Category Archives: Shopping

Halen Môn – Anglesey salt

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We’ve just returned home after 3 days on Anglesey and I’ve done the washing, removed sand from pockets and put the salt away. Not just any salt! Halen Môn salt. THE salt of Anglesey!

On Thursday we nipped into Halen Môn to pick up some salt for gifts and of course me, and I could have bought plenty in their beautiful shop that is stocked with salt, salt products like Nom Nom chocolate (delicious I tell you), oils, vinegars, sauces, home wares and stationery and much more!

  
The shop is spacious, beautifully stocked, well presented and lovely staff to boot. A beautiful shop!  When I say it’s a beautiful shop I really mean it, so I’m going to award it a Nellington Pom Poms pom pom of excellence! 

  

Nellie Knows : The Wokingham Paper : 27 March 2015

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I was thrilled to be asked by the Editor if I would like to be a columnist for The Wokingham Paper, the new weekly paper for Wokingham.  Of course I jumped at the chance!  Here is my first column which was printed on Friday 27 March 2015.  The paper is now weekly and you can pick it up for 50p from shops and newsagents across the Wokingham Borough.

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“It’s a time of new beginnings with a new paper for Wokingham, the clocks going forward, the Easter holidays are fast approaching and gardens all over Wokingham are showing signs of fresh new shoots and lush green grass. What’s not to be happy about?

We really are very lucky living where we do and Wokingham is often quoted as being one of the best places to live. Having lived in the borough all my life I will have to agree. I grew up in Hurst when Dinton Pastures was just fields which subsequently became gravel pits when the aggregate was used for the A329M, now it is a hugely popular country park that attracts heaps of visitors yearly. I moved to Wokingham 25 years ago tempted by the bright lights and by the time I realised the bright lights were infact the level crossing lights it was too late and I’d already put down my roots in the town and it’s where I am raising my family.

The town centre is going through many changes and I would urge you to get involved and have your say. I’m a big fan of independent shops that give a little bit more and I assure you the town IS still open, yesterday I spent 2 hours after school running errands in town and picking up bits, not only did the shopkeepers welcome thecustom they also gave the customers some good old fashioned customer service with a smile. And that to me means a great deal.”

Sport

Popped into John Wood Sports to pick up a stud spanner for one of the girls’ football boots, whilst there they asked about the football teams the girls played for and supported. One of my girls plays for Ashridge Park U14s and one of them plays for Wokingham & Emmbrook U10s and are undeniably proud of their clubs and their achievements. Back in the day girls didn’t play football so it is refreshing to see so many girls getting involved and my husband is often badgered to go into the garden (or next door to retrieve a ball) or the park for the girls to practice their skills.

Books and reading

One of the great pleaures of my childhood was reading. I grew up on a diet of Famous Five and Mallory Towers, then I started reading pony books and the Flowers in the attic series. I still read loads and review books for authors and publishers which has introduced me to many great authors. A number of our local book shops and libraries have author events which are hugely enjoyable and very popular. I regularly keep an eye on Wokingham Libraries, Bookends and Chapter One website and Twitter feeds to see who is coming along and over the coming months I will be arranging a number of events which you will be able to learn more about in this column.
Shopping

One of my hobbies is shopping, not just for buying new things but also finding new things and am often asked where I find things. Quite simply there’s loads of places to look and in supporting local shops I am playing a small part in keeping our town centre alive. Sometimes it might be considered easier to buy something online because it could be cheaper but when you add in the P&P and the time spent finding out how to reclaim your parcel if you are not in then that all takes time. My children often (regularly) complain that I spend too long in shops but I like the personal touch.

Food and drink

According to my friend Fiona I cook like her Welsh Nana cooked, which is opening the fridge to see what’s there and then creating a tasty and wholesome meal for all the family. If she times it right I will send her home with a dish of food for which she is grateful for (funny how she always manages to time it right!). I’m a big fan of slow cooking and have known Netherton Foundry for some years, they have a great range of cast iron cookware which can be found in Robert Dyas as part of the Theo Paphitis SBS selected items. Just this morning I threw in some tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic and carrots together with some mince and seasoning so that by the time the children are home from school or clubs, the homework is done and the kit required for the following day is located I can just lift the lid of the slow cooker and supper is ready.

This is my happy place in Brecon

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Ty Cariad in the Bulwark in Brecon is a lovely shop filled with gorgeousness, it’s next door to the equally fabulous toy and shoe shop Cariad which is now the only place that Laree actually enjoys having a shoe fitting!

I’ve known Becca since school and will always pop to Brecon when I can when visiting Wales to a) see her and b) see the gorgeous ever changing stock. Putting it quite simply it’s my happy place.

It’s my kind of shop selling homewares, books, gifts, cards, wrapping, furniture, paint, candles, chocolate from a variety of businesses and lots of them are lovely Welsh folk like Kate Hamilton Hunter, Carrie Elspeth, Flourish Button Jewellery, Melin Tregwynt, Handmade by Helgar, Bodlon, Laughing Bird Bodycare, Welsh Lavender Ltd, Jay & Frey, NomNom Chocolate, Driftwood Designs.  I’ve long been a fan of Keith Brymer Jones and particularly love the Welsh translations that I was introduced to by Nia at Bodlon.

The cards and wrapping paper are a mix of Welsh and English and I was thrilled to see a selection from my friends Licorice and Sally Swannell.

There’s a nice selection of Garden Trading, the mix of grey and yellow is cheery and makes me think if I ever move away from green I’d go yellow and grey.

The furniture dotted around the shop is painted in Annie Sloan and Becca runs courses so you can paint your own furniture.

The shop is a riot of colour and inspiration so it is no wonder that I come away feeling uplifted.