Afternoon Tea at Cafe Autisan.

A couple of weeks ago it was my Birthday, so of course I had to celebrate with the obligatory Afternoon Tea!  I got the girls together and headed for the nearby village of Whalley, where in the grounds of a former Cistercian Abbey, a new cafe has sprang up.

Cafe Autisan is a beautiful space and perfect for parties. Indeed it is the perfect place to meet up with a group of friends. The furnishings are fun!


The Cafe’s name is a clever play on words. It was set up by the National Autistic Society and plans to give work experience to adults with autism. It is run by Autisan Creative Enterprises who help to improve  life skills and job prospects. 450,000 working age adults in Britain have autism but only 15% of them are currently in full time employment. Businesses like this hope to buck that trend. As well as a cafe here there are various artisan products for sale, such as fudge and soap, made by people with autism.

cafe autisanThis image is from Cafe Autisan’s Facebook page.

But hey what about the Afternoon Tea? Well my pictures really do not do this scrumptious sandwich and cake selection justice!  The photo above does though. :)

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The Afternoon Tea comes served on a three tiered slate cake stand which is laden with goodies. At the bottom there were three varieties of sandwiches and pork pies. Chutneys and coleslaw are provided as accompaniments.  The middle tier is all about the fruit scones which come with little jars of strawberry preserve,butter and jars of clotted cream. The piece de. resistance is the top tier where tasty diminutive desserts tempted and teased our taste buds. A selection of teas and other drinks are on offer. The service was friendly and efficient and at only around £7.50 per head was very good value indeed. :)

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I also hear Cafe Autisan does a very good cheeseboard. I shall be back!




Hugo’s Haunts ~ Dog Friendly Whitby.

The Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby is a great place to visit all year round, and we found that , even out of season in mid November. We rented a dog friendly terraced house on Elgin Street ( there are plentiful pet friendly properties in Whitby) and spent the week mostly eating,drinking and walking with our labrador Hugo.  Whitby really does love our four legged friends!   There are an abundance of cafes,tea rooms and pubs that welcomes both man and dog.Here is just a small selection that we visited on our trip.



Sherlock’s  on Flowergate is a cosy and quirky tea rooms with you’ve guessed it, a slight Sherlock Holmes theme. The decor does resemble what you would imagine 221b Baker Street to look like. Upstairs is Dr Watson’s Parlour and it wouldn’t have surprised me to have witnessed the deerstalker wearing detective himself enjoying a cuppa. Not that Whitby has any connection to the author….except a very slight one. Sir Arthur was friendly with one Bram Stoker. The cobbled streets ,picturesque harbor and ancient abbey were his inspiration for the gothic masterpiece ‘Dracula’. Try the ‘Draculas Delight’ ice cream sundae or warm up with a coffee and enomas slice of cake.


Rusty Shears is a little treasure of a tea rooms tucked up a side street, not far from the West Cliffs. As soon as you see the cute courtyard garden with its teacup graveyard , you know you’ve discovered somewhere special. Lampshade lights and taxidermy animals decorate the interior.We visited twice, once for tea and cake ( try the delicious Guiness Cake or Kiwi and Lime Cheesecake) and once for a cheeseboard lunch.There’s an interesting looking Gin Menu and dogs can have a complimentary Doggychino.:)

Humble Pie ‘N’ Mash is a family business that serves their tasty  homemade pies and only pies  with mash,gravy and garden peas. There are several different pies to choose from including Yorkshire Sausage and Black pudding, Haggis and Neep and Steak and Stout. And if your still hungry after your pie , there is always Jam Roly Poly and Custard for pudding. This pie parlour has lots of character as the building on Church Street dates back to before the 1600s and the decor is inspired by the generations that have lived and worked there. It might be best to tackle those 199 steps up to the Abbey before you tuck into your lunch or tea here. :)

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White Hose and Griffin ,not far from the Abbey.


Whitby’s Dog Friendly Pubs.  Not all the pubs in Whitby are dog friendly but most of them are. Lots are old and quirky such as one of our favourites,the White Horse and Griffin above. Here is a list of pubs that welcome dogs. There are probably lots more…but even we couldn’t try them all. ;)

White Horse and Griffin.

Black Horse.

The Dolphin.

First In Last Out.

Station Inn.

Golden Lion.

Buck Inn.

Little Angel.


The Fleece.

The Granby.

The Elsinore.

Whitby Walks.  Between November and April Whitby’s beach is popular with dog walkers. The two mile walk along the shoreline to Sandsend is well worth it as the pretty little village has a couple of cafes and pubs. We tried out the very dog friendly ‘Harte Inn’ which specializes in fresh seafood and found it very good indeed. Alternatively you can walk along the Monks Trod to Ruswarp , lunch at the Bridge Pub and walk back along the river Esk. Oh and if you want to discover more about the area’s spooky history, why not try a ghost walk. These start at the Whale bone arch on Whitby’s West Cliff at 7-30pm most evenings. I’m afraid I never got to do one this time…but hopefully one day.

Hope you enjoyed Hugo’s haunts  and feel free to add any recommendations in the comments. :)





Sea Air ~ The Yorkshire Coast.

Goodness I’ve only been away for a couple of weeks and the whole posting format has changed! Anyway where was I? After a few days of non blogging and becoming gripped by season one of Ray Donovan , we headed for a cottage in the seaside town of Whitby. Famed for its smokey kippers, semi precious ‘Jet’ gemstones and its connections with ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, Whitby really is the perfect place to take in some rather bracing November Sea Air.

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The Steps up to the Abbey, there are 199 of them.

Mostly we just spent our week eating yummy food , drinking lots of booze and discovering many a beautiful beach. Luckily from November until the end of April most of the beaches in the area are dog friendly so our labrador Hugo was in his element. Happily he seems to have gotten out of the habit of surreptitiously sipping sea water when he thinks we’re not looking. :)

I will leave you with a few pictures from my trip and blog in a little more detail soon……

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Hugo on the beach at Whitby.
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The ancient Abbey.
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Dracula’s bride perhaps…..


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Fortune’s smoked kippers.
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Wild Ocean.
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Beautiful Staithes.
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Rock Lobster ~ staithes.
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Unusual kit car, Robin Hoods bay.


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On the beach, Robin Hoods bay.


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Fishing boats.

Thanks for dropping by. More posts coming soon.X




A wee Blogging Break.

Looking Forward to seeing Staithes again.:)

Whilst some lovely bloggers I follow are taking up Rosalilium’s  Blog Every Day In November #bedn challenge, I on the other hand have been thinking about having a few weeks off. I just need to recharge my blogging batteries…and I think November is the perfect month to do that.:)

I have a few exciting things planned such as a week away on the Yorkshire coast, an Afternoon Tea ( of course!) and a Christmas Markets Trip. So plenty of blogging possibilities! My camera will be accompanying me everywhere and I will be back nearing the end of November.

See you Soon.Xx

Soul Cakes.

I made Soul Cakes! Ok actually myself and Wil made them. And the more perfect ones are those that Wil made. Not to worry! Find the recipe here.

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Soul cakes were traditionally made on ‘Hallows Eve’, ‘All saints Day’ and ‘All Souls Day’ and apparently children went ‘Souling’, asking for Soul cakes from house to house. The slight hint of mixed spice make them a subtly sweet treat for Halloween.

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Happy Halloween!

October Stuff.

October must have been the fastest month ever! Changing colours but not overly cool weather….just yet. This month I have been lucky enough to meet up with a few friends.:) Two Mummy friends and I have decided that sneaking out for a couple of cocktails once a month is going to be a thing! But for now here is some more of what I have enjoyed about October….

Attention! This is a good Book!

Books ~ At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to read at least one book a month…..and I am doing ok with that! On my GoodReads bookshelf in October I have completed Meg Rosoff’s Dystopian novel How I Live Now about a   prickly fifteen year old who travels from NY to stay with her bohemian English Aunt and Countryside cousins. When War breaks out and the Aunt( a peace envoy) is stranded abroad ,the children are left to their own devices. A strange combination of the Famous Five meets I Am Legend ( without the Vampires !) this is a powerfully emotive coming of age tale.

I’m currently enjoying Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast by Charlie Connelly which is basically one man’s attempt to visit all those bizarrely familiar names mentioned in Radio Four’s now iconic Shipping Forecast. To be honest I haven’t heard it since my childhood but somewhere in my distant memory I recall Dogger and Fitzroy and German Bite. Connelly proves to be an amusing guide digging up tons of quirky facts on his travels.

Elementary My Dear Watson.

On the Box and Box Sets ~  Current faves this month. :)

Homes by the Sea. Channel 4. Lusting after beautiful homes on our stunning coastline.

The Big Bang Theory.E4.Our fave nerds are back after their mid season break.

River.BBC One.John River is a brilliant detective.He sees dead people.

Alexander Armstrong in the Land of the Midnight Sun.ITV. My fave game show presenter journeys halfway around the Arctic Circle and meets some extraordinary people along the way. And he gets to see the Northern Lights.Twice! Jealous much..

Downton Abbey.ITV. Hoping for so many Happy Endings in this last series. Hope there is still a Christmas Special.

Jekyll and Hyde.ITV.Only seen the first episode but already looking forward to how Robert Jekyll ( descendant of the original Dr Jekyll) manages the horrifying family curse.

Elementary. Season Two. I adore our Sherlock of course but the US version is a great show in its own right. I love that the characters are turned on their heads.A female Dr.Watson for example.

True Detective. Season One. Living up to expectations…though a little scary to watch for people like me, who cower behind cushions.

Goodies from Scotland.

Foodie Penpals.  This month I sent some goodies to Anne in France.You can read her lovely post about what she got here. .Meanwhile I recieved the above asortment from Aimee in Scotland.:) She sent me some local delicacies including tablet ( fudge) and Selkirk Bannock ( fruit bread) as well as refreshing Tetley tropical flavoured green teabags, a very handy chicken curry mix and a box of yummy cheese biscuits. If you fancy joining in with the Foodie Fun next month head on over to  and sign up.:)

Tweet Tweet.

Whalley Craft Fair. I haven’t quite got my teacup candle making mojo back yet but I do enjoy sharing a stall occasionally with the ever so talented Jo ofJo jangles bizzare bazaar .This lady has an eye for finding vintage treasures and she’s great at creating pretty bags and aprons from upcycled fabrics.Her sweet knitted robin looks perfect resting on an Ivy teacup candle don’t you think.:)

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The grounds of Brougham Hall.

Door Knockers and Afternoon Tea. Last weekend our friend B booked Afternoon tea at The inn On The Lake in Glenridding. True to its name this attractive hotel has stunning vistas of Ullswater, the Lake District’s second largest lake. Before that though we dropped in at Brougham Hall near Penrith. This restoration project is free to enter but donations are appreciated. The Hall is famous for its rather magnificent bronze  Door Knocker and its grounds are supposedly haunted by fighting soldiers. Beatrix Potter was a frequent visitor to Brougham ( her brother in law was rector here) and she gave a member of the Brougham family a signed copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

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Knock Knock.

There is a cafe and several craft workshops in the grounds including Gwen Bainbridge Ceramics and I treated myself to a beautiful 1920’s style brooch like the ones below. :)

Marvelous Miniatures.
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The Inn at the Lake.

Afterwards we headed to Glenridding and the banks of Ullswater for our Afternoon Tea.:) A celebration of sorts ( B’s hubby’s Birthday was earlier in the month and mines in November), the supburb selection of sandwiches,pies,dainty cakes and scones with jam and clotted cream came served on a three tier cake stand. There was so much to eat we had to take home doggy bags.Tea and coffee refills were plentiful too. :) Maybe the best thing about this Afternoon Tea though is the gorgeous location. Served inside the Orangery Conservatory with breathtaking views of Ullswater, we spotted buzzards hovering over its calm waters as we ate.

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Tuck in. :)
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Evening falls over Ullswater.

Hope you had a great month, whatever you got up to…..:)

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