Northern Ireland National Trust

On my short visit to Northern Ireland we visited a number of different National Trust places so it seemed fitting that our next post about the National Trust was all about Northern Ireland.

In total there are over 30 National Trust places you can visit, the country is so beautiful that I can see why there are so many stunning National Trust places to visit.

Castleward
Castleward is where some of Game of Thrones was filmed, I personally haven’t watched any of the episodes but for the avid fans you can take a GoT tour to all the set locations. Coincidentally whilst we were there the BBC were actually filming a TV drama called The Woman in White, they were filming a scene with a horse and cart and doing take after take. Castleward is so close to the sea and you can do a coastal walk along the bay overlooking Portaferry. You can also visit the mansion and grounds too, that are beautiful.

The Giants Causeway
This is one of the most famous places in Northern Ireland where all the rocks are naturally hexagonal. This is a very popular tourist destination and they arrive by coachload! This is free to visit for National Trust members however I would recommend you do what we did and park in Portballintrae, where you can park at the end of Beach Road and walk to the causeway to save money and also see the stunning Norther Ireland coastline where you can also see Scotland!
The Giants Causeway itself is very very busy but most definitely worth a visit.
The walk back to the car you can do a loop and walk along the mainland next to a railway track.

Rowallane Gardens
These gardens were really close to our cottage so we visited one morning, would recommend going early in the morning as you will have the place to yourself. The grounds at Rowallane are simply beautiful and we were lucky to be visiting in spring so there were lots of flowers in bloom. We took advantage of the map and did a nice loop around the grounds. We then ended the walk at the tea rooms where I enjoyed a soya luxury hot chocolate and gluten free chocolate cake. There is something about National Trust tea rooms, they are so cute and cosy and the food is always amazing. This is the sort of NT place that you don’t need to spend the day at, but can visit on route to somewhere.
This NT place is very close to the small town of Saintfield where there are 2 fish and chips shops if you fancied a spot of lunch.

The Crown Bar
This is the oldest bar in Belfast and surprisingly is owned by the National Trust. However saying that by being a member doesn’t give you any perks, you can’t get a free pint! This bar is a must see on a visit to Belfast its so cute and there are loadsa booths to sit in, but you have to be wait a bit for a free one!

Carrick-a-Rede
Visit here if you a feeling very brave where you can walk along a rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede. You used to be able to turn up here and walk across the bridge, however to manage the crowds (Northern Ireland has become very popular recently, most probably because of GoT!) you now have to turn up and pick up a ticket for a slot that day.
This means you have to go and get your time slot and potentially go back for your allocated time slot.
However, it is totally worth it to get that Instagram snap of your daring to cross the rope bridge to show off to your friends!

Now summer is nearly here we shall be making the most of our life memberships and visiting some more National Trusts places, expect to see lots more posts!

 

Crème brûlée

Crème brûlée is a very delicious dessert and we were inspired to make this recipe after our trip to Paris. We wanted to make crème brûlée but fancies making it with a twist so after some delving into Pinterest decided to make crème brûlée tarts.

The pastry is our classic pastry recipe that we swear by and the filling is a custard recipe. We then topped the tarts with sugar and used a blow torch to make the classic crème brûlée texture. These are great as you can make the pastry in advance and also make the custard in advance. If you are hosting a dinner party as these are ideal as all you need to do before serving is sprinkle on sugar and use the blow torch.

Enjoy!!

Ingredients
Pastry:
175g plain flour
100g cold butter
1 tbsp icing sugar

Filling:
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2tbsp caster sugar

Granulated sugar

Method

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree and butter and line with grease proof mini tart tins
2) Put all the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together (you may need to finish with your hands)
3) Pour onto a flour surface and roll out the dough until 1mm thick. Lay over the tart tins and press into the ridges, then leave the pastry hanging over the edge as pastry shrinks when cooked
4) Line with foil and pour in baking beans and blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Take our the beans and finish off the pastry for 5 minutes
5) Reduce the oven temperature to 130 degrees
6) To make the custard filling, put the cream in a large pan with the vanilla and heat until bubbles form around the edge. Let to cool for 5 minutes.
7) Mix the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar with a hand mixer then add the cream
8) Pour the custard mixture into the pastry and cook for 18-20 minutes until almost set. They will be a little wobbly
9) Leave to cool
10) Sprinkle with granulated sugar and use a blow torch to caramelise/cook the sugar

How to juggle a blog with a full time job 

When we are not working at our day jobs we spend the rest of the time blogging. 95% of our weekends have something blog related going on and it’s very rare we ever stop working on our blog. We have a to do list that just seems to grow which is great but it can also become very overwhelming. We are lucky we have each other to talk to and discuss what our priorities are for that week.

If you are also juggling a full time job with a blog which lets be honest is basically a full time job as well, then you might be interested in our top tips below! These basically help us get our shit together instead of having a mini breakdown halfway through the week!

Blogging

Write a to do list- we don’t know where we would be without our to do lists. It’s impossible to remember everything you have to do unless you write it down. We each have a to do list we work off of in hope that if one of us has forgotten something the other has remembered.

Write an Instagram schedule- at the begging of the week we write an Instagram schedule on the sort of photo we want to post whether that is fitness, coffee, breakfast etc. We don’t write the exact photo as sometimes we haven’t even taken it yet but it just saves us time during the week as it is one less thing to worry about.

Put time aside at the weekends- schedule in some blogging evenings and weekends so you can work on your blog without feeling rushed. We love our blogging days and evenings they are always so much fun and we always end up having so much content by the end of the weekend.

Work through your lunch break- we regularly work through our lunch breaks, this can include going to the shops to buy props, ingredients or new active wear. We also plan what we are going to bake so we constantly scroll through Pinterest looking for inspiration for our weekend baking sessions.

Wake up earlier/ go to bed later- we are early birds and love getting up early in the mornings and recently we have been meeting up at the gym to film workout videos for our YouTube channel. We love getting into bed early at night but we definitely make the most of the evenings when we get in from work before bedtime.

Communication is so key especially if you work on a blog with someone else. We are constantly talking to each other about the blog, we always wonder what we did before the blog came along!

Getting the recognition you deserve- if you work with a brand or a brand have contacted you you should ask yourself whether or not the content you produce will be worth your time and efforts. We are after all working on our days off and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t work your day job free of charge or without getting some sort of recognition.

Utilise your commute by joining a Twitter chat, commenting on Instagram photos, replying to emails, writing blog posts on the notes section of your phone, buffer tweets and the list could go on and on!

Make the most of the good weather and get outside! If you know the weather is going to be lush at the weekend then try your hardest to get outside. We have met up early in the morning on a Saturday just to fit a photo shoot in as we had other plans for the rest of the weekend.

Don’t stress when your blog has to take a back seat, although this is probably the last thing you want sometimes it has too.

Use scheduling apps to keep on top of social media, we recommend Buffer or Hoot Suite but would love to know if you have other recommendations. We schedule our tweets on Buffer and it means we can continue to promote our blog throughout the day on twitter. We don’t pay for the app yet, so can only schedule 10 at a time but means we can have a tweet promoting a post at lunchtime when we are at work or in the afternoon.

Blog about what you love and it will never feel like work! 

Paris food: Le Marais

Le Marais is a district of Paris that spreads across parts of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements in Paris. It mixes together the old charm and modern day culture into an amazing area of Paris.

It is easy to walk to Le Marais from what people would call the centre of Paris and even better we would recommend staying in this area of Paris. The beauty of this area is that it is far out the centre so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by the madness of the city but close enough to walk to the main places but also amazing metro and bus lines.
Le Marais for us felt like the Shoreditch of Paris and we loved it. There are so many cool bars, restaurants and cafes to visit that we wish we had even longer in Paris to sample them all. However we have condensed together a list of places to visit in Le Marais.

Season
There are 4 Season’s in Paris and they are all very popular and busy so expect to wait for a table. The main one is called Season but there is also Season Takeaway, Season Market and By Season which are all in the Marais area. Their Instagram is so dreamy and their food looks amazing, and you can also view the menu online

Cafe Breizh
If you love pancakes (crepes) then you have to visit here. You can get either sweet or savoury crepes and both taste delicious. The crepes are so thin and there are so many different fillings/toppings to choose from. It is advised to book as its very popular

Love Juice Paris
Oh my gosh the most amazing smoothie/shake is served here. This place is off a side street close to the Pompidou Centre and you wouldn’t find it if you weren’t looking. The door to the place is tiny and glass and you wouldn’t visit it if you were just passing by, however you should! Love Juice Paris is so small and cute and the lady who made our drinks was really friendly and sweet, the menu is small so its not hard to choose what to have! The smoothie was super thick and creamy and the smoothie bowls looked delicious too.

Ober Mamma
This restaurant is seriously popular and its hard to get a table here as you cannot book in advance. It is recommended you arrive 30 minutes before opening and join the long queue of other guests. Ober Mamma is Italian so if you love Italian food then this is a must visit.

Passager
A gem that we stumbled across via Instagram serving amazing food and coffee. This tiny cafe again is one you wouldn’t find unless you knew about it, which is the beauty of this place.

Fragments
Another place we found to visit purely by looking in Instagram. Their coffee looks amazing, and not to mention the incredible coffee art. They also serve an all day breakfast which if the Instagram photos are anything to go by looks delicious!

Pozetto
This is a kinda dessert bar/cafe. You can get the most delicious ice cream and also amazing luxury hot chocolate. Pozetto is open late so is the perfect way to end your evening. During the day in the summer the queue for the ice cream is very long but trust us its worth it. The white chocolate is delicious, as is dark chocolate and hazelnut too.

La Droguerie du Marais
If you are a fan of pancakes this is another pancake cafe to visit when in Le Marais. There is often a queue outside the entrance but its worth the wait, especially when only 2 euros for a crepe.

Little Apple
We stumbled across this place on our early morning run and were attracted to it by the name/sign on the outside. This places mainly serves burgers, salads and cocktails. If you visit at lunchtime you can take advantage of the amazing lunch time deal of burger, side and soft drink for 15 euros.

Health Inside
This is a cute health cafe opposite Des Enfants Rouge. If you want some healthy food when visiting Paris this is a great place to try, especially as they have a set brunch menu.

Des Enfants Rouge
We stumbled across this by accident it was AMAZING. You can visit here and literally eat any cuisine that you fancy from the variety of street food stalls. The smell was amazing and so was the atmosphere. This is a must see if you are visiting the area, but make sure you check the opening times!

Hank
Hank Burger, Hank Pizza and Hank Cafe are vegan restaurants. If you are a vegan visiting Paris then you must visit here. The modern restaurants are cute sized with amazing menus. At Hank Burger you can get a great set menu which includes a drink and the same at Hank Pizza.

Lily of the Valley
We stumbled across this whilst walking to Season as its just around the corner. There are 3 different locations to choose from, so pick one that’s closest to you. This cute cafe sells 45 different teas along with coffee, cakes and a vegetarian lunch.

Alma the Chimney Cake Factory
This place is SO cool, well the seating is anyway. Check our the pictures on Instagram but the seating arrangements are amazing. Anyway, visit here to sample a chimney cake which is basically a long filled cake.

Merci
This is a shop that also has a cafe. The shop is bloggers paradise selling really random and cool bits and bobs. The highlight is the cute vintage Fiat 500 in the entrance, that you just HAVE to get a photo next to!

Page 35
This place is great for lunch and dinner and is an absolute bargain. You can get a set menu with 3 courses for 16 euros and the food is amazing. The quality of the food was superb and the flavours were dreamy. There is also so much choice on the menu that everyone will be happy! We highly recommend this place for food.

There are SO many cool places to visit in Le Marais that its hard to pick the ones to go to, however let us know where you visit.

Raspberry and Lemon Muffins

These muffins are so delicious and they are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free too and you cannot even tell, who said following a low FODMAP diet had to be boring!
We made them with raspberry and lemons because raspberries are in season now, and raspberry and lemon are the perfect summer flavour but you could try with other ingredients instead.

Ingredients
4tbsp sunflower oil
1 egg
75ml almond milk
150g gluten free self raising flour
1tsp xanthan gum
100g coconut sugar
drop lemon extract
1tsp lemon juice
punnet of raspberries (around 150–175g)

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and put muffin cases in a muffin tray
2) In a jug mix together the milk, egg and oil. Then add the lemon extract and juice
3) In a mixing bowl sieve in the flour then add the sugar
4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients with half of the raspberries and mix – do not over mix
5) Spoon the mixture into the cases and then top with the remaining raspberries
6) Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the skewer comes out clean
7) Best enjoyed warm!

Sweet Potato Brownies

Chocolate brownies are one of our go to bakes, we love them and so do our family and friends. We have created the most delicious chocolate brownie recipe but unfortunately like most indulgent treats they are incredibly unhealthy.
We wanted to create a recipe we could enjoy on the regular without getting a sugar carb hangover the next day. We did quite a bit of research on ingredients that would work best and eventually decided on sweet potato.
We got family members to try the baked goods to see if they could guess what they were made of and not one got it right. They were all shocked when we said it was sweet potato and you literally cannot taste it at all.
Sweet potato brownies.png
Makes 12 large brownies or more if you cute them smaller! 
Ingredients 
3 medium sweet potatoes (roughly 700g)
15 pitted dates
4 tbsp raw cacao
120g ground almonds (we just blended ours)
100g oat flour or you could use a flour of your choice
30ml milk of your choice we used oat milk
5 tbsp maple syrup
Method 
Preheat the oven to 180oc
Line a baking dish
Peal the sweet potato and cut them into chunks
Place sweet potato into a steamer and cook until they are soft this took about 15 minutes
Once the sweet potato is really soft add them to the food processed along with the dates and blend until combined
Combine the ground almonds, raw cacao and oat flour before adding the sweet potato mixture, maple syrup and milk
Place mixture into the lined baking dish and cook in the oven for 18-20 minutes
Remove from the oven and let the brownies cool before cutting them
Let us know if you have experimented with any other ingredients as we would love to know!

We have started a YouTube channel! 

We love watching vlogs we watch so many different YouTubers vlogging about all sorts of things. The more we watched the more we wanted to start our own channel. We wanted to be able to watch back on our adventures just like we watch everyone else’s. Imagine in five years time being able to watch back vlogs from a holiday or a day out.

The entire ‘Three Brits’ brand was originally going to be a YouTube channel, as well as other social media platforms but we always wanted to prioritise YouTube. That never really happened and instead Instagram, Twitter and the blog took priority. To be completely honest we were terrified of vlogging and didn’t have a clue what to say to the camera. We posted our first and only video in October 2015, we didn’t talk in the video and instead had music playing in the background as we filmed our day on a GoPro. We have since made the video private as we wanted to start fresh in March 2017.

So many people told us to start a YouTube channel but we just never thought people would actually want to watch our videos. We decided to set it as one of our New Years resolution (we know who ever sticks to them) but when Three Brits is concerned we always make a special effort to stick to our goals and aspirations because they challenge us and help us develop. So March came around and we had our friends wedding on the 11th March so we decided it would be the perfect day to film our first vlog. We edited the video the following weekend and it went live on Saturday 18th March 2017 there was no going back now!

We thought we would find our first vlog so awkward especially introducing ourselves but do you know what we didn’t find it awkward at all. Once you forget about people looking at you it’s fine, plus we do have each other which makes it slightly less scary.

We originally thought we would have loads of takes for our introduction but we were actually happy with our first take. We know it wasn’t perfect (we may have used our hands a lot and pulled some questionable facial expressions) but you know what that’s us and we are not perfect and nor do we want anyone to think we are.

We have a lot of work to do but we are really excited to improve our skills both filming and editing. We can’t wait to look back in the future at our first video and laugh like we do with our blog and Instagram photos. We are glad we waited to start YouTube and didn’t peruse it from the beginning, we have learnt so much about social media in the past year that we think it will really help us run our YouTube channel. It has already been so much fun and we hope you will follow us on our journey and enjoy watching our vlogs and videos.

Massive shoutout to our Twitter family who have been supportive as ever (we know we can always count on them). We couldn’t be more thankful for your continuous support and for encouraging us to start the channel in the first place.

Please subscribe to our channel where we will be posting regular vlogs, workout videos, sit down chatty videos and what I eat in a day videos. We are always looking for ways to improve so any tips would be great!

Leave your YouTube links below 🙂