I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Spain 2020 - a change of mind and in the weather

Monday 3rd February

I really must get up earlier!  At home and when we are away, we always put BBC Breakfast on the TV in the bedroom in the mornings but I am inclined to watch to the end and then, of course, discover that it is 10.15am and not 9.15am!

We went to Turre this morning for two reasons.  Firstly, to stock up on gin and wine at Super Turre and also to look at, wait for it, saucepans!  We don’t like the ones we bought the other day as there is no insulation on the handles.  In the box was a little silicone gripper thing but I still prefer a proper handle.  The shop that was recommended is called Home Sweet Home Mini!  They had about six sets which looked as if they would fit the bill but there is another shop we need to try first.  When we bought the pans, in the second hand shop, the lady said that if we didn’t like them she would re-sell them for us and we should get the money back that we paid for them.  The only draw back is that we have to wait until someone buys them!

From Turre we went to Garrucha.  I had a quick whiz round Lidl and then we went to get some lunch.  The place by the marina that we went to last year was closed as was the one next door but the third one, El Birra, was open.  It was March last year so maybe that’s the reason.  We decided to have a couple of Racions (portions), potatoes in garlic mayonnaise and prawn cocktail between us.  They were huge, thank goodness we didn’t have anything else!

While we were sitting at the restaurant, I played with my plant app, Plant Snap.  However, as I was trying to identify weeds, it kept coming up with different names!  They were pretty though.  The names below are what Plant Snap came up with but whether they are right or not – who knows or, in fact, cares!!

Stone bramble
Lantana Camara
Oxalis Luteola
Back to the villa where we read and dozed!

Tuesday 4th February

Having said yesterday that I needed to get up earlier, we had to today.  We were expecting an electrician to come and mend a couple of sockets at 9am so we were both up, dressed and breakfasted by that time – he arrived at 9.35am!

The bonus of being awake early was that we got to see a lovely sunrise.  We have seen a couple before but this one was wonderful.

It was really hot this afternoon.  We umed and ahed about going out but as it was so glorious up here, we decided to stay put.  The weather forecast had said that today was the last day of the lovely weather, so it seemed to make sense to make the most of it and not be in the car.

The road below us was really busy today.  The new villa seemed to have quite a few deliveries.  There is also something else going on, which is not connected with the villa, which needs large rocks and soil so I guess a new retaining wall is being built.  Our road is a dead end so each time a lorry goes past it has to come back again!  Most lorries drive in and turn round, but the rock lorry always reverses in – rather him that me!

He is going backwards!

When we were here last year, I had brought an Amaryllis bulb with me and I loved watching it grow.  Robert and Laura bought me one for Christmas and it is now on the kitchen windowsill and doing very well.

Wednesday 5th February

After yesterday’s glorious sunrise we woke up to rain today.  The forecast said 5% chance of rain so maybe we were just unlucky.

In the afternoon we went to return the saucepans we had bought at the second hand shop!  As lovely as they were the handles were a hazard.  They had no insulation on them at all and if you tried to pick up a hot pan with your fingers you burnt yourself.  They did come with one silicone pot holder which didn’t really help when you need two hands to pick the pan up.  I messaged the lady at the second hand shop yesterday and she said that she would put them on at €79 which, after they had taken their commission, would give us back what we had paid.  So, they are back in the shop and we are hoping that someone will buy them.

It was such a miserable day that only cake could make it better!!  Our favourite place, Moca, is closed on a Wednesday so we had to find somewhere else.  Eventually we went to Martin Morales Gastropub (who I think are a new kid on the block) where they had a good range of cakes but Moca’s are still the best!

I am heavily into Ancestry and my second cousin once removed (!) had sent some papers from the US to home.  Victoria had photographed all 27 pages and so I took them to be printed.  It seemed to take forever and then, with just 3 pages left, the ink ran out in the printer, so I’ve got to go back tomorrow and collect them.

I took this photo to show what sort of day it had been.  Someone somewhere, maybe in a fishing boat, was getting some sun.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Spain 2020 - a birthday (not mine) and a meal out with old friends

Friday 31st January

Oh dear, these blog posts do seem so boring!  Bear with me, our life will get more interesting!

I guess I haven’t really emphasised just how lovely the weather is out here.  For the last week it has been hot and more or less wall to wall sunshine 😊  We haven’t done vey much as we are just enjoying the weather and our view.  I am reading a book – I haven’t read a book for years.  The other day, as we were driving home probably from the supermarket, I thought that maybe we could stop for a cuppa but, to be honest, we have a better view than the cafes and I can make a cup of tea and offer a biscuit!

This morning we went to Vera.  Firstly, we went to the huge Chinese “you name it we sell it” shop.  I reckon the floor area must be the size of a football pitch! We only wanted a couple of things, but it is so big that it seemed to take ages to find them.  It was then next door to Iceland, and I overheard two women talking about how hot it is for January.  Last year they were all saying how cold it is for January!  China and Iceland in one morning, whatever next!!

We stopped on the way home so that I could take some photos of the villa from the sea front.

I also took a front view photo of the villa being built just along from us. 

In the afternoon, in the effort to take Muffin somewhere that wasn’t our usual part of the beach, we went a little bit further up.  We came across a “ravine” – this has obviously got worse after the dreadful rain the Mojacar had on Tuesday last week.

Saturday 1st February

Today is my favourite son’s birthday (I only have one son!) 😊  I won’t say how old he is for his sake, but he has a big one next year! 

 Robert with my two grandsons, Tobyn and Bobby – born June 2019

Penny and Jim, sister and brother-in-law, are up staying at our house so everyone, including Stepfather, Richard, met up for a birthday lunch.  We had a couple of FaceTime sessions which were lovely.  The best bit was that Bobby, almost 8 months now, was sitting on Penny’s lap.  He saw me on FaceTime then turned and looked at Penny, then back at me then Penny.  This went of for some time!  I really didn’t think that Penny and I looked that alike but, I guess, Bobby thinks we do!

It had been a hot day so when we took Muffin to the beach, I had a paddle.  The water was really quite warm.  Muffin decided to have a roll in the sand whilst wet and had to have a complete wash down when we got home!

In the evening we met up with Liz and Phil, who we met in 2018, and who were on holiday out here – they never went home (well except to visit)!  They love it out here and were trying to persuade us to move out here too!  I could easily sell up at home and buy a place out here though we would keep the boat for the summer months as it gets way too hot out here for us.  However, I couldn’t do it as I would just miss my family too much.  Anyway, where was I, oh yes meeting up with Liz and Phil!  We went to the Osteria Ristorante Italiano where we had an excellent meal.  It doesn’t look much from the outside but is lovely inside and has excellent service.  One to return to, I think.  It was lovely to catch up with Liz and Phil – I’m sure we will see more of them while we are here.

Sunday 2nd February

This morning I suddenly discovered that I am so behind with the blog – a smack on the back of my hand and I promise to do better!

It was so hot outside that Richard went and sat in MY chair in the shade near the pool where I had sat yesterday.  He then came in saying that he was cold so went to sit in the sun, it was then it was that it was too hot outside so, as I write, he is sitting on the sofa inside reading.  It is a very pleasant 21ΒΊ inside, with no heating on of course!

I spent the afternoon reading blogs that I subscribe to.  I was so far behind that it took me forever.

In the evening I spent a wonderful half an hour FaceTiming with my grandsons.  We managed a 3 way call with Laura upstairs with Bobby in the bath and Robert downstairs with Tobyn.  Robert found some wonderful, hm what do I call them, dressing up things and a hamburger game.  Tobyn had a great time playing and making Granny into all sorts of things.  One made him into a foot and he really didn’t like it, but I can’t say I blame him!

I do miss Tobyn and Bobby but FaceTiming is my saviour.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Spain 2020 - a Spanish way of life - quiet!

Tuesday 28th January

Nothing much happened today.  We had a visit from the property manager as we have been struggling to open the safe which has got our passports and bank cards in.  Fortunately, she had a master key which did the trick.  When we compared her key with ours, they didn’t really look the same!  Natasha has left the master key with us so we should be OK now.

I caught up with the blog in the morning then read in the afternoon.  I haven’t read a book for ages, but I have to admit that I fell asleep.

There is a villa being built just around the corner from us and they use a large crane which we both find fascinating!  The crane is remote controlled and is so quiet, it makes a slight noise as it starts moving which I guess is some sort of alarm but that is all.  There only appears to be three builders so goodness only knows when they will finish!  In the photo you can see a white villa which would have had a wonderful view but has now lost that and most of its light – I’m sure that in the UK the new villa wouldn’t have got planning permission.  We can actually see four cranes – the other three are down on the Paseo in the new Neinor development which caused so much dust and noise last year.  The buildings are more or less up now but it’s still going to be a while before the apartments are finished.  I’ve just been looking on their website and see that there are 1 and 2 bedroom apartments ranging from €124,900 to €231,600 (£105,628 to £195,864).  If you are interested have a look at the Neinor website.

Wednesday 29th January

Another day in paradise!  We seem to be getting into a morning routine now.  Richard takes Muffin down to the Paseo for a walk along there while I write the blog and catch up on emails.  After all that it’s almost lunch time.  We really need to get out in the afternoons and do something before taking Muffin onto the beach for some ball throwing.

We had a load of logs delivered in the morning. It gets very chilly in the evenings so Richard lights the log burner however I don’t think we will use all this lot!

After lunch we went to get some new saucepans.  I had asked on Facebook where I could get a decent set with lids and long handles and I was directed to three places.  The first one was on the Playa and is a second hand store but they also get a lot of ex-Amazon stock.  The last set they had were really lovely, but they don’t have long handles!  The lady told me that she had sold quite a few sets in the morning so I was worried that if we went to the other two places and couldn’t find anything better, she might have sold that one.  I wondered if people had seen on Facebook about the ex-Amazon ones and had gone in the morning!

We took Muffin onto the beach.  He is getting so much better at not barking when he brings the ball back to us.  I’m not sure how I am going to stop the treats though!

Thursday 30th January

We have solved Safegate!  Richard was twiddling the car keys while waiting for me and made the realisation!  He had put the safe key onto the car key ring for safety but also on there is a very similar key which unlocks the trailer at home.  We had been trying to open the safe with the trailer key!  Old age really is creeping up on us!  The safe key is now hidden somewhere in the villa.

Natasha popped up to swap the safe/trailer key and to give us some clean bedding.  In fact, she has left the cupboard unlocked so I can choose what I want!

In the afternoon we went to the Mercadona.  I had blueberries on my list but there weren’t any again ☹  I overheard an English couple commenting on the lack of the fruit and one said to the other we are late today which is why there aren’t any”.  Lesson learnt, for blueberries go in the morning!

After Mercadona we went to Blu for a cuppa and an ice-cream which was rather disappointing. The ice-cream parlour, Gelateria Italiana Alberto, doesn’t open until next month, but there must be somewhere else that does a good ice-cream.  However, Blu do have some fun signs!

It was them time to take Muffin for a walk on the Paseo.  He is getting rather naughty about, what is I can only describe as, making a noise in the car!  I really don’t think he knows he is making a whining/heavy breathing noise!  It is all excitement as we nearly always take him for a walk if we are out in the car – this obviously needs to stop.  So today no beach. 

Whilst we were walking, I saw this lovely bit of hedging.  I have an app called Plant Snap which told me it is called Lantana Camara.  Whatever it’s called, I think it is lovely.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Spain 2020 - Settling in

Saturday 25th January

A late start, but does it matter??!!  As we drove down towards the Parque Commercial, we saw Sue and Andy disposing of their rubbish (we have to take all our rubbish to large grey bins dotted around the place) and we made a plan to meet at Masko for lunch.

I paid a quick visit to the Consum supermarket which is underneath the Parque Commercial then returned to Richard who was sitting have a coffee with Muffin – well Richard was drinking coffee not Muffin!  Sue and Andy turned up after their shopping expedition and a very nice lunch time was had 😊

We took Muffin down to the beach for more ball throwing.  Ever since we bought a ball thrower he has barked and barked, with excitement, as we go to throw the ball.  This year I am determined to stop this, and we have made a concerted effort to tell him off when he barks which appears to be working.  However, I must remember to take treats out with us to reinforce that he is a good boy.

I have realised that I haven’t given you a photo of our view, so here it is 😊

Sunday 26th January

A beautiful sunny day – it was over 40ΒΊ in the sun!

We were having friends from the UK for lunch today.  They are here on a golfing holiday and we haven’t seen them for a few years, in fact since we left Ropley in 2014.  Its crazy that we all had to travel 1250 miles to see each other when they only live 28 miles from us!  They thought they were lost as Google Maps seemed to throw a bit of a hissy fit but in fact it brought them right to our door.  We had a lovely lunch and a great catch up but all too soon it was time for them to go.

I’m afraid that after they left, we just sat in the sun and either dozed or read.  Poor Muffin didn’t get a proper walk today ☹

We had a visitor last night, it didn’t stay for long once it saw Muffin!  It looks so like Victoria’s cat Yoyo that we wondered if it had stowed away with us?

Monday 27th January

We seem to be waking up later and later – this morning is was 8.15am.  Our bed is really comfortable, and the curtains are black out and hardly let any light in at all.

This was to be our first quiet day.  I did a couple of loads of washing and made use of the washing line, however it goes over the swimming pool and I was a little concerned as I pegged the washing out!  I did drop a couple of pegs into the pool and had to fish them out!

In the afternoon we made a brief trip to Mercadona, cup of tea and cake at Moka, Euromarket and then to the beach with Muffin.  I remembered the treats today and we really seem to be getting somewhere.  Muffin is naughtier if Richard is throwing the ball as he isn’t as strict with Muffin as I am!

My favourite but I have to admit I felt a bit sick after eating it ☹

Before coming home, we popped into Claravista 1, the villa we stayed in last year.  Last year’s next door neighbours are in number 1 this year doing some much needed decorating.  They did number 2 last year.  Anyway, I had left my travel and 12v kettles behind last year and Carol had them for me.  It was nice to see them but sad to hear that their old dog Moffy, passed away in April last year.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Spain 2020 - The journey (part 2) and our first days

Wednesday 22nd January

We were up at 7.30am as we wanted to get up and going.  Breakfast was at 8am and then we were able to see the lake, which had turned yellow with all the sand. There is a lovely terrace which, on a lovely sunny day, would be lovely with a perfect view of the lake.

We finished packing loaded up the car and said our farewells.  Mama said “have a nice trip” which I was very impressed with.  I bet she had been practicing that!

We left at 8.45am and headed down towards the coast in sort of sunshine.  East of Valencia the sky went very black and we drove through a thunderstorm (fortunately Muffin couldn’t hear the thunder unlike yesterday when he was so uneasy) He didn’t eat his lunchtime snack!

In places it was quite foggy with snow still around. Then suddenly we were back into the sunshine and we watched the thermometer going up.  We stopped for fuel and a coffee, it was lovely to feel the sun on us.  About 50 miles from our destination it went grey and the rain poured down, but we could see blue sky and sunshine over Mojacar.  As we came off the main road there was snow in Los Gallardos – just 8 miles from Mojacar Playa. 

We always feel that we are “coming home” when we see Mojacar Pueblo clinging for dear life to the mountain side.

We drove along the Playa pointing out places that had changed from last year – there weren’t very many, and then up the treacherous road to Casa Cristonia where we met Stuart, the property manager. 

We were soon left on our own to unpack which didn’t really seem to take too long.  Richard took Muffin down to the beach and by the time he came back I was done!

We had arranged to meet Sue and Andy at the Chinese at 7pm and we also joined by Russell, a friend of Sue and Andy’s whose wife had had to go back to the UK.  We had a good meal and a lovely catch-up.

Thursday 23rd January

Today was shopping day.  We went to the Mercadona supermarket, then on to Iceland in Vera.  For new blog readers (and for others who have forgotten) this is an outlet of Iceland Overseas which also sells Waitrose products.  99% of the staff are British by birth but who now live out here.  Back for a late lunch, a rest and then out again to the Chinese Euromarket (a hardware type shop which sells just about everything) and to take Muffin for a walk on the beach.  We took the ball thrower and he had a wonderful time.  He seemed to have a set routine of chasing the ball, picking it up then going into the sea – goodness knows why but he did it every time.

Friday 24th January

Friday is market day in Turre so off we toddled.  It was quite busy, and we rather struggled to find a parking spot.  We did our usual walk to the far end then turned round and walked back!  We got a cooked chicken for dinner – these have gone up from €6.50 to €8.00 since last year but as one will do the two of us for two meals, I guess its still good value.  Richard wanted a pair of shoes as his trainers had come adrift.  Quite why they had to do this after we left home, I don’t know!  He found some at €18, they won’t last that long but at least he won’t have to go barefoot now!  I stopped at the fruit and veg stall that I like but realised that I had bought everything I needed yesterday – how silly was that??

Another of my favourite shops was next, one I only found last year.  Super Turre is a supermarket that sells just about everything.  They cater for the Brits which is very helpful.  However, I only wanted salt and booze!  A litre of Gordons gin was €10.11 (£8.50)!!  A crazy price.  They also sell a New Zealand sauvignon blanc called Dusky Sounds for about €7.00 (£5.90) which is cheaper than most New Zealands in the UK.

Back home for lunch and a quiet afternoon before taking Muffin to the beach.

I took this photo off rather threatening clouds to the south of us but thank goodness they didn’t come our way.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Spain - 2020 - The Journey (part 1)

Saturday 18th January

A rather manic day.  We’ve been having a new bathroom fitted and it over ran by a number of days!  I thought they were finishing at the beginning of the week but then I was informed it would be Thursday and then Friday and they finally left at 6pm today (Saturday).  However, I am thrilled with the result – I will post some photos later in this post as I want to put something really nice as the first photo.

Anyway, we got packed up and, as usual, Richard managed to get everything in the car.  I thought I wasn’t taking as much as usual but all I can think is that the things I have left out are very small!!

We left home at 9pm and were at the ferry terminal by 9.30pm.  The usual wait then we were on the ferry and slipping and sliding all over the deck – on foot not the car thank goodness.  Straight to our cabin which was uncomfortably hot, Richard tried to change the blower, but nothing changed.  Richard was asleep before we set sail and I wasn’t far behind him.

Sunday 19th January

A very hot night which wasn’t helped by Muffin choosing my bed to sleep on and then proceeding to take over the bottom 2 feet of it!  I kept waking up and finding my feet hanging out! The ferry is the only place where he is allowed to sleep on our bed and when we got to the cabin last night he leapt up onto the bed as if to say I’m allowed tonight!

We were awake about an hour before docking, had a cup of tea and a porridge pot each before packing up and going to the car.

As we drove out of Le Havre everywhere was white with frost – such a pretty sight.  One of the things that amazed me were the number of trees which were full of mistletoe - I have never noticed it before so it must just be a good year for it.

We have toll tags for France and Spain which makes travelling on the peage so much easier.  As we approached the first toll station we waited for the green light and the barrier to lift but nothing, so I had to pay!!!!  I then looked on the internet for a fix but nothing except from the UK supplier who doesn’t work at weekends.  I pushed and pulled the tag and at the next toll station it worked!  Maybe it was just cold and needed a jump start!

We stopped for a coffee which I had made on the ferry, but it was only lukewarm, obviously hot liquid in insulated cups only has a limited shelf life.

Our next stop was for lunch.  I had bought rolls and sandwich fillers which worked really well though it was jolly cold standing at the back of the car making them up.  If we didn’t have Muffin, we would have eaten them in the car but he needed to stretch his little legs.

I took over the driving after lunch as I had had a nice sleep in the morning however Richard stayed awake – not sure if he was worried about my driving!

The roads have been so quiet today.  There are no lorries on the road on Sundays and it makes SUCH a difference.  It was fluke last year that we drove through France on a Sunday, but I chose it this year for that very reason.

We had a lovely sunny drive down through France though the temperature outside varied from 0 to 9 degrees.

We arrived at our hotel just south of Bordeaux about 4pm where we stayed last year.  After a cuppa and a rest, we walked under the motorway to the Aire on the northbound carriageway to a dog friendly restaurant where we got a 15% discount as we were staying in the hotel.

Back in our room we watched Call the Midwife but not the Christine Keeler programme as we were both so tired – it was 10pm CET.

Monday 20th January

A good night’s sleep on a very comfy bed.  We had the hotel breakfast, there wasn’t much choice but we both chose 2 croissants, orange juice and coffee, I’m not sure it was worth €7.  Last year we took porridge pots, but we thought we would try the hotel breakfasts this year.  Carrying porridge pots for both journeys works out as 12 and they take up space in the car!

We were on the road at 9am, our planned time but it was a coincidence really as we weren’t clock watching.

If you look at a map it doesn’t seem far to the Spanish border but in fact it is 125 miles.  The lorries were out in force, but they really aren’t a problem.  We stopped just before the border for a coffee and a leg stretch for Muffin.  The aires on the French roads come very frequently but we have noticed that it isn’t the same on the Spanish roads.  In the past we have had to go off the main road and find a gateway to stop in!

We crossed over the border where there is just a very uninteresting sign which just says Espana – I wanted some sort of recognition as next time I cross a border I won’t be an European citizen ☹️  We now bear a sticker which says “Don’t blame me I voted to remain”!

It was a quick change of toll tag and then up onto a plain which I am sure has a name, but I can’t find it.  There are lots and lots of wind farms with quite a lot on top of mountains, solar farms are beginning to come in now too.  

We could see snow on the mountain tops, it looked so pretty.


The Spanish toll tag works so much better than the French one.  In France you have to get right up to the barrier and then wait for the barrier to go up but in Spain the barrier lifts as you approach.  I brilliant system.

It was a lovely sunny day but suddenly the sky turned black and we encountered snow!  The lorries were all directed off the autopista, but cars were allowed to continue then like magic, about 10 miles down the road, the lorries all appeared again and we ended up in a convoy!  We were at about 3500 feet and driving at 15mph with an outside temperature of -3ΒΊ.  Gradually the snow turned to rain.

We went from this

 To this in just a few miles

Our stop for today was at a small hotel in Jerica.  We arrived at the Casa del Lago about 4pm and were met at the gate by a rather wet Alla, who was standing waiting for us.  The WhatsApp communication between Alla and myself had been excellent.  We were taken to our room, on the ground floor and were then given a guided tour.  The “mini hotel” is on the banks of a man-made lake and I’m sure the view would be lovely on a dry and sunny day!  We were taken down to, what obviously is their pride and joy, a sauna, Turkish bath and a large cold plunge pool.  I’m afraid that as lovely as it all looked, it just isn’t our cup of tea!  We discovered that the family are originally from Russia but moved to Valencia 5 years ago, and only come out to Jerica when they have guests.  Mama and Papa do not speak Spanish let alone English!  It was then that we realised that our dinner was probably going to be Russian!  It turns out that the Papa (who had been a builder in Russia) had built the hotel and they had only been open for 3 months.  We were the only guests.

Our dinner was Russian and very nice indeed.  Our starter was, what looked rather like a roll, with meat and onions in it.  It wasn’t a roll as we know it but more a sweet dough – it was excellent though filling.   There was a lovely mixed salad for each of us and also a wonderful Russian salad, nothing like the ones we see in our supermarkets.  The main course was a dish of meat, potatoes and vegetables.  I know that sounds very boring, but it was really tasty and all we needed after the starter.  This was accompanied by a Spanish Sauvignon Blanc which was so like a New Zealand wine – I will be scouring the supermarkets for it!  (They only charged us €10 for the wine).  There was no pudding but we both felt that we couldn’t have done one justice anyway!  Mama does all the cooking and was very nervous that we might not like it.

Tuesday 21st January

We both slept really well, the bed was very comfy.  I think it was a memory foam mattress as it felt very hard to start with but then it seems to mould itself around me and was lovely.

Before we got up, I checked the weather forecast and it didn’t look good.  I found a Facebook page called Murcia Weather Watch and put a post on it about the road conditions around Valencia and Murcia.  The replies were all pretty much the same – DON’T DRIVE!  We went for breakfast, a lovely spread but far too much for us.  We asked Alla if she knew about the road conditions and she said not really but they weren’t going to go back to Valencia because of the weather.  That was all we needed and asked if we could stay another night!  It appeared that Storm Gloria did a lot of damage around the Valencia and Murcia areas.

There was very little for us to do, it would have been nice to see around the area and take Muffin for a walk round the lake, but we were NOT going to venture out!  Alla managed to connect the TV in our room to the internet and we found Netflix, signed in and watched the last three episode of The Crown and some random American programme on cold cases.

Before it got dark, I went out to the car and the sky was yellow – the soil is very sandy so whether or not the gale had whipped the sand into the sky I don’t know.

Dinner was another Russian meal.  To start there was a very tasty meat and rice dish which was followed by a clear broth with meat filled dumplings and mushrooms.  The salad on the table was a tuna one and sadly I don’t like tuna so had to give it a miss though it looked lovely.  We were offered dessert which turned out to be a deconstructed cheesecake and was excellent. 

At each meal we were served tea in this beautiful tea pot.