Chasing Leaves.

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This weekend has been all about our pup ‘Hugo’,as at last we are allowed to take him out and about in the Big Wide World. As well as the local park he has also been to our favourite pub in Clitheroe ‘The New Inn’ which is the most dog friendly pub ever. Its always full of chatty people having a pint with their pooch. The perfect pub for socialising a puppy. 🙂 We also decided to try and get Hugo accustomed to car journeys….as we are hoping to take him with us when we visit family in Cumbria over Christmas. So today we took him over to Marle’s Wood near Ribchester.

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A pathway meanders through the woods alongside the river Ribble and opens out into some fields. It was an unseasonally mild afternoon and the sun decided to shine on us as we chased the copper coloured leaves.

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We didn’t walk too far. Got stopped every few minutes by other walkers cooing over our cute companion! I think we will bring Hugo again though. 🙂

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Where do you like to walk in the countryside?

Cath Kidston does Christmas. :)

If Cath Kidston was Santa , this is what I would put on my Christmas List. :0) Especially loving Billie the dog ! X

Billie Long Pjs. £50. Very Bridget Jonesie.
Billie Long Pjs. £50. Very Bridget Jonesie.
Stripy Scarf £24.
Stripy Scarf £24.
Star Pudding Bowl £14.
Star Pudding Bowl £14.
Bah Humbug!  jumper £70.
Bah Humbug! jumper £70.
Christmas Decorations Book £15.
Christmas Decorations Book £15.
Billie Hot Water Bottle. £28.
Billie Hot Water Bottle. £28.
London Christmas Carry Bag. £28.
London Christmas Carry Bag. £28.
Stripy Crochet Scarf £35.
Stripy Crochet Scarf £35.
Billie Bed Socks £8.
Billie Bed Socks £8.
Striped Gloves. £20.
Striped Gloves. £20.

Ten Tea Room Treasures ( Lancashire & Yorkshire).

In two and a bit years of blogging I have posted about several lovely tea rooms.And I do love a good tea room !  From the Kisch to the Quirky, the Classy to the Creative, I’ve frequented many a tearoom treasure in my time. I have chosen ten to give a mouthwatering mention here. All of them…and a few more….. can be found in my Category Cloud under Tea Room Treasures. 🙂

Homity Pie at the Blitz Tea Room.
Homity Pie at the Blitz Tea Room.

The Blitz Cafe. ~ Hebden Bridge. This is a 1940s style tea room with dishes and decor inspired by the second World War. Menus are printed as ration books and the waiting on staff wear fashions from the era. On the menu are old fashioned favourites such as Corned beef hash and rabbit pie and jolly puddings like Jam Roly Poly and Spotted dick. Downstairs an apothecary and gift emporium brims with lotions and potions and other goodies.

Betty’s Tea rooms ~ Ilkley.The first Betty’s tea room was established in 1919 in Harrogate by young swiss baker and confectioner Frederick Belmont who fell in love with the scenic Yorkshire countryside.These were eventually followed by others in York, Northallerton and Ilkley. Betty’s are a delightful combination of switzerland and Yorkshire. The tea rooms in Ilkley have an elegant interior with mirrored walls,art deco lamps and the waitresses wear clean crisp aprons,buttoned up blouses and vintage brooches. We did have to queue twenty minutes for a table but the delicious tea and cakes we ordered were well worth the wait.:) Bettys are a popular Yorkshire institution and a national treasure to boot.

Bettys in Ilkley.
Bettys in Ilkley.

The Garden Kitchen ~ Holden Clough, near Clitheroe. If you fancy experiencing a delicious afternoon tea served on a fun miniature picnic bench , then you will adore this countryside tea room alongside Holden Clough nurseries. The afternoon tea menu changes seasonally and I have visited both in the summer and the winter. Always a treat to drink milkshake or indeed mulled wine from a dinky glass welly boot. 🙂

Diminutive Desserts at the Garden Kitchen. :)
Diminutive Desserts at the Garden Kitchen. 🙂

Luby’s Charming Tea Room ~ Cross Hills, nr Keighley. As the name suggests Luby’s is the very definition of Charming. Bijou and cozy and packed full of retro nik naks and vintage loveliness!

Time for a doll's Tea Party !
Time for a doll’s Tea Party !

Luby’s serve their tea, cake and sandwiches on beautiful vintage crockery.Always a plus! On my visit I didn’t have chance to try any food but I had the most momentous milkshake. It was almost a pudding in a glass. 🙂

Propertea ~ Manchester. Tucked away in the grounds of Manchester Cathedral and only a stones throw from Victoria station, Propertea is a relaxing and contemporary haven for a ‘proper cuppa and slice of cake’.

Ravishing Rainbow Cake at Propertea.
Ravishing Rainbow Cake at Propertea.

I liked how the tea is served in glass teapots and how you are given a tea timer to time how long to stew your brew. The cakes are rather good too. 🙂

Richmond Tea Rooms ~ Manchester. Also in the city are the Wonderland inspired ‘Richmond Tea Rooms’ located just off Canal Street. Once inside you do kind of feel like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole. The tea rooms are brimming with pictures and curio’s inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale. Eat Me and Drink me are written above the counter. There is an amazing selection of cakes and puddings and don’t be surprised if you spy a Mad Hatters Tea Party going on 🙂

Richmond Tea Rooms.
Richmond Tea Rooms.
Lunch at Liz n Lils.
Lunch at Liz n Lils.

Liz N Lils ~ Blackburn. This quirky and homely cafe bar is located in what used to be ‘The Grapes Pub’ in Blackburn town centre. Spacious yet cozy ‘Liz N Lils’ is packed full of vintage touches and is the ideal place to relax after a spot of retail therapy. A popular choice on the menu is the Blackburn Bake made from sausages,bacon and black pudding in a mustard sauce! I opted for a delicious home cooked ham sandwich with salad and a refreshing berry smoothie.

The Glass House.....its in a Glass House. :)
The Glass House…..its in a Glass House. 🙂

The Glass House at Stydd Gardens ~ Ribchester. An elegant and eye catching restaurant and tea room, housed in a tropical glass house. I came here with family recently for my birthday. What a treat it was ! Glorious food in stunning surroundings ~ I loved my portabella mushroom burger, naughtily followed by an Eton mess sundae. The Glass House and its gardens are full of fabulous features such as fountains, ornamental ponds and statues. And there are several pretty shops to browse on site too.

The Cake ‘Ole ~ Skipton. Having walked past this colourful looking cafe a few times with a look of longing, I was excited to finally take a look inside. Vibrant colours and quirky decor ( a zebra sticking out of the wall, I ask you 🙂 ) greeted us. The whole place is a feast for the eyes ! Situated inside The Craven Arcade it s half vintage tea room/half Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory ~ the Cake’Ole has that kind of feeling about it. I would not have been surprised if Mr Wonka himself had poured the tea. 🙂

Cakes galore at The Cake 'Ole.
Cakes galore at The Cake ‘Ole.

Callooh! Callay! ~ Clitheroe. A vintage tea room in my home town , with more than a touch of Alice In Wonderland about it. A fine selection of Alice inspired teas such as ‘Were all Mad Here!’ and ‘ Off with her Head!’, Pink flamingos and pretty china. The afternoon teas are heavenly …… and there is a gift emporium and a vintage shop ‘ Tum Tum tree Vintage’ upstairs.

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Afternoon tea at Callooh.

Which of these gorgeous tea rooms would you like to visit?

A wander round Whalley.

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Oooooh I do love it when I have a week off work. 🙂 At this time of year its got to be spent shopping ! In search of Christmas Pressie inspiration a friend and I hopped on the train to the picturesque village of Whalley. Whalley is only one stop away , yet it is very rarely that I take the opportunity to visit. Today I’m glad that I did…

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The village’s main street is home to some lovely little gift shops and tea rooms. Its also a bit of a mecca for the fabulous fashionista, with several high class boutiques and jewellery stores. We discovered an emporium fit for the social butterfly ‘Precious’, where I found some beautiful yet reasonably priced presents for friends. Whalley Wine Shop has a varied selection of wines and spirits.I bought a portuguese red called ‘Lab red blend’ with a black labrador on the front. Think I know someone who will enjoy that!

A little further up the street is an aladdins cave/junk shop , which I’ve forgotten the name of, but you really can’t miss it. Jam packed full of everything from old milk churns to battered suitcases, art decor figurines to massey ferguson tractors ~ its well worth a rummage. 🙂

Jo is determined to find some Christmas Pressies. :)
Jo is determined to find some Christmas Pressies. 🙂

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For lunch in Whalley you are spoilt for choice. There are plenty of pubs, cafes and delis in the village. A new vegetarian restaurant called ‘Mellings’ has recently opened. I think it may be the only one in the Ribble Valley..so I have plans to try it out soon! Today though, Jo and I opted for a Pumpkin Risotto and a Cauliflower cheese Quiche of the day at ‘Benedicts’ on George Street. The place was buzzing, even on a week day lunch time. The food was DELicious.

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The Gate House at Whalley Abbey.
The Gate House at Whalley Abbey.
Whalley Hydro. Can you spy a heron?
Whalley Hydro. Can you spy a heron?

Whalley turned out to be the perfect little place for a spot of Christmas shopping and lunch. I’m sure I will be returning in the near future. :))

Ten Fun things to do in December.

Winter is nearly here ! And festive thoughts abound as December is almost upon us. I thought I would compile a Top Ten post ~ so wrap up snug and warm and take a look. 😀

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Get your Skates On. Lots of large towns and cities open up temporary open air ice skating rinks at this time of year.  Time to twirl as snowflakes fall. Or at least cling to the side with a hot chocolate and watch the experts glide by.

Christmas Cocktails. Expand your Christmas cocktail repertoire ( Maybe I should experiment more ~ than just Baileys & Ice. 🙂 ) , here are some festive fizz and merry mulled wine recipes to indulge in.

Manchester Xmas Market CHEESE!
Manchester Xmas Market CHEESE!

Christmas Markets. Continental Christmas Markets spring up all over the UK every winter these days so there is no excuse not to browse the Bavarian style wooden chalet stalls with their endless supplies of French cheese, Smoked sausages, festive decorations and winter warming gluwein. Or step back in time at a Dickensian Christmas market where traders dress in costume and sell food and wares from a bygone era. Find out where Christmas markets are setting up near you here.

Festive Forage. A winters walk in the bracing cold air could prove festively fruitful. Bring the outside in this December and hunt for holly, fir cones, scarlet berries, snow berries and evergreens to decorate your home. 🙂

Afternoon Tea. Well I would never normally need an excuse to treat myself to Afternoon tea, but hey if there was ever a time to indulge yourself…..December must be it! Why not look out for a ‘Christmas Inspired Afternoon Tea’ like this one I posted about last year. Divine. 🙂

Christmas Picnic Bench Afternoon Tea at the Garden Kitchen.
Christmas Picnic Bench Afternoon Tea at the Garden Kitchen.

Chilling Tales. Get cozy by the fire and scare yourself silly with a few spine tingling Christmas ghost stories. Charles Dickens himself was fond of a Christmas Spine tingling tale and he wrote several short stories as well as his most famous, ‘a Christmas Carol’. In the Victorian era, Christmas Eve was the time to gather round the embers and tell each other ghost stories. Merry ghoultide…..

Other Countries Christmas Traditions. Why not incorporate other countries Christmas traditions into your yuletide festivities. Having recently travelled to Iceland ( you know about that right;)) , I treated myself to a book about the Yule lads and the Yule Cat ( naughty elves and a scary looking moggie) who leave presents in shoes left out for them. Nice ones I hope! Maybe I shall leave a shoe in my window. 🙂

Yule Lads and Yule Cat.
Yule Lads and Yule Cat.

Roast Chestnuts. I for one am not lucky enough to have an open fire so I may check out how to roast them in the good old oven. mmmmmm I have a hankering for this tasty winter snack already.

Christmas Eve Box. A tradition I took up last year and hope to continue with, is a fun one for all the family ( or whoever you spend Christmas Eve with). Wrap up a cardboard box with Christmas paper and fill with bits and bobs to enjoy over the evening. Festive pjs, family movies, sweets, hot chocolate mugs, christmas tunes. Whatever takes your fancy. I really had fun making up mine for myself and the other half. 🙂

Christmas Eve box contains ~ boozy gifts ( reduced at sainsburys), Lidl Gingerbread and chocs, The Hangover 3 on dvd, Pants for poverty boxers ( for him) and snuggly fawn hot water bottle ( for me) :)
Christmas Eve box contains ~ boozy gifts ( reduced at sainsburys), Lidl Gingerbread and chocs, The Hangover 3 on dvd, Pants for poverty boxers ( for him) and snuggly fawn hot water bottle ( for me) 🙂

Get Away! Theres nothing more relaxing than getting away from all the hustle and bustle of the build up to Christmas. Indeed getting away from it all together and spending Christmas away from home was what we did a couple of years ago.Just us and the hound in a cozy cottage over Christmas.Even had that real fire, I so lust after. 🙂 Check out Sykes Cottages for last minute deals.

Hope my list has inspired you.Feel free to list any more December treats in the comments below. :))

Birthday lunch at Stydd Gardens.

As my other half is busy watching that crazy Yorkshireman/speeddemon Guy Martin on the telly, I thought I would share a few pics from my Birthday lunch today at the Glass House in Ribchester. The Glass House is literally a tropical greenhouse that houses a sublime yet quirky restaurant. For me it was love at first sight. 🙂 We enjoyed scrumptious food in eye catching surroundings, then had a nosy round the grounds ( Stydd gardens is also a garden center) and browsed the eclectic collection of gift shops in brightly painted cabins. Hope my pictures give you a little idea of the ambience of the place. The Birthday Girl ( and her guests ! ) aprove. 🙂

 My Portobello Mushroom Burger. :)
My Portobello Mushroom Burger. 🙂

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Cheeky monkeys. :)
Cheeky monkeys. 🙂
Coffee and walnut cake. Yummy!
Coffee and walnut cake. Yummy!

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I really loved my visit and The Glass House is somewhere I wouldn’t hesitate to return to. What a Birthday treat!

November Photo an Hour.

Every month Janey from Is that you darling  picks out a day and asks her fellow bloggers and instagramers to join her in taking a photo on the hour, every hour.

November’s photo an hour was on this Saturday just gone. I didn’t manage to snap as many pics as I usually do……it was rather a rainy and uneventful day ! At least I got to spend some time with our beasties. 🙂

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8am ~ Look who is checking out my breskfast!

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9am ~ Bright and early and already been to the supermarket.

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10am ~ Slinky helping me clean the bathroom.

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11am ~ Met some friends at the new milkshake bar in town. I recommend the Chocolate Orange.Yummy.

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12pm ~ Bobbed into a craft fair and bought this beautiful felted poppy brooch. I have purchased three paper ones…….I have a bad habit of losing them.

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1pm ~ Puppy bath time 😀

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2pm ~ Watching a boxset of Breaking Bad. We have just got into this show….better late than never!

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3pm ~ Still on our Breaking Bad fest. Hugo is enjoying his chew.

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4pm ~ A nice cuppa pukka vanilla chai. 😀

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5pm ~ Making pasta sauce with passata, garlic and bacon.

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6PM ~ My last photo of the day is Slinky whose new fave relaxing place is a ragrug by the radiator in the bedroom.

Thanks for dropping by. 🙂 X

What to look for in Autumn ~ A Ladybird Nature book.

I’m not sure whether I have left it a little late to take my What to look for in Autumn Ladybird book out and about. After all November is not particularly Autumn like, in that the best of the seasons colours are fading away. Today however was fine and sunny so I made the most of the afternoon and had a mooch down the river. Unfortunately I think everyone else in my hometown had the very same idea. Oh, I don’t like to share !

I love the Ladybird What to look for books, which were published in the 1950s. I have managed to collect three of the seasons ( Summer, Autumn & Winter) and they are interesting to look through ~ especially to see how the countryside has changed over the years. They are illustrated beautifully by artist Charles Tunnicliffe, whose work was also used in the novel Tarka the Otter and on Brook Bond Tea cards. 🙂

Here are a few of the photographs of my afternoon and the star of my shoot ( tee hee ), my What To Look For In Autumn Ladybird Book.

My walk started out somewhat Pear shaped.
My walk started out somewhat Pear shaped.
Leafy track.
Leafy track.
Beautiful Barn Owl.
Beautiful Barn Owl.
Hawthorn berries.
Hawthorn berries.
Amongst the beach nuts.
Amongst the beach nuts.
Autumn colours.
Autumn colours.
Yarrow husk.
Yarrow husk.
Snow Berries.
Snow Berries.
By the river.
By the river.
Handsome Pheasants.
Handsome Pheasants.
Crunching.
Crunching.
Munching.
Munching.
Holly.
Holly.
Heading home.
Heading home.

Do you have any Ladybird books?

Take 12 Trips ~ A Round Up. :)

For the past twelve months I have been participating in the #take12trips challenge. Clare from Need Another Holiday thought up the great idea of taking a trip every month for twelve months….and blogging about where you went. The cool thing is the trips can be local ( I blogged about an afternoon exploring the Castle Museum in my hometown), days out, overnight stays or holidays here or abroad. I’ve really enjoyed the experience of getting out and about somewhere new every month ~ this challenge has been the perfect excuse to visit those nearby places I’ve always meant to have a nosy at ! And I’ve discovered a few new day trip ideas too. 🙂

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Days at the seaside are wonderful whatever the weather. In August I really enjoyed a Beach Hut day in St Annes with some friends.

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Back in January I sampled yummy cake at a a quirky tea rooms in Manchester. Tea Room trips are the best!

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Mays trip was a few days spent in Cumbria with family, so I blogged about some of the places I visited in the North Lakes area.

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In July I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in Paris. . Of course it was as wonderful as I imagined it would be!

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Last November I got taken away for the night to Manchester for my birthday. I was one lucky girl, being treated to a pre theatre meal, a musical and the city’s famous Christmas markets. 🙂

Swan in the reeds.
Swan in the reeds.

A winters walk round Brockholes Nature Reserve was the perfect place to blow away those Christmas Cobwebs in December.

Happy Campers. :)
Happy Campers. 🙂

Its always good to get away camping and where else but the beautiful Yorkshire dales in June.

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The most interesting and amazing destination I travelled too over the past twelve months was Reykjavik in Iceland. The Golden Circle was brilliant. 🙂

And of course there were other trips too. One for every month of the year! So bloggers if your looking for a new challenge , why not mosy on down to Clare’s site and have a go at the #take12trips challenge too. As you can see I really enjoyed participating.

Sharon. X

Hugo’s The Boss.

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I have a feeling my blogging may become a little less frequent for a while. A new little dude has come to live with us……..and he’s taking up all our time! Not that we mind, we are completely besotted.:-D

We named him Hugo and he seems to suit it. As he is still a baby we can’t take him out yet.Another almost three weeks to go before his second lot of injections….then he can discover the wonders of the great outdoors.

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Of course he looks like butter wouldn’t melt.Don’t be fooled !The moment our backs are turned he’s chewing on a chair leg or running off with my work shoe. He needs constant entertainment. Luckilly for our cat Slinky he also likes his naps…….or we wouldn’t see her at all.

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Slinky appears only when H is asleep.

For now Hugo is the boss of us all! 🙂