Saturday, 12 November 2011

UK Road Trip 2011

Over the last week I have seen more than my fair share of motorways and A-roads and travelling on these concrete nightmares seemed less favourable after the horrific crash on 5th November on the M5. However, My husband, Brian and I set off for London on 6th November travelling in the glorious Autumn sunshine via the A303 and Stonehenge.

The trip, which was part of our syllabus filming for the Pole Dance Community,  took us through the centre of London and seemed like a mini capital tour as we drove past many of London's big attractions. We arrived at our destination; Pole Dancing School owned by World Champion Elena Gibson (pictured above left). We were joined by Helen Partridge (pictured above right)  from Pole Control in Essex and we set up our mini studio ready to commence filming. After nearly 3 hours of filming we were ready to hit the road again.

Next stop was London to Northampton to collect a front end for my husbands motorbike and then we continued to Bradford to stop overnight and spend some time with my husband's Mum. On arrival a buffet fit for a king awaited us and we were delighted to know that the first leg of travel was over as well as having the chance to spend some quality family time together.

To make the most of our Bradford stay we decided to take Brian on his first ever Bradford curry experience and where better to go than the Zouk. The Zouk offers a marvellous menu, it is an authentic curry experience with a modern Asian twist.

I had the Palak Tikka (Spicy spinach cakes filled with paneer, potato and sauté mushrooms) to start followed by the Red Snapper (Fillet marinated with herbs and spices then grilled until tender) and both dishes were simply gorgeous leaving me more than satisfied and with no room for pudding!

After our time in Bradford it was back on the road to travel to Pole Devils in Glasgow, Scotland, we set off over the Yorkshire Dales enjoying the unexpected warm weather and keeping our eyes peeled for somewhere nice to stop for brunch. Our journey took us near Clapham conservation village so we decided to stop there and check out Croft Cafe. 

Croft Cafe was a fabulous find, nestled within the picturesque village of Clapham and offering a step back in time to a village that has remained untouched by modern chain businesses and corporate greed. We were greeted by a lady who offered us a table and then presented us with a hand-written menu which included the traditional English breakfast we had been desiring. I think the picture left gives you an example of the exemplary service on offer. The white tea set was perfectly laid with a spare jug of hot water, white and brown sugar allowing each person to make their own perfect brew. 

Next time we are in Yorkshire we will have to revisit the place to not only return to Croft Cafe but also to check out the caves and other wonders of this amazing little village.

As we ventured on up the Motorway we reached the Scottish Border and were seduced by the Scottish Mountains that were bathed in sunlight. As motorways go this is something special. The 4 hour 30 minute journey was actually rather pleasant but we were still relieved to arrive at our destination to film with the lovely Rose Wallace, owner of Pole Devils and the lovely Anne Goswell, owner of Goeswell Pole Dancing School

We got loads of filming done and were spoilt with tea and chocolate biscuits too but after 3 hours of filming it was time to hit the road and travel back to Bradford for some much needed sleep.

On Wednesday it was time for the final leg of our tour as we set off for BodyBarre In Manchester. Unfortunatley a lot of people were unable to attend and this actually worked out to be a good thing as Karen Chaundy's beautiful, chandelier bedecked pole dancing studio was actually to dark to film and we had failed to bring any additional lighting with us. This meant we had an unexpected bit of time to sample the Teapot in the Northern Quarter of Manchester.

The Teapot is a cafe with a difference and it made a refreshing change from the dullness of Starbucks and Costa. I opted for a pot of Tippy Earl grey and Sid opted for an Americano and a Flirty Manchester Tart. The Teapot has a delightful, relaxed ambience and the food looked amazing. Brian went to check out the Rainbow cake!

After our unexpected time off we hit the M6 ready to return to Plymouth, the dark M5 was far less appealing than the sunny A303 or M1. It as so nice to get back on Wednesday evening and to know that we didn't have to do to many more miles in the next few days.

It was a fab road trip and it was so nice to catch up with all the pole dancing instructors who made us feel so welcome throughout. The Fitness pole dancing industry has evolved so much over the past few years and the progress is definitely positive.

Although the trip was work-inspired it was also a chance to sneak in some quality time with my husband :)

We have more syllabus filming to do but for me it is time to focus on judging in Bristol tomorrow for the Bristol Pole Championships, good luck to all those entering.

More news to follow.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

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