Shopping Made Easy

Shopping Made Easy

Click on the picture to go to the Twitter hashtag. You’ll see lots of local goodies there

The Funny Thing Is…

Hashtags! Do you find them confusing? Do you use them but don’t know why? The funny thing is that many people don’t really know how to use them so let me try to quickly explain;  A hashtag is just a label or name given to a section in a very large database.  That’s it!  It’s just a database.  Every time you write a post and use a hashtag your post will go to the appropriate folder in the database.  If you use two hashtags your message will go to two folders in the database.  To search for your messages just go to the search bar in your chosen social media platform and type in the name of the hashtag.  From there you’ll find your post as well as everyone else posts who have used the same hashtag.  However, do be aware that the hashtag is specific to the social media platform you’re using so if you type a message on Twitter you won’t be able to find your post if you search for it on Facebook.

At this point you may be wondering what the hashtag has to do with Shopping Made Easy?  The answer to that is quite simple of course.  Using Twitter just type in #LincsArtCraftHour to your search bar to see what local art, craft, sculpture and photographic posts have been included over the last few weeks.  You’ll find everything from needlework to paintings, cards and photography and the list is growing steadily.  Not only will you find pictures but you’ll also discover links to local Etsy shops and Facebook pages too so you really can shop on line while keeping your money in the local economy.  It’s a win, win situation don’t you think?  To make life even easier for you I’ve included links to the most recent artists & crafters below.

Not on Twitter? Not everyone is of course so if you’re a Facebook user don’t despair because you can still access some of the messages from the local artists by typing in #LincsArtCraftHour to your search bar.

Facebook #Hashtags

If you’re a Facebook user please don’t despair because you can type in the hashtag #LincsArtCraftHour to the search bar to find everything that’s been posted there.  You’ll find several blogs as well as some posts by the local artists.  I haven’t tried it on Instagram yet but I can assure you it will be coming.

What’ve You Missed?

Lots of gift ideas have been posted including Christmas decorations and cards but the question really should be ‘who’ have you missed?  That’s easy to remedy; You’ll find a list below which includes some contact details too

Advert

Breakfast £3.70, Afternoon Tea £7.50 and 3 course dinners available too. What’s not to like? Why not visit The Eatery, 36 Park Street, Lincoln next time you’re in town? Please get in touch first though to book your visit. Just click on the picture to go to the Lincoln Age UK Facebook page or follow them on twitter @ageuklsl It’s all for charity and you get fed at a bargain price too! 

The Local List:

This list is set to grow and grow so please do make a note to keep checking in to see who else has joined us:

Twitter                                        Facebook                                        Etsy                                      Website

@MelLangtonArt                        Mel Langton Art

@BurtonWard9                          Burton&Ward                                     Burton Ward

@origartprints                            fiduncart artist 

@elliestreasures                       elliestreasures                                     Ellies Treasures UK

@chrisdobbinart                       watercolourportraits

@Amanda_schonhut               Amanda Schonhut Photography

@jpbphotography                    Light And Dreams Photography 

@Scarletimpress1                   Scarlet Impressions Art                        Scarlet Impressions

@EnglandCreate                                                                                  Create-England

@ShaliniAustin                        Shalini.Austin

@Blackbird1976                                                                                   HDArtIllustration

@KcbraidsBeads                     KC Braids & Beads                              KC Braids & Beads

@Anitas_Cards_4U

Advert 

Mandarin Therapies and @MandarinMothers provide a bespoke mobile complementary therapies service throughout the County and beyond. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment today. Click on the picture to go straight to the Mandarin Therapies Facebook page.

More To Come 

So far the active hashtags are #LincsConnect #LincsConnectJobs #LincsConnectChristmas and #LincsArtCraftHour but keep watching as there will be more interesting hashtags coming very soon.

In Case You Missed It…

Here are some quick links to take you to some more blogs that you may find interesting:

How Will Christmas Look In 2020?

Help Me, Help You

#LincsConnectChristmas

Charity

AgeUK Lincoln & South Lincoln are a registered charity needing your donations. However, you also have the chance to purchase an inexpensive meal here and be pleased to know that the profits will be going straight to the charity.

Let’s face it, you’re older now than when you first started reading this blog! Age creeps up on us all so it’s nice to know there is a charity here to help us when we need it.  If you would like breakfast, afternoon tea or a full meal don’t forget to book your place early.  Breakfast starts at 9.30am.

Stay Safe

Please go ahead and enjoy yourself but lease also remember to stay safe.  Keeping a social 2m distance, regular hand washing and wearing a mask when required will help you, your family, friends and everyone around you.

Food And Drink – Collect And Deliver In Lincolnshire

Food And Drink – Collect And Deliver In Lincolnshire

When The Sun Goes Down…

Are you a lunchtime or evening meal sort of person?  Whether you prefer to call it dinner or tea it makes no difference but I’m guessing the majority of people reading this will have their main meal in the evening.  Perhaps the ‘lockdown’ has helped to change your eating habits?  I do know that initially (way back in March) we were all suddenly thinking about food and toilet rolls.  However, the initial rush and panic seems to be over now and our shopping habits are starting to return to something close to normal.  Have you been missing your normal foods though?  Many of them have been in short supply and we have been discouraged from nipping out to our favourite restaurants to eat with friends.  However, some Lincolnshire companies have come up with some ingenious ways of surviving the lockdown so I thought I would share with you some of the establishments that I know of who are still trading and supplying take-away food and drink for us all to enjoy.

We don’t have to wait for the sun to go down to enjoy our dinner (or is it tea)? but it does pay to plan ahead.  If you’re looking for something for lunch, dinner or an evening feast let’s see if we can share some ideas.  I’ll list some of the Lincolnshire establishments that I know of but it certainly won’t be exhaustive so if you know someone that I’ve missed out please let me know in the comments below:

Alford 

Caythorpe Water Mill are providing takeaway pizzas and burgers so if you’re in the area why not pre-book yours today? Just click on the picture to place your order or telephone 01507 451366   

Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese provide delivery throughout the UK as well as pre-arranged sales direct from the farm. Click on the logo to go straight to their website www.lincolnshirepoachercheese.com or follow them on twitter @Poachercheese

Mail order Poacher Cheese delivered straight to your door. Click on the picture to go to the Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese Twitter page

 

Apley

Apley Lamb (Near Wragby) offers a free local delivery of freshly boxed lamb cut to order. Click on the logo to go straight to their facebook page or follow on Twitter @ApleyLamb

 

Post Covid-19 – Are We Ready?

Without doubt things have changed.  The way we have lived our lives, the way we have thought, the way we have communicated, the way we have shopped….. A huge proportion of what we’ve done over the last few months has changed compared to what we were doing in February.  I never would have thought that I would have managed without my car but since the Covid-19 outbreak my car has been on the drive and hasn’t moved other than to roll it forwards or backwards a few inches to prevent flat spots on the tyres.  There will be a time in the not too distant future when I’ll be using it again of course.  Being a mobile masseur and Personal Trainer I’ll need to be thinking of ways to see my clients again while keeping them (and myself) safe.  We do of course, have the threat of re-infection looming over us so now is the time to make adjustments to help prevent that from happening.

Social media has been a lifeline for many of us as it’s allowed us to maintain contact with friends and followers throughout the lockdown.  I’ve used it to collate lots of information and keep in touch with all sorts of people.  It’s reminded me just how resilient we are and how well we can adapt.  However, we are entering a new era at the moment where some of our old rules and precautions need to be revised.  Shops are starting to open again which really is positive news but I wonder how many shop owners and local businesses have really thought through the precautions required for safely re-opening or increasing the staff levels in the immediate aftermath of Covid-19?  Social (or should that be ‘physical’) distancing is at the top of our agenda at the moment of course.  Those of us who have used the supermarkets recently have become used to it very quickly and the small businesses (butchers, bakers, local food stores) have become adept at restricting the numbers of people allowed in the shop at once.

Recent conversations on social media with Alex of The Specialist Safety Group have made me realise that many of us may not be as ready as we thought we were for the ‘grand re-opening’ of our businesses.  Yes, we all know about distancing and restricted entry to our businesses but have we considered other Health & Safety at Work issues too?  We don’t want, or anticipate having a fire at work but we have to plan for it.  How would fire evacuation change with the new distancing precautions?  Perhaps we have a dedicated first responder at work should someone be taken ill.  Have rules change with the distancing precautions?  Perhaps insurance companies may require us to have new documentation/risk assessments post lockdown?  What about cleaning?  Will our ‘normal’ cleaning practices need to change?  I know my cleaning practices will have to change.  My massage couch and exercise equipment will need to be cleaned with different solutions from now on.

If you have any concerns about starting up again and returning to ‘business as normal’ you might like to chat to Alex at the Specialist Safety Group Ltd.  He has a dedicated ‘Return To Work Safely’ package that normally costs around £339.00 but by quoting this LincsConnect blog you’ll be able to receive a 10% discount.  I’m sure this offer won’t last forever though so contact Alex on 07870 760 145 to confirm your discount.  You can also email him at specialistsafetyoffice@gmail.com or click on the logo above to go straight to the website

 

Baumber

Stourton Estates is delivering Venison around the County and orders over £25.00 can enjoy FREE delivery within 20 miles of LN9 5PB

 

Boston

Mountain Abbey Parks Farm Shop selling fresh and cooked meats, chutneys, plumb bread….. You’ll need to click on the picture to follow the link to their Facebook page for a full list!

Follow @MountainsFarm1 on twitter for more info

 

Brigg

Fully online and sold locally around the County you can easily get your hands on some of these award winning botanical chocolates. simply click on the logo to go straight to Fionas’ website to learn more or click this link Sciolti Chocks to follow on Facebook

 

Caistor

Sandhams Wine Merchant in Caistor offer both in store (social distance rules apply) and mail order options with a huge range of wines and easy to navigate price list. Click on this link to go to their Facebook page or click on their logo to go straight to the website

 

Cleethorpes/Grimsby

 

Docks Beers is more than just ‘beer’ but you’ll need to visit their shop to discover their full range – and it’s all delivered too! If you fancy a gin, they’ve got that covered too. click on the logo to go straight to their website/shop.

For more information about Docks Beers click on the photo to go to their facebook page or follow them on twitter @DocksBeers

 

Message In A Bottle deliver a huge range of drinks across Cleethorpes & Grimsby. From local to international beers, gins, rums…. You need to check their website for a full list. You can find them on Facebook by clicking on their logo or or on Twitter @miabcleethorpes

This picture says it all so just click on it to go straight to the order page. Enjoy

 

Let’s Get Back to Doing What We Do Best

I don’t know about you but I’m really ‘chomping at the bit’ to get cracking again.  I love helping people and making them feel better whether that’s through exercise, massage, injury rehabilitation or injury prevention.  Many people will have been suffering with stress related problems since the lockdown and my diary is already starting to fill with new clients who are suffering with neck, shoulder, back and sleep issues as a result of the lockdown.  If you are in need of help please feel free to contact me at martin@mandarinleisure.com or pay a visit to my website www.mandarintherapies.com or www.mandarinfitness.com where you’ll get a better idea of what I have to offer.  I’m also on facebook of course Mandarin Therapies & Mandarin Fitness so feel free to follow me there too.

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO PLAY THE FULL VIDEO

When I say I have a website; if you visit it you’ll quickly notice that it’s a very old site.  I do have a new one but I would much rather be doing my fitness and therapies than ‘wasting time’ on the website stuff!  Am I alone?  Does anyone else put off doing admin ‘stuff’ in favour of getting on with the real work?

As a sole trader I really value my time with clients and would much rather be doing what I do best than shuffling paper and files!  Needless to say, much of my admin work gets put off to the last minute before getting actioned.  I know I shouldn’t but…!

Perhaps I should consider the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA)?  I’ve been chatting to Nikki from www.Time4U-VA.co.uk who certainly seems to have the admin sorted!  My muddled, dyslexic brain is reflected on my muddled and (seemingly) disorganised desk.  Unlike Nikki who is adept at multi tasking with a clear desk.  Is there such a thing as desk envy?

Perhaps it’s time to re-think my working practices?  I know that I’m going to have to work very long hours (and probably 7 days a week) to catch up with the backlog of work over the months between now and Christmas.  I’m guessing that my experience will be mirrored across many industries and not least by the food & drink industries.  Let’s face it, Lincolnshire has some fine artisan food and drink producers as well as some fantastic restaurants and bars.  Preparing and serving or delivering these fantastic products is a passion for most but I wonder how many really have the time for updating menus and completing the admin?  Don’t get me started on book keeping! Thankfully I don’t have payroll issues being a sole trader but I can imagine they will be a necessary evil for many businesses. Perhaps ‘now’ is the time to consider how we are going to tackle the admin while staying on top of our game with our work.  Perhaps Nikki can help you?

Click on the logo to go straight to the website

 

Gainsborough

Fully Online – You can order your No 12 Chocolatier handmade chocolates online now and receive them in the post. That’s an offer you can hardly refuse! Follow @No12Chocolatier on Twitter and just click on the picture to go straight to the online shop.

 

Uncle Henrys Farm Shop is providing a home delivery service within a range of 10 miles but don’t let the Gainsborough address fool you as it’s situated on the A15 and the delivery range is quite extensive. Click on the picture to follow them on Facebook or follow them on twitter from here: @unclehenryslinc

 

Grantham

Brakes Food Hub in Grantham provides the full call & collection service for all of your food shopping from fresh to frozen to cake to…. you’ll need to click on the picture to go to their website to see more. Offering a call and collect service 7 days a week. Tel 0344 800 4900 (option 4) place your order. Follow @John_Nicky on twitter too for more updates.

 

Gelston Lamb deliver in the Grantham/Sleaford areas. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter for more updates @GelstonLamb

 

Teaspoon Tea Company have a free local delivery service and a full mail order selection including tea, coffee, gift packs, gift vouchers, birthday cards, chocolate by @No12Chocolatier honey by @ArtisanHoneyCo and quite a bit more. Click on the picture to go to their website. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised

 

Heighington

Anderson’s Family Butchers are providing a ‘text and collect’ system in Heighington. Simply text our order then collect when it’s ready. 07983003435 or 07880745083 – click on the picture to follow on Facebook

 

Ingham

The Inn On The Green, Ingham (on the outskirts of Lincoln) are providing a local takeaway service of food and drinks. Click on the photo to go straight to the order form and you can follow them on Facebook The Inn On The Green Ingham  

 

Lincoln

The Bowl Full Tapas restaurant will be providing pre-paid take away meals from 15 May. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page or follow them on twitter @BowlFullTapas

 

Browns Pie Shop – Orders are cooked and delivered cold for re-heating at home. Orders can be delivered or collected. Click on this picture for more info or call 07809 477126 to pace an order

 

Cafe Portico are now providing take away pizza for your delight. Orders taken from your car (or on foot if you’re walking there), cooked to order and delivered fresh to you when it’s ready. All made possible with mobile contactless payments. Click on the logo to visit their Facebook page or go to their website for the latest menu www.cafeportico.co.uk You can also follow them on twitter @CaffePortico

 

Grow Your Own

Isn’t it fantastic that we have all of these lovely local Lincolnshire restaurants, cafes and takeaways who’re working hard to serve us during the lockdown and beyond.  They really have been up against it and are a testament to the resilience that has been so evident during the lockdown.  Being in Lincolnshire we’re lucky to have such wide open spaces with lots of farmers producing some superb crops for us and for the local restaurants.  Wouldn’t it be nice though if we could produce some of the fruit and vegetables for ourselves?  Not all of us are able to enjoy a large garden so perhaps a vegetable patch isn’t a high priority when we need to consider making our space into a multi purpose area for children to play and for us to relax.  However,  having chatted to Simon (you may remember him from previous blogs) I think he’s found the perfect solution.  If you have space for a straw bale in your garden or yard it appears that you have space for a vegetable patch!

Having looked around Simon’s website I’m at a loss as to what to include here.  Not only does he run StrawbaleVeg growing courses from your own home (corporate events too) but he sells own brand seeds at realistic prices.  I was very impressed to learn that while some others had increased prices significantly during the lockdown Simon kept his prices static.  Well done Sir, I’m very impressed.  It’s little things like this that catch my attention and impress me the most. I digress – who would have thought that you could grow your vegetables in a concrete yard or in such a small space?  Obviously Simon did and I think it’s a fantastic idea.  I was going to include pictures of the vegetable seeds that he supplies but there are far to many to list here.  If you click on the picture above you’ll be taken straight to the www.strawbaleveg.co.uk website where you’ll be able to make your won selection and have them delivered.

Click on this picture to purchase The Strawbale Gardeners Handbook Vol 1

Would you believe that Simon has also produced an eBook which can be downloaded by clicking on the picture above ‘and’ a DVD that can be purchased from the website www.strawbaleveg.co.uk – you have been busy Simon!

Curry Jacks provides a mobile service around the Lincoln area on a Pre-Order basis. Take a look at their Facebook page for regular updates by clicking on the logo or follow on Twitter @CurryJackscaf 

 

Damons, Doddington Road, Lincoln will be offering a drive through service from Thursday 21 May 20. Call ahead with your order (01522) 887722 or click on the menu to visit their website

 

Doddington Hall Farm Shop are still open for your shopping but please obey the social distancing rules. Follow them on Twitter @DoddingtonHall or click on the logo to find them on facebook.

 

FAB Craft Beer from Fiskerton are busy delivering boxed beer as well as bottled beers around the Lincoln area so why not click on the picture to follow them on Facebook or perhaps follow them on Twitter too @FABcraftbeer

 

The Garden Tea Room in North Hykeham is providing a Lincoln and surrounding area home delivery service for a modest £2.00 and they also have cakes, cheesecakes and lots more goodies to choose from. Click on this picture to follow them on Facebook and take a look at their menu below:

 

Burton Waters is the home to The Greek House who are now providing takeaway meals. Have a look at their menu and pre-order on 01522 542758. Click on the menu to follow them on Facebook

 

Imperial Teas of Lincoln are providing FREE DELIVERY on their mail order teas and coffees right now. That’s a great offer that can’t last forever so be sure to get your order in quickly. You can follow Imperial Teas Lincoln on facebook or on Twitter @Imperial_Teas Click on the logo to go straight to website to make your order – If you like your coffee strong I can personally recommend the Voodoo Comet.

 

Lincolnshire Brewing Company – delivering a selection of beers to suite every taste or collect directly from Langworth. Click on the picture to find them on facebook or follow them on Twitter @LincsBrewCo

 

MaCH Indian Restaurant (Wragby Road) are now offering a takeaway service. Click on the logo to find them on Facebook or go straight to their website to place your order www.machrestaurant.co.uk

 

Ole Ole Tapas Bar offer a delivery and (social distancing) collection service for their meals. Click on the logo to go to their Facebook page and click on the link here to go straight to their menu/order form www.oleolelincoln.co.uk or call them on  01522 534222

 

Lincoln & Gainsborough – Redhill Farm Shop offer a delivery and contactless collection service with safe in-store shopping too. Click on the picture to go straight to their website or follow them on Twitter @RedhillFarmPork

 

Sammys Chinese takeaway is set to open again on 20 May with social distancing rules in place (of course). Click on the picture to go to the ‘Lincoln food To Go’ Facebook group page. You can find Sammy’s Kitchen at Unit 11 Lambeth House, Woodhall Drive and you can call to make your order on 01522 567333

Cafe Shanti Vegan restaurant are now doing take away hot and frozen food (including breakfasts and curries) so why not order yours today? you can call them on 07735161481 or find them on twitter @Cafe_Shanti and Facebook by clicking on the picture

 

Veg Out Lincoln provides a delivery service in the Lincoln area including a vegan inspired recipe box and plant powered food plan. Gemma will have her new online booking site and new website ready very soon but in the mean time you can contact her through twitter @vegoutincoln or click on the picture for a link to her book

 

Louth

Beaumon’t Deli on Bridge Street in Louth are open to take your orders. You can follow them on Facebook Beaumont’s Deli or call 01507 355927

 

Market Deeping

Takeaway Weekends. Call 01778346952 to order or click on this picture to go to the website

 

 

Market Rasen

Cote Hill Cheese delivers cheese and milk locally. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page

 

Minting

Minting (near Wragby) Farm Shop has a collection service with your safety in mind. Give them a call today to place your order. Click on the logo to go straight to their website

 

Skegness 

Lymn Bank Farm handmade cheese. FREE delivery on orders over £20.00. You can follow them on Twitter @lymnbankfarm or click on this logo to go straight to their Facebook page

FREE DELIVERY. Go too www.postacheese.com for details and your order form or click on this picture to take you straight there.

 

Sleaford

A Little Luxury Distillery is still taking orders for Gin & Rum which will be delivered direct to your home. Click on the picture to go to the shop or follow on Facebook A Little Luxury and Twitter @ALittleLuxuryLt

 

Spalding

A real pub providing real beer. Buy a bottle and bring it back to get a refill – what an excellent idea. Click on the picture to find them on Facebook for an up-to-date- list of times and ales

 

Spilsby

Takeaway Afternoon Tea from @TheElm_Tree just outside Spilsby. Click on the picture to find them on Facebook and don’t forget, you can buy gift vouchers too!

 

Woodhall Spa

Woodhall Spa Bakery & Delicatessen provides fresh bread, cakes meats and much more. A gem in the Woodhall Spa crown offering Safe Distancing shopping. Click the picture to go to their Facebook page

 

The India Village restaurant and takeaway are providing takeaway meals during the lockdown. If you would like to order your meal click on the logo to go to the website or follow them on Facebook India Village. Alternatively you can give them a call on 01526 354657 or 01526 352223

 

The Tea House In The Woods is providing a range of foods from Afternoon Tea to Roast Meals and they’re all Take Away too with strict social distancing rules. click on the picture to go to their website or give them a ring on 01526 354455. You can also find them on Facebook at Tea House In The Woods

 

All this talk of food has made me quite hungry!  This list is going to be added to but I’m going to get myself something to eat now.  Bon appetite everyone and please don’t forget to let me know if there are any takeaway/safe shopping food outlets that need to be on here as I can add them later.

 

Stay Safe

 

Mandarin Therapies provides a bespoke mobile complementary therapies service from the comfort of your own home. Gift vouchers are available now then book your massage for later in the year. Mandarin Therapies “Feel the difference”

After The Coronavirus… What’ve We Got To Look Forward To? Part 3

After The Coronavirus… What’ve We Got To Look Forward To? Part 3

Summer Holiday

I don’t know about you but I’m not considering a holiday abroad this year.  My mind is focused on our present situation and I’m inclined to stay in the UK for my summer holiday in 2020.  Yes, I can see us coming to an end of this coronavirus lockdown in the not too distant future but my mind is focused more on the safety of home rather than risks of traveling further afield. From my conversations on social media I know I’m not the only person thinking this way.  With that in mind, I’m wondering where I should be heading to and what I could possibly do in Lincolnshire that I haven’t already done before.

Following the recent death of my father, my son and I made a promise to make sure that we keep making memories by doing something together every other month.  The brief is that we take it in turns to organise something and that it must be low budget.  I organised the first weekend away but I’m afraid his turn has been curtailed by the Coronavirus travel restrictions.  However, it’ll take more than coronavirus to make me waver from the plan so It’s time to plan our next adventure.  Our first outing was a night in Harrogate and a walk from Harrogate to Knaresborough along the banks of the river Nidd.  It’s a walk I have done many times as a youngster and I was keen to share it with my teenage son.  I’ve never tried fishing before so that was his plan for me.  These trips are designed to bring us closer together but at the same time provide some new experiences.  We both have a love of walking so my first choice was quite easy.  Fishing…. well, that is his idea of fun so I’m duty bound to go with him so that he can teach me and let me experience something new.  I’m all for it but I’m afraid it didn’t work out in March. I’m hoping the travel restrictions will be lifted sometime in May so that we can get out and enjoy some more time out together.

Low Budget

Trips to London are something we both enjoy but, even on a low budget, it’s an expensive area.  With travel costs, accommodation, a few cups of coffee and meals out it’s easy to spend several hundred pounds.  The point of the exercise is to enjoy our time together and not spend lots of money.  With that in mind, and with it being my choice of activity in May I’m choosing a walk in the Lincolnshire Wolds.  We both have walking boots and all the clothing so the only expense will be meals and accommodation.  I have a plan!

The Southern Wolds

As I work on Saturdays the chosen location for the weekend has to be reasonably local.  The idea is to travel on Saturday afternoon/evening,  B&B overnight if needed, spend the day walking on Sunday and return home refreshed on Sunday evening.  However, being so close to home (half an hour) an overnight stay isn’t really necessary. My plan then is to walk from Bolingbroke Castle to Snipedales Country Park via Hameringham with our return leg being from Snipedales Country Park to Hundleby via Hagworthingham and Raith and back to Bolingbroke. If we make it in time we will also partake in an afternoon tea at the award winning Elm Tree B&B in Hundleby.  Well, why not?  We are both busy and it’s not often that we get to spend quality time together.  I haven’t worked out the mileage yet but we are both fit and very fast walkers.

Bolingbroke Castle

If you haven’t been before I highly recommend a visit. It’s ideal for picnics and local walks and the children will have great fun playing and reenacting battles as knights of old or perhaps hide and seek. The postcode for your sat nav is PE23 4HH

Bolingbroke Castle outer wall

For more information and details of events visit Heritage Lincolnshire. Access their website by clicking on the picture or why not pay them a visit on twitter @HeritageLincs

Onward then to Snipedales Country Park where we’ll be able to explore some of the 220 acres of the country park and nature reserve with it’s steep sided valleys, wildlife, a variety of trees  and streams.  If we can get the timing right and restrictions are lifted we may get chance to join the one of the guided walks.  If you’re interested why not click on the picture below to go to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website where you’ll find up-to-date information.  At the moment the website is showing the event to be cancelled but I live in hope that restrictions will be lifted by then and the walks will be re-instated.

 

Click on the picture to go straight to the Lincs Wildlife Trust website and why not follow them on Twitter too? Here they are: @LincsWildlife

Snipedales Country Park will probably make an ideal stopping place for a packed lunch.  After that, it’s onwards to Hagworthingham where we’ll hopefully stop to photograph the Stockwith Mill.  This is a picture from the internet and I’m afraid there is no reference to credit the original photographer.  It is a lovely picture though and I hope we’ll be able to do the Mill the same justice.

 

Hagworthingham

Hagworthingham. Click on the picture to find it on Google Maps

I have no doubt there will be plenty of photo opportunities during our walk so a timetable isn’t really going to work!  However, I know it’ll be fun and worth the effort.  About 2.5 miles (by road) to Raithby

 

Raithby

The small Methodist chapel at Raithby Hall in Raithby by Spilsby is one of the oldest in England.

The small Methodist Chapel (on the far right of the building in the picture above) is the oldest Methodist Chapel in Lincolnshire and is still in use today.  It was opened by John Wesley on 5 July 1779 – that makes it even older than me!  With a bit of luck we’ll be able to take a picture or two before heading off across country to Hundleby for afternoon tea at The Elm Tree B&B (time permitting).

 

Hundleby

The Elm Tree B&B, Hundleby. Click on the picture to go to Google Maps

If you’re looking for an underlying motive for our walk, ‘this’ is it!  Or rather, the Afternoon Tea is.  I suspect we will already have covered something around 10-15 miles (or are) so an afternoon tea treat for father and son seems like a perfect reason to break the journey.  Boasting a full 5 Stars and having already seen pictures and read revues I’m really expecting great things.  I’m already looking forward to this as at just £20.00 each (£25.00 for the Prosecco version) and our only expense of the day I think its a bargain.  Can I tempt you?  Well, probably not but Chris and Jonathan certainly can with this picture from their website:

Afternoon Tea Vouchers are available too and are on sale NOW! Wouldn’t it be lovely to give someone a gift voucher during our lockdown to show them how much you care? £20.00 each for a selection of 5 different sandwiches, homemade cakes, scones & jam plus a selection of Stokes Teas.

Being less than half an hour away from my home it won’t be necessary to book in to the B&B and I very much doubt my son would want to share a four poster with his dad anyway!  However, if you’re making the trip and fancy staying over, this is what you’ll be treated to:

A Four Poster bed – suddenly you can understand why The Elm Tree has 5 stars and glowing revues. Click on the picture for a direct link to the website or send a quick message on Twitter @TheElm_Tree

This really is a trip that I’m looking forward to so I hope the travel restrictions and social distancing rules are lifted in time for the end of May.  However,  I do have a plan B – organise another date for June or July to make sure the whole trip goes ahead!  Perhaps a follow up blog will be in order to show off my own pictures and include some countryside images too.  After all, it ‘is’ the Lincolnshire Wolds – an ‘Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ so it would be amiss of me to deprive you of our experience.

 

Can’t Wait?

Not everyone has the patience to wait until the social distancing rules are relaxed so, just for you, there is a special take-away afternoon tea available too.  It’s the same great choice but without the hot drink.  At £12.50 per person I think it’s time to get the kettle on and get your order in don’t you?

 

Until Next Time, Stay Safe

I know we are all looking forward to the end of the ‘lockdown’ but I think it’s important to have something to focus on don’t you?

Local Honey – What’s Not To Like?

Local Honey – What’s Not To Like?

Buy Local

When it comes to buying your food do you buy locally produced food wherever possible or do you search for the cheapest available?  It’s a tough call sometimes of course but I for one would much rather support a local producer than a foreign import whenever I can.  A recent acquisition of mine is honey.  Yes, I plead guilty to buying supermarket honey sometimes but that is usually led by convenience and not taste.  We all know that there is no such thing as ‘superfoods’ or ‘wonder cures’ but honey seems to consistently crop up when it comes to choosing the nearest thing to a superfood that you can get.  Naturally produced local honey from the Artisan Honey Co is really delicious and, containing its own natural preservatives, you’ll be pleased to hear that it doesn’t need any additional ingredients to make it taste nice.

Locally Sourced

Lincolnshire not only provides the country with a very large proportion of its food but it is also a huge producer of nectar for the bees.  Looking at the global eco system and the concern about the decline in the number of bees it’s really heartening to know that Lincolnshire is playing its part when it comes to feeding nature and helping to look after our planet.  Managing the hives to ensure future honey production obviously has the benefits of ensuring the safety of our bees too.

 

Eco Bees

This isn’t an ‘eco blog’ by any means but I must admit that I’m very conscious about what we’re doing to our planet and how we could better protect it.  With that said, I wonder if you are aware that the UK imports 90-95% of the honey we consume?  I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite a shocking figure.  The carbon footprint of our honey must be enormous and the fossil fuels burned to transport it must surely be huge.  Until I looked it up I was completely unaware of how much of our honey came from abroad.  As I’m typing this I’m beginning to realise even more how important it is to ‘buy local’.  I know Si of @ArtisanHoneyCo sources his honey locally.  After all, it is his business and he has a duty of care for the bees that provide his income.  Without them there would be no Artisan Honey Co and we would be deprived of another source of top quality UK (Lincolnshire to be specific) produce.

 

Taste Test

Mmmmm!

 

Flavours

With the ever increasing demand for different flavours it makes sense to transport some of the hives out of Caythorpe for the bees to explore new locations.  The large expanses of oil seed rape will obviously provide a good source of pollen but we may have relatively small quantities of heather or Lavender so a short ‘hop’ across a County makes sense.  Unblended (flavours from a single floral source) allows us to appreciate the subtle differences in flavours rather than having a generic honey taste that the blended varieties produce.  let’s face it, that short hop is a much better scenario than a large hop across countries or continents!

 

How Do You Take Yours?

 

Producing honey since 2011 – although mine will be lucky to last a few days!

Honey on a plain cracker is going to allow us to pick up the subtle flavours more easily than on a strong tasting bread but I have to admit that I’m rather partial to honey on toast.  I asked a question on Twitter at breakfast time “Runny or set honey on my toast”?  Needless to say, the results were not conclusive so I had one slice of toast with runny honey and the other with set honey.  It seemed like a very good idea.  Someone suggested runny honey in the coffee but I like my coffee strong and bitter so I gave that one a miss.  However, I can confirm that they are both very nice neat – but don’t tell anyone that I did that!

I opened this as soon as I got it home and I can assure you that it isn’t going to be long before these jars are empty.

 

Spray It

The Coronavirus is the reason for this honey journey by the way.  If you’ve ever had a bad throat where it felt as though you’re trying to swallow razor blades you’ll know how I felt.  Si recommended a honey spray (which I used neat) to sooth the symptoms.  The spray contains alcohol and the combination certainly helped to anaesthetise the area.  I combined the spray with a small amount of neat runny honey (not both at the same time) which acted as a coating for my throat and certainly made it feel much better.  Thankfully I’ve recovered from the virus now so I’m back to relative normality.

Contact

Beeswax candles, polish and much more. Click on the picture to find The Artisan Honey Co on Facebook

 

From honey on your toast to beeswax candles and more. You can click on the picture to chat to Si on Twitter at @ArtisanHoneyCo

 

Or why not visit the website www.theartisanhoneycompany.co.uk to send an email? Simply click on the picture to find the link

 

DONATE

With all this talk about honey and my mind wandering around the subject of food it’s only right that I should include this message from the University of Lincoln Chaplaincy.  It’s a reminder that there are still people in desperate need of assistance in our County.  While many rushed out to panic buy food at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic it has become evident that there was no need to panic as food is still plentiful.  It’s a great shame that the refuse services reported a significant rise in food being thrown away by the public after the big rush with much of the food being untouched or even unopened!  With most buying restrictions being lifted now perhaps you can afford to buy a few extra tins or packets of food to donate? A little goes a long way when we all work together

If you would like contact the University of Lincoln Chaplaincy click on the picture to find them on twitter

Any donations, no matter how big or small will be gratefully received at any of the sites below.  If you’re new to donating be sure to let them know that you saw the post on #LincsConnect

Stay Safe

Stay safe everyone and remember, if a journey isn’t essential, ‘don’t do it’

After The Coronavirus… What’ve We Got To Look Forward To? Part 1

After The Coronavirus… What’ve We Got To Look Forward To? Part 1

Let’s Socialise

The list is almost endless of course.  The Coronavirus won’t be with us for ever I’m sure so it’s nice to be able to think ahead to what we would like to do once the ‘lockdown’ is over.  What would be your choice?  Fish n’ chips perhaps?  What about fine dining or a lovely pub meal?  Perhaps a trip to the seaside or a visit to your local church?  Perhaps the really important thing to focus on is the social aspect of our lives.  It’ll be lovely to just socialise again wouldn’t it?

 

The Kinema In The Woods

Perhaps it’s not an obvious choice for some but what about a trip to the cinema?  Have you ever been to The Kinema In The Woods in Woodhall Spa?  If you haven’t, I can personally recommend a visit.  Obviously you’re going to be able to see the blockbuster movies but something you might not have realised is how The Kinema has maintained its history.  Yes. there are some new screens but the ambiance remains the same.  You can still enjoy a good movie on the big screen but you’ll also enjoy a half time intermission where you can purchase your ice cream and drinks at ‘normal’ prices.  If you’re lucky you’ll be able to enjoy the dancing feet of Alan Underwood as he entertains on the spectacular organ and remote piano.

Such is the fame of The Kinema that you will no doubt be able to find numerous pictures and videos of it when you search the internet.  These pictures have been borrowed from their website but I’m sure The Kinema will be more that happy to see your pictures too if you care to share them on Twitter @TheKinema – I’m sure they will be delighted if you would follow them there too.

You can order your vouchers by clicking on the picture or here

It goes without saying of course that The Kinema has suffered the same fate as the rest of us due to the Coronavirus lockdown.  However, if you fancy purchasing some vouchers for birthday, late Mothers Day or any other day for that matter I can’t think of a nicer way to treat someone during our period of isolation.

 

The Petwood Hotel

Skipping across the village (just around the corner actually) you’ll be able to visit the fabulous Petwood Hotel.  Yes, I know I’ve mentioned it before but it is a beautiful hotel with fabulous staff and, as the spiritual home of LincsConnect it does hold a special place in my heart.

That’s me, NordicWalking in the grounds of the Petwood Hotel

The grounds and building are always spectacular and each season helps to create a special magic.  Not only have I organised Nordic Walking sessions from the hotel but Emma was kind enough to host the LincsConnect networking meetings on Friday evenings too.  With a bit of luck they will return in the not-too-distant future (let’s keep our fingers crossed).  However, in the mean time The Petwood Hotel is a lovely place to visit for Afternoon Tea, lunch, or a delicious evening meal.  The history housed in the hotel is really quite breathtaking too so if you get the chance to visit for a coffee, a glass of wine or a G&T in the gardens be sure to take a wander around inside.  You won’t be disappointed whatever the weather.

There is always a photo opportunity at the Petwood Hotel and during the winter you’ll be greeted with a warm smile and even warmer open fires

It would be a poor show if you couldn’t get a gift voucher so the Petwood Hotel is ready to deliver (excuse the pun) there too.  You can order and have a bespoke gift voucher delivered as a .PDF to your email address.  What could be more convenient?

Why wait for your treat? Why not order a bespoke gift voucher ready for your special treat this year? Click on the picture to request a e-voucher

 

Time Alone

There are so many lovely places to visit and things to do in our fabulous County so let’s not forget how diverse it is.  From the beautiful towns and villages to the wide open spaces of the fens and the rolling hills of the Wolds.  We really are lucky aren’t we?  Socialising, whether we realise it or not, is something we have (perhaps) taken for granted.  It’s not until we’ve had the luxury taken away from us for a while that we realise how much we crave it.  I’m talking from a personal point of view of course but I wonder if I’m expressing the thoughts of many.  I often like to be on my own;  Walks alone, bike rides alone, driving alone….. ‘home alone’…  but now I realise that I’m never really alone.  Family is everything to me so now I realise that my periods alone are just times to reflect and rejuvenate.

 

What Next?

Being such social creatures perhaps it’s the simple things that we have missed the most?  By the time this is all over will we have re-evaluated our priorities?  I’m only speculating of course but will we be moving away from the big corporate organisations and move instead to the family run businesses and sole traders who will offer us the quality we want without the ‘designer label’ price tags?  As we become more ecologically aware will we be less inclined to travel so far and more inclined to value what we have on our doorstep?  Let’s face it, we have so much on our doorstep that it’s difficult to decide what we want and what we are looking forward to the most.  Personally I’m looking forward to getting back outside with my Nordic Walking groups to enjoy good company in the ever changing environment that Mother Nature serves to us.

The High Street is changing and will probably not change back to what we had become used to.  Perhaps now is the time for the sole traders and small businesses to step up to the mark and become the national or even global kings and queens of the future.  Could we do it?  I’ve seen things change around me in a very short space of time.  Politicians of all persuasions are talking to each other like never before while at the same time big High Street shops are closing their doors with little or no likelihood of them re-opening again.

All of this makes me ask the question; What have we got and what are we looking forward to…?

Fish and chips?  How about Fish and chips at the seaside?  A family day out with happy people making the most of our lovely coastline.  Am I allowed to have a favourite?  Skegness, Mablethorpe, Sutton-on-Sea, Anderby Creek…. They are all fabulous seaside resorts but my personal favourite is Cleethorpes.  There is just something about it that has a draw for me and makes me want to be there.  Lovely walks along the sea front eating my fish and chips from @PapasFishNChips located on the pier, crossing the light railway and spending time around the boating lake with a coffee from the cafe in the  Discovery Centre

What’s not to like? The view of Papas Fish n’ Chips on Cleethorpes pier taken from the Blue Flag beach.  Follow them on Twitter

 

Boating lake and cafe at the Cleethorpes Discovery Centre. It’s always a ‘must visit’ place for me. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter of course so why not give them a follow?

 

Grimsby & Cleethorpes – Two ‘Must Visit’ areas of Lincolnshire

Just a short drive away form Cleethorpes is Grimsby.  If you get the chance to visit there please make a point of going to the Grimsby Central Hall.  I have visited there several times and can highly recommend it.  I once saw a performance of ‘The Armed Man’ (A Mass For Peace) performed by the Grimsby Philharmonic and was extremely impressed by the performance and also by the acoustics of the Central Hall.

Grimsby Philharmonic led by Susan Hollingworth BEM – if you get the chance to hear them perform you’re certainly in for a treat. Click on the picture to visit their website.

The Grimsby Central Hall is really worth a visit.  I was lucky enough to be given a tour once and was really surprised at what I saw.  I’m not going to give too much away as I think the Hall is worthy of a blog of its own.  However, in addition to being a fabulous building on the outside with a grand staircase on the inside and superb acoustics for performances, it also houses a Fishermans Chapel dedicated to local fishermen & Merchant Seamen who lost their lives at sea.  I’m not a historian or an architect but I really do love learning local history and taking in the architecture around me.  If you see me walking around somewhere new I’m usually the one looking up.  If you haven’t done it, I recommend you give it a try.  Look up above the boring flat glass shop windows and doors and marvel at the fantastic building above.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Grimsby Central Hall – It’s not the best picture but it does show the grander and size of the building. Click on this picture to go to their Facebook page

 

Scunthorpe

I know Scunthorpe has a lot to offer but right at the top of my list of things to do and places to visit in the area is the Appleby Frodingham Railway Preservation Society (Find them on twitter as @AFRailway).  I’m not an avid train enthusiast or train spotter but this has really captured my imagination.  I’m looking forward to the end of the Coronavirus restrictions so that I can pay a visit here.  If you haven’t heard of it before I suggest you take a look at their website www.afrps.co.uk.  You can email glenn@afrps.co.uk who I suspect will put you on a mailing list to let you know when their services begin again.  In short, the trip involves a rail tour around the steel works at Scunthorpe.  I have a feeling that it’ll be extremely interesting.

 

For more information click on the picture which will take you to the website

 

How Long Should A Wish List Be?

In a County as big as Lincolnshire I think this wish list could go on and on!  Perhaps it’s best if I pause for breath now though.  I still have walks in the Wolds, expeditions in the Fens and outings in Grantham (the canal springs to mind) and lunches in Stamford to fit in.  I think I’m going to have to do a series of blogs on the subject don’t you?

 

Any Recommendations?

My list of things to do and places to visit after the Coronavirus restrictions are lifted is very long but not by no means complete.  I know there will be many things that I haven’t visited but really ought to so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

 

“Stay Home Save Lives”

Have a good week everyone and keep smiling.  We shall get through this pandemic if we work together.  Don’t forget that #LincsConnect is here for you 24/7

Resilience Wins

Resilience Wins

Lincolnshire Businesses Fight Back

It can’t have escaped your attention that since the Corona Virus outbreak businesses and communities have adapted at an amazing rate.  Closures of our friendly and much loved businesses have meant local (and national) bosses have had to seriously ‘up their game’ in order to carry on trading.  We have enjoyed the comforts and luxuries of fine dining, takeaway dining, drinking at home, drinking in the local pubs, visiting and socialising with friends and family, theatre, cinema….. I could take up the whole blog just listing the things we have been enjoying that have come to an abrupt halt over the last few days.  Finances are obviously a big concern so making swift decisions to recoup potential future losses has been a priority for many.

Takeaway Or Takeaway…?

Being used to having so much choice it’s inevitable that the sudden closure of our local businesses has come as quite a shock.  Finances aside, it’s been heartening to see local hotels step up to the mark to carry on providing a service for us.  In Woodhall Spa the beautiful Petwood Hotel (the home of so much Lincolnshire and National history) has turned it’s hand to providing take away (or order and collect) ‘Petwood Afternoon Tea’ as well as their special ‘Petwood Basics Box’ – I haven’t had chance to sample the latter yet but I’m sure it’ll be a very special treat. It’s certainly not going to be your traditional idea of a fast food takeaway that’s for sure. Perhaps that’ll be the subject of a separate blog all of its own.

Home of so much local and national history, a beautiful building and delightful gardens it’s hardly surprising that Managing Director Emma Brealey and her fabulous team would ‘step up to the mark’ and produce something special to keep their loyal customers and friends happy.  If you haven’t visited yet I highly recommend you make it a special treat sometime later this year when the Corona Virus ordeal has relented. Here’s a little reminder of what you might experience:

Possibly one of the countries most photographed hotels. the Petwood Hotel is certainly outstanding. Give them a call on 01526 352 411 to book your next stay

 

Beautiful Borders

Lincs Connect doesn’t ‘just’ cover Lincolnshire.  We have lots of local businesses on our borders serving people from our county and one such business is Bare Waxing on Bawtry Road in Hatfield Woodhouse.  Just down the road from Scunthorpe and not too far from Gainsborough this beauty salon is run by Nichola.  Initially starting as a small beauty therapy business I have seen Nichola build it up with increasing members of staff and now a second salon in Doncaster too.  Obviously offering a waxing service but also including fake tans, nails, massages and all the usual beauty services.  Having known Nichola for some time I can personally recommend her and her team.

Bare Waxing in Hatfield Woodhouse is certainly worth a visit if you’re in the Scunthorpe area. You can contact Nichola on tel:01302846873

 

Fancy A Tipple?

Drinking in the bars, restaurants and hotels of the County aren’t an option at the moment but if you fancy a drink you could visit one of our many breweries for a takeaway beer or perhaps pay a visit to Small Beer Ltd in Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln,  Don’t be fooled by their name, ‘Small’ Beer isn’t actually a small shop, it’s more of a very successful going concern that has been around for over 40 years.  selling bottled beers and ciders through to cask ales as well as soft drinks and spirits.  In fact, they’ve got quite a range and I’m looking forward to paying a visit very soon.  Just to make life easier, you can order online or even through their own App.  Life doesn’t get much easier!

Small Beer Ltd are open to the public and can be found on Churchill Business Park, Sleaford Road, Bracebridge Heath or why not give them a ring on 01522 540 431

 

How Does Your Garden Grow…With Free Delivery

As many of us will be spending more time at home it makes perfect sense that Pennell’s Garden Centres in Lincoln, Cleethorpes and Sleaford should be offering free delivery of plants, shrubs and equipment.  As I write this I can see that the sun is shining outside and I can hear the sounds of lawn mowers and scarifiers.  Spring is here and while we have an enforced period at home what better way to responding your time than catching up with the gardening and preparing it for (hopefully) a glorious Summer.  Why not give the team a call to discuss your early Spring purchases

Pennell’s Garden Centres are located in Lincoln, Cleethorpes and Sleaford. If you would like to contact them for your Spring purchases just click pn this picture to see their website

 

On The subject of Free Delivery…

Did you know that the Doddington Hall Farm Shop is now offering free delivery and they use an electric car to do it too!  I’m sure everyone in Lincoln must be aware of Doddington Hall with its lovely walks, fantastic building and fabulous cafe and shops. Sadly the cafe is closed at the moment but the Farm shop is still in full swing offering free local delivery for up to 10 miles and a very small charge for journeys up to 25 miles.  Perhaps, as a farm shop where they produce much of their own produce I should schedule another dedicated blog to cover it and some of the other wonderful farm shops that we have in the County.  For those of us who are regular frequenters of Doddington Hall, we’ll know exactly how good it is.  If you haven’t tried their produce, you’ll just have to take my word for it.  You can visit the Doddington Hall website simply by clicking on the picture below:

Just A Sample

Obviously there is much more going on in our lovely County so this is just a very small snapshot.  If you would like me to do a full blog on your business why not get in touch?  You can tweet me of course @LincsConnect or drop me an email at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk I’ll be more than happy to help promote your local business or charity.  Talking of which, have you seen my ever expanding blog which highlights the good things people are doing during the CoronaVirus pandemic?  If you know of any good deeds happening around the county that need a mention please do get in touch.

Contact me if you would like your business or charity adding to this blog

 

That’s all I have time for at the moment but there will be more blogs and updates coming very soon.

Stay safe everyone.  Keep your distance and keep your hands clean