he was so happy seeing me smile because I looked so miserable going uphill… Hahahahah. Really? I did enjoy myself, but it was a bit too much for me.
Got back to the hotel after 7pm and we took a long time to undress and shower (that was Miss Money and me… Miss Money was talking too much, heheh).
Mr Games and Mr Sensible went downstairs first and looked at the takeaway options. Miss Money and I looked at the menu on my phone. Whilst waiting for the food we started playing a board game (forgot the name of the game). It was fun and it distracted us from our hunger… But we were too hungry.
Finally the food came and we all ate in our rooms… ^_^ Happy Geek. The guys had pizzas and we girls had kebabs. 

End of Day 2.

Snowdonia Hiking Trip 2015: Day 1

Saturday 23rd May
Time for another UK break (yay, another Bank Holiday)! This time I didn’t go flying. Phew!
Seem to be spending more time with Miss Money, Mr Games and Mr Sensible in this past year. Not sure how that happened but before I went on more holidays with Miss Pinky I used to spend lots of time with Miss Money and Mr Games when we all worked together (that was more than 10 years ago). It was fun pal times!! ^_^ I’m not sure how we’re all still friends to be honest.
One evening in April Miss Money started talking about places to go hiking. She wanted to climb one of the highest mountains in the UK and I said Snowdonia has a high mountain (that’s in North Wales by the way). So in an instant we started planning dates and how to get there… It actually took us a long time to book the hotel and car – literally two weeks before the Spring Bank Holiday!!! OMG. I had this small feeling that Mr Games and Mr Sensible didn’t want to go (or they were just too lazy to book the hotel for us). ¬_¬”
We all met at Waterloo Station around 10am. I was smart to have breakfast first but the others bought their breakfast at the station. Then it was time to find the car rental place that Mr Games and Mr Sensible for the car that they booked. Whilst searching, we saw these people in costumes for Comic Con. >.<" I wish I had went. Maybe next year if we don't plan to go up hiking or end up babysitting.
We found the car rental place Avis which is located outside the station. For some reason we got an upgraded car but had to pay more for insurance, I didn’t mind as long as we got to our destination in one piece.

The long drive started!! Mr Games was entertaining us with some general knowledge questions and asking us what we do type of questions.

At the first service station we went to I bought myself a new selfie stick which is bluetooth operated. I even got a discount. Woohoo!! 
Miss Money was complaining I wasn’t taking any pictures so I took a few on my phone along the way…
Turbines along the M6

Some sort of incident… burnt truck
At the second service station we started eating. I bought a Greggs chicken roll. I tasted more butter than anything else. Miss Money had some pasties. Mr Games and Mr Sensible had Burger King meals.
A chicken roll
On the other side is Liverpool… we’re far away from it actually
Drive, drive, drive
After many hours of Mr Sensible’s driving we arrived at Rhos on Sea before 6pm.
Booked into the hotel, got shown our rooms and was given some detail about food shopping and eating out etc. Unpacked a little (Mr Games already unpacked everything at this point, wow). Then we headed out.

We walked along the seafront after settling in the hotel. I didn’t bring my selfie stick out but should have done…

Found the tiniest church that I have ever seen. I think it’s more of a place to pray than holding a service as such.

Walked more and also booked a table at an Italian restaurant nearby. There were no available tables until around 8pm so we had to walk more for an hour and a half. So we walked… very slow walking.

From left to right: Miss Money, The Geek, Mr Games and Mr Sensible ^___^

Tourist centre in Rhos-on-sea
Finally it was time to head back to the restaurant which is called La Dolce Vita. We were greeted by friendly staff. It didn’t take them long for them seat us. Drinks were served quickly but unfortunately service was a bit slow even though we did ask. Mr Games and I ordered a second drink, we were too thirsty… Once food was ordered, it took a while longer for our food to be served.
La Dolce Vita in Rhos-on-sea
Mr Games and I ordered the same thing, meat lasagna. I started off wanting the vegetable lasagna but the longer I waited for service I instantly changed my mind. I think I was happy with my choice though!!

The lasagna came out piping hot from the oven. The tomato sauce was rich with sweetness and a bit of cheesiness to it! I was in heaven although it was too hot to eat. Kept blowing at the food and thinking I was a Korean who enjoyed hot food, (I’m currently watching Let’s Eat 2 online and still feel amazed at how Koreans don’t get runny noses or sweat a lot whilst eating hot food, heheh).

Meat lasagna
Miss Money had the seafood risotto. It looked nice. It was cheesy however it was just too fishy. I had two bites of her food and felt the seafood was not that fresh although we were right by the sea! ¬_¬”” I think Miss Money wasn’t that impressed and wanted more risotto than seafood… she complained later and said she should’ve had the chicken!! Hahahahah.
seafood risotto
Mr Sensible at the spaghetti carbonara. He demolished his plate of food in minutes as it was hot enough for him to eat it quickly so I’m afraid I never got to try out the creaminess of it all. ^_^
spaghetti carbonara
Total came to (I think) £56.53. We rounded it to over £60 as they don’t bill us for service charge. Fantastic!! ^_^
My geeky rating: 4.5/5 – slow service for us speedy hungry Londoners (Mr Sensible is Welsh so he doesn’t count :P) was our main complaint. Owner of the restaurant was absolutely funny by the way!!
After eating, we went to Costcutter and bought a few snacks for the next day. 
Co-op ^_^
Then we headed back… we were going to play some games in the living room area but ended up showering and going to bed early!
Sunset!!!! 😀
End of Day 1.

p.s. I can’t believe I missed most of Eurovision this year!! I completely forgot!!

Char Siu Cheat (BBQ Pork 叉燒)

Since I have a new cooker I thought I might as well try out some more oven cooking since I hardly used the old one.
In this post I will be introducing you the easy cheat way on how to make the famous Chinese BBQ pork a.k.a char siu 叉燒 (pronounced in Canto as “chaa siu” literally meaning “fork-roast”). The history goes like this: in ancient times they used a fork to hang the pork and roast it. ^_^ That’s it. It’s very different to the Japanese chashu so don’t mistake this as being Japanese!
So here I am using pork loin, pork belly and leftover chicken breast meat and a char siu (cheat) sauce from Lee Kum Kee. In the end you will be so proud of yourself making such a delicious dish.
– Pork loin or pork belly or pork shoulder meat (shoulder meat is the leanest; belly is the fattest)
– Char siu marinade sauce (Lee Kum Kee version)
– chicken breast, chicken wings
– a few drops of red food colouring
That’s all you need!! Already so simple. ^_^

1. First clean the meat and get rid of any unwanted bone then dry it

2. Marinade both sides of the meat generously (you can add red food colouring to the marinade to make the meat red like in the restaurants)

3. Leave in the fridge overnight and take out when you are about to do the roasting

4. Pre-heat oven to about Gas mark 7

5. Put water into the baking tray and place rack on top

6. Add meat to tray and then stick in the oven. Leave for 30 minutes.

7. Remove from oven then flip over the meat and re-marinate with remaining sauce

8. Roast for another 30 minutes

9. After time is up remove from the oven and leave to cool… cut up and enjoy with some rice!

Simple right? Defo simple!! I think I might roast them a bit longer next time… probably 40 minutes and use pork shoulder.

If there are any leftovers, refrigerate or freeze until you next want to use it. ^_^
Happy cooking!! 

Highland Water Poster Advert

Sorry for the blurriness of this poster ad from Highland Water. I was a bit tipsy (I drank a whole bottle of rose since Miss Pinky couldn’t have any two weekends ago).
I don’t drink Highland Water, I drink Evian. But if this helps tennis players to “Win Tennis Sets” then I might just drink it more often… but that won’t be happening. 😛

It’s quite a boring ad by the way… ¬,¬”

Lurpak Poster Advert 2015 – Experiment

Ah. Lurpak are back with their exciting new poster ads. I have only seen one so far and hopefully will see more around London.
When I saw this, I thought I love Lurpak. You always brighten up London with your food adverts. Lol.
It says “Experiment. There’s life beyond egg and cress”. Heheheh. Absolutely! With Lurpak you can do more, experiment and make what you like. At the bottom of the Lurpak butter, it says “Go freestyle with Lurpak Spreadable”. ^_^

Love Lurpak. Even bought some baking Lurpak butter to make fairy cakes and biscuits with my new cooker. Yay!!

Feel tired now from baking… ^_^

Iceland Poster Adverts – Power of Frozen

Something less controversial in the advertising world. ^_^

Iceland’s have put up some nice quirky food adverts which are fun to read and to look at the same time. They have used the “Power of Frozen”. ^_^

This first one says “Frozen brings Italian wood-fired pizzas to British gas-fired ovens.” Lol!! Indeed!!

This next one says “Frozen brings juicy King Prawns to fresh Spring salads”. Never thought of using frozen king prawns for salad but sounds like something I should try out one day.

And finally this one says “Frozen lets you wake up and smell the croissants”. I love this advert. I have not seen frozen croissants before but I’m sure to try and find it in Iceland’s one day. ^_^

Use The Power of Frozen. >_<""

Walkie Talkie Sky Garden – London Fenchurch Street

London has many strangely shaped buildings and the Walkie Talkie Building is just one of them. This building was completed in April 2014 and opened up in May 2014. I remembered not so long ago when the building was still in construction that it actually melted a car from the reflection of the sun onto the street! That was amazing scientific / mysterious news when I heard it back in 2013! ^_^ I wondered if the car owner ever received compensation for his melted car?
Anyway I was informed by Mr Games two weeks about the Sky Garden which is on top of the Walkie Talkie Building. At the moment it is free to go up there but not for long! So I’m telling you now to go and book any slot that is available. You won’t regret it, believe me.

It was also Mother’s Day (the international one) when I went so I brought along MummyGeek who basically got to see the rooftops of London for free! Lucky woman. I went up The Shard and had to pay a lot! Humph!!! When we got to the building we were informed by a person who was also going up, that the entrance was on the other side (the back), so make sure you know which way to go! I booked the 11.45 am slot but we were allowed to queue early. Unlike The Shard they check the name on the ticket which has to match photo ID, so make sure you bring your passport, drivers license or any official photo ID with your name on it. You also have to go through a metal detector. Security is becoming tight in London these days.

Once you go through security you stand in front of the lifts (there’s only two lifts) and you’re taken up to the 35th Floor. There’s actually 37 floors in total.

As you enter the 35th Floor you’re directed to you right. When you go through the doors you see a spectacular view of the dining area with a bar right in front of you.

You’ll see bikes parked all around with baskets of plants growing on them.

When you look up at the garden sections don’t expect too much because there isn’t much to observe. There are a few flowers, lots of greenery on the slanted gardens.
I think they could do a lot of more to the garden part. More inspiration is needed to call it a sky garden… ¬_¬” maybe some hanging flower baskets, some trees in the dining section, a grassy area on the floor section… and maybe a few more potted plants.

There’s only one balcony, so you’ll see a few people out there taking selfies and pictures of London. I think I’ve seen everything already so I wasn’t very thrilled.

MummyGeek and I went back in and I started pictures of the flowers and plants.

Up on the 36th Floor, there is nothing much to do, but there are benches for you to sit on. You can also see the Gherkin Building and look at other people taking pictures.

The 37th Floor is a balcony and I think leads to one of the restaurants.

I took some pictures from the top which made me a little dizzy looking downwards.

And another look at the flowers and plants.

It became busy at this point.

And finally as we were leaving I took a few pictures of the menu and food. ^_^ The bakery food looks scrumptious!

Finally it was time to exit. When we got outside there was a long queue! So happy we went early.

I think the Sky Garden would be a great place to go to for high tea but the main part to improve on is the garden itself. Grow more plants!! So I reiterate make sure you book your free slot NOW whilst you still can (ends 31st May 2015)!! It’s not going to be free forever,