Saturday, February 20, 2016

The National Railway Museum in York

Visiting the National Railway Museum on our travels.

Last year we had a wonderful weekend in York. We love spending time Yorkshire and have visited a number of minigolf courses in the county during the last nine years of our tour around the UK.

The National Railway Museum in York
The National Railway Museum is a real hands-on place to visit

On this occasion we were in the fine city to attend the International Postcard Expo at the racecourse. But a visit York isn't complete unless you also take a look around the National Railway Museum.

The National Railway Museum in York
See what I mean!

It's a tremendous facility that is a must visit.

The National Railway Museum in York
In amongst the million-plus objects and exhibits at the National Railway Museum

Driving

The National Railway Museum in York
Hanging out on a faux InterCity 125

National Railway Museum in York
The 'Midland Express'

We spent a few hours wandering around the various exhibits - there are over a million of them there! There's so much to see the museum warrants more than one visit and we can't wait to return.

I was tuckered out as there was so much to see I had to have a nap on a bullet train
I was tuckered out as there was so much to see I had to have a nap on a bullet train

While on our travels we always enjoy popping into museums for a look around. Some other great museums we've been to are in Abingdon, Ipswich, Stevenage, Newbury, High Wycombe, Buckingham and Canvey Island.

Abingdon County Hall
Abingdon's County Hall museum is the venue for the curious tradition of bun throwing

As a keen collector of ephemera, researcher of social history and a miniature golf historian I'm a curator of the Crazy Golf Museum. A marvellous place full of memories, memorabilia and merchandise from the world of minigolf.

Links:
- The National Railway Museum
- The Crazy Golf Museum

Related blog posts:
- Museum
- York
- Yorkshire
- The Crazy Golf Museum
- Funicular Railway
- Miniature Railway
- Train

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

60 ways to get more out of your golf - play more minigolf

#48 is all about Crazy Golf.

In November last year I was named Officially Britain’s Craziest Golfer by Today's Golfer magazine and in a follow-up I was recently asked to contribute to a feature that appears in the April 2016 edition (on sale from 18th February to 16 March).

The magazine has collected together 60 ways to get more out of your golf in 2016. At number 48 is an interview where I've selected some of the top hot spots to putt on mini, crazy and adventure golf courses in the UK.

Crazy Golf windmill at Oddballs Crazy Golf course in Cleethorpes
The HUGE windmill on the Oddballs Crazy Golf course in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire gets a mention in the Today's Golf article. Check out the magazine to see where else I selected

The issue of Today's Golfer also contains a look at the new miniature golf course at The Belfry.

Lovely to see some big coverage of the mini game.

Check out the Today's Golfer website to read my interview from last year at "This bloke has played 640 crazy golf courses. Just one question... why???"

Link:
Today's Golfer magazine

Related blog posts:
Officially Britain’s Craziest Golfer
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
Richard Gottfried's Minigolf Player Profile

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems.

You can also now sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Anglo-American Summit of the World Finger Jousting Federation

News from the Anglo-American Summit of the World Finger Jousting Federation.

Visit the World Finger Jousting Federation website for details of the recent Anglo-American Summit of the WFJF. An historic and landmark event in the fine sport of finger jousting.

President of the WFJF, and Lord of the Joust, Julian Gluck meets Richard Gottfried, British Consul to the Federation and head of operations in Europe

Back in 2006 I became the first international member of the WFJF. Check out the news item heralding my arrival.

Check out this video of a finger jousting contest between Squire Richard of Surleigh and Sir Myles of Hampshire.



Related blog posts:
- Finger Jousting
The second ever blog post on the Ham & Egger Files

Links:
- World Finger Jousting Federation website
- World Finger Jousting Federation on Facebook

Expanded free from range at Morrisons

Great to see more gluten free products in the Morrisons free from range.

As someone with Coeliac Disease I'm always on the hunt for new and interesting gluten and wheat free food and drink. So I was very pleased to see that Morrisons have really gone to town on their expanded range of Free From products.

Look at that, just look at that. What a sight. What a delight

Yowzers! There are plenty of pie options in the fridge at Morrisons in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire. This time I bought a very nice No-G Chicken, Bacon and Leek Pie for my dinner, and a Lemon Pie for Emily to try. I had a nibble to and it was marvellous. I've also got a Morello Cherry and Chocolate Tart in the fridge. We've also tried some of the products in the Great Food range before and they are very good too. We'll have to try the Pure products in the future

There is also some new gluten and wheat free bread from Newburn Bakehouse now in stock at Morrisons, including a sourdough loaf

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
Coeliac
Funny things about being a Coeliac

Links:
- Morrisons
- No-G
- Great Food
- Newburn Bakehouse

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Crazy Golf in St Martins, near Looe in Cornwall

En route to Looe, Cornwall on the 6th June 2015 we visited the Parkdean Looe Bay Holiday Park in St Martins for a quick stop-off. There was a Crazy Golf course there. It looked like fun.

Unfortunately we couldn't find anywhere to hire putters from

The course became the 627th visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and the 28th during our tour of the South West of England.

Related blog posts:
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
Mini Golf in the South West of England

Link:
- Parkdean Looe Bay Holiday Park website

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems.

You can also now sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

2016 World Alternative Games in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales

The World Alternative Games, the multi-sport event for quirky, odd and obscure games, is back for its third-edition this year.



The festival of sport will be taking place in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales between the 12th and 29th August 2016 and features an action packed calendar of events for people of all ages and abilities.

Athletes at the World Alternative Games compete in the Corinthian Spirit

We organised the Finger Jousting Championships at the 2012 and 2014 events. In the first-year there were 35 events, with over 60 titles up for grabs in 2014.

The competitors at the Official World Finger Jousting Championships in 2014

At the first edition of the event in 2012 I also won the World Alternative Games Egg Throwing Championships with my team mate Jas Kukielka. I also competed in the World of Grip and Portaputt contests in 2014.

About to win a world title

Find out more about the World Alternative Games on the official website.

Links:
World Alternative Games website
- World Finger Jousting Federation website

Related blog posts:
World Alternative Games

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems.

You can also now sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Minigolf sharks in Sheffield

More miniature golf sharks sighted on our adventure golf travels.

Another minigolf shark captured on our adventures

While playing at the Paradise Island Adventure Golf course in Sheffield we spotted some more minigolf sharks!

Why would you need a Liferaft on an indoor Adventure Golf course?

Because of this!

Putting on the shipwreck on the Cinnamon Cove course at Paradise Island Adventure Golf in Sheffield

A view of the Shell Bay course. Home to a shark that didn't get away

Related blog posts:
- Mini Golf Sharks
- Paradise Island Adventure Golf in Sheffield
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems. You can also sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A gluten free burger in a gluten free brioche-style bun!

We're always on the lookout for new and interesting gluten free food and we made a great discovery at Waitrose in Lutterworth, Leicestershire at the weekend when we spotted the packs of brioche style buns made by Just: Gluten Free Bakery!

Gluten free brioche style buns from Just: Gluten Free Bakery
What a find!

For dinner tonight we cooked up some gluten free burgers from the Co-Operative and put them in the brioche buns. They were delicious.

Gluten free brioche style buns from Just: Gluten Free
A fine burger, topped with bacon and cheese and stuffed in a nice brioche style bun. The free from Onion Rings from Tesco were great too. Note the healthy items on the plate

Check out the links below for more info on Just: Gluten Free Bakery.


Related blog posts:

The Chilli Shop in Leeds

While we were up in Leeds to watch some live PDC darts and Hal Cruttenden's stand-up tour we stumbled upon a great shop in the Merrion Shopping Centre.

We were making our way to the First Direct arena for the kick-off of the 2016 PDC Premier League of darts and spotted the Chilli Shop. And what a marvellous shop it is too.

Our haul from the Chilli Shop in Leeds. The flyers for the shop also contain a version of the Scoville scale - a 'Survival Guide' to the hottest things on the planet!

As well as 50 free tasters of the world's best chillies there was all manner of other merchandise and snacks to buy.

Two things caught my eye - the first was 'The Museum of Pain'. This exhibits the hottest chillies in the world, some of which are a mind (and mouth) blowing two million plus on the Scoville scale! As a curator of The Crazy Golf Museum it was great to see the owner of the shop, Frank Jay, has taken the time and effort to display the array of chillies, trinkets, objects and info.

The Museum of Pain - it contains the world's hottest Easter Egg!
The second thing that caught my eye was the Chilli Challenge of the 'Hunger Games' where you got to play some darts, but with the caveat that if you didn't hit the bullseye to win the star prize (a bag of the world's hottest peanuts) you had to do a forfeit.

Darts, with a difference

I stepped up and scored a dismal amount that doesn't need to be recorded here. Needless to say that Emily was brave enough and stepped up to take my forfeit of a spoonful of a Chilli and Garlic condiment. I was more fearful of trying it due to cross contamination with all the gluten knocking around from the crackers used for tasters. For once, Coeliac Disease came to my aid!

We did return to the shop the next day and tasted a few other items and picked up some nice bottles of sauce, including the condiment which has a nice kick to it. We also bought a Goan Curry Sauce that is gluten free.

The Chilli Shop is well worth a visit if you're in Leeds. Do check out the Chilli Shop website for more info and details on how to order online.

Links:
- The Chilli Shop website
- The Chilli Shop on Facebook

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Paradise Island Adventure Golf in Sheffield

Playing at Paradise Island Adventure Golf in Sheffield on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Driving home from a few days away in Leeds we called in to the Valley Centertainment leisure park in Sheffield to play at Paradise Island Adventure Golf.

A lovely bit of theming

We've wanted to play the courses for a few years now and were really looking forward to our round. We weren't disappointed as it was great fun.

Playing hole one

We decided to play the Cinnamon Cove course, one of the two 18-hole courses there, and teed-off in our very competitive contest.

On dry land in Cinnamon Cove

The Paradise Island Adventure Golf layout in Sheffield is unique, fun, well designed and looks magnificent.

All aboard!

It's not often we play a course where you actually do feel transported to a different location, but the starting-point of the Cinnamon Cove course does that, with the very nice ship-effect.

A fairly straight first hole

Emily holing out

From the confines of the boat you make your way to the jungle-themed course, full of animatronic animals, tikki heads, monkeys, tunnels, hills and pipes. And a Cannibal Camp!

Outside the Cannibal Camp in Cinnamon Cove

We were concerned that playing the course on a rainy Saturday morning would mean we'd be queuing a lot on the courses, but even though there were quite a few other players out on the course the games were flowing nicely and we were able to wrap up our game in about 45 minutes.

In amongst the cargo on the first hole

The other players seemed to be enjoying themselves, with plenty of shouting, cheering and laughing heard around the course. Something that is always nice to see in minigolf.

A lovely little loop hole. A nice ace opportunity

The cheeky monkeys get quite raucous on this hilly pipe hole 

Emily about to ace the 13th. I threed it

The Cinnamon Cove course became the 391st course played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, and the 674th visited overall since we started our tour of the UK's courses in September 2006.

Perhaps Emily should of rubbed the Buddha's belly on the 17th hole for good luck 

As the very tricky 18th hole was to be her undoing

In our 18-hole match-up I defeated Emily by one-shot - the 18th hole was a cruel decider - with a 40 to 41 scoreline. Emily won on aces, scoring a pair of holes-in-one on the 4th and 13th holes. We found there were plenty of ace opportunities on the course as we were leaving plenty of shots out there as tap-in twos.

A pair of characters

Neither of us won on the 'lucky' 19th hole

We're looking forward to returning to play the Shell Bay course one day in the future. Hopefully on a return to Paradise Island Adventure Golf I'll get to see the course mascot Maggie McCaw!

The starting point for the second course at Paradise Island Adventure Golf

A view of the Shell Bay course

As a big collector of minigolf merch it was brilliant to be able to buy some trinkets at Paradise Island Adventure Golf. I bought a button badge, keyring and golf ball stress ball.

A nice selection of minigolf merch

You can find the 36-hole Paradise Island Adventure Golf at the Valley Centertainment leisure park in Sheffield. There did look like there was plenty to do there, including two of our other favourites - laser tag and tenpin bowling!

Another minigolf shark captured on our tour

We've been to Paradise Island Adventure Golf courses in Manchester and Glasgow, and the courses at Livingston and Cheshire Oaks are on our 'to visit' list. Visit the Paradise Island Adventure Golf website for more information, prices and opening times for all the courses. You can also sign-up to the Paradise Island Adventure Golf newsletters on the site to keep up-to-date with news and offers from the courses.

Links:
- Paradise Island Adventure Golf website
- Paradise Island Adventure Golf Sheffield website

Related blog posts:
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
85 Manchester (Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Tiki Hut Trail) - Adventure Golf
86 Manchester (Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Temple Ruins Adventure) - Adventure Golf
90 Glasgow (Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Maggie McCaw's Challenge) - Adventure Golf
91 Glasgow (Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Tiki Hut Trail) - Adventure Golf
- Paradise Island Adventure Golf at Braehead, Scotland
- Indoor Minigolf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf courses
- Mini Golf Sharks

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow Richard and Emily on Twitter. You can also now sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter.

Gluten free at 2 Oxford Place in Leeds

Dining out at 2 Oxford Place in Leeds.

Gluten free at 2 Oxford Place in Leeds
2 Oxford Place gets the double-thumbs up from me

Ever since I heard that a 100% gluten free restaurant was opening in Leeds I had been excited to visit. Luckily we got to eat there on Friday. It was certainly well worth the wait.

The kitchen at The Oxford Place is totally gluten free so I was able to dine without fear of cross-contamination. And even better, I was able to order without having to explain I have Coeliac Disease. I haven't done that for well over six months and it's certainly not a regular occurrence!

Gluten free at 2 Oxford Place in Leeds
Delicious food, great drinks, excellent service, 100% gluten free - 2 Oxford Place is brilliant

We'd arrived in Leeds on Thursday but unfortunately found ourselves at 2 Oxford Place between the afternoon and evening opening times.

With my hunger built and a great looking menu I really wanted to treat myself, so when we returned on Friday we went all out, and ordered a grilled cheese sandwich to start. I then had a huge portion of haddock, chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce for my main course.

Gluten free at 2 Oxford Place in Leeds
One of my favourite meals. And something I don't get to eat all that often

Even though we were quite full of delicious food and drink (we opted for Prossecco, wine and cocktails - although there are gluten free beers available) we had to treat ourselves to dessert. And what a dessert it was!

Gluten free at 2 Oxford Place in Leeds
Look at that Assiette!

The last time we'd had a meal out together in a 100% gluten free restaurant was at The Galley in Plymouth in June last year. On that occasion we were blown away by the dessert. And the dessert we were served at 2 Oxford Place over six months later amazed us again. The Assiette of Puddings to share at 2 Oxford Place included crème brulee, chocolate brownie, cake truffles, and mini pavlovas.

Gluten free at 2 Oxford Place in Leeds
We're still eating some of the dessert after having had to take it away!

We really enjoyed the whole experience of eating at 2 Oxford Place. The food, service and venue are all brilliant and we would definitely eat there again.

Check out the The Oxford Place website for further details, menus and opening times.

Links:
- The Oxford Place website

Related blog posts:
- Gluten free
- Coeliac