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Stay up to date with Portobello Place in Chartridge, Buckinghamshire

To find out about the latest goings-on here in our beautiful care home near Chesham, keep an eye on this news page. Our articles offer insight into daily life in our residential care home in Buckinghamshire, with a wide variety of events, activities and entertainment taking place each week for those living here in Chartridge for residential care, respite care and day care. Keep an eye on our Facebook page too for regular updates!

Wondrous wildlife accessible to all

The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) was founded in 1959 and takes care of 87 nature reserves and 5 living landscapes across the three counties.

Just half an hour away from our luxury care home in Chartridge, just north of Tring, you’ll find College Lake, a former chalk quarry at Pitstone in the Aylesbury Vale – the site is one of BBOWT’s flagship reserves and boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna for all ages to enjoy, all year round.

Following a lot of hard work over several years from staff and volunteers, this thriving nature reserve now supports more than 1,000 different wildlife species. If you’re interested in birdwatching, wildflowers and getting fresh air in beautiful countryside, College Lake offers the ideal place for all three, and you can do as much or as little as you’d like.

The lake is home to an eco-friendly visitor centre with a shop and café that opened to the public in 2010 – complete with amazing views of the lake – as well as bird hides and a picnic area. There’s no entry fee, there’s plenty of parking and 90% of the paths are surfaced. And with benches dotted around, you can sit for a while and watch nature at its best. A couple of the hides are wheelchair-accessible, and you can even book out the two mobility Tramper vehicles for easier access free of charge, so it’s a great place for us to take residents for the day from our Chartridge care home.

We’re incredibly lucky to have such a great place for wildlife right on our doorstep – College Lake is a wonderful place that lets people of all ages come and explore a beautiful landscape that’s home to a variety of breeding waders. Common terns, lapwing and redshank call College Lake their home, and in the colder months, wintering wildfowl – such as wigeon and teal – head to the area from Scandinavia and beyond, using the wetlands for feeding and roosting. It’s no wonder College Lake is widely regarded as one of the best places in Buckinghamshire for water birds. If you’ve never been, it’s well worth popping over for a fun family day out.

Maybe when the warmer weather comes back next spring and summer, we’ll take our residents out on a trip to College Lake – and it would be rude not to enjoy the delicious food and drink in the café, wouldn’t it!

To find out more about our outings and events at Portobello Place care home in Chartridge, follow us on Facebook, keep checking back on our news page or get in touch with the team.

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Recipe of the Week - Sweet and Sour Chicken




The ingredients for chicken

small pineapple
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 onion (cut into wedges)
1 tbsp cornflour
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Spring onions  

For the sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
300ml pineapple juice
2 garlic cloves
25g fresh root ginger
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 pinch dried chilli flakes 
Fresh ground black pepper
Tomato puree (optional)  

Method for cooking  

1.      Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and stir – fry the onion and peppers for three minutes over a high heat and set on the side.

2.      Marinated the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with cornflour and deep fry them until crispy and set on the side.

3.      To make sauce. Put the cornflour in a small bowl and stir with pineapple juice until smooth. Put the remaining pineapple juice in a separate bowl and stir in the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ketchup and chilli flakes until combined and set on the side.

4.      Add the pineapple into the sweet sour sauce and bring to boil. Add the crispy chicken in and cook the chicken in a right cooking temperature and the pineapple is hot.

5.      Stir in cornflour and cook for 30- 60 seconds until the sauce is thickened and glossy. Turning the chicken until the chicken and vegetable are nicely coated. 6.      Sprinkle with chopped spring onions. Serve with rice and cooked vegetables  

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Recipe of the Week - Sesame Prawn Toast

We’re moving into an oriental flavour this week and our recipe is courtesy of our Junior Chef, Leo. Ingredients

·          200g peeled prawns

·          Egg white

·          A clove of garlic

·          1 tbsp cornflour

·          Pinch of salt

·          Spring onions – chopped

·          3 tsp hot pepper sauce

·          1 pinch of ginger (optional)

·          8 slices of white bread

·          Sesame seeds 

Method

1. Put all ingredients except the bread and sesame seeds in a food processor and blend to a paste.

2. Spread the paste onto the eight slices of bread evenly.

3. Remove crusts from bread and cut each piece of bread into four triangles.

4. Sprinkle on sesame seeds or place the seeds on a plate or chopping board and then press the bread triangles, paste side down into the seeds. Only seed the paste side.

5. Heat up the oil in a frying pan, very hot (about 190⁰) but not smoking. Put the toast into the oil (paste side first) and fry 30 – 50 seconds each side and serve!

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Walter Rothschild's legacy, right near our Chartridge care home

Just nine miles away from Portobello Place care home in Chartridge, heading out of Buckinghamshire into Hertfordshire, you’ll find the Natural History Museum at Tring. The building was erected in 1889 to house Walter Rothschild’s zoological collections, it was opened to the public in 1892 and was gifted to the nation following Walter’s death in 1937, becoming part of the Natural History Museum.

This incredibly interesting place retains its unique Victorian character and houses one of the largest private natural history collections ever assembled. We’re so incredibly lucky to have somewhere like this so close to Portobello Place care home near Chesham, and as an added benefit, it’s free to go in.

With 4,000 specimens on public display – all still arranged in taxonomic order and classified into related groups, just as they were in Walter’s day – there’s so much to see, from anglerfish to zebras and everything in-between.

With October half-term almost upon us, why don’t you take the family to Tring for a fascinating day out? Or if you like the sound of the trips we go on from Portobello Place, why not get in touch to find out more about what life is like here in our luxury care home in Buckinghamshire? We hope to hear from you soon.

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Recipe of the Week - La Boqueria

Another simple recipe from our menu, this time from the famous market in Barcelona – it’s ‘La Boqueria’, which is essentially egg and chips with a twist.

Ingredients
- 1 litre olive oil
- 4 Spanish chorizo sausage links
- Eggs
- Sea salt
- Chips

Method

1. Prepare the oil a day or two in advance – you can store this oil in the fridge for later use, it should last for a good month or more. To make this, split the chorizo sausages lengthways then in a pan, place the chorizo sausage and olive oil and heat slowly for 30 minutes; a very gentle simmer will suffice. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 1-2 days. Strain the oil back into its original bottle and label.

2. In a small non-stick frying pan, heat a little of the chorizo-infused olive oil and heat gently, crack a couple of eggs and fry to your liking. If you cook them very quickly, they will be crispy on the outside and very runny in the centre! Then season with sea salt.

3. Place your chips on a plate and put the runny eggs and part of the oil over the chips. The idea is for the yolks to break over the chips.

4. Serve with some crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Tips

Use whatever kind of chips you like! Make them fresh preferably or if not, be practical and use a good brand to cook in the oven at home. If you do make them fresh at home, try cutting the potatoes in thin 1/4” thick round discs and fry. The chorizo that has been used to infuse the oil can be cut up into small pieces, lightly pan fried and added to a mixed salad.

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Recipe of the Week - Classic Caesar Salad

This classic, simple salad was created in Mexico, in 1924 by Caesar Cardini; the recipe was created in Cardini’s restaurant in the tourist destination of Tijuana when he wanted to attract Americans who were frustrated by prohibition.

The Classic Caesar Salad is a delicate marriage of lettuce, parmesan shavings, croutons and a delicate anchovy and egg yolk dressing. In its original form, this salad was prepared and served in front of the guests in restaurants – but nobody knows if the original recipe did, in fact, include anchovies.

Ingredients for six people

Salad

·       2 Romaine or cos lettuce in mouth-sized pieces

·       6 tbsp Parmesan shavings

·       6 tbsp ready-made croutons

Dressing

·       2 small crushed garlic cloves

·       2 tsp Dijon mustard

·       Salt and pepper to taste

·       2 tsp lemon juice

·       1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

·       2 crushed anchovies in oil

·       4fl oz virgin olive oil

·       2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

·       1 raw egg yolk or ‘coddled egg’, slightly poached and left runny to pasteurise

Method

1.       Place all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, except the oil.

2.       Mix well with a whisk and gently pour in the olive oil in thin strands to emulsify into a fine dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.       In the same bowl, add your lettuce leaves, parmesan shavings and croutons and toss well altogether.

4.       Wipe the sides of the bowl with kitchen roll or place on a fancy dish to serve.

Tips



Why not add seared salmon steaks, shredded chicken, ham or avocado to make a meal out of it?

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Recipe of the Week - Berry Delight Dessert

Let’s hold on to summer a bit longer with this simple, refreshing dessert – although in the colder months, why not substitute the summer fruits for some poached winter fruits? This dish is great for a dinner party as you can prepare them ahead of time and leave them in glasses in the fridge. This means that all you need to do on the night is finish them off with a scoop of ice cream, which will free you up to spend more time with your guests! Enjoy.

Ingredients for six people

-          4 punnets of mixed summer berries
-          1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
-          4 tablespoons of white sugar
-          2 leaves of roughly torn basil leaves
-          Four shots of crème de cassis
-          Vanilla ice cream
-          Mint leaves or edible flowers for decoration

Method

1.       Place all your berries in a bowl, and add the sugar, basil, vinegar and half of the liqueur. Mix well. Allow to stand for as long as you want so the fruit will take the flavours.
2.       Place the fruit in a fancy glass, top with a scoop of ice cream then pour the rest of the cassis over the top.
3.       Decorate with the mint leaves or edible flowers and serve.
4.       How simple is that?!

Tips

Crème de cassis is a blackcurrant liqueur. You can always omit this from your dessert if you’d rather – although we think it would be a shame – or you can substitute it with a cordial or liqueur of your liking.

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Inspired and stimulating events at Portobello Place

Meet Sandra, our Events Manager here at Portobello Place care home in Chartridge. Sandra has extensive administration experience but fancied a change – that’s why last year, she decided to change her career and became an Activities Coordinator in a care home! We’re very glad she did as Sandra’s going to do a great job putting on all sorts of events and outings for our residents here in our luxury care home on the edge of Chesham.

Sandra’s passion is getting to know and work with residents, putting on events and outings that they enjoy and making the most of every single day. Here at Portobello Place, Sandra will be combining her love of events with her organisational experience, engaging with residents and helping them continue to live their lives to the full in our luxury care home in Chartridge.

Here’s what Sandra has to say about her new role at Portobello Place: “I seem to be saying how much I love my job these days! I am genuinely looking forward to welcoming everyone to Portobello Place and getting started with all the activities and events that we have been planning over the past few months, covering everything from fantastic singers here in our home to simple activities like ‘Postcards of Kindness’, a popular initiative that connects people in care homes both locally and across the world via written communication. I can’t wait to welcome you into our home.”

Here at Portobello Place in beautiful Buckinghamshire, Sandra will be organising extravagant weekly events complete with top notch entertainment in the bar bistro, and all our residents’ friends and family members are more than welcome to come and join in the fun – we’ll also be welcoming in members of the local community, so if you fancy coming along to see what all the fuss is about, please do pop in. If you’re considering care in Chartridge for yourself or a loved one, it’ll give you a taste of what life’s like here. All events are completely free of charge, including refreshments, and all we ask is for people to let us know they are coming.

We’ll be announcing our first few events very soon, so keep an eye out! Follow us on Facebook and join our mailing list (there’s a link at the bottom of the page) to stay in the loop and be the first to hear about our brilliant events here at Portobello Place in Chartridge. We hope to see you very soon.

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