Hurrah – Autumn is finally here! Bracing winds on sunny days and a rainbow of colours on leaves that dance with the wind signals my favourite time of year. Autumn is definitely the season in which to get things done. As the leaves fall from the trees, it’s time for us to shake off our old selves and prioritise ahead of Winter. We often assume that Spring is the time for new beginnings but I’m pretty sure Autumn is the catalyst – well, it is for me anyway!
It helps that my favourite season got off to a good start with the return of pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks – (I know, I really shouldn’t support them but the lure of that sickly sweet cinnamon spice is just too hard to resist. I’ve had one a week since I discovered they were back on the menu and it’s a trend that’s likely to continue right through until Winter.)
With the season’s change I’ve decided that I need to get my money’s worth out of all the lycra in my wardrobe and have spent the past week getting out and about and running. I really enjoy getting out into the fresh air and clearing my head with a run or walk. I must confess, there was a lot more walking than running the first day I went out but after a few outings I’m definitely seeing an improvement. It helps that my favourite place to run is so beautiful. It’s a route that hugs the banks of Strangford Lough for a few miles and is a great spot to see local wildlife like redshank scuttling along the shore in search of food and finches diving in and out of the hedgerow. It helps the time pass for me anyway. It’s also a great spot to walk the dog and my dog Bob loves nothing more than having a good sniff and run along the path.
To fuel my runs I’ve been eating homemade granola for breakfast each day and it does the trick and keeps me going a good while. I found the recipe on one of my favourite shows, Siba’s Table and it’s really easy to make. Plus, it makes your house smell better than a Yankee Candle! The recipe says to use pecans but I found them too expensive so used walnuts instead. These were about 1/3 of the price and just as tasty. I also used LOADS of cinnamon – 1.5 tbsp. – because I love it but it still had quite a subtle taste when I cooked it. Give it a go sure and let me know how you get on!
Another great thing about Autumn is it heralds the arrival of Belfast Restaurant Week and last night some girlfriends and I took advantage of one of the many offers in the city centre. As we’re on a bit of an economy drive we decided to have dinner at home and meet in town for some dessert. We headed to a lovely place called Co Couture near City Hall and it was amazing! It’s quite a small boutique and quite hard to see from the road as it’s in the basement of the building but when we opened the door and were greeted by the smell of chocolate we knew we were in the right place. They had a great offer on where you could pick any of their 4 desserts and enjoy them with your choice of hot drink for £5 or treat yourself to something a bit stronger with a glass of Cava for £8. We decided to get a selection of desserts to share – pictured above.
Oh. my. word. Every mouthful of chocolatey goodness was delicious! We sampled their peach melba, mont blanc and pecan salted caramel meringue and every one was divine! It was the perfect place for us to relax and catch up on each other’s gossip with a sweet treat without breaking the bank. Next week is Chocolate Week and Co Couture are extending their restaurant week offer accordingly so if you are in Belfast next week I highly recommend you book yourself in for dessert – you won’t be disappointed! Follow the link above to reserve your table.
So here’s to all the goodness brought by the greatest season of the year. To discovering new places and catching up with friends, to indulging in sweet treats and to running about so that you can still do the top button of your jeans!