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A day and a night in Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Travelling just an hour out of Stansted by plane, I arrived in Frankfurt Hahn airport, on my way to visit a friend who’s living in the city for six months. Although picking cheaper flights into Hahn, rather than flying into Frankfurt main airport, meant an extended journey (it takes two hours by bus), it meant we saw the rolling green countryside that lay between the airport and the main city. It was a bank holiday weekend and from the road, you could see families pitching their tents up in the surrounding fields, ready for a long weekend camping.

My friend’s living just a few minutes walk from the city centre so it didn’t take us long to find the hustle and bustle of the Saturday morning food market…my favourite! And it didn’t disappoint – you really don’t have to go far to find lots of different traditions and cuisines.

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My first find was a crate of brightly coloured painted eggs. After a little research, I’m still unsure if this is an Easter tradition and they’re trying to shift surplus stock (although it is now May) or whether they are in fact hard boiled eggs, painted so you’re able to differentiate them from their uncooked equals. Does anyone know?

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Wandering round the market, it seemed every other stall we came to had some form of fresh herb pick ‘n’ mix offering everything from nettles to parsley. This guy’s were laid out in bunches on the table but others had theirs lined up in rows of boxes or arranged inside a nifty spinning container. Later that day we tried German Grüne Soße (green sauce) made with sorrel, chervil, chives, parsley, burnet, cress and borage. It’s traditionally a springtime speciality made with herbs from the first crop of the year which explains the abundance of herbs on offer all round the market.

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Then we took a pit stop alongside other market shoppers to try some German Apfelwein. It’s a bit like apple cider with a very bitter taste but at €1,50 a glass, you can’t complain.

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Sachertorte – a chocolate cake make with ground almonds and brushed with apricot jam and dark chocolate icing.

After perusing the market, we headed to the Palmen Garten botanical gardens as we’d been advised that the coffee and cake here was some of the best in Frankfurt. After we sipped coffee served on shiny silver trays and tried some of the treats on offer, we spent the afternoon rowing on the lake there and admiring the amazing grounds. My favourite find was this ‘Taschentuchbaum’ (left) also named ‘the dove-tree’ or ‘pocket handkerchief tree’ because of it’s beautiful white floppy petals.

Pocket handkerchief tree

For supper, we headed to Adolf Wagner, a wine tavern filled with long wooden tables that serves traditional German food (Bratwurst sausages, sauerkraut, wiener schnitzel) and, of course, more Apfelwein!

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Setting up shop

A couple of months ago, I left my 9-to-5 job at a magazine in London to set myself up as a freelancer writer. While leaving the security of a full time job felt very scary, I was excited about ‘setting up shop’ on my own. First, I set about creating my new website with the help of the very talented illustrator Andrea Turvey. And once I was satisfied with my website, I needed a shiny new workspace to match.

Setting up shop

This turquoise trolley was a savvy storage solution I found in Urban Outfitters. Although I have enough magazines to create a small library stored away in plastic boxes, I needed somewhere I could keep a few of my favourites for easy access.
Creative desk ideas

I rescued this old strawberry crate from the vegetable market, it’s great for holding bits and pieces so I can keep my desk space clear. And I’m using these old fashioned Campbell’s soup tins for holding pens and pencils.

Creative desk ideas

 

Creative desk ideas

So now I’ve got my workspace sorted it’s on with the writing, and that means many more blog posts, of course!

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Wild Frost Cafe and Flower Shop

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Saturday mornings are the busiest time of the week for the small market town of Ramsey in the heart of the Cambridgeshire fens. The area’s farmers arrive early to set up a vegetable market and, as the town fills up with local shoppers, baskets and bags in-hand, Wild Frost Cafe & Flower Shop is soon bustling with friends keen to catch up over tea and cake.

As you walk in, the scent of fresh blooms draws your eyes to the far corner from which the owner, Louise Sanderson, runs her floristry service. Next is the aroma of both savoury and sweet treats to choose from – most of the ingredients for which are supplied by Cambridgeshire-based producers, as are, where possible, the flowers. From sandwiches filled with roast beef and horseradish, and artisan cheeses from a nearby deli to creations from Tom’s Cakes, an independent bakery and patisserie in nearby Somersham, which uses free-range eggs, British sugar and locally milled flour. The counter is filled with its temptations, from chocolate and Guinness loaf, and red velvet cupcakes to scones to enjoy with jam and clotted cream – all served on mismatched vintage china.

A hub for the community, Wild Frost Cafe runs themed days such as ‘Toddler Tuesdays’, when younger members of the community can enjoy miniature treats and their parents are offered discounts on refreshments. Similarly ‘Abbey Hour’, named after the local secondary school, Ramsey Abbey, offers students discounted hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows on their way home.

Wild Frost Cafe & Flower Shop 18 Great Whyte, Ramsey, PE26 1HF, 01487 813339 (Louise also runs Wild Frost Florist, 97 High Street Somersham, PE28 3EE; 01487 741700