Category Archives: afternoon tea

Sunday Sevens ~ 9th July.Β 

Its been a while since I have joined in with Natalie’s  Sunday Sevens, so I thought I would collect some piccies together, and give it a go. Last weekend was a friend’s wedding, and the reception included an Afternoon Tea!  Now any readers of this blog must be wondering , why have I  been slacking on the afternoon tea front recently?  I really don’t know!! Must remedy that. The Spread Eagle in Sawley does an amazing one, which includes a tasty sandwich selection, fruit cake and cheddar cheese, rocky road, carrot cake and scones with strawberry jam & clotted cream. I must say the Spread Eagle is also a lovely wedding venue with welcoming staff and lovely interiors. 

 

And theres even a menu for dogs. πŸ™‚  Wil and I ended up walking back the next day to pick up the car. We had a yummy lunch there and ordered Hugo some crackerjacks. They didn’t last very long!  

 

Wil and I at the wedding.

This week I have been catching up on the utterly brilliant The Handmaid’s Tale on channel 4. If you have heard of the Margaret Atwood novel from the 1980’s , this series is based on her dystopian masterpiece….and is gripping, horrifying,moving, disturbing and Wow, just amazing!  Set in a totalitarian society in a modern day America, where chemical warfare has rendered most men and women sterile, The Handmaid’s tale follows the lives of  the few fertile women that are left, imprisoned as child- bearers , for the future of the population. Elizabeth Moss ( Mad Men) plays Offred and we see her struggle to survive this terrifying regime. You need to watch this show….

A year ago I blogged about the regeneration of  Holmes Mill, an old Textile Mill in my home town, Clitheroe. It is being turned into an amazing entertainment space and already houses England’s longest continuous bar. Thursday gone ,saw the new Food Hall open , showcasing some of Lancashire’s best local produce. I hope to do a proper blog about it soon, but here are a few photos to wet your appetite. πŸ™‚

 Of course , as fantastic as it looks, the Food Hall is also incredibly expensive. Somewhere to go if you want to treat yourself , I think ! 

Speeking of much less creative spaces ( sigh) here is our horrid front room, with its stunning 1970’s brick work and fire. We had a bit of a declutter yesterday, and it is actually looking a lot better than it did!  Anyway future plans ( probably next year) are to update the fire ( hurrah!) and paint the horrible brickwork white ( may need about 20 coats! , not sure it will look right though? ) as well as put wooden flooring in and change the wallpaper. To be honest I would dearly  love to take a sledge hammer to those darn bricks, but Wil is not to keen on that idea! What would you do?? 

Lost in a time warp….in a bad way. πŸ˜‰

Anyway thanks for dropping by and enjoy your Sunday.  Looks like sunshine out there! 

Postcard from London. β™‘

This past week I have been fortunate enough to have spent some time in my nation’s Capital London. And what a wonderful week !  Our trip was all in aid of celebrating my baby sister’s upcoming 40th Birthday. We managed to pack quite a bit in. Here are a few photos of what we got up to in this beautiful city. πŸ™‚

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Travel in Style.

Far the best way to travel to London ( unless you have your own private plane πŸ˜‰ ) is by train. You can often find relatively cheap First Class Tickets, so your journey is speedy and comfortable with plenty of food and drink included. We booked with Virgin Β£80 each return from Preston and had use of Virgin’s complimentary First Class Lounge at Euston. ;0).

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Natural History.
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Deinonychus.

The Natural History Museum

 is well worth visiting, if only for the Dinosaurs !  Like many of London’s museums it’s free and is  so vast you could easily spend the whole day here.  I especially liked the moving Deinonychus above.  One of the best ways of getting around the city is via The London Underground and the nearest tube stops are Gloucester Road and South Kensington. Underground travel has gotten simpler with the use of contactless payment. Remember though , the money doesn’t go out of your account until a couple of days later.

Typically I hunted for Green Spaces in the city, and there are plenty. One day  Wil, my brother and I bought a picnic from Harrods ( like you do) and sat down to eat it in Hyde Park. We then walked through Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park , back to our hotel near Trafalgar Square.  It was a nice way of seeing London and the various wildlife that makes the park its home.  Look out for the Parakeets!

My sister wanted to see a show whilst we were away and which better to experience than The Lion King which plays at The Lyceum and has since 1999. Its an amazing piece of musical theatre and we loved it.  Highly recommended.

Even in London it is possible to stumble upon almost secret places.  Colourful Neals Yard  in Covent Garden is an Instagrammers delight with its multi – coloured buildings. Its also a lovely spot for a coffee or a bite to eat. The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.

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An Instagrammers Delight. β™‘

If you are going to celebrate a special Birthday in the Capital then you might as well go the whole hog and book a luxurious Afternoon Tea in one of London’s high class hotels. πŸ™‚   Claridges  in Mayfair offers a delicious array of finger sandwiches, warm scones with Marco Polo jelly & Cornish clotted cream,  a varied  selection of teas and a tray of delectable cakes and desserts from Β£60 per person. The setting in the grand art-deco inspired foyer and the attentiveness of the friendly staff add to this sublime experience.

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Afternoon Tea at Claridges.

A must for everyone’s London trip is a river cruise down the Thames, taking in all the cities famed landmarks, old and new.  We  used  City Cruises  to plan a return jaunt to Greenwich which is definitely worth a visit.

Another way of enjoying stunning views of London is to go some place high. Very high !  Like The Shard  The Sky Garden  commands a spectacular vista of the city. Unlike The Shard, it is absolutely free !  You still need to book online and tickets are usually available from three weeks before you go.  We enjoyed cocktails ,amazing views and an unusual garden setting from 155 metres above. πŸ™‚

So there you have it, just a small selection of what we got up to in London town.  It was a fabulously memorable holiday and a fun way to spend time with family too.  Hopefully I will try and blog about some of our adventures in more detail soon.

Thanks for reading and a Very Happy Birthday to my sister Yvonne. πŸ™‚

Sunday Sevens Sun 19th February.

Instagram #brilliantphotoaday Polkadots.

Hey I’m joining in with  Natalie’s  Sunday Sevens today and posting 7 ( or maybe more! ) photographs from my week.

Above is a photo from Instagram.I am trying to post a piccie each day as part of Kate Gabrielle’s #brilliantphotoaday challenge. Oneday the prompt was Polkadots so my whirly windmill came in very useful. πŸ™‚


 Tuesday was of course Valentine’s Day  and Wil and I exchanged cards. I got him a humerous yet vaguely insulting card and he got me a lovely romantic card. Hurrah!  I celebrate …because for years we chose cards for each other that we would rather have got ourselves. He likes funnies so he would get me something silly. I like pretty romantic cards so that’s what I would get him. We would joke that we should ‘swap’ cards.  At last though, we have maybe got it right? Only taken us nearly 12 years! πŸ™‚

 

  On Thursday morning we took Hugo a walk up past Standen Hall, which was a good exscuse to look at all the lovely Snowdrops. It’s a private residence but I couldn’t resist stumbling over the cattle grid and taking a few photos. There were even some turkeys and a grey squirrel too! I hope those turkeys are not being fattened up for Christmas…

Friday night was a great fun night out with the girls…..but I have got to say, I am still recovering!  Friend Fi arranged for 6 of us to try out a Cocktail Mixing Masterclass at  Escape Coffee & Cocktails
 
In Clitheroe. The class was upstairs in our own little private bar area and after a demo from Ben our Mixologist, we each got to make five very different cocktails….and drink them of course. After experiencing a welcome Belini, a Mojito, a Happy Holidays, a Porn Star Martini, a Delightful Trifle, a Long Island Iced Tea and a glass of prosecco, I may just not be able to remember enough to write a full post about it. ;). All I can say is at Β£35 per head it was great value for money, and a good time was had by all! 

Yesrerday I did manage to emerge from the house and meet up with a pal for tea and cake at Callooh Callay in town. This Alice In Wonderland inspired tea room has had new owners of late, so we were a little worried it may have changed beyond recognition.  Happily it is still devoted to all things ‘Alice’ ,though the new proprietor isn’t English, he presented us with some dates to try before our tea came. I guess that only adds to the quirkyness! πŸ™‚ 

Thanks for dropping by.β™‘β™‘
 
 

  

 

   

 

A Year In Afternoon Teas.

Last year was a bit of an immense year for Afternoon Teas in my household, so I thought I would document them all in one post. πŸ™‚ Who doesn’t enjoy reading blogs about cake!

 

Scones!

 

The taking of Afternoon Tea was invented by Anna Maria , Duchess of Bedford , in the 1840s. The yawningly long intervals between luncheon and dinner often left her feeling peckish and bored, so one day she requested a light meal of Darjeeling tea and cake. She found this  refreshment to be sufficient in keeping away those annoying hunger pangs, and an ideal opportunity to invite friends over to join her. Thus Afternoon tea was born.

Today Afternoon teas are  still seen as a very British Institution, and have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent times. Birthday treats and Girly Get togethers, Hen parties or Lunch with a loved one, there are plenty of reasons to book one. πŸ™‚

Browns.

Afternoon Tea in the City. Only last month a spot of Christmas shopping in Manchester with friends Arwen and Gill , was interspersed with a lovely Afternoon tea at ‘Browns’ on York Street. Set in the converted Athenaeum pub, the building is a fine example of Edwardian baroque architecture. Choose from a selection of leaf teas served with finger sandwiches, fruit scones with strawberry jam & clotted cream and mini cakes and desserts. Β£12.50 per person. Brownsrestaurants.co.uk


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The Atrium.

A Picnic Afternoon Tea. Fancy Afternoon Tea in the grounds of a historic Lancashire Castle?  ‘ The Atrium’ at Clitheroe Castle provides a more rustic picnic version of the traditional  afternoon tea. Feast on goodies that include ham hock terrine, sausage rolls, pate & toasts, mocha frappe with shortbread and lemon & vanilla posset. Then take a stroll around the park or climb the steps up the castle keep. Β£12.50 per person. castleweddingevents.co.uk

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Alice Tearooms.

A Wonderland Inspired Afternoon Tea. Ooooh kids and grown-ups alike would no doubt queue to tumble down the rabbit hole, for a Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. ♀♑ The Alice Tearooms in the Lancashire seaside resort of St Anne’s are a treat for all Lewis Carroll fans. Treat yourself to tea or coffee,mini sandwiches, fruit scones & clotted cream and a selection of cupcakes and rainbow meringues, all served on pretty vintage china in quirky and colourful surroundings. Β£17.95 for two people. alicetearooms.com

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Hey Little Cupcake !

Cute as a Cupcake Afternoon Tea.  Back in Manchester with the girls and here is an adorable Afternoon Tea at ‘Hey Little Cupcake’ in Spinningfields.  Welcome to a pretty in pink cupcakery and cafe where you will be spoilt with finger sandwiches, chocolate coated strawberries, scones with clotted cream & jam, speciality teas, mini cupcakes and mouth watering macarons. Β£14 per person. heylittlecupcake.co.uk

Coombe Abbey.

Afternoon Tea for the Guys.  Coombe Abbey in Warwickshire is a historic country house hotel that was originally founded as an abbey in the 12th century. We were  fortunate enough to stay there in March. Gentlemen ( and ladies) can opt for the ‘Knight’s Afternoon Tea’ that features old English favourites including mini pork pies,duck scotch eggs, finger sandwiches , a selection of sweet treats, all washed down with half a pint of Coombe Ale. Served in the attractive Garden Room Restaurant on a mini picnic bench. Β£22 per person. coombeabbey.com

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Cafe Autisan at Whalley Abbey.

 

Best Value Afternoon Tea.  I’ve visited ‘Cafe Autisan’ at Whalley Abbey in Lancashire a couple of times for Afternoon Tea. Earlier last year I got together with my sister and cousins for a family get-together in this vibrantly colourful tea room, which is run by the National Autistic Society.  We tucked into finger sandwiches, pork pies & chutney, scones with jam & clotted cream and diminutive desserts with tea or coffee. A cake stand piled high with goodies for Β£7.50 per person. No website but look for Cafe Autisan on facebook.

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Fernhill Hotel.

Afternoon Tea with a View.  Whilst on holiday in Dumfries & Galloway in November, Wil treated me to Afternoon Tea for my birthday at the’ Fernhill Hotel’ in Portpatrick. The stunning views over the harbor and Irish Sea made this lovely celebration all the more special. I loved that the tea & coffee, delicious open sandwiches, scones and cakes were all presented on mismatched vintage china. We could even bring the dog, though Mr Hugo did drool quite a bit when he saw us tucking in! Β£15 per person. mcmillanhotels.co.uk

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Mitton Hall.

Afternoon Tea in a Country House Hotel.  Mitton Hall near Whalley in Lancashire hosted two of my Afternoon Teas last year. The elegant country house puts the emphasis on naughty but nice cakes and includes open sandwiches and prawn cocktails in kilner jars. Unlimited teas and coffees too. The Afternoon Tea above came served on a three tier cake stand but when I dined there again in November it was presented on separate plates. Β£15.95 per person. mittonhallhotel.co.uk

 

Are you a fan of Afternoon Tea and have you any booked for 2017?

How we spent our week in Dumfries & Galloway.

I thought I would write one more holiday post before I say a final goodbye to Scotland as I still have a few more photos to share with you. Stopping in the South West of the country in November meant that a lot of visitor attractions are winding down or already closed, especially in such a relatively quiet area as Dumfries & Galloway. However we still found things to see and do, always accompanied by our Black Labrador Hugo of course. πŸ™‚

Hiked to St Ninian’s Cave.   We took a short hike to visit the sea-cave retreat of Scotland’s first missionary saint. St Ninian set up the first church in nearby Whithorn and also used this cave as a place of solace and prayer. The original Celtic Cross Carvings that adorned the walls can now be found in Whithorn Museum but people from all over the world still make pilgrimages here, leaving gifts and makeshift crosses. We parked at the small car park at Kidsdale ( honesty box payment) , walked down to the shore through a woody glen and the cave can be seen on the right, a short stroll along the rocky beach. The cult movie ‘The Wicker Man’ was filmed in the area.

Visited Scotland’s National Book Town.   Yes Scotland has a National Book Town !  Wigtown on the Machars peninsula has a high concentration of book shops ( I counted ten) , including the largest book shop in Scotland, imaginatively called ‘The Book Shop’. The building doesn’t look very vast from the outside, but is deceptively tardis like from the moment you step indoors. And it’s also home to a very cute  Bookshop cat,so Hugo didn’t visit this one !  We found a couple of bookshop/cafes that are pet friendly including ‘Beltie Books’ and ‘Reading Lassies’, the latter has a cute resident collie. Soz, I am slightly dog/cat crazy.  What I should say is, if you love books, you will be in your element here. πŸ™‚ The town has an annual Book Festival every September.

Ate out in pretty Portpatrick.  Although we stayed in most evenings ( we had such a cosy holiday cottage, it was hard to leave after darkness fell) , we did go out for lunch…and even afternoon tea , in the pretty little fishing village of Portpatrick. With it’s pastel coloured cottages and impressive community bought harbor, the village is picture postcard perfect. It’s also a great place to try fresh seafood. Wil can heartily recommend the Cod Loin Au Poivre at the seafront ‘Crown Hotel’ ( I had a taste , and it was delicious) and their Seafood platter sounds impressive. As a Birthday treat for moi , Wil had booked afternoon tea at the Fernhill Hotel. With stunning cliff top views over the harbor and beyond, the Fernhills afternoon tea comes served in darling vintage crockery. Both establishments are down to earth, friendly and welcome dogs too.

Explored Castle Kennedy Gardens and grounds.  Galloway’s most well known gardens are situated between two natural lochs in the grounds of two historic castles near Stranraer. 75 acres  of forest trails, a huge lily pond, lochside walks, rhododendron displays, a walled garden and Champion trees. As well as exploring the parkland, we actually stopped here , in a lovely cottage on the estate.  You can read about our stay here  and check out lots of pictures of the local wildlife, which include Roe Deer and Red squirrels. πŸ™‚

 

Looked for Lighthouses.  The Rhins of Galloway ( rhins means points or headlands) are renowned for their numerous lighthouses, mostly built by members of the same family as the writer Robert Louis Stevenson !  I did write  A separate Lighthouse Post . about our visits to Corsewall Lighthouse and The Mull of Galloway Lighthouse. Both are havens for wildlife including seabird colonies and Grey Seal. πŸ™‚ Depending on the time of year it may be possible to take a lighthouse tour on the Mull. Another Stevenson built beacon that I didn’t include, can be found five miles from Portpatrick, on the Southern Upland Way. Killantringan is privately owned. A 1970s shipwreck can sometimes be viewed at low tide apparently.

 

Visited an Artist’s Town.  The quality of light brought and still brings many artists to the harbor town of Kirkcudbright and there is a popular Arts and Crafts trail for visitors to enjoy. We bobbed here on our journey back to England, and it is somewhere I would love to return to and spend more time . Apart from having a wee wander round, we actually bought a picture of a Lighthouse from one of the local galleries. It is an Artist’s Town after all!  We also enjoyed Fish & Chips from ‘Polar Bites’ and shared them with Hugo.:)

So that is how we spent our week.

Have you ever visited the area?  Where would you recommend a visit in South West Scotland?

#BEDM Alice’s Tea Room ~ St Annes.

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Saturday was a marvelous day, as not only did I get to spend some quality time with my lovely friend Lisa, we also visited an Alice In Wonderland inspired Tea Room and partook of Afternoon Tea. πŸ™‚ Β Β Alices Tea RoomΒ in the Lancashire seaside town of St Annes can be found on St Albans road, away from the front and not to far from the town centre. Once there you can sit outside in the sun or enjoy the Wonderland inside.

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Everywhere you look there are characters from Lewis Carroll’s magical tale along with Top Hats and White rabbits , Teacups and ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ signs. There are two rooms to be seated in as the cafe has recently been extended due to it’s popularity. Lisa had reserved us a table luckily. πŸ™‚

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Lunch at the cafe includes sandwiches,paninis and jacket potatoes. However we couldn’t resist TheΒ Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea.Β πŸ˜‰ Β Served on a beautiful vintage three tier cake stand, the Afternoon Tea is a feast for the eyes indeed. Accompanying the gorgeous selection of sumptuous sandwiches and divine cakes, came our tea in china teapots. And all was served on pretty mismatched crockery.

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Lisa getting ready to tuck in. πŸ™‚

The Afternoon Tea contained mini cheese,egg mayo,tuna and ham sandwiches ( Veggie fillings are no trouble either), fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, flapjacks, chocolate cupcakes and marvelous sparkly meringues. Tea refills were plentiful and there’s lots of choice on the tea menu. If you don’t fancy doing the Afternoon Tea but need a sweet treat, Alice’s have fabulous cakes and an Ice cream counter too. πŸ™‚

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And if you want a memento to take home with you , there’s a little shop too full of Wonderland inspired goodies. In fact my super talented friend Lisa makes all the lovely Alice tags you can see hanging here. πŸ™‚

The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea was Β£17.85 for two people.

Are you a fan of Afternoon Tea?

This post is for day Two of #BEDM set up by Elizabeth atΒ Rosalilium.