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Cirencester bookshop Waterstones opened their new café at the end of January and we visited for a coffee and a cake last weekend. Previously the space had been home to a Costa Coffee which we very rarely visited  (there was already another larger Costa Coffee in the town). We were presently surprised by the new café, the staff were very friendly and helpful.

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Speaking with the staff we found out that the café uses local produce from Cirencester’s Whiddetts Bakers and cakes from Chalford’s Lavender Bakehouse.

I had a soya hot chocolate and a millionaire’s shortbread, mum had a black coffee and regular shortbread and dad had a white coffee (the milk was served in a glass milk bottle like we used to have milk served in Primary School) and a flapjack followed by a piece of chocolate and beetroot cake.

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Aside from the selection of hot drinks ans cakes the menu also included sandwiches, fresh fruit smoothies, organic yoghurt, smashed avocado on toast and affogato (espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream).

The café itself had a wartime vibe to it both in the decor and crockery used, I found it cute. :-)

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We’ll be back again very soon!



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I prefer handmade gifts for Valentine’s Day or handmade gifts mixed with some store bought items, such as hampers or gift baskets.

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The hamper above was made for Valentine’s Day 2012 and it mostly consisted of novelty items, some chocolates and small items of clothing (socks, boxer shorts etc). As well as a “date night jar” (inspired by: Life in the greenhouse.com) and some love coupons.

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For the date night jar I used coloured card to write down date ideas and coloured coded them based on the type of activity and cost, i.e. “free indoors”, “free outdoors”, “inexpensive” and “expensive and/or requires planning”. I also thought of adding to the jar and doing some seasonal ones.

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The love coupons pictured are the ones I made in 2010, I also made in a different style in 2012. The coupons contained date nights, massages, pampering etc and some raunchier themes.

For the first year anniversary of my ex partner and I we both decided to make each other a paper themed gift. I created a “365 reasons why I love you” binder, the idea was one reason for each day we’d been together (this was in 2012).

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He really liked it and found it very thoughtful. It was very simple to put together; you could also put the reasons in a jar (inspired by: Cutout and Keep ).

I also think home cooked meals are a great idea. :-)

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^^^ Yummy cheese fondue
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^^^ Heart shaped pizza

You could also bake for your partner, in previous years I’ve made chocolates, cakes, mini cakes, biscuits and cookies.



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Ryan and I have decided to give Fish Friday’s and “Tofu” Tuesday’s a try recently – we don’t actually have tofu on Tuesday’s but vegetarian Tuesday’s didn’t have the same ring to it, instead we’re going meat free on Tuesday’s and have a fish meal on Friday’s.

We’ve been trying this out since the beginning of January and it’s going great. :-) This is one of our recent fish dishes.

You will need
260g Mediterranean tomato sauce
240g skinless, boneless cod fillets 
40g breadcrumbs
4g mixed herbs
10g grated cheese
Juice of 1 Lemon

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C

Spoon the mediterranean sauce into an ovenproof dish and nestle the fish fillets in the sauce.

Combine the breadcrumbs, mixed herbs, cheese and lemon juice then scatter over the fish.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the fish flakes.

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Serve with new or mashed potatoes.