Dementia beds and staffing in Norfolk and Suffolk cut by almost a third ahead of looming increase in cases

Former Waveney MP, Bob Blizzard speaking at a rally to sending a message to the government and the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust to think again on proposals for cuts to local mental health care services. </p>
<p>Picture: James Bass

Former Waveney MP, Bob Blizzard speaking at a rally to sending a message to the government and the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust to think again on proposals for cuts to local mental health care services. Picture: James Bass

Mental health bosses have warned that Norfolk and Suffolk does not have the capacity to cope with a looming increase in dementia cases after beds and staffing numbers were cut by almost a third.

Changing dementia care in Norfolk and Suffolk

 There are five Dementia Intensive Support Teams (DIST) across Norfolk and Suffolk, which aim to support people living with dementia in the community and ensure that they receive the help they need to remain at home wherever possible.

The first was set up in the Norwich area four years ago with the others being established over the last year as part of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s radical redesign of mental health services.

The west Norfolk team, which was established last August, consists of 12 mental health practitioners, an occupational therapist and two psychiatrists, all based at Chatterton House in King’s Lynn.

Around 85pc of the patients the team sees have dementia, while the remaining 15pc suffer from mental illness, such as depression. To meet demand, the service is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

Andrew Lillywhite, team leader of the west Norfolk team, said moving people with dementia out of their homes to unfamiliar surroundings was not always in their best interests.

“We aim, wherever possible, to help people to stay at home because we know how important being in a familiar environment is for their wellbeing. We want to avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital, however, everything depends on the quality of life at home and we have to take into consideration individual circumstances.”

“Once we’ve received a referral from a GP or hospital, we like to visit the patient as soon as possible. We always check the patient’s physical health, as we know that it’s important to eliminate any physical problems first. Following a full assessment, we can offer advice with medication and care and we also act as a signposting service, explaining to carers how they can access further support and help.”

“The establishment of DIST has enabled us to see far more patients than we could before. For us, it’s all about enabling people to reach their full potential while suffering from a limiting illness. Team members can see the bigger picture when they meet the patient with other family members,” he said.

Campaigners have called on Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to rethink its proposals to close some inpatient wards with warnings that thousands more people will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia over the next 15 years.

Figures revealed under a freedom of information (FoI) request show that the number of dementia beds across the two counties has been reduced from 140 to 96 over the last two years. Officials from the mental health trust said bed numbers had been cut through a service redesign and the creation of new Dementia Intensive Support Teams (DIST) to treat more patients at home.

However, the FoI response revealed that the number of staff working in older people’s services at NSFT has been cut from 528 to 357 over the last year. The number of people with dementia is set to grow from 13,000 to more than 20,000 by 2025. Fourteen “alternative to admission” beds have been set up in Norfolk and Waveney where patients can be taken to a nursing home, rather than being admitted to hospital.

However, when asked if the trust had enough capacity for increased numbers of people living with dementia, Kathy Chapman, director of operations for Norfolk and Waveney, said: “No – additional resource will be required due to very significant future demand.”

She said the trust had to make 20pc savings, which had resulted in fewer staff. However, the trust had the right balance of inpatient beds because not all of them were fully occupied, she added.

She said: “Hospital acute assessment beds for people with dementia remain. Alternatives to admission will always be sought to ensure that people are admitted to hospital only when necessary. Our trust has completed the implementation of DIST across Norfolk and feedback we have received has been positive.”

The changes have resulted in NSFT having no inpatient beds in west Norfolk for people with dementia, with the nearest facilities in Norwich.

Norman Lamb, health minister and North Norfolk MP, said: “It is the right general approach to move away from inpatient beds to provide better support for people at home. The direction they are taking is the right one, but in terms of capacity of services and staff numbers, it has to be sufficient for growing demand. On the face of it, the commissioners in Norfolk and mental health trust need to work together to ensure they are looking towards the future and ensure they have an absolute grip on rising demand.”

Bob Blizzard, prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney, who has been campaigning against bed cuts at Carlton Court, near Lowestoft, said: “Closing dementia beds at a time when all the demographics point to an increase in demand makes no sense at all. This is a shameful way to treat older people with dementia.”




Gooseberry & Elderflower Muffins via Thursday Cottage

These light, easy to make muffins are a great way to use the gorgeous Gooseberry and Elerflower jam from Thursday Cottage. Click on the link at the bottom of the page to find out more.


Makes 12

250g self raising flower
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of sea salt
75g caster sugar
250ml buttermilk or 125ml plain yoghurt mixed with 125ml milk
2 medium eggs
100g butter, melted
150-200g Thursday Cottage Gooseberry jam
25ml Elderflower cordial

To finish
125g icing sugar, sieved
2 teaspoons Elderflower cordial

12 hole muffin tray, holes about 6 cm in diameter lightly greased or lined with paper muffin cases.

Preheat oven to 190/200C/Gas mark 5-6.

Sift the first 4 ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Add the sugar and using a spoon or spatula, mix until well blended.

Next put the buttermilk, the eggs, melted butter, jam and elderflower cordial into a large mixing jug or bowl. Beat together until well combined and the mixture is a thick batter. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir very lightly, scraping the sides down, until just combined -over beating won’t improve your muffins! Divide the mixture between the muffin cups, filling each tyre-quarters full (approximately 1 large tablespoon per cup).

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes until well risen and the tops are golden. The muffins should spring back into shape when lightly touched. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, mix the sieved icing sugar with 2 teaspoons elderflower cordial and a drop of water to a thick smooth consistency. Trickle over the muffins when cool.

VARIATION – replace the elderflower cordial with freshly squeezed orange juice and the
zest from one orange.

Click here to buy Thursday Cottage products


A Step Back in Time – Boiled Fruit Cake

Being lucky enough to be blessed with a good set of grandparents meant I also learned to cook and bake at their elbows- timeless, stick to your-ribs, homely cooking based upon what they grew in their garden and bought locally (alongside M&S apricot roll cake- a particular weakness of my grandmother). Evening meals were strictly rotated- the Sunday roast provided a mini roast on Mondays and Wednesdays with meat leftovers being added to freshly cooked vegetables. Tuesdays and Thursdays were beans or cheese on toast and Fridays were the day for fish and chips in the evening, eaten at home in the winter and in the summer, on our laps in a nearby beauty spot, Rodbridge Corner.

Ducks from the nearby river crowded around our feet as we threw the odd chip at them and licked our salt-encrusted fingers before getting back into the car, chip wrappers neatly stored away in one of the many plastic bags stored in the glove compartment. In those days, Getting The Car Out was a big deal and woe betide any greasy fingerprints smudged onto the Ultrasuede seat covers but the day came when the car met its end at the hands of a long drive after two strawberry ice creams and a bout of travel sickness. No amount of valeting eliminated the lingering perfume.

Doctor Who dictated Saturdays- we ate around the TV with our salads balanced precariously on our knees or we’d move the table into the sitting room. Daleks rained death and destruction upon the good Doctor and his sidekick as I peered through my fingers or around the cluster of bottles on the tabletop- salad cream, Branston Pickle and great grandmothers picalilli. The crowning glory of these meals were what I found in the cake tin; a retro Bakelite beauty stored in the highest wall cupboard, or inside the fridge-freezer. Great slabs of home made pastry were baked off and frozen on a weekly basis to be thawed out later and popped back into the oven until they were golden and crisp. They were served with stewed fruit (or in today’s middle class terminology, a compote) or a scoop of macerated strawberries in the summer and my grandfather liked his berries liberally dusted with black pepper.


The glories of the Be Ro Baking Book gave grandmother the inspiration for her boiled fruit cake and this slim narrow volume with time-torn, food-stained pages was THE cookbook of the sixties, packed with day-go bright drawings of battenburg cake, rock Cakes, victoria sponge and other ageless British cakes and breads. I have no idea what happened to the original copy although the Bakelite cake tin and child-sized knife with pale green bakelite handle are safely stored away. Boiled fruit cake recipes are thankfully not hard to find in other cookery books either; I have tried Julie Duff’s version and it is a decent replacement for the recipe of my childhood, giving a cake that is slightly smaller and not so moist. If you like a drier fruit cake then it will suit you.

This is THE Uber recipe though, the one used by my grandmother and provider of a darkly tanned and rich sugared crumb and retaining its juiciness via a generous hand with the dried fruit. It is large enough to keep a family fed for several days.

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Boiled Fruit Cake


225g / 8oz sultanas

225g / 8oz currants

225g / 8oz raisins

50g / 2oz  mixed peel

175g / 6oz butter

175g / 6oz soft brown sugar

350g / 120z self raising flour

Generous teaspoon of mixed spice

pinch salt

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 150c/300f/Gas mark 2. Place the peel, fruit, butter, sugar and spice into a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil very gently for two minutes and keep an eye on it then remove from heat, stir and let it cool down.

Sift flour and salt into another bowl and making a well in the centre, pour the lightly beaten eggs into the well of flour. Now pour the fruit mixture onto the flour and eggs then beat them with a wooden spoon until this mixture is thoroughly combined.

Spoon into a greased and lined 18cm/7 inch round cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 2- 2 and a half hours or until the cake is firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleanly.

Cover with a clean cloth and allow to cool in the tin.

Lovely with Wensleydale cheese and an apple.

If you want to soak the dried fruit overnight in rum or brandy don’t let me stop you. The cake tastes great with that hit but it isn’t the cake that I made as a child and it is this which I wanted to celebrate.



Henrietta Inman- Suffolk Patissiere Extraordinaire.

Berry, banana and oatmeal loaf-cake
Berry, banana and oatmeal loaf-cake Photo: YUKI SUGIURA
 We are delighted to see that the talented Henrietta Inman is being recognised in our national press. The following recipe appeared in the Sunday Telegraph’s  ‘Stella’ Magazine and shows everybody else what I already knew- that she is destined for culinary greatness. Having originally been fans of her delectable Facebook page and recently her new online pages  we found Henrietta at the monthly Snape Maltings Food Market earlier this year. Henrietta trained at the Lanesborough Hotel (among others) and whenever possible cooks with local ingredients, combining them with classical techniques and a fresh take on ingredients, many of which are locally sourced when not grown herself. Feast your eyes on some of these sumptuous treats then feast in real life by baking her lovely fruited loaf cake.
Gorgeously topped with dried fresh apple slices – rustic apple cake with toasted hazelnuts, Frangelico-plumped raisins and soured cream cinnamon frosting..
Henrietta grows her own organic flowers, vegetables & fruit. Flowers are turned into delicate floral sugar syrups and are also crystallised to beautify her creations.
The new baker: Berry, banana and oatmeal loaf-cake by Henrietta Inman
Rapeseed oil gives this cake an earthy and a nutty depth, but for a lighter flavour sunflower oil works well too.

Makes one loaf

120ml (4fl oz) rapeseed or sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

65g (2¼oz) medium oatmeal
25g (1oz) pumpkin seeds
25g (1oz) sunflower seeds
20g (¾oz) brown linseed
40g (1½oz) rolled oats
75g (2¾oz) white spelt flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp baking-powder
¾ tsp ground Maldon salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
finely grated zest 1 orange
2 medium eggs
140g (5oz) soft light-brown Muscovado sugar
150g (5½oz) ripe banana
60g (2oz) dried cranberries
60g (2oz) blueberries
60g (2oz) raspberries

 Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Grease a 19x12x8.5cm (7½x4¾x3½in) loaf tin with oil, and line the base with baking-parchment. Flour the sides with 20g (¾oz) oatmeal, leaving the larger grains to fall to the base.
On a small tray, toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds for about six minutes. Mix in the linseed. Toast for a further three minutes. Meanwhile, cover the rest of the oatmeal and 30g (1¼oz) of the oats in a bowl with 150ml (5fl oz) boiling water. Stir well and leave for five to 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking-powder, salt, cinnamon and toasted seeds. Mix together the zest, eggs, oil and sugar, then whisk in the porridge. Add to the flour mix. Blitz the banana and cranberries for seven seconds in a food processor until the banana just begins to purée, leaving some lumps for texture. Scrape into the flour mixture and combine well.

Pour into the tin and sprinkle over the remaining oats and fresh berries. Bake for 30 minutes then rotate the cake and reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Cook for a further 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Place on a wire rack and leave to cool in the tin completely (it will slice better cold). Serve with yogurt for breakfast or on its own for tea.

Pate De Fruit


All photos by Henrietta Inman.

Beautiful Hunstanton

We have some gorgeous photographs that celebrate Hunstanton,  an east coast town that faces west and one of the few places on the English east coast where the sun can be seen to set over the sea. Hunstanton is notable for its stratified, fossiliferous cliffs: lower reddish limestone, known as ‘red chalk‘ that glows with rich reds and the colours of a Tuscan town. Much of the coastline along with the countryside and inland villages is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, part of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which covers around 450 square kilometres. To the south of Hunstanton towards King’s Lynn and then west towards Sutton Bridge, the coastline forms part of The Wash, the largest estuary system in the UK, that is recognised internationally as a fundamentally important site for wildlife.

Photo of Hunstanton Cliffs by Daphne Hocknell

Topped by a white chalk layer from the Upper Cretaceous Epoch, the cliffs are a beautiful place to wander at dawn and dusk where their colours and shadows are intensified. Go fossil and shell hunting with the children taking a good seaside wildlife App or guide book to help you identify rock pool inhabitants, the abundant local bird life and geological discoveries. 

Rock pools and sea defences team with life along the Norfolk coastline – photo by Cameron Hendry

The excellent sandy beaches, awarded Blue Flag status in 2011 provide that trad British seaside experience where a bucket and spade, sunscreen, windbreak and sand encrusted picnic will keep any child happily occupied for hours on end with the odd wander to the nearby ice cream sellers to round off the day.

oldhunstantonbeachhutT (1)
Primary bright beach huts at Old Hunstanton

The original village settlement , Old Hunstanton boasts the more sedate village atmosphere, with carstone-built cottages and traditional British pubs but it is feasible (and easy) to walk from Old Hunstanton to the town proper itself and this is something that we highly recommend. Families that want the more Enid Blyton-esque seaside experience may choose to stay on the beaches of Old Hunstanton where children will not be tempted by the dazzle of the coin drop in penny arcades, the fair rides and other neon bright attractions.

Hunstantons Lighthouse.

Hunstanton’s popular seasonal land train carries visitors from Searles Leisure Resort to the Lighthouse and back again, turning the journey into a an attraction in itself and saving tired little legs from another walk. This is not the only form of transport though- Hunstanton longstanding beach donkeys and the seabuggy that crawls up and down the sand can be found on the town beaches alongside boat trips out to the many seal colonies that line the North Norfolk coastline.

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Miles of clean, wide and safe sandy beaches

To find out more about the many events and attractions both in Hunstanton and Norfolk generally, Mumsnet Norfolk has the most up to date listings.


Pimp Your Chips – Hot Chip in Norwich

The Hot Frites bars of Holland & Belgium sparked the idea behind Hot Chip although the UK is not exactly devoid of take outs celebrating the glories of the fried potato. What makes Hot Chip different is the pimping up that goes on behind its seemingly unexciting exterior opposite the famous Gardeners Pub and Murderers Bar in Norwich.


Leaving the Theatre Royal late at night we felt in need of some dirty food to provide a balance to all the high culture and Hot Chip excels at providing this. Their chips might be fried in clean rapeseed oil (which is a lot healthier) and made from locally sourced premium potatoes but by the time they have been artfully layered with any number of other foods and garnishes these babies are as far removed from a health food as Jamie Oliver is from tact. Chunks of succulent hot salt beef, wedges of vinegary gherkin, overflowing mustard mayo and Swiss Cheese melting and oozing over a pile of chunky chips barely contained in a US style cardboard take out box left us unable to move from the bench outside the Murderers Bar (where they allow you to take your chips).

Choose from a mix and match menu of  worldwide ‘delicacies’ like ‘Turkish Delight’- chips encrusted with dry fried spicy lamb and yoghurt mint sauce; ‘Veggie’ coming with a side of Haloumi cheese pan fried until squeaky and charred, soused with mango salsa and piled onto chips; The Grizzly Bear, popular with ale soaked  men features Canadian cheese sauce, ham, grated Cheddar, spring onions and of course, chips. Or go simple and have a box of chips spiced with cumin, sumach, pepper and other spices or the ‘Seaside Classic’- sprinkled with Aspalls vinegar.

Yes they are delicious. Yes you end up rooting around in the bottom of the take out box like a bear gone mad in the city bins. Yes they are best eaten NOT sober. And yes, we will need to do a low cal penance for like, a year. But as with all sins, boy it felt good at the time. And we will be back.

Hot Chip in Norwich.





Fancy trying squirrel for supper?


Long eaten across the American Deep South and very popular stewed long and slow, squirrel meat was even included in older editions of that famous American cooking tome The Joy of Cooking as a ‘tender alternative to chicken or rabbit’. It might not be long before people across East Anglia become accustomed to eating this lowest of food-miles meat and with over five million of the bright eyed and bushy tailed beasties hopping across our lawns, parks and forests, the questions has to be ‘what took us so long?’

Squirrel meat is on sale for the first time on the butchery counter at the Elveden Courtyard in Suffolk. Similar to rabbit in flavour, it is a light-coloured, finely textured meat that is low in fat and completely free-range. Its natural diet of berries and nuts contributes to a flavour I can only describe as nutty having eaten it some time ago, coated in a flavoured breadcrumb Southern style and deep fried. I also recommend a paella made with squirrel instead of rabbit or chicken and the great Brunswick Stew, an old Southern one pot meal beloved in North Carolina and Kentucky and which must be made with three specific ingredients to be genuine- okra, lima (butter) beans and squirrel.

One regular Elveden customer, Helen Sturgeon, has already created some lovely squirrel pasties using the meat and food shop manager Richard Howard explains the benefits, “Squirrel from Elveden is wild, nutritious and has virtually zero food miles, coming straight from the estate itself, making for a highly ethical meat.” If terroir is your thing, squirrel meat, like all wild game, is its perfect expression.

The move follows an increase in demand for game from the estate butchers, with venison, pheasant and wild rabbit highly sought after. Although rabbit can be shot all year round, a national decrease in population numbers has led the estate to restrict the numbers shot each month in order to ensure the animals flourish. It is generally advised to avoid eating town squirrels because of the risk of ingesting what they have eaten which may include poison put out to kill rats. Buying squirrel meat from a reputable supplier eliminates the risk.

“Rabbits are no longer breeding ‘like rabbits’,” explains James Holliday, Forestry and Conservation Manager at Elveden Estate. “Nationally, numbers have been in decline over the past few years and have now reached such low numbers we are limiting the number killed in order to maintain a sustainable population.”

The Elveden Estate is located in the Brecks region of Suffolk, an area renowned for rabbit warrening and a unique ecosystem that greatly depends upon controlled rabbit populations to maintain the open and friable structure of the soil, benefiting the huge variety of plants that are specialised to sandy healthland. So while we’re trying to build local rabbit populations up again, why not try its arboreal taste equivalent?

The Elveden Courtyard shops are open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm and Sundays from 10am to 5pm.

For further information, please visit

Elmer Fudds Brunswick Stew

Guest post: Stress incontinence – ‘Fallen fanjos are a feminist issue’

Did you know that one in three women aged 35-55 wet themselves? Stress incontinence is very common, and yet we’re often too embarrassed to talk about it. Physiotherapist Elaine Miller (AKA gussiegrips) is determined to remove the taboo and encourage all women to do their pelvic floor exercises. In this guest post, she explains why it matters.

Lead photo

One in three women aged 35-55 wet themselves

Doorstep piddling wasn’t unusual for me – you know how you’re okay right up until you get the key in your lock? Well, my poor neighbour caught me as I was wresting small kids and shopping with a post-coffee-bladder. She chatted away as I tried to disguise that I was bursting (standing on your tip toes works by the way, for a time).

Our relationship was mostly based on exchanging gardening tips and accepting parcels for each other. So, washing her down the driveway in a giant tsunami of my steaming piss was a bit, y’know, socially awkward.

And I had no excuse. I knew exactly what pelvic floor exercises were, how to do them, and why I should bother because <hangs head in shame> I’m a physiotherapist.

No excuse, but, there was a good reason – I was awfully tired. I lived with hundreds of tiny kids who were always trying to maim themselves, and each other, in ever-more inventive ways. I could barely remember my children’s names, let alone remember to clench my nether regions.

But the great Dribbly Doorstep Disaster was the motivation I needed.
“Make it a habit” is the advice, so, I did them every time I shouted at my kids’ (effective), every time I craved a glass of wine (remarkably effective) and every single time I thought an evil thought about my husband (dry in three months).

Here’s the sciencey bit:

One in three women aged 35-55 wet themselves, and, about 50% of women over 55.

70-80% of stress incontinence can be cured with pelvic floor exercises within four months.

Read that again. At least a THIRD of your peers use pads, and MOST of them can be cured.

The exercises are cheap to teach, free to do and don’t have any side effects. Unless you count toe curling, panting, blaspheming orgasms as a side effect (ask me how I know).

And it bloody MATTERS. Incontinence quietly disempowers women by interfering with every single thing they do, and yet, few complain. It matters because wetting yourself in the front row of Zumba, means you are unlikely to go back to Zumba (again, erm, ask me how I know), and we know that diseases of inactivity kill people. It matters because being “a bit leaky” is a big deal that can have a huge impact on your long-term well-being.

It bloody MATTERS. Incontinence quietly disempowers women by interfering with every single thing they do, and yet, few complain. It matters because wetting yourself in the front row of Zumba, means you are unlikely to go back to Zumba (ask me how I know), and we know that diseases of inactivity kill people.

We silence ourselves. It’s as if we are so ashamed of having less bladder control than our toddler that we’d rather continue to suffer in silence than seek help. I suggest we try being angry and vocal instead, because that’s how taboos change.

Even more silent are the one in ten people who leak poo, or the 50% of women over the age of 50 who have vaginal prolapses. Some wait until they are practically dragging their cervix behind them before seeking help.

It’s common to be a bit disengaged with your “down below” because, well, you can’t see it. We know that many women find the exercises difficult to do correctly, and that energetic eyebrow wiggling is not an effective alternative.

So, set the scene: You’re in a tiny lift with your boss, your MIL and someone you’ve got a massive crush on. Imagine you can feel a fart brewing. A really nasty one. You know that bum-ole squeezing you do to hold in the mortifying toot? That’s you working your pelvic floor. Hold it for a count of 10. When you let go you should feel a “drop” down into your pants. Or you could do 10 quick flicks and relaxes in a row – try doing them in time to the beat of music.

The important thing is to keep breathing and to relax your muscles in between the exercises. Do these three times a day, every day for four months, and then, once a day, every day, until you die. If you get pain, stop and take your bits to a GP or pelvic physio.

And, I’ll even remind you via twitter – when I tweet, you twitch your twinkle. Midwives and physios are collaborating with #squeezeandlift. If you see it, do it!

Basic lifestyle changes – like reducing caffeine, citrus and alcohol (so, at least cut out the ‘slice’ from your rum and coke), controlling hayfever or asthma coughs and (even small amounts of) weight loss can make a huge difference to the amount of leaking you experience.

As with all things, the best place to start is with good information – there are brilliant blogs out there, like Evidently Cochrane, and lots of useful stuff from the CSP and the Bladder and Bowel Foundation. Or, you could even watch me, on a really bad hair day, doing stand-up comedy about pelvic floors.

The bottom line is that any leaking at all is abnormal. It is not an inevitable consequence of ageing or parenthood, and you don’t need to put up with it.

Watch Elaine’s alter ego Gussie Grips take the Edinburgh Festival by storm over on theMumsnet YouTube channel – and don’t forget to subscribe – lots more brilliant videos coming very soon.

Watch Elaine on This Morning here

By Elaine Miller

Twitter: @GussieGrips

This first appeared on The Mumsnet Bloggers Network.




Woodbridge Tide Mill and The Cake Shop Launch Collaborative Cookbook

Woodbridge’s iconic working Tide Mill has collaborated with the town’s much loved bakery, The Cake Shop, to create an informative book filled with delicious recipes and fascinating facts.

The book will launch at The Local Seasonal Food Market: What’s Tasty in Woodbridge on Market Hill in Woodbridge on Saturday 24th May from 10am.  The recipes have been created by Christine Wright from The Cake Shop and Anne Barratt from the Tide Mill – who will be signing copies of the book at the market between 12 noon and 1.00pm.

The book uses interesting recipes and facts to dispel the myths around wholemeal flour.   Not only does it explain why wholemeal flour is the healthiest option, but it also demonstrates the remarkable versatility of wholemeal flour through the variety of tasty recipes.

Nigel Barratt, Miller and Trustee of the Tide Mill Living Museum said; “Many people may think that that all you can really do with wholemeal flour is bake heavy, stodgy bread, but it’s far more versatile.

“Most flour produced in modern roller mills has all the bran and most of the nutrients in the wheat germ removed in the process.  Our stone ground wholemeal flour uses 100% of the whole grain. The slow and gentle milling process leaves all the goodness in the flour and makes it the healthiest and most natural of all wheat flours. It’s tasty too, with a characteristic nutty flavour that works really well in bread, cakes, pastry and biscuits!”

We have been able to see a sneak preview of the recipes and they appear accessible, family friendly and clearly explained. Tide Mill Wholemeal Onion & Herb Bread, Chapatti’s and Paratha’s are all accompanied by bakers tips to help you trouble shoot any problem areas and teach you some of the tricks of the trade too. In the meal section, Stuffed Mushrooms on Tide Mill Croutons offers what looks like a delicious and sensible way of using up any stale bread. Unlike supermarket bread which is stuffed with preservatives which tends to make it get soggy and mouldy as it ages, home baked bread merely dries out. This offers great scope for further cooking, an important consideration in these times of austerity and furthermore ingredients are in the main, accessible and affordable.

Bread can also make great puddings and it won’t be long before we are into the fruit season and able to make the delicious sounding Blueberry & Nectarine Crumble with its lime spiked fruit base and almond enriched crumble topping. Cakes also celebrate fruit from the recipe for Christines fruit cake through all manner of banana breads, Date Slices and the Tide Mill Carrot Cake. Sections for recipes suitable for children- pizza bases for one and even a dog biscuit recipe round off this useful and local cook book.