What better than to eat fish and chips on a visit to the coast?

peters fish factory ramsgate

On one of our recent family trips around Ramsgate we popped into Peter’s Fish Factory on Harbour Road at around lunch time, curious to try for ourselves the infamous fish and chips from this award winning restaurant.

You can choose to eat inside or outside on the bistro style tables. We had Baxter with us who wasn’t allowed inside but seeing it was a lovely day, we sat at a small wooden table and waited for our fresh food to be cooked to order.

We ordered 2 small codling and chips and a portion of fish goujons and chips for the girls to share as it was a large portion, I also indulged on a portion of mushy peas. With a couple of soft drinks our bill came to around £12. (Summer 2016)

The meals were served in takeaway boxes and you could add salt and vinegar at the counter. There were small wooden forks and serviettes on offer plus a table of condiments to pimp your fish and chips to however you wished.

Peter’s Fish Factory fish and chips

fish and chips Peters fish factory

We all agreed that the fish and chips were delicious, very good portions and cooked perfectly – in our opinion. The girls managed to eat most of the box leaving only a few chips which dad helpfully polished off for them.

It was a bit windy sitting outside and we had to be careful of the polystyrene cups blowing about and serviettes taking off across the harbour but it was a lovely spot with no through traffic.

If queues are anything to go by on deciding whether a fish and chip shop is good or not, Peter’s Fish Factory in Ramsgate had a queue for the entire time we were there and lots of happy faces coming out.

Let us know if you agree.

NB This post first appeared on another blog I set up called Thanet Uncovered in 2016. It quickly became apparent that with work, family, home and life in general I wouldn’t have the time to run two blogs so I am in the process of closing down Thanet Uncovered and transferring the content onto Mari’s World where I shall have a category for Thanet to store all of our fun times there.

Alice Weekes donating hair for wigs

A couple of weeks ago Alice wanted to have her hair cut short. Having heard about people donating hair for wigs coupled with the news her cousin Megan has been diagnosed with leukaemia and would lose her hair during the chemotherapy, she decided she wanted to donate her hair for a wig too.

She sent off her cut hair to the Little Princess Trust and to make the most of the moment we also decided to ask our family and friends to support her decision with donations to the charity. We had discovered that a single wig can cost from £350 – £500.

We set our target of £500, to cover the wig that Megan would be given, and we were totally overwhelmed to have smashed it making a grand total of £660.00. One of my favourite memories will be Alice asking me to check how much we were up to during the first few days.

donating hair for wigs

Donating hair for wigs

Bessie has been watching all the fuss quietly from the sidelines, she still doesn’t want to cut her hair off just yet but she has mentioned that one day, she would like to do the same.

The Little Princess Trust got in touch with us this week as they are organising a very fun event with Shrek’s Adventure! in London. They are looking to find a real-life Rapunzel and have asked us to help spread the word.

The #RealLifeRapunzel campaign is all about looking for the longest hair donations, do you know somebody who fits this bill?

For this competition, hair donations must exceed 12″/30cm and Shrek’s Adventure! in London will be offering the winner and four finalists fantastic prizes.

The finalists, together with three guests each will be invited to a VIP experience on the 29th April as part of ‘National Princess Week’. What will this include?

  • The VIP day will kick off with breakfast at Starbucks,
  • a VIP tour of the attraction,
  • free haircuts in Shrek’s ‘Throne Room’,
  • a makeover
  • goodie bags to take home.

There will be more surprises on the day too.

Weekes twins

Monica Glass, Little Princess Trust Charity Manager said, “The charity is looking for especially long hair donations at the moment and so the search is on!  Whilst we help boys as well as girls across the whole of the UK and Ireland, at the moment there is a need for particularly long hair donations.  It takes a number of donations to make a single wig and of course the longer the hair donation, the longer the wig.”

Steve Blackburn, General Manager of Shrek’s Adventure! added, “Shrek’s Adventure! London is home to lots of princesses and we are really proud to be working with the Little Princess Trust, spreading awareness of the incredible work they do and encouraging those with long hair to donate it for the benefit of children suffering from hair loss.”

How to enter the competition

  • Visit The Little Princess Trust competition page
  • Upload a clear photo of your hair, detailing what length you are willing to donate
  • Write, in no more than 350 words, why you think it is important to donate your hair

Closing date 31st March. finalists will be notified by the 7th April

There’s more, if you would like to donate your hair to The Little Princess Trust then you can have your haircut and styled on the 29th April, free of charge too. Terms and conditions apply, for more information please visit the website on the above link.

The Little Princess Trust are the charity who make wigs for boys and girls suffering from hair loss. To date they have given away nearly 5,000 real hair wigs to young people suffering with cancer and other medical conditions and they are constantly on the look out for people having their hair cut to donate it to them ( a minimum of 7″/17cms is required).

 Pegwell Bay thanet

Pegwell Bay

When looking at a map of Thanet it becomes immediately apparent that there is a hell of a lot to do and see but we had to make a decision to start somewhere. Although we are both familiar with the area we wanted to start with something new to us and so we decided that Pegwell Bay in Ramsgate would be our starting point.

We woke early one Sunday morning and as it wasn’t raining and the sky was promising a clear morning we headed off from our base in Birchington Vale for our first adventure.

Pegwell Bay - Thanet

Pegwell Bay sits on the estuary of the River Stour between Ramsgate and Sandwich and is home to a large nature reserve, many different species of wildlife live here or visit throughout the year. Families can visit the Pegwell Bay Country Park to discover more of the mudflats and salt marshes and take a closer look at the varied nature.

We parked in the residential area along the top of the cliffs and, with Baxter on a lead, walked down the slopes leading to the beach. The beach is rocky and sandy and is dog friendly although there may be a dog ban from 1st April – 30 September between the hours of 10am and 6pm.

Pegwell bay exploring

We were there before 10am and so let Baxter off his lead for a run and around the sandy beach and another failed attempt at catching a seagull. The girls enjoyed larking around on the sand too and we could see Ramsgate Royal harbour in the distance.

Pegwell bay

The Boating Pool Cafeteria

We walked back up one of the staircases to the top of the cliffs which was a good climb and strolled along the top back towards the car. There we came across The Boating Pool Cafeteria, there was a playground which caught the girl’s eyes and a welcome cup of tea which caught mine. Dogs are allowed on the terrace and so we sat down and enjoyed a cuppa in the sunshine whilst watching the men drive their boats on the lake.

The Boating Pool Cafeteria Pegwell Bay

I love the ‘Once upon a time’ look of the Boating Pool, reminiscent of times gone by but once inside you will be invited to a wonderful clean and fresh atmosphere with a fantastic chalkboard menu to choose from. I have a feeling we may be back here soon to try some of the food.

 

The Boating Pool cafeteria Pegwell BayIt did seem the perfect spot to enjoy a lunch or even an afternoon beer or glass of wine as the sun sets over the sea.

One last thing worth mentioning was the fabulous sculpture on the green along the cliff tops at West Cliff, Hands and Molecule by David Barnes. The sculpture was unveiled in 2000 to mark the opening of the National Cycle Network (Route 15) in Thanet.

Hands-and-Molecule-David-barnes-Pegwell-Bay

Things to see and do in Pegwell Bay

  • Visit Pegwell Bay Country Park
  • See Hugin, the full-size replica Scandinavian longboat complete with shields situated by the main road on the low clifftops above Pegwell Bay commemorating the first Anglo-Saxon landings in England in this area.
  • Take a look at St Augustine’s Cross, a stone memorial in a fenced enclosure on the south side of Cottington Road. The cross was erected in 1884 to commemorate the arrival of St Augustine in England in AD 597.

NB This post first appeared on another blog I set up called Thanet Uncovered in 2016. It quickly became apparent that with work, family, home and life in general I wouldn’t have the time to run two blogs so I am in the process of closing down Thanet Uncovered and transferring the content onto Mari’s World where I shall have a category for Thanet to store all of our fun times there.

Guinness Cake easy recipe

For 2017 the company where I work, James Villas, have chosen a new charity to support throughout the year and we’ve gone local with our choice of Porchlight a charity that looks out for those who have nowhere to go, our local homeless people. This is a charity that has touched my heart and made me realise how fragile we all are and how lucky I am to be in the privileged position of having a roof over my head with hot water and heating, plus a full fridge!

Friday saw the first charity event organised at work and we had a Bake Off. Everyone was invited to bring something into work, the directors would judge and three prizes would be given out, two tickets to see Legally Blonde, a half day’s holiday and a bottle of prosecco. I had my eyes fixed firmly on the half day’s holiday as all working parents will understand the difficulties of covering 13 weeks school holidays with a measly 21 days!

I had a good think about what I would be preparing, something savoury from Italy or something sweet?

I scoured the Pinterest boards and came across a recipe on Love SWAH that I have been wanting to try for a long time now, a Guinness cake. I had heard that it works and is exceptionally delicious.

Guinness Cake

My plan was to have a go the weekend before at home so I had the chance to try it and improve it if necessary. I got all the ingredients in and like the best laid plans I ran out of time. This meant I would have to enter the competition without a trial, Mary Berry would not be impressed but hey ho, needs must.

Tommy was at home on the Thursday because it was half term and so, we set to together in the kitchen, after dinner and made the cake, the Whiskey ganache and the Baileys Icing, all ready for assembling later.

Whilst the cake was in the oven I had a go at making some bunting, the theme given was Love as it was close to Valentine’s Day and I am rather partial to hearts and flowers.

I managed to get all of my preparation sorted before bedtime and left my cake in the fridge over night.

Guinness Layer Cake with Whiskey Ganache and Baileys Icing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A rich and delicious dark chocolate cake using Guinness in the cake, whiskey in the ganache and Baileys in the icing.
Author:
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: British
Ingredients
  • Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake
  • 250ml Guinness beer (1 cup)
  • 250g butter (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 100g cup cocoa powder (2/3 cup)
  • 400g caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 140ml sour cream (2/3 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour (2 cups)
  • 2½ tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • Irish Whiskey Ganache
  • 225g dark chocolate (8 ounces)
  • 140ml heavy cream (2/3 cup)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp Irish whiskey
  • Baileys Cream Cheese Icing
  • 500-600g sifted icing sugar/powdered sugar (4-5 cups)
  • 100g butter at room temperature (1/2 cup)
  • 250g cream cheese at room temperature (8oz)
Instructions
  1. Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake
  2. Preheat oven 180°C/350°F and butter and line 2 x 23cm (9") springform tins.
  3. Melt the butter into the Guinness in a saucepan over low heat.
  4. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar and take the saucepan off the heat.
  5. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl until combined, than add to the beer mixture.
  6. Whisk in the flour and bicarb until combined.
  7. Divide the cake batter between the two tins and bake for 35-45 minutes. The middle of the cake may still be slightly wet when you take the cake out, but it will firm up as it cools down.
  8. Leave to cool completely in the tin as it is quite a damp cake and could collapse.
  9. Since these cakes need to be sliced horizontally, I wrap both cakes in cling wrap and store in the fridge for a few hours to firm up. It makes slicing the cakes easier.
  10. Irish Whiskey Ganache
  11. Heat cream up into the microwave until warm (not boiling) and then add finely chopped chocolate, stirring until melted and combined.
  12. Add in the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick and spreadable.
  13. Baileys Cream Cheese Icing
  14. Cream the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed.
  15. Add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until incorporated.
  16. Add in Baileys. Continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy.
  17. To assemble
  18. Slice both cakes horizontally using a serrated knife so you have 4 layers of cake.
  19. Place your first layer on the cake stand and spread around 2 tablespoons worth of ganache over the top of the cake.
  20. Dollop on a generous portion of Baileys icing and spread out evenly with an offset spatula.
  21. Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat this process. Remember to take the ganache and icing right to the edges so it peaks out the sides of the cake when assembled.
  22. Top the final layer of cake with the ganache and Baileys icing and voila!

Guinness Cake Verdict

Guinness Cake

We all stood around and watched the directors sample tiny bits of cake and as the Director tasted mine he made all the right noises of someone who was really enjoying his cake, he even came out of the judging discussion with the other directors and said quite clearly the Guinness Cake was his favourite BUT I wasn’t placed in the top three and stood and watched my half day holiday go to the maker of samosas which, by the way were superb.

Disappointed? Yes, of course I was.

I tasted my cake and I must admit I was really, really pleased with it. I brought the remainder of the cake home and the family all agreed it was delicious. If anything was lacking it was my presentation skills.

Never mind, I really enjoyed making the cake and I can confirm it is super delicious should you wish to have a go yourself. There are various recipes on the internet, I have gone with Love SWAH’s and there is a link further up or you can find the recipe on my Valentine’s Pinterest Board

Donating hair

It’s been a very busy month, the full time position is full on and every moment is precious these days, hence not so much going on in Mari’s World blog. We have also had bad news in the family, my cousin’s 16 year old daughter has been diagnosed with leukaemia mid January. This was a huge blow to her, in the midst of studying for her GCSEs and plans to go on a be a journalist. It has shocked everyone around her and once the shock starts to fade, then your thoughts turn to what can I do?

Fundraising is the biggest and easiest task to take on and Alice declared she wanted to cut her hair to donate it to the Little Princess Trust so they could make a wig for a child suffering from hair loss thanks to chemotherapy.

We booked up the appointment and watched the YouTube video on how to be prepared.

 

What do you need to know if you want to donate your hair

Before hair cut

  • Your hair must be washed and completely dried.
  • Separate your hair into smaller plaits as they are easier to cut
  • Tie with a rubber band at the top of the plait
  • Plait and hold with another rubber band at the bottom
  • Cut hair and place in clean plastic bag
  • Post to The Little Princess Trust – Little Princess Trust, Aderans UK, Unit B4, Dolphin Way, Shoreham-By-Sea, BN43 6NZ, (UK)

Why Alice decided to donate her hair

Just Giving fundraising page

Our first step was to set up a Just Giving fundraising page and luckily we were able to create it so every penny went directly into The Little Princess Trust pot, that saved us from having to collect money from sponsors and pass it on which can get confusing if you are not organised. You can see Alice’s Just Giving page here.

Alice Weekes donating hair

The hair cut

Preparing for hair donation

Your hairdresser may well have done this before but it’s always best to go prepared with some rubber bands and a plastic bag anyway. Alice enjoyed the process as much as the final haircut and I made sure I took photos of her so we could use them on our Just Giving page.

The fundraising

cutting the hair

Once we got home and had eaten we took some more After photos and set about fundraising. Facebook was our first port of call as it is where I have most of my conversations and am most well connected with friends, family and acquaintances. Alice was very excited to see the funds come in and was constantly asking me throughout the day how much we had reached.

How much to raise

hair cut

We set our sights high – £500.

We discovered it costs the Little Princess Trust between £350 – 500 to make one wig and they are donated free to all children who have lost their hair through cancer treatment. It was a huge ask of our family and friends but we hoped with Alice’s kind gesture people would take heart.

They did and by the end of Saturday we had reached £420.00!

We put a reminder up on Sunday morning and reached £490.00 by lunch time.

By 3pm on Sunday we had reached her goal and now, because we are a competitive lot, we want to see if we can get anywhere near sponsoring a second wig?

Can you help?

donating hair

 

Before I sign off I wanted to share some facts that I found on the Clic Sargent website that are a reminder of how it can happen to anyone at any time and how we need to keep raising awareness.

Clic Sargent Young Lives VS Cancer

When cancer strikes young lives, CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. We provide expert support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally, so that they can focus on the important things, like getting well.

  • Today, 11 more children and young people will hear the devastating news they have cancer.
  • Every year in the UK around 3,600 children and young people under 25 are diagnosed with cancer. Around 2,000 are aged 16 to 24-years-old
  • Although eight in 10 will survive cancer, it is still the leading cause of death from a single disease among children and young people in the UK
  • It is estimated there are 10,000 survivors of childhood cancer aged 24 and under living in the UK. Around 30% of survivors have a chronic health condition and a further 30% have another ongoing health-related problem.
  • The type of cancer and its treatment varies for each child or young person, but treatment normally starts straightaway and can last up to three years
  • CLIC Sargent research has found that children and young people with cancer travel an average of 60 miles, up to five times a week, for hospital treatment (A long way from home, 2010, research focused on 0 to 18- year-olds)
  • Two in three parents surveyed by CLIC Sargent said they had built up debt to make ends meet as a result of their child’s cancer. More than one in four had borrowed over £2,000. Two in three parents surveyed experienced a loss of earnings and three in five parents said they had to reduce the number of hours they worked. (Counting the costs of cancer, 2011)
  • CLIC Sargent research shows that two-thirds of 16 to 18-year-olds fall behind with their education as a result of cancer and its treatment (More than my illness, 2010)
  • Half of young people surveyed by CLIC Sargent said they had to borrow money as a result of their cancer with more than 17% borrowing over £1,000 and 6% borrowing over £2,000. (Counting the costs of cancer, 2011)
  • Parent’s spent an average of £600 a month in additional expenses during their child’s treatment (Cancer Costs, 2016)
  • Over half of young people (52%) and almost half of parents (49%) visited their GP at least three times before their cancer was diagnosed (Best chance from the start, 2016

Alice Weekes hair cut