December Photo an Hour.

The weekend brought with it another Photo An Hour day, this time on a Sunday instead of the usual Saturday. Heres what I got up to…

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8-30am ~ Opening my beach hut advent calender. Its a Christmas Pud!

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9-30am ~ Taking the hound out in the park.

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10-30am ~ a brew in my Christmassy mug.

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11-30am ~ Admiring slipper boots in our newly opened branch of FatFace.

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12-30pm ~ Pie & Peas for lunch.

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1-30pm ~ Setting up a stall at a Christmas fair with my friend Jo.

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2-30pm ~ Our stall is next to the tree and a slightly grumpy looking santa.

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3-30pm ~ I have my eye on this purple wooly snood that Jo knitted! Looks a bargain.:)

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4-30pm ~ Its a hard life at these craft fairs.;-)

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5-30pm ~ Home to Hugo.

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6-30pm ~ Relaxing in my new fatface slippers.Yes I did buy some.And the snuggly snood that Jo knitted for our stall.Naughty eh!

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7-30pm ~ Checking what I want to watch on the Christmas telly listings.Slinky is helping…kinda.

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8-30pm ~ Signing off now!

Thanks to Janey for organizing the Photo an hour challenge all this year.Its been fun!

A Christmas brew at Callooh!

Feeling festive ( and somewhat frazzled) after listening to Christmas tunes all day :) , I joined a couple of work chums for a brew and a chat in my favourite vintage tea room Callooh! Callay

Callooh is no stranger to my blog and has featured in several posts! Its a bijou Alice In Wonderland inspired cafe that serves delicious home cooked food and a varied selection of teas, named after Wonderland phrases and characters.
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Since my first post two years ago , the tea room has come under new management. It is however still as lovely as ever. The tea and cakes are served in mismatched vintage china and pink flamingos are a big part of the decor. Sorry my pictures are a little dark.

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As I prefer fruit teas I decided on ‘Were All Mad Here’ , a refreshing fruity burst of strawberries, elderberries, rosehips and lemongrass. My colegue K tried a black tea called ‘Cheshire Cat Got the Cream’ whils’t my other workmate C preferred a coffee. I wonder whose idea it was to order a sumptious slice of chocolate yule log.Hmmm let me see….. ;)

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Before leaving we had a nosy upstairs. There are two rooms devoted to lovely gifts and vintage goodies. One of the rooms is now a new vintage venture called ‘Tumtumtree vintage’ selling clothes and other interesting bits and pieces. I have my eye on these two brass cockerels.Roll on payday!

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So if your ever in Clitheroe and fancy a pot of tea and an explore in a curiosity shop, you will find Callooh! Callay on Moor Lane ~ not to far from the castle gates. Enjoy!

A wanderers wish list :-D

As 2015 we have no plans to holiday abroad…..I thought I would list a few places here in Blighty, that I would love to spend a few days away at.  Would be lovely!

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Rum Doodle.

Described on their website as ‘a little bit of luxury, a little bit of whimsy & a whole lot of fun’ , Rum Doodle is a Windermere guest house with 12 individually furnished rooms and the promise of tea and cake on arrival.Sounds just my cup of tea.

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The Duke at Spring Parc.

I love the idea of cozying up by the wood burner in an old showmans wagon. Spring Parc in Cornwall has several  beautiful wagons and cabins.And you can bring your hound on holiday too. :-)

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Spiral staircase at The Midland.

Breathe in the sea air and relax in the classic Art- deco style Midland Hotel overlooking the bay in Morecambe, Lancashire. Vintage glamour on the prom.

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Picturesque Portmeirion.

Staying in the magical mediterenean looking resort of Portmeirion on the Snowdonia peninsula would be an amazing experience I feel. The hotels accomodation is dotted around the village as well as in the grande hotel whose rooms feature a floor to celing mirrored suite. Cult tv series ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed here in the 1960s.

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Its a tree house. :)

Fancy staying in a luxury lodge or treehouse overlooking a lake in Lancashire. Cleveley Mere near Garstang has rowing, fishing, friendly ducks, bikes for hire, firepits and a wellie hut on site. Some lodges are dog friendly too. :)

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Dungerness Desert!

Well I never realised there was a desert in England! Dungerness is an atmospheric shingle peninsula on the Kent coast that is home to weather boarded cottages, abandoned lighthouses,a boat graveyard, a power station and some of the best seafood going apparently. Some accomodation can be found at Cottages In Kent.

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Lovely La Rosa.

Victorian seaside guesthouse in the Yorkshire resort of Whitby, La Rosa with fabulous sea and abbey views. Packed full of quirky curiousities, this friendly and unique b&b is quite a haven for teacups and taxidermy.I know! I have spent a night here before and loved it! Especially enjoyed the breakfast hamper that is delivered to your door in the morning. :)

So is there anywhere you fancy staying on my list? Or have you ever stopped anywhere a little quirky and/ or unusual? I’d love to know!

Yet to experience….Some Wintery Firsts.

I realised only the other day that I have never, ever ……tasted Egg Nog , the sweet egg, cream and bourbon based drink so symbolic of festive cheer. That got me thinking, what other wintery traditions and treats have I yet to experience?? Heres a few things I have still never tried in all my ( cough ! 41 shhhh..) Christmases.

Make a snow angel in the snow.

Try Wassail ~ a mulled cider drink.

Keep my hands warm and cozy in a muff.

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Go to Midnight Mass.

Have a skiing lesson in the snow.

Cook Christmas Dinner ( sorry..I’m no domestic goddess ;) )

Watch Frozen.

Go Ice skating outdoors.

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Spend Christmas in another country.

Visit Lapland ~ my sis and family are going ( sooo jealous!).

Is there anything in my list that you have yet to try? What would be on your winters ‘ Yet to experience’ list? I would love to know.:))

A Christmasy weekend. :)

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  I guess that particular phrase is starting to pop up everywhere at the moment….but in my case ,it felt quite true for me at the weekend. :)

On Saturday I met up with a couple of friends in town and we had lunch and did a bit of Christmas shopping. It was Shop Local wknd so it was nice to wander round the little independant shops, small towns like my home town of Clitheroe have in abundance. I’m trying to buy as much as I can from these smaller businesses this year as they really do offer something a little different to the gifts you can find in the more well known stores.

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I love the Christmassy drinks you can try in December. A friend and I enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate called ‘The Purple One’ inspired by my favourite Quality Street. :)

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Just thought I would show you this Frozenesque ( Is that a word? :) ) wedding gown in the window of ‘Orchid Designs’ in Clitheroe. I have walked passed it several times and wondered who will be the fairytale bride. I’m not sure if you can see clearly…but look at the blue snowflakes on the train.

And below is the Crib that goes up near the Castle. As soon as the little nativity figures are put in , the town feels so much more Christmassy.

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On Sunday I went round to my friend Beckys and helped put the decorations up. My niece and nephew came too and we had fun with glitter, glue, crayons, paper, scissors and a singing dancing Christmas tree. Total chaos but lots of fun!

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So the best thing so far about the build up to Christmas has been spending happy times with family and friends. Ho Ho Ho.And to round up this post here is a photo of little Hugo. I really must get him some antlers! :)

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Let it Snow …….In The Movies.

We all love a Christmas film to cozy up to at this time of year…..but sometimes all it takes is a flurry of snow or even a twirl of a snowflake, to make us feel like snuggling with a mug of mulled wine. Here are just a few snowy scenes from the movies!

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Heartwarming adventure in the arctic with Paul Walker ~ Eight Below ( 2006).

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Furry hats, Ice palaces and love in the time of war ~ Doctor Zhivago ( 1965).

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An unlikely Bob Sleigh team ( from Jamacia!) qualify for the Winter Olympics in Calgary ~ Cool Runnings(1993).

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Lily Collins finds her handsome prince in this sweet adaption of Snow White ~ Mirror Mirror (2012).

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Inspiring true life tale about how an Alaskan town gathered together to rescue three blue whales trapped under the ice ~ The Big Miracle (2012).

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A boy builds a snowman who comes to life and takes him on an adventure one winters night, before melting in the morning.Sob :( ~ The Snowman ( 1982).

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Four siblings travel to the magical land of Narnia through the back of a wardrobe. They discover it is their destiny to help defeat the White Witch Jadis who rules the kingdom under an icy grip ~ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ( 2005).

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Romance and snowboarding find Kim ( Felicity Jones ) when she accepts a job as a chalet maid in this engaging chick flick ~ Chalet Girl (2011).

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Hans Christian Andersons fairytale ‘The Snow Queen’ is brought to life in this beautiful looking Disney animation. I’ve yet to see this…..looks perfect for my winter film fest ~ Frozen (2013).

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Classic tale of a gold hunters friendship with a wolf dog , starring Ethan Hawk ~ White Fang ( 1992).

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Our favourite ‘singleton’ finds love for being ‘just the way you are’ with her own Mr Darcy ~ Bridget Jones Diary ( 2001).

What will you be watching this winter? :))

Afternoon tea at Northcote Manor.

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I have lived in Lancashire’s lovely Ribble Valley all my life, but up until very recently , I had never visited Northcote Manor. Northcote was built in the 19th century by a wealthy Lancashire textiles baron. The handsome Victorian residence is an 18 bedroomed luxury hotel and has an
award winning michelin star restaurant. It is partly owned by celebrity chef Nigel Howarth.

As it was my birthday not long ago I hinted ( quite strongly!) to my other half , that I would love to go there for afternoon tea. Happily he took the hint and booked it for 3-30pm on a Friday. Afternoon teas are only available for non residents during the week….but luckily we both had the day off, so that worked out ok for us.

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On arrival we were shown into the conservatory and given a table for two by the window. It was quite a busy afternoon so it was nice to be seated there. There are three afternoon tea choices. We opted for the Prosecco afternoon tea at £25.50 per person. :))

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We were presented with our afternoon tea on a three tiered cake stand. Four choices of sandwiches on the bottom tier. Marmalade glazed ham, Bowland beef, Egg and cress and Port of Lancaster smoked salmon. Scones with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream adorned the middle tier. Miniature Victoria sponge, Lemon tarts, shortbread and Chocolate ganache slices completed the top tier.

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The food was quite traditional, tasty and made from locally sourced ingredients. Northcote itself has a surprisingly contemporary yet elegant ambience. I think we were expecting it to be a wee bit old fashioned and stuffy, but that was not the case. The staff were very welcoming and I enjoyed my Birthday treat very much. Maybe oneday we will return and try out the Gourmet Menu or the Taster Menu!

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Have you ever been out for afternoon tea?

These are a few of my favourite things.

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