I was a very excited American while visiting Chester. There are so many ruins ( ROMAN) and others I was going crazy. The architecture was very Tudor (not that I know what that means) . This was Chester, which is in Cheshire (fun names) which is JUST outside of Wales. It was just over an hour on the train, and I want to go back when its warmer so I can do a canal walk. I mean look how beautiful this was in the dead of winter!
So a little context with the “excited American” picture which pretty much describes me anytime I go anywhere… We were looking at these ruins of a cathedral (I’m not adding that to the cathedral count because it’s not full) and I had a minor freak out about how old and cool everything is. The old Cathedral had a coffin in the walls! It was super high up too so it was interesting. I took a picture of the sign that explains its brief history
Also since Chester was a town occupied by Romans there are remains of a mini theater that was in the city. The cathedral was huge! There was no way to get a picture of the full thing. It looks a lot like the one in Bangor just a lot larger.
Other tid bits, when we were walking around I saw this alley and I thought I might die (not really I’m dramatic).
They had an “American Candy World.” Which to it’s credit did have American Candy but I wouldn’t count on it being too similar. If you ever wanted to know what the UK thought of American sweets here’s your answer.
The cathedral count takes the lead with 1 (but should it be two because of the ruins?)
Cathedral Count: 4
Castle Count : 3
***Also side note if a place has a cathedral it’s considered a city! That’s a weird interesting fun fact.***
I missed so many birthdays in the states that I wanted to start out by saying happy birthday to Allyson, Ashley, and Lizzy! I miss you both! Imagine this cake was for you!
On a side note- The lovely Ashley turned 21 this past Friday and I am so happy I was able to celebrate it with you! I know that we can already legally drink in Wales so it was great to celebrate you being truly legal in the states! <3
Now on to the real reason for this post!— Cake!
Another birthday another cake. One of my new friends here had a birthday this past Sunday so I asked her if I could make her a cake. She requested marble (among others and I choose marble), and butter cream icing (my forever go to icing). This recipe comes courtesy of ‘BBC Good Foods’.
- 225 g butter
- 225 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225 g self rising flour
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder ( I added an extra third because I love chocolate)
- a pinch of salt.
Preheat oven to 180/190 C. Grease two sandwich pans. Combine sugar and butter until fluffy, and add eggs and beat one at a time. Add milk and vanilla. Slowly add self rising flour, and beat until combined. Sprinkle salt and fold in. Separate half the batter into another bowl.
- Add cocoa powder and fold in. 2 tbsp at a time drop vanilla batter and chocolate batter into the pans. Once all the batter has been used up take a tooth pick or knife and drag around to create a marble effect. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until you press the center and it bounces back.
I wrapped these up and put them in the freezer for a day, however they cool quite quick, and then decorated them.
I didn’t really use a buttercream recipe because it’s something I can make in my sleep! I started with about 300 g of unsalted butter (very important for it to be unsalted) added milk, vanilla extract, and icing sugar until I reached the consistency and flavor I wanted!
Thinking now a chocolate butter cream recipe would be great, if you prefer chocolate, (if I was making it for myself this what I would have done)
And this is the final result! I didn’t bring much from home other than clothes, but I did bring my pipping tools. I’m proud to add this one to the collection, it’s not my best but for what I had I think I did well!
This town was a 5 minute train ride away, and is located on this island called Anglesey, so of course I dragged out Ashley to come with me. I have Wednesdays off and get bored so I decided to take a quick trip. The town name meaning is longer than the town roughly translates to “St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave.” The town literally changed the name to make it longer just to drum up tourism. I guess it worked.
We went to a really cute little restaurant that had amazing tea and food, and the best Calamari I have ever had. But other than that there wasn’t much to do around, and the next train was coming in two hours so we walked back instead. There’s this bridge called the Menai bridge and it’s stunning. It was about a 45 minute walk to the bridge, 15 minutes to actually get across it, and then another 45 to get back to our flats. The views on the way to the bridge, and from the bridge made it worth it. When in Wales right.
See those mountains? Thats the Snowdon Mountain range, you may recongize it from Penrhyn Castle.
The views once we reached the bridge were equally breath taking.
The castle and cathedral count remain the same.
Cathedral Count: 3
Apparently it’s not a real castle, but it was suppose to be a hunting lodge… which is insane. It’s beautiful and huge, I cant even imagine having so much money that I go to built a hunting lodge and end up building a castle.
The entire Castle won’t even fit into one picture, not even a panorama could fit the entire thing.
Even though the day was cloudy, and the grounds were muddy from rain the night before it did not rain while we were there and for that I count it as a success!
There were beautiful gardens that were fairy tale- quality, and had a eerie quality to them while in the winter but I’m sure in the spring or summer, it’s even more stunning.
The views from the castle were stunning themselves. From one side you get rolling hills, and the sea (or maybe it’s the menai straights), and on the other side you get the Snowdon Mountain range, which luckily looked like it just snowed recently and had a lot of snow on top.
The inside of the castle wasn’t open so I’ll have to go again one day when it is.
Once again this is a place I want to travel back to when the weather is a bit warmer, because I’m sure the grounds are stunning. Now our castle count and cathedral count are all tied up.
Castle Count: 3
Cathedral Count: 3