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Review of Holiday with Eurocamp at La Croix du Vieux Pont (Berny)

I was recently lucky enough to be gifted a trip to this Holiday Parc, one of my old stomping grounds. Had a great time, really fab, here is my review.

Review of La Croix du Vieux Pont and the Four Bed Lakeview Lodge

My husband John, myself, our daughter and her partner and our two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter have just returned from a wonderful holiday on this holiday parc. Our accommodation was the four bedroomed lakeside lodge. John and I were very familiar with both the parc and the accommodation as we have worked as seasonal maintenance within the holiday parc industry for many years and spent two full seasons living on “Berny”. We were very excited to be invited back as holidaymakers and perhaps see things through different eyes.

We sailed overnight into Zeebrugge from Hull as we live in Yorkshire. We treated the crossing as a mini cruise and set out to enjoy everything on-board. We quickly found our comfortable cabin and then did a tour of the vessel. There are two bars on board. One is quite lively and on this occasion a duo singing well known songs. There was a game of bingo and a disco billed too. The other bar was a quiet lounge and on the outward journey we enjoyed a solo guitarist who was good. On the return we were treated to a pianist at the grand piano. We enjoyed a couple of drinks before heading off to the self-service restaurant. There is an a la carte restaurant too. In our restaurant there was masses of choice, all eat as much as you fancy. Soups, crudités and salad selection (my favourite) carvery, curries, beef casserole, lasagne. There was cheese and biscuits and desserts aplenty. The breakfast was just the same – you name it, it was there.

Once we had docked next morning we had a three-hour drive to the parc. An easy drive too. It is just over two hours from Calais for anyone driving to Dover to sail, or Folkestone for Le Shuttle.

As you approach the site you can’t fail to miss the beautiful, huge flower beds so carefully tended and watered by the parc staff. This is just a taste of things to come. The parc is quite beautiful. It is big but every inch of it is a pleasure to saunter through. It’s like being on holiday in a park; lush, green with mature trees around the edges but the emplacements are all so big nothing encroaches or blocks out the sunshine. There are three lakes, for fishing, or for hiring a canoe or pedalo. There are swans, moorhens and ducks with ducklings to enjoy.

Facilities are many but without feeling too busy or overwhelming. Water wise there is a great pool complex with covered/uncovered option dependant on the weather. We were there in a June heatwave, so it was all opened to get the rays. There is a large proper swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a toddler pool, a lazy river, and slides too. In the middle of the parc there is a manmade swimming lake with a very sandy beach. The water is filtered so is clean and blue. Our granddaughter loved this and I was in there every opportunity too. Both the pools and the beach pool have a bar restaurant too, so it really is heavenly.

There are playgrounds too and some facilities that are available at a cost, bouncy castle, trampoline, go carts that type of thing but the prices were fine I thought.

We did not eat at the restaurants this time but in the past, we found them to be of a high standard. They were always nicely busy so that speaks for itself. There is a takeaway which was very popular. The shop in the parc was great, plenty of things to make a meal or buy something to drink and not inflated prices. The boulangerie in the morning was to queue for if you went late, but always plenty of baguettes and croissants to go around, delish! The nearest supermarket is a short walk away in the village and that is perfect for the bigger shop to get really stocked up.

The main bar has regular entertainment which is lots of fun for all the family. Karaoke, kids disco, there was a pool party too which also doubled as talent show with the Eurocamp Reps doing the judging. That was a great night.

The Eurocamp Reps were fantastic. There was nothing too much trouble. They clearly loved the job they were doing, in fact they told me they did. There was such a happy positive vibration in the guest services lodge, I was very impressed. Perhaps I might take it up again? There is Eurocamp activities for all the family. We all took part including our two-year-old who went to the tot’s club. Our children always loved the Eurocamp kids’ clubs when they were small, and it still has the same appeal now. Our oldest girl was a Eurocamp kids club rep when she was eighteen and then of course we joined in too when we got the bug.

There are new attractions that are up by the main bar, which include ten pin bowling and laser quest. There is table tennis to be enjoyed and there is one tennis court. Bikes can be hired too and there are pony rides across the road. I spotted crazy golf, zip wires and a climbing wall.

On the parc Eurocamp offer a huge variety of accommodation. There are huge Safari Tents which is very stylish. There are mobile homes of different sizes and layouts to suit every families budget. There are two, three and four bedroomed wooded lodges too. On this occasion we were staying in a four bedroomed lodge with a lake view. It was a strange feeling to be back inside the lodge. I could see the curtain poles and the curtains that we had put up, felt like coming home! The emplacement all over the site are generally large. The lodge emplacements are three times as large as my garden back at home. It was lawn, with matures trees all around for privacy and shade and how pretty it looked too. In front of the big deck was a huge mass of pink wild roses, smelt beautiful.

There are steps up to the deck. The deck has a picnic bench style table and chairs to sit ten. There is an awning for shelter from the elements be it rain or shine (its generally shine). Once inside there is an open plan space with lounge area, dining table and chairs for ten and a fully equipped kitchen. The kitchen boasts full sized integrated dish washer. A full-sized electric oven and a four-burner gas hob. The fridge freezer is tall and of a large capacity.

There is a double bedroom downstairs along with a loo and a large shower room.

Once up the stairs there are three more bedrooms. The master overlooks the front and has the lake view. There is a balcony large enough to sit out on and enjoy the view. The other bedrooms are spacious, one has bunkbeds the other has twins with a pull out single bed beneath each twin. There is a loo and a very large bathroom with bath and shower over. Plenty of storage everywhere and because there are shutters as well as curtains it is possible to keep the lodge cool when the sun gets its hat on.

We really enjoyed our holiday, it was over too soon. We know from our experience living there that there are very many and varied places to go off and see but, on this occasion, we just stayed on the parc and relaxed. We watched the world go by, we fed the ducks when they waddled up to our deck to say good morning. As the heat of the sun ebbed away we cooked our dinner on the BBQ and enjoyed a bottle of wine. In the mornings we bought fresh bread and croissants and enjoyed those sitting on our lovely deck with a cold glass of orange juice.

We had the opportunity of inviting people in to look around our lodge, this was such a lot of fun. Everyone seemed very impressed. We enjoyed chatting about our own experiences, about which other sites are in the Eurocamp brochure that they might like too and which of them we have worked on in the past.

This Holiday parc really does have something for everyone, be it just enjoying the facilities on the parc or venturing out and about to Paris, Disney or the vineyards of the Champagne region. Closer to the parc, even in the village itself there is so much history to discover, caves used as hospitals in WW1 and WW2. There are war cemeteries and only half an hour drive away is Compiegne where the Armistice was signed ending the hostilities of WW1. I can, and do, recommend this Eurocamp Holiday parc experience to everyone and I am very much looking forward to my next visit, see you there!

https://www.eurocamp.co.uk/

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I Had a Little Nut Tree with a Golden Pear.

Blue Cheesecake

Voila

I was trying to develop a recipe for a savoury cheesecake using Stilton in particular, I love blue cheese with walnut or pecan and pears go so well with both that this evolved. In my mind this will be great on a buffet table with the cheeseboard or instead of. A hint of sweetness in the base with ginger biscuits in there too. My thesaurus of food pairings told me that a sweet praline might give some texture and a touch more sweetness, so the shards and then the dried pear flames were born. A juicy spicy poached pear on top of a sweet/sour relish is the King of Spain’s Daughters Golden pear as i liberally polished it up with gold spray, and a scattering of crushed pecan praline looks like sparkling jewels. Showstopper!

Base

120g Savoury Crackers and Ginger Biscuits

80g Melted Butter

60g Pecans

Cake

250g Full Fat Cream Cheese with Chives/Herbs/Garlic

250g Ricotta

100g Creme Fraiche

100g Crumbled Stilton

1 Peeled and Diced Pear or Dried Pear

Tsp Mustard / Tsp Dried garlic powder/chilli flakes/smoked paprika/ anything goes

4 Beaten Eggs

Pear Relish Topping

3 Pears peeled cored and diced

1 Red Onion diced

160ml White Wine Vinegar

60g Brown Sugar

50g Mixed dried Berries

Pecan Brittle

100g Castor Sugar

50g Pecans

2 Tbs water

Poached Pear

1 peeled pear, leave stalk and bottom on

100g Castor sugar

100ml water

1 Tbs cinnamon

Dried Pears

1 Pear thinly sliced with skin on

Crush the biscuits and stir in the melted butter. In a greased and lined loose bottomed 20cm tin, press the biscuit mixture firmly down and chill in the fridge for an hour or more.

Mix all the cake ingredients together and pour on top of the base. Bake in the bottom of a 160 degree oven for about fifty minutes or until the cake is set with a slight wobble in the middle.

Put all the relish ingredients into a heavy based fry pan and bubble up until it is a jam like consistency.

Poach the pear in the sugar cinnamon water for about twenty minutes until tender

Heat the sugar and water gently in a separate pan for the brittle, do not stir, melteing the sugar and heating until it becomes caramel colored, stir in the pecans then pour it out on to grease proof sheet.

To dry the pears, slice as thinly as possible and dry in an oven on the lowest possible setting for several hours to dry out the moisture. If not using immediately store in an airtight jar.

To assemble, spoon the relish on top of the cheesecake. Place the poached pear centrally on top. Break the brittle into shards and push into the cheesecake also crushing some into smaller bits and scattering on the top. Using a small knife make slits around the cheesecake and push the dried pears into them.

I then spray some gold glitter all around for a shimmering golden pear effect.

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Veggie Sausage Roll

Yesterday we were on the last day of our holiday in our caravan and I was keen to use up odds and ends in the fridge and cupboards. I found four Quorn Sausages in the freezer so this was my inspiration. I let them defrost and the sliced them into tiny bits. I found an onion a pack of mushrooms and a small pot of cottage cheese and a cube of cheddar. With the addition of some garlic, tomato pure, herbs and spices I made a massive sausage roll. I had a pack of supermarket puff pastry in the fridge too, always a standby you can make a lunch or a pud with ease.

This recipe is easy to adapt whatever you happen to have handy and is super tasty and gives you a meat free option which we are all being encouraged to do more often.

Ingredients

4 vegetarian sausages chopped into bits

1 Onion

Pack mushrooms

small tub Cottage cheese

Matchbox sized cube of Cheddar Cheese (any cheese)

Tablespoon tomato Puree

Crushed Garlic cloves to taste

Smoked paprika and Oregano (any in cupboard)

Pack Puff Pastry

Beaten Egg

Method

Using low cal spray mist a large frying pan and gently soften sausages, onion and mushrooms, add spices and herbs, garlic and tomato puree and cook for a few minutes.

Take off the heat and mix through the cottage and cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Open the Puff Pastry and lay mixture down the middle vertically. Using a sharp knife make slits on the diagonal in the four o clock direction down the right hand side and the same on the left but towards the eight o clock direction. Plait from each side overlapping in the middle and brushing with beaten egg to help stick the pastry together. Brush the finished roll all over with beaten egg and bake at 200 degrees until puffed up and golden.

Delicious Veggie Sausage Roll

Baking Recipe Uncategorized Yorkshire

Rhubarb Relish

Yesterday I was making a very quick rhubarb relish in the Demo tent at Wakefield’s annual Rhubarb Festival. I made a quick Soda Bread and a mackerel pate to make a full lunch or supper dish.

Ingredients

1 Cup runny honey

Half cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 thumb sized piece of grated ginger

Half a red chilli chopped

2 Tsp Chinese five spice

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped red onion

4 cups chopped rhubarb

In a large frying pan heat the honey and vinegar until boiling, add all the ingredients except the rhubarb and bubble on a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken into a jam like consistency. add the rhubarb and continue to cook until it is starting to soften. Turn off the heat and stir to combine the rhubarb and relish, try to keep some chunks of rhubarb for texture.