Hey I’m joining in with Natalie’sSunday 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. 🙂
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! 🙂
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 £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! 🙂
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. 🙂 Who doesn’t enjoy reading blogs about cake!
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. 🙂
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. £12.50 per person. Brownsrestaurants.co.uk
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. £12.50 per person. castleweddingevents.co.uk
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. £17.95 for two people. alicetearooms.com
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. £14 per person. heylittlecupcake.co.uk
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. £22 per person. coombeabbey.com
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 £7.50 per person. No website but look for Cafe Autisan on facebook.
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! £15 per person. mcmillanhotels.co.uk
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. £15.95 per person. mittonhallhotel.co.uk
Are you a fan of Afternoon Tea and have you any booked for 2017?
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. 🙂
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. 🙂 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. 🙂
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. 🙂 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?
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. 🙂 Alices Tea Room 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.
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. 🙂
Lunch at the cafe includes sandwiches,paninis and jacket potatoes. However we couldn’t resist The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. 😉 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.
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea was £17.85 for two people.
Are you a fan of Afternoon Tea?
This post is for day Two of #BEDM set up by Elizabeth at Rosalilium.
Last weekend Wil and I and my sister and her hubby enjoyed a mini break away at a luxury hotel in Warwickshire. Coombe Abbey Hotel near Coventry is a historic grade I listed building which was founded as a monastery in the 12th Century. Over the years the abbey has been added to ,with a West Wing designed by Captain William Winde , who also designed Buckingham Palace. And gardens and a lake constructed by Capability Brown. The hotel is set in a 500 acre public Country Park where an arboretum features a collection of 100 year old trees and a heronry is apparently host to over 60 breeding pairs. Sounds great right. 🙂
Here are a few pics from the interior including the room which Wil and I stayed in with its four poster bed ( very romantic!) and there’s my decoupaged vintage suitcase on its first ever trip away, despite me buying it over two years ago!
The weekend threw all sorts of weather at us including rain,snow,hail and bursts of sunshine. On the Saturday we had a bit of a walk round the park. We didn’t see the whole of it but if you’re ever in the Coventry area, it is well worth a visit. 🙂 Enjoy the pictures below.
Butterfly carvings in a tree stump. 🙂
After our Saturday walk Wil and I had an Afternoon Tea to go to. I can tell you’re not surprised! Coombe Abbey’s Afternoon tea is served in the lovely Garden Room Restaurant and I must say I think this one might just be the tastiest of all the many many Afternoon Teas that I have tried.
We decided on the Knight’s Afternoon Tea which comes served on a miniature picnic bench and features an assortment of goodies that included a warm shepherd’s pie served in a bucket, a very tasty homemade sausage roll,kilner jars of piccalilli and sweet pickled onions, a slice of the most scrumptious cheese & onion quiche and a yummy beef & horseradish roll.
Don’t forget the sweet treats too. There’s a large glass of creamy tiramisu, a slice of Lemon Meringue Pie and a delicious light and buttery scone served with strawberry jam and clotted cream. The Knight’s Afternoon Tea also comes with as many tea or coffee refills as you require and a halfpint of Coombe Ale. 🙂
Have you ever visited Coombe Abbey or Coombe Country Park? If you ever feel the need to treat yourself…or just simply explore some beautiful parkland, this is the place to go.x
As I have just had a week off work I thought I might join in with Sunday Sevens. The idea by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins is to choose 7 photos that show what you have got up to over the last , well, seven days. 🙂
Last Sunday there was a christening. This is my God daughter Mady’s little one’s Big Day. I’m not one for holding babies but baby Jason is such an amiable little chap and he looked very cute in his blue suit.
2. Poor Hugo had the snip! He’s majorly full of beans so keeping him quiet…and on lead exercise only until he has his stitches out , is proving difficult. I decided to update my Dog Friendly Clitheroe post so we visited a few new(ish) bars and shops in town that welcome four legged friends.
3. Last Monday we hopped on the train to Manchester for a spot of shopping. Had lunch in a 1950’s style Diner called ‘Infamous Diner’. I really enjoyed this bottle of Blind Pig Rum and Poached Pear cider with my meal. 🙂
4.There was lots of colourful Street Art in the Northern Quarter of Manchester and I had fun photographing it.
5. Hark at me relaxing in a Feature Room at Coombe Abbey, checking out the Room Service Menu! I was lucky enough to receive some Virgin Experience Vouchers last year which I put towards two nights away in this lovely hotel near Coventry.
6. The break included a yummy Afternoon Tea ( as modelled here by Wil) which was served on a picnic bench in the Orangerie. As you can see it included chunky ( and delicious) homemade sausage rolls, piccalilli and miniature shepherd’s pies. We couldn’t wait to tuck in. 🙂
7. My sister and her Hubby joined us and we had a lovely walk round the grounds. My sister is a Tree Hugger!
There will be more posts featuring Coombe Abbey, Coventry and Warwick , coming soon.
February is here and at last there is hope that Spring is round the corner. The 2nd of February is celebrated as Candlemas Day in the Christian religion. Candles are lit in churches to symbolise Jesus,hope and light. Before Christianity the day was known as ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the daylight hours increasing as winter gave way to spring. Whether you are religious or not, it is lovely to light candles around the home. I am sat writing this post with the lovely scent of my favourite Earl Grey Tea scented candle filling my nostrils. 🙂
Snowdrops have been known as Candlemas Bells and according to superstition they should not be brought into the home until now. A bunch of snowdrops symbolise the ending of Winter and looks beautiful in a little vase. I bought my snowdrop plant today and hope to replant it in my flower bed……once the stormy weather wanes. Even better why not see snowdrops in all their spring time glory on one of many Snowdrop walks in the UK.
In Anglo Saxon times February was known as Solmonath which is apparently translated as Sun Month and Mud month. The mud seems very appropriate after today’s Mud Bath – esque walk with Hugo! The Saxons baked Cakes for their God’s in February. This seems like a good excuse to me to bake a cake or even better why not book an Afternoon tea for you and a friend. Here are a few places I’ve enjoyed Afternoon Tea 🙂, always guaranteed to cheer you up on a drizzly day.