Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good bye 2013

Like last year and the year before, I've spent the last few days out of Perth with Mr Bite's family. Six adults, three children and one dog in one house is a recipe for minor chaos, but it is chaos of a good for you, Australian, summery kind of way.

To finish off this year, here are some snaps of the calmer moments.

I think tee-pees are under-rated as outdoor accessories.

Western Australia's south-west forests

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jamie Oliver inspired watermelon and noodle salad

Those of you who watch, or own the book of, Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals may be familiar with this salad. Combining salad vegetables with watermelon, rice noodles and an Asian-style dressing, it is pretty much perfect for Australian summer weather. Jamie paired it with a sticky kicking chicken dish, but I can attest that it also works beautifully with tofu, or just topped with some chopped nuts. It would make a wonderful contribution to a barbecue or picnic.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Reflecting on 2013 - considering the year past, and looking to the year ahead

With Christmas over, it's suddenly that time of year again. You know, that time, where summary posts, "best of" recaps, and resolutions / aspirations abound. I like to save my blog-related summaries for March, where the anniversary of Bite-Sized Thoughts falls. As we've seen, though, I do like this time of year for reflecting and goal setting. 

I had 10 aspirations for 2013. Let's revisit them.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013


Our baby tree.

My parent's large tree.

Lentil, mushroom and walnut balls from Oh She Glows (before and after cooking).
These are highly recommended!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A final Christmas post - my main meal plans and a raw vegan mango cheesecake to say Happy Christmas

My Christmas food posts didn't stretch to main meal options this year. There is a reason for this, and it isn't just laziness (promise!): others have done a far better job on the topic than I could. Plus, many of the dishes I posted in round-up form last year, and the year before, still look appealing. I suspect you didn't want or need another round-up now.

This year, my own Christmas dishes will make use of Angela's brilliant Christmas-themed menu on Oh She Glows. I separately bookmarked her Best Shredded Kale Salad (with pecan parmesan and cranberries) and Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls (with a cranberry-pear sauce) as Christmas ideas, and when she included them in her Christmas menu planning post, it was reinforcement that they were meant to be. After Johanna's post on her experience with the lentil balls, I will be following the recipes exactly - I have even tracked down  the required sherry vinegar!

These vegan dishes will be complementing a traditional roast turkey dinner with roasted vegetables (for my family), and an assortment of desserts. My dessert contributions will be a layered twist on the (vegan) Christmas ice cream I shared in 2011, and some homemade chocolates.

With Christmas menu planning done and dusted, my main focus for today is saying happy Christmas to you. Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter solstice (yesterday!), summer solstice (also yesterday!), or just plain season.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fitness Fridays giveaway! Share your 2014 aspirations to win a Paul's Warehouse voucher

You may recall me posting aspirations at the start of 2012 and again this year. I prefer 'aspirations' to 'resolutions', as I think New Year's resolutions have developed a reputation for being unrealistic and short-lived (although obviously they don't have to be). Aspirations, on the other hand, are just goals. We can set goals any time, but I like to reflect and re-focus at the start of each year.

Today, I am hoping to inspire you to start thinking about your own aspirations for the next year. The reason? I am fortunate to bring you a giveaway for a Paul's Warehouse voucher. For those of you not familiar with Paul's Warehouse, it is a family owned Australian company that offers discount sport and exercise equipment, clothing and shoes. There are no physical stores in Western Australia, but they ship Australia wide (I apologise to my non-Australian readers; they are Australia-specific) for a flat rate of $10.

With a $30 voucher, you could buy all manner of items to support whatever you want to do in 2014.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Vegan strawberry layer cake

My birthday celebrations have been persisting beyond what, strictly speaking, might be appropriate. There have been a few casual catch ups with friends that unexpectedly generated birthday cards and even presents. There was the phlebotomist that noted my birth date as she drew blood. And, last Saturday, there was another family birthday celebration, this time with Mr Bite's family. One of my nieces has a birthday near mine, so we tend to combine celebrations somewhere between our two birthdays.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Zucchini noodles with a tahini lemon sauce

What makes an ideal dinner on a 40'C (106'F) day? Last night, my answer was raw zucchini noodles with a tahini-based sauce, followed by soy vanilla ice cream.

I'm sure you can figure out soy vanilla ice cream by yourself (hint: visit a store) but the zucchini dish deserves sharing. There are lots of similar recipes around, but I think that speaks to how well veggie spirals pair with creamy nut and seed-based sauces.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

18 lower sugar Christmas cookies {Christmas ideas 2013}


I'm bringing you a short post today, to share this round-up of 18 Christmas cookies with a healthy twist. Each of the recipe links is below, or you can access them through the original post.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New York city #3 - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and solo shopping

Intrepid Museum, with the space shuttle Enterprise in the centre

I have decided to divide our four New York city days into four separate posts because, well, the four days were all full. Today covers our third NYC day, which was also our second last day in America. It held exciting plans for both of us!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Edible gift ideas {Christmas ideas 2013}

I am yet to post a savoury Christmas-themed dish, but when it comes to sweet treats and snacks...I've got you covered. 

If you're looking for edible gifts suitable for family or friends, I've got them covered too. As a bonus? Most of these ideas are vegan, but your non-vegan friends won't suspect a thing.

First: Christmas cookies

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In my kitchen - December 2013 (the birthday edition)

I am linking this post in to Celia's monthly In My Kitchen event at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Thank you so much for your birthday wishes. It seems we are all in agreement that life only gets better with age - which is fortunate because we all benefit from that conclusion ;) I had a lovely day and am pleased to use this In My Kitchen post to showcase some birthday items!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fitness Fridays - Running on my 30th birthday

Being a Thursday, yesterday was one of my running days. Being the 5th December, it was also my birthday. I know some might struggle to understand why, on my birthday morning, I left my sleeping husband at 6am to go running. I can picture my mother saying "But wouldn't you give yourself a break and sleep in, on your birthday?!".

I wrote this post because I am so glad I did go running. As I ran, rejoicing in the trees, the sparkling sunshine and the not-yet-hot air, I thought. And as I thought, I was grateful.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rawsome 'Desserts in the Raw' workshop

You may remember that, earlier this year, I raved about Rawsome products appearing at cafes around Perth. As I noted then, the Rawsome range includes raw, vegan (except raw honey in some products), gluten free, paleo, grain free, sugar free and soy free treats that are, quite frankly, amazing. Caramel slice, mint slice, and chocolate fudge brownies are just some of the choices on offer.

Last Sunday, I attended an evening workshop run by Laila Gampfer, the developer of Rawsome. Her Desserts in the Raw workshops are held regularly, and always sell out long in advance of the actual date. In fact, one of the reasons I signed up (way back in August) was the option to cancel without penalty up to 48 hours beforehand. There is always a waiting list of hopeful attendees, so if you need to back out, someone can be slotted into your place.

Raw, vegan chocolate mudcake.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hazelnut and cherry carob cookies - vegan and wheat free {Christmas ideas 2013}

At the risk of sounding patronising, I always feel a little sorry for people who don't like carob. It's one of those flavours that I find so wonderful, and so satisfying, that it's hard to believe other people don't feel the same way.

(Oh, I know. You probably think the same about me and cheese, or plain avocado, or any number of foods I inexplicably Just Don't Like.)

I attribute my carob love to my mother. When my brother and I were young, she favoured it over chocolate as a lower sugar and - crucially - caffeine-free treat that was less likely to spark over-excitement in our young selves. Having acquired the taste as a child, I've retained it through to adulthood.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Smoky barbecue roast vegetables

Here in Australia, it isn't really the season for roast vegetables. However, that doesn't stop us having them and it is the season for large, make in advance side dishes. Roast vegetables fit that requirement perfectly.

This dish is a spin off from the tofu in barbecue sauce I first posted two years ago. I still love that dish, and it taught me that barbecue sauce isn't constrained to what you can buy in plastic bottles. Done well, barbecue sauce is a wonderful thing!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

New York City #2 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art (including The Cloisters) and High Line

With today being American Thanksgiving (happy Thanksgiving!), it seemed appropriate to return to our recent US travels and the second of our days in New York City.

Our second day included an ambitious list of destinations: The Cloisters, part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art but located in far north Manhattan; the High Line park in the centre of Manhattan; and the main Met museum on the Upper East Side. We managed all three, but it was definitely a full day.

The Cloisters

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vegan pumpkin pie berry pancakes {Christmas ideas 2013}

Yesterday marked one month until Christmas. Today, I am showing previously unheard of blog organisation and kicking off my seasonal posts. Hopefully by starting now, you'll have a chance to enjoy any recipes you like the look of before Christmas is over for another year.

Unlike my last post, today's recipe has also been trialed, revised, re-trialed, and then posted. You can't take risks with Christmas! These pancakes could also do double duty for Thanksgiving, which I know is almost upon you in America.

Pumpkin and berry pancakes

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Smoky tofu fritters (a work in progress)

Technically, I should make these fritters again before posting them. Whilst they tasted great, the texture needs refining - in my version, they struggled to hold together and were a challenge to keep as discrete fritters (as opposed to a messy scramble)! However, I have no idea when I might get to making them again, and they seem too good to skip over altogether. Thus, I post them with ideas for modifications, and a warning as to their messiness in this version. I'm not giving a printable version of the recipe either, to encourage you to make changes if you choose to try them out.

Messy fritters!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fitness Fridays - Exercise and mental health (a research post)

Every now and then, I think I'd like to do more posts that draw on my research background. There are lots of research areas I'm interested in that don't quite fit in my work role, and I imagine that lots of you don't have time to trawl through research databases or determine what the latest recommendation on Topic X is.

Usually I have these kinds of thoughts and then don't find the time to follow them through, or I worry that no one else will want to know about Topic X anyway. Recently, though, the idea of research posts has been coming to me more and more often. I get frustrated by popular media stories that make claims without supporting evidence. I'd like to try and make science more accessible - and, I'd like an excuse to delve into all those  topics I'm curious about.

So, today, we have the first such post. In this case, it is an integration of research with my recently neglected Fitness Fridays initiative. The images (because all posts must have images!) come from our recent camping trip, which I've been wanting an excuse to share and which fit vaguely into the exercise focus.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New York city (#1) - The Frick Collection, Matilda on Broadway, and city-based wandering

New York has the honour of being the only place in the US that I have been to twice. It is, of course, the sort of place you can visit 10 times and still not see it all. At the same time, it invites familiarity after a delightfully short period of time. The combination of famous landmarks and nicely numbered / lettered streets makes navigation easy, and walking delightful.

The drive from New Haven to New York was our last driving stretch. I generously offered allocated it to Mr Bite. In order to avoid driving into Manhattan itself, we dropped the car at LaGuardia airport and made the rest of the journey by bus. As a consequence, the drive wasn't that bad (said by the person who was a passenger) but it was still long enough. New York drivers really like to beep!

Our apartment building (the lowest window visible at the front,
 half underground, was our lounge room)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ginger-chilli-soy coleslaw

It seems that remembering my New Haven Asian-style coleslaw prompted me to want, well, more Asian-style coleslaw. I'm suggestible like that.

If I'm honest, I'm also eager desperate for ways to use up cabbage. I love my fortnightly vegetable box delivery, but sometimes there are a lot of vegetables to get through myself. Last time, I got a whole cabbage, a whole cauliflower, and a whole broccoli. Mr Bite eats none of these vegetables unless they are well disguised. Finding clever uses for them has been necessary!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

No bake peanut butter energy bites (4 ingredients, vegan, and no food processor required!)

It's all very well me raving about my new (second hand) large freezer, and baking muffins in bulk, but I know that many of you are in the position I was in a few months back: freezer space is at a premium. Plus, sometimes you (I) want a snack or treat without having to do much. If you're in Australia, you (I) may also want a snack or treat without having to turn on your oven.

These no bake peanut butter energy bites are the perfect solution.

I clearly wasn't in the mood for even cutting.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Boston to New York city, via New Haven

Between work and camping and the inevitable nature of time (it passes!), our American holiday is receding into the past more rapidly than seems right. I shall try to get my final few American posts written before my memories recede too!

Yale University, New Haven

After our two nights in Boston, we drove the 4 (ish) hours to New York city, our final destination before returning home. On the way, though, we stopped at New Haven, Connecticut, for petrol and lunch. This wasn't a planned destination - New Haven just happened to be about the right distance along the drive.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chocolate zucchini muffins

As my last post may have conveyed, we had a lot of fun camping on the weekend. As my first time sleeping in a 'normal' tent (versus a shared open-ended hootchie on the traumatic experience that was year 8 camp, and a smaller hootchie on the enjoyable but short-lived Duke of Edinburgh year 10 camp), it was also a novel experience for me. I still have some reservations; I loved sleeping amongst trees, but was less enamored with the bugs, and I loved walking for 5 hours on the Cape to Cape track, but would have liked a shower at the end of it! However, I can definitely imagine more camping in my future.

After leaving work early on Friday and returning home on Sunday to the usual weekend requirements (shopping/washing/ironing...), I am also thanking myself again for bulk baking muffins last weekend. A few posts ago, I shared the pumpkin, apple and cranberry variety. Today, we have chocolate zucchini.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Camping - reflections in photos

Camp site, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park - pre-tent

Camp site, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park - post-tent
(thanks to my sister-in-law's tent lending!)

Friday, November 8, 2013

American food #2

My first American food post was all the way back in Washington D.C. (how is that 6 weeks ago?). Thus, I think we are overdue for the second! These items are from various stops on our travels, and all seemed worthy of blog attention, albeit not so much attention that they get their own posts.

First: Enormous pizza.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin apple and cranberry muffins

It's taken a while, but I am finally grasping the implications of having a whole, full size freezer in our garage. All those months and years I bemoaned my inability to make things in bulk and freeze snacks and meals for later? I can finally make up for lost time.

(Or at least, I can make up for lost time within the bounds of planning to move countries in 6 months.)

On the weekend, I embraced this realisation with two batches of muffins. These vegan pumpkin, apple and cranberry muffins were one batch. They are adapted from the vegan pumpkin apple muffins on Minimalist Baker. They are full of goodness, easy to make, and completely delicious.

Monday, November 4, 2013

In my kitchen - November 2013

I am linking this post in to Celia's monthly In My Kitchen event at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

In my kitchen, there is new season mango. Mango prices are still a little steep, but I couldn't resist.

I am, however, resisting the $20 / kg apricots. We might see them in my kitchen in December, but probably not before.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Out and About in Perth (#5) - Open House Perth, 2013

Some of you may be familiar with the Open House scheme. It started in London in 1992, and has since extended to cities all around the world. 2012 was the first year for Open House Perth and we didn't know anything about it until after the event (!). This year, we were more organised and managed to visit a few of the open buildings on Saturday. I am glad we did, although as I forgot my camera, I am sharing images with you courtesy of my phone. I apologise for the dubious quality at times.

By Bishop's See Gardens, Perth.

Open House aims to give people a behind the scenes look at historical, architecturally significant and/or otherwise meaningful spaces. Mostly these spaces are buildings, but some are gardens or other types of architecture. This year, there were 65 sites open in Perth over 2 days. Clearly, you have to pick your priorities.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Magical everything chocolate pudding (vegan, raw, 100% whole foods, and refined sugar free)

I like to think that I'm honest about my vegetable dessert experiments that don't quite work. The green ice cream I made with spinach? Probably not for everyone. That (best forgotten) chocolate mint fudge with cauliflower? Clearly a disaster.

As for this chocolate pudding, though? Trust me when I say it's a vegetable containing dessert that you want to embrace.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A-Z Bookish Survey

I was delighted when Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe tagged me in her post on this A-Z Bookish Survey. I hadn't see the survey before, but it is just the sort of thing that appeals to me. As far as I can tell, it started with The Perpetual Page-Turner a few months back and, as you might imagine, traverses from A to Z with 26 book-related questions. I am very grateful to Johanna for providing me with an excuse to do it!

The tall fiction bookcase.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tofu and cabbage rice paper rolls with peanut molasses sauce

I think it's best to get something out of the way without delay: these rice paper rolls are messy. Really messy.


Yes, I know. But now that we've all shared a laugh, I can move on to the benefits of these rolls. They might look a bit lumpy and misshapen, but they taste really good! Peanut butter and molasses are a well matched duo, and the crunchy cabbage is beautifully offset by the tender tofu and outer rice paper wrapping.

If you cut your cabbage more finely than I did, you may even manage to make your rolls taste really good and look smooth and sophisticated.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Boston waterfront

I expected to love Boston. This is, of course, a dangerous way to approach a city. It is far better to expect little and be pleasantly surprised.

As those opening lines may hint, I didn't love Boston. Neither of us did. I almost hesitate to write this - some of you, I am sure, will be in the Boston loving crowd! - but we can't all love the same things. There was nothing actually wrong with the city, and I am glad that we visited, but I don't have much of a desire to return.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Vegan pumpkin cheesecake with optional raspberry topping


I'm glad that my last post conveyed my enthusiasm for the pumpkin cheesecake that, well, inspired this pumpkin cheesecake. It may be accurate to say that Candle Cafe provided me with the best dessert of my life. It is certainly accurate to say that it provided me with the best dessert of our recent trip.

When I set out to recreate this dish, I remembered Gabby's vegan pumpkin mousse cake posted this time last year on The Veggie Nook. I bookmarked it at the time, but it took the Candle Cafe prompt for me to pull it out again. I am glad I did, because not only did it result in a dessert to rival that of my New York experience, it was also unexpectedly easy. You need to allow some time to soak your nuts (there is no way to make that sound good), and to let the cake chill and set, but the active preparation time is well under an half an hour.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Candle Cafe's vegan pumpkin cheesecake


Pale tangerine offset by ruby red
And studded with pepita jewels
Cleaved by fork; ethereal lightness
Beauty and perfection.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Peri-peri tofu and kale on toast

If you read Bite-Sized Thoughts regularly, you may know that I don't often have sandwiches, toast or even bread. It's not that I dislike those things, but rather that I find leftovers easier than sandwiches for work lunches, am a fruit/cereal/smoothie girl for breakfast, and prefer crumpets, English muffins and fruit bread to plain toast or bread for snacking.

With the above said, today I am sharing a bread-based recipe that is as delicious as it is simple, and which I would happily have for lunch every day if I could manage it.

This tofu meal brought to mind memories of baked beans on toast and eggs on toast, and reminded me that toast is rather lovely when topped with savoury foods that soak into the bread beneath. When those flavours include a subtle kick of peri-peri spice, all the better.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chocolate and books - Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate; Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Goji Berry, Pecans & Maca, and with Cherries; and more historical fiction

A shorter title for this post would have been "all the good things". After all, is there a better combination than good chocolate with a good book? I suppose any good food with a good book is wonderful - but chocolate is a strong contender in the 'good' category. Or at least, these American blocks are.

I nearly didn't buy this Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt chocolate block. After all, almonds and sea salt aren't that uncommon in chocolate. I confess to wondering if the block really deserved precious luggage space.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hanover, New Hampshire, with an all American diner experience

After our night in Burlington, we set off on a much shorter driving day to Boston, with a planned lunchtime stop in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was fortunate the drive was short, because I was so traumatised by the day before I declared I didn't want to drive at all, and made Mr Bite cover both sections (!). 

Happily, not only were the drives short, but they were also scenic and largely very easy (up until the Boston bit, which was as busy as you might expect Boston to be if you arrive at 6pm on a weeknight). All through our driving we had sections of fall colour starting to turn, giving rise to bright orange, yellow or red trees set amongst the green.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Returning to things much loved: Family, The Raw Kitchen, and a blackberry avocado chocolate pudding

It's been over 3 months since my last avocado-containing dessert, so I'm hoping it's acceptable to let another one grace these pages. It's hard to believe that only 2 years have passed since I discovered the wonder that is avocado in dessert form. I still don't like it in savoury dishes, but if you pair it with cocoa or fruit (or both!) and process it into mousse (or cheesecake, or ice cream!) then I am completely smitten.

My last avocado mousse recipe involved raspberries, and I have to confess that this version is not very different - except that instead of raspberries, we have blackberries, and instead of carob, we have cocoa. I wouldn't like to have to choose between the two options, and can see myself happily alternating between them for the foreseeable future.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Almond-semolina-apple-oat slice

You know those times when you imagine a product, and you want it desperately, but you don't have a recipe? You're not even sure if there is a recipe, or if it is something you've had before, or if you have simply dreamed it up in your imagination?

And you know those times when you try to make said product, following a whim, and it doesn't work? Awful. Devastating even.

But then, there are those other times. The times you turn your imagined product into reality. The times your edible dream actually becomes edible, and dream-worthy, and it is as if the stars have aligned in your kitchen just for you.

Those times are magic.

To me, these apple slices were that magic.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Toronto to Burlington, Vermont (featuring Walmart, scary driving, and vegan crepes)

When we left Toronto, we did so with the goal of skirting along the bottom of Canada to re-enter the US at the New York State / Vermont border, just south of Montreal. With our overnight stop planned for Burlington in northern Vermont, it was our longest day of driving with an estimated 7 hours in smooth traffic.

When planning our drive the night before, we looked for obvious lunch stops without finding any. And so, we did what any two Australians in North America would do: we searched for Walmart stores along our route. There was one in Kingston, just under 3 hours from Toronto, and so that became our first stopping point.

Walmart. I know, it's not that exciting.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jumbo spicy kale salad with tofu

I was expecting to love America's range of vegan snacks, desserts and chocolates. I was expecting to enjoy almond milk coffees, and readily available veggie dishes, and tofu in various forms. I did enjoy all of those things. Unexpectedly, however, my greatest American food love (pending one incredible dessert that shall be discussed in time) was the salads. Huge salads. Meal-worthy salads. Salads with All The Things.

These are serious salads.

I could bring back chocolate and snack foods, but I couldn't bring back the salads. And so, I am making it a mission to make my own. Here is the first attempt!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

In my kitchen - the America to Australia edition (October 2013)

I am linking this post in to Celia's monthly In My Kitchen event at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

In my kitchen, there is me! We survived our incredibly long journey home (1.5 hours to get from Manhattan to JFK airport; 3 hours at the airport; 11 hours on a plane; 2 hours at Dubai airport; 10 hours on a plane; 1 hour to clear passport control, customs, and get ourselves to actually home) and are back in Australia in body, if not fully in mind.

The last holiday photo, just before we disappeared through that A6 gate.

In my kitchen, there is a Whole Foods bag I brought back with us. I filled it this morning when re-stocking on fruit and vegetables.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Toronto, Canada

Toronto from the CN Tower.

After leaving my Canadian family, we drove an hour up around Lake Ontario to reach Toronto itself. Despite cool (to us!) temperatures - roughly 11-18'C while we were there - the city glistened in sunshine making it warm when walking around and picturesque for photographing.

Having little time in the city, we picked just two focused activities for our 1.5 - 2 days: the CN Tower, and Casa Loma. The CN Tower, as I'm sure you all know, is a 553m high building that was the world's highest from when it was built in 1976 right up until 2010. Casa Loma may be less well known, and is a rather bemusing castle-house built by the Canadian Sir Henry Pellatt in the early 1900's.