Monday, 17 March 2014

The Best Cafe On Lanzarote For Cyclists

Finding The Best Cafe For Cyclists On Lanzarote

A coach recently asked triathlon's famous Brownlee brothers about how they selected the routes of their long training rides and the response was that they configured them related to which particular cafe they fancied going to. Such a free form approach from Olympic athletes seems somewhat refreshing in a world obsessed with mileages and power meters although the simple truth is that cyclists love cake.
Lone Male On Tour
Sour Cherry Cake and Chocolate Cake With Coffee At Jonniebakes, Teguise, Lanzarote
As many cyclists and triathletes make their way to Lanzarote for a period of warm weather training or targeting the many events on the island there becomes a need for a good spot to stop off mid-ride (Whether on your own or with a like minded group) for the obligatory cafe stop.

Riding down from the Tabayesco climb through Los Valles and onto Teguise on the LZ 10 on my way back to Costa Teguise I saw the big sign and was just ready for coffee and cake. Jonniebakes has to have arguably one of the best possible locations in terms of attracting cyclists as we head back to our resorts from some of the best cycling climbs on Lanzarote

Lone Male On Tour
Jonniebakes Artisan Bakery and Cafe in Teguise is a great stop off for cyclists
If you've spent your morning riding up Tabayesco and over to the Mirador Del Rio you'll have worked up an appetite. In reality many of us cyclists have an insanely sweet tooth yet make up for all those calories by cycling so the opportunity to grab a slice of cake or a nice pastry will never be turned down.

My first visit to Jonniebakes came at the end of a 3 hour long interval session. I'd done all the hard work for the day including interval training up many of the climbs in the North of the island so my body and mind were ready for a stop. At home I don't tend to stop during training rides but today was an exception to my usual rule.

Upon walking into the cafe and bakery there was a small display cabinet featuring a huge selection of cakes, pastries and pasties. From near perfectly shaped donuts to sausage rolls you can tell that the owners are Brits as it feels like a quaint slice of Blighty inside the clinical white of Lanzarote's buildings.

Menu's are showcased on large slate boards as you walk in so you're never going to miss what's on display.

A Cabinet Full Of Delights
Some amazing cakes and bakes at Jonniebakes, Teguise
On my first visit I plumped for an Almond and Marzipan Croissant which was absolutely delicious and a lovely black coffee which was served in one of those American soda glasses which seem so popular right now.

I loved the food and coffee so much I came back the following day and bought my other half with me. She came up to Teguise Market on the bus whilst I had a gentle roll up deliberately early to sit outside with a coffee and Pain Au Chocolat prior to a walk around the market and return for a slice of cake- You could say I'm hooked but I do love a good bakery or cafe and Jonniebakes has to be the best on Lanzarote.

Address and Map

Jonniebakes Artisan Bakery and Cafe

Av Gran Aldea, 76
35539 Teguise
Las Palmas, Spain

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Best Cakes In Malta At Fontanella Tea Garden

Visiting Mdina isn't complete without coffee and cake at Fontanella Tea Garden

Lone Male On Tour In Malta
A Cafe With A View- Cassatella Siciliana at Fontanella Tea Garden, Mdina

Lone Male on Tour
Fontanella Tea garden
A popular stop on Malta sightseeing tours and a recommendation from the locals is Mdina. The silent city of Mdina is Malta's oldest town and was established by the Phoenicians as the country's first urban settlement which functioned as Malta's capital until it was succeeded by Valletta in 1571.

Mdina is known as the 'Silent City' and you will see very few cars around the settlement due to it's very narrow passageways and just around 400 inhabitants. Mdina offers an atmosphere of relaxed calm and despite it's attractiveness to many tourists it still maintains a charm away from the 'tat' stores seen in the coastal resorts of Bugibba where we stayed.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Lunch At The Pier House Bistro, Beaumaris

A Beautiful Setting And Some Wonderful Seafood

The Pier House Bistro, Anglesey

I absolutely love my seafood, so the opportunity to head over to the island of Anglesey off the Northwest coast of Wales had to come up trumps in the seafood sampling stakes. Having visited Conwy and Caernarfon castles on our travels with a Cadw multipass we decided to head across to Anglesey to visit the famous Beaumaris castle.

Beaumaris is a lovely little town with some really nice, quaint shops which give you the feeling you're somewhere with character and it genuinely felt like somewhere I'd not only want to visit, but consider living as well.
Lone Male In The Kitchen
Beautiful Beaumaris from the Menai Strait
We wandered around the Castle and then headed along the seafront fancying something for lunch and just off the main pier is the Pier House Bistro which caught our attention with their Fish and Chips in a Gin and Tonic Batter which sounded fantastic. 

Lone Male In The Kitchen
Fish and Chips in a Gin and Tonic Batter at Pier House Bistro, Anglesey

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A Protein Shake Smoothie With Plums And Figs

October has seen me start to ramp up the training once again. Although I've only been doing cross-training, It's been hitting my body hard as it's so used to just cycling and running so I've been having to pay attention to my recovery needs.

This morning I had a great gym session followed by an hours Spinning class as well as a further hour of helping a friend with her training towards Spartan Race and other obstacle course runs so was in the gym for around 3 hours in total. That's a lot of exercise so I need to pay attention to my recovery needs. A nice fruity protein shake smoothie with fresh plums and figs sounded a great idea.
Lone Male In The Gym
My Plum, Fig and Banana Smoothie Made With Banana Protein Shake

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Coconut, Banana And Whey Protein Recovery Smoothie

The Quest For The Ultimate Post-Workout Recovery Smoothie

My coconut, banana, nectarine and whey protein shake smoothie

My Coconut, Banana And Whey Protein Recovery Smoothie

Getting enough protein in your regular diet can be a challenge as a active individual. Whether I've been out on the bike for a few hours training, been out trail running in the nearby Sherwood Forest or hit the weights hard in the gym, I know my body needs protein for recovery and as a result I've always got a tub of protein shake powder on the go for after a hard training session. 
Drinking the same protein shakes over a period of time can get quite monotonous and subsequently really put you off taking them. Some protein powders taste significantly better than others but from my experience there's a sure-fire way of making them taste good and that's by adding fruit. Even if it's just adding a banana to a standard vanilla protein shake you can add flavour whilst getting a superfruit into your diet and get you well on the way to your '5 A Day'

I also see smoothies as a way to get fruit into a diet which is somewhat lacking in that aspect so any opportunity for me to add healthier foods into my diet is definitely a bonus when you consider what you can put into a protein shake smoothie

Friday, 20 September 2013

Tomato and Red Pepper Soup With Mr Singh's BBQ Chilli Sauce

Lone Male In The Kitchen
Mr Singh's BBQ Chilli sauce
At work the guys are all into foods with a real kick. A few weeks ago one of them bought in some BBQ chicken they'd made from a sauce their partner had purchased thinking it was a simple BBQ sauce. In fact it turned out to be a dynamite BBQ chilli sauce which is extremely strong but with an awesome taste. Step forward Mr Singh's BBQ Chilli Sauce.

Ever since that day we've had an affliction for Mr Singh's sauces with the occasional lunch time sampling and prior to a recent shopping trip I was asked if I fancied a bottle. It was on a £1 special offer at a local greengrocer's so I jumped at the chance.
Lone Male In The Kitchen
Tomato passata and red pepper soup with Mr Singh's BBQ Chilli sauce 
I had a real fancy for making a simple soup from scratch this week. I'd picked up a cheap packet of tomato passata at the weekend when shopping as well as having a red pepper left in the fridge. Hence making a tomato and red pepper soup and liking a bit of a kick I decided to add some of the Mr Singh's Chilli BBQ Sauce.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Elizabethan Food At Plas Mawr, Conwy

An insight into Elizabethan Food at Plas Mawr, Conwy

Within the medieval 13th century city walls of the Welsh city of Conwy lies Plas Mawr. Plas Mawr is arguably the finest example of an Elizabethan home to be found within the British Isles and sits within close proximity to Conwy Castle, one of Edward I's 'Iron Ring' of castles built to contain the Welsh. For a foodie Plas Mawr offers an excellent insight into Elizabethan food. 

Lone Male on Tour
The entrance to Plas Mawr, Conwy
 Built between 1576 and 1585 by Robert Wynn, Plas Mawr translates as the 'Great Hall' and symbolises a period of prosperity Wynn was a celebrated trader and courtesan who had risen to a high position within the Welsh gentry so Plas Mawr clearly showcases a situation of class and grandeur.

As someone interested in food and eating habits Plas Mawr's kitchen represents an excellent insight into Elizabethan food and what a kitchen would look like during the period in British history. 

Lone Male On Tour in Conwy, Wales
An Elizabethan kitchen with lots of vegetables at Plas Mawr

The Elizabethan Diet

Lone male on tour at Plas Mawr, Wales
A selection of meats in the pantry
which would be used in an Elizabethan kitchen
In Elizabethan times the rich (such as Robert Wyn at Plas Mawr) ate exceptionally well. Meat was always on the menu for the affluent with a huge selection of locally caught animals available to feast upon. Typical meats included lamb, beef, pork, bacon, rabbit and hare. Fowl was also very common with goose, pigeon, swan, peacock and blackbird on the menu. In areas close to ports (such as Conwy) you would also find a selection of freshwater and sea fish available. 

Fruits and vegetables also took a common place in the Elizabethan diet based on seasonal produce. Locally grown season produce included turnips, leeks, carrots and garlic. Fruits such as apples, pears and plums were also commonly eaten although there was some suspicion at the time of the benefits of eating fruit and vegetable and it was therefore significantly common for a diet of mainly bread and meat for many. 
Lone Male On Tour In Conwy, Wales
Ceramic pots and pans in an Elizabethan kitchen at Plas Mawr
It is likely that traders like Wynn will have imported some fruits and vegetables from further afield due to the presence of Conwy as a busy fishing port. Over the course of history the Tudors introduced many foods to the UK from further afield. Turkey came to the UK from as far afield as Mexico and Red Kidney Beans were imported from Peru. Tomatoes were also bought in from the New World although at the time they were actually known as Love Apples.

Elizabethan culinary tastes were not as advanced as today and a lack of knowledge will have meant such foods will have been kept as special delicacies and the likelihood is that the cooks would not have been able to cook these foods to bring out their optimal flavours as we know know.

Elizabethan Desserts

Marzipan fish- a traditional Elizabethan dessert
The Elizabethans loved their desserts and in some ways desserts took a more significant role for cooks in the kitchens of the rich. Tarts and cakes were often made especially when guests were expected. Marzipan modelling was popular as per the fish featured above. Animals and fruits were often made out of marzipan to be enjoyed at the Tudor dinner table.

Why not visit Plas Mawr and see more for yourself.

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