Category Archives: eating out

Afternoon Tea at Hindelinis, Gisburn, Lancashire.

Down the rabbit hole we go for an Afternoon Tea inspired by Alice In Wonderland. 🐰

Hindelinis Bar & Restaurant situated at The Ribblesdale Holiday Village on The Gisburne Park Estate is where The Mad Hatters Tea Party currently resides.

All through the Summer, The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea is available here at Hindelinis. Fancy a seat by the cosy fireplace on a blustery day or when the sun shines, there’s a lovely dining area outside, the parks resident peacocks and sika deer are occasionally known to visit.

We were given a table in the comfortable conservatory. Sarah and I chose herbal teas which came served in attractive glassware, the other ladies ordered coffees.

The sumptuous savouries and delectable desserts were prettily presented on slate cake stands. A selection of finger sandwiches, sausage rolls and a smoked haddock arancini to start, whilst the vegetarian option included wild mushrooms on sourdough bread. The striped tea cup contained healthy salad leaves. Maybe to hand out to a passing White Rabbit. 😊

I’m sure the Mad Hatter himself would have approved of the tempting array of sweet treats. These included meringue mushrooms , Queen of Hearts jammy dodger, lusious lemon posset , chocolate brownie, macaroons and a Grenadine Drink Me potion.

There were of course the obligatory scones with clotted cream and jam. As you can imagine, as delicious as the afternoon tea was, doggy bags were definitely needed! The lovely staff provided us with take out boxes for our left over goodies.

Thanks to Sarah for contributing her photos.

Have you ever tried a themed Afternoon Tea?

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Sunday Lunch Walk To Mitton.

This tree has an all seeing eye!

I’m blogging a walk I’ve most probably blogged before, but sometimes don’t you notice things that you haven’t previously, like the tree above with its magnificent eye. 😊 The tree by the River Ribble in-between Clitheroe and Mitton has several eyes in fact. But one really does stand out!

Hugo and I met my Sister and Niece for a walk to Mitton ,where my sister had booked us Sunday lunch at the The Aspinall Arms, a favourite countryside pub of all of ours. It’s dog friendly , spacious , does great pub grub, and on a sunny day it’s riverside beer garden is deservedly popular. On this occasion we would be seated inside though, it’s still a bit nippy out there.

This cheerful robin chirped away as it posed for a photo, reminding us of the friendly robin from ‘ The Secret Garden’.

I met my sister and niece at the car park on Edisford Road in Clitheroe , we would then follow the Ribble Way to the pub. This is a pleasant stroll alongside the River Ribble and through some farmers fields.

The River Ribble.
Along The Ribble.

It didn’t take us as long as we thought it might to get to the Aspinall. In fact we were half an hour early. I’m glad we were booked in though as it soon got very busy. Lots of dog customers too, including 2 Basset Hounds and a Cocker Spaniel Pup.

We washed our boots, but only managed to wash one of Hugo’s paws. He’s not a fan of the Dog & Boot wash!
The Aspinall looking dressed for Spring.
Sunday Roast. Yummy!
Beautiful pot of primroses in Ukrainian colours.

Lunch was lovely and not to massive either, we were pleasantly full but not so much that we couldn’t bare the thought of walking back. I had decided on a different route that would eventually bring us out on the opposite side of the river.

We walked over the bridge and past Great Mitton Hall which is a private home, with some unusual guards.
And down past All Hallows Church , a place of worship since 1270.
Looking back at the road lined with Snowdrops.
We saw some black fungi called King Alfred’s Cakes. Also known as Cramp Balls!

We passed through several fields, most with Stiles. Hugo the Labrador, now aged eight and a half, has recently decided he doesn’t like stiles anymore. So between us we managed to hurl him over one, the others he ingeniously found gaps in fences to squeeze under. Dogs hey!

Lambing time has begun.
On the Bear Chair.

It was good to see the Bear Chair is still going strong. We originally discoverd it during lockdown walks.

Into the Woods.
Edisford Bridge.
The Ribble at Edisford Bridge.

A nice ending to our walk. But then…..

As I was heading home I got a phone call off my sister saying she had lost her purse and thought she may have dropped it somewhere. After checking at the pub we ended up retracing our steps , but with no luck. Somewhat disheartened ( and knackered! ) we all gave up the search. Happily though later that evening a nice couple got in touch, they had found the purse whilst out walking. Phew!

A Happy outcome after all.

Thanks for reading. 🌸

Two New Years Walks In Lancashire.

The New Year πŸ’• brings in new possibilities. One I hope, is more Lancashire walks on this blog. We’ve recently purchased two new pocket walking books, so here are our first two walks.

Lock Keepers Cottage, Barrowford.

Barrowford and the Canal.

Lancashire 40 Favourite Walks by Alastair Ross. Distance 9.5km, Map OS Explorer Ol21.

We started this walk from The Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford, a museum and cafe ( completely Dog Friendly apparently 🐢) which was unfortunately closed on our visit. Parking is available on an inexpensive Pay & Display Car Park opposite.

I enjoyed parts of the walk more than others. It’s always nice to amble by the canal side, imagining who lives or holidays in the brightly painted barges. The route also takes you under the noisy M65 Motorway and crosses over a busy Dual Carriageway.

The Florence. Go With The Flo.
Foulridge Tunnel.
Slipper Hill Reservoir. We were greated here by a Springer Spaniel called Martha. Hugo completely monopolises this photo though. πŸ€ͺ
Follow the sign to Colne.
Through Alkincoates Woodland. The peace is disturbed after here though, with busy roads to cross.
And back to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
A gushing wier on Pendle Water.
The Pendle Heritage Centre.
Witchy Tercet Poem at Pendle Heritage Centre, this one is for convicted Witch John Bulcock. The centre has a Pendle Witches exhibition inside.

Chipping ~ Deer Park Below The Fells.

Lancashire Year Round Walks by Nick Burton. Distance 6.4 Km. OS Explorer Map OL41 Bowland & Ribblesdale.

We parked on the free Village Hall Car Park. This walk takes in the historic village of Chipping , soon heading into lovely pastoral countryside. A former Deer Park, Small Hill and well preserved limestone kiln are featured. The hike appears in the Spring Walks section of the book ,was still a good one to do in Winter, though was quite wet underfoot.

Chipping selfie.

Chipping has a couple of dog friendly pubs serving food and a couple of cosy cafes . We enjoyed a brew and sausage roll , sat outside the Farm Shop in the village.

Open Parkland.
Shadow photography.
Crooked Tree.
Footbridge over Leagram Brook.
Approaching Knot Hill.
Lime Kiln.
Old Tree.
St Bartholomew’s Church in Chipping.
Brabins Store is England’s oldest trading village shop.

Thanks for dropping by. 🐾

Weekend Away ~ South Cumbria.

When people think of the Southern Lake District, perhaps they think of Windermere, Amblesde and Grasmere. I love those places but it’s nice to escape to a less touristy part of Lakeland too. I did just that a couple of weeks ago , when Wil booked us a weekend away in Grange-Over-Sands.

Grange – Over – Sands is a peaceful town, somewhere to stay if you really just want to relax and take life slowly. Without Mr Hugo ( our bouncy black Labrador was on his own little holiday) ,we planned a quiet time. Grange is on the coast , but I don’t think I’ve ever seen much sand. Salt Marsh stretches out towards Morecambe Bay , far into the distance.

Grange~over~sands.
Twinkly lights of Grange.
Grange Plant Centre is a handy little place for plants, pots and gifts. Grange Plant Centre.
Salt Marsh.
The promenade.

Whilst in Grange we had bracing walks along the promenade ( Winter Woolies were needed) , looked for Christmas presents, ate out once in a bay view bistro, once in a little Indian restaurant ( take your own booze) and we also had a couple of drinks in the towns two pubs.

The Estuary Bistro is a nice place to dine on Main Street.
Chocolate Heaven in Choco – Lori on Main Street. This Chocolate Shop is also a Chocolate Bar and Chocolate Cafe!
Chocolate Martini.
A toasty fire in The Keg & Kitchen Sports Bar.

Our accomodation for the weekend was in a lovely B&B on the outskirts of town. Wil had found us a room at Corner Beech House , which was such a relaxing and homely place to stay. The interiors were bright and fresh, the owners were friendly and helpful and the breakfasts were delicious. Not bad considering the couple who run it had only been doing so for 3 weeks!

Corner Beech House.
Loved our sea view.
Bright and fresh room.
Breakfast Room.

On our way to Grange-Over-Sands , we had dropped into RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve at Silverdale. I had dragged Wil around looking for a Winter Visitor, Bearded Tits. These darling little birds can be seen amongst the reeds or pecking at grit ( it aids their digestion) from the specially provided trays. Unfortunately they were a no show for us, though we did see a Marsh Harrier hunting over the water.

Reeds provide a home for Bearded Tits.
An obliging comerant.

The inland village of Cartmel is not to far from Grange, so we bobbed there on the Saturday morning for a little look around. Cartmel is famous for its race course, it’s priory, it’s rather nice restaurants and it’s Sticky Toffee Pudding.

The Village Store is the home of Cartmels famous Sticky Toffee Pudding and other good stuff.
Bridge over the river Eea.
A 17th century pub.
Norman Priory.
Another lovely pub.
Delicious Apple & Parsnip Soup in The Square.
I loved this gifts and interiors shop.
Cartmel is home to The Friesian Experience , you can actually pay to have a sleepover with these gorgeous black horses.

On Sunday we said our goodbyes to South Cumbria, though not before calling at Levens Hall Deer Park for a Riverside walk, sadly the hall and grounds themselves are closed over Winter. We caught a glimpse of the parks herd of Dark Fallow Deer , though missed out on seeing the local Bagot Goats.

Gnarly trees.
Dark Fallow Deer females.

All in all we had a very relaxed weekend , though we were certainly happy to be reunited with a certain black Labrador. 😁

A Festive Venue Opens In Clitheroe for Christmas. πŸŽ„β„οΈ

A Christmas Styled Cafe Bar has opened in Clitheroe for Christmas!

Miracle On Shawbridge Street is located in the former Smug Fox interiors shop on Shawbridge Street, just a little further down from and opposite the Dog & Partridge Pub.

The Cafe Bar is family friendly and festive themed, perfect for snapping snuggly selfies with Santa’s reindeer and a giant Nutcracker Soldier.

On the menu are various winter warming drinks such as mulled cider, mulled wine and fancy pants hot chocolates, , coffees, cocktails and milkshakes.

Image via Facebook.

Local delicatessen Georgonzola provides tempting cheese and charcuterie boards and Finch Bakery cakes are always a delicious treat.

Miracle is open Thursday to Sunday 11am to 11pm and well behaved dogs are welcome during the day.

I did wonder what might happen to the venue once Christmas is over? Well the owners are hoping to style the space to coincide with the different seasons. Beach bar in the Summer maybe??

But for now, why not head on down to Miracle On Shawbridge Street πŸŽ„ for festive tunes and cheer.

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Afternoon Tea At Cloud Twenty Three ~ Manchester.

Way up high in Manchester’s Beetham Tower, it is almost possible to indulge in Afternoon Tea……….in the clouds. With 47 floors this landmark skyscraper on Deannsgate is the highest building in Manchester. Comprising of 219 luxury apartments and 16 penthouse suites, the tower is also the tallest residential building in Europe. Floors 1 to 23 are occupied by the Hilton Hotel, and it is indeed on the twenty third floor that it’s Cloud 23 Bar is located. Two friends and I caught the train to the big city last Friday for shopping, cocktails and of course Afternoon Tea. 😊

We had ordered the Cocktail Afternoon Tea as one friend had recently celebrated a special birthday. I was immediately struck by the view in the photo above, now that too is special!

It would have been fabulous to have been seated there, but sadly we were shown into the lounge area. I wasn’t too taken with the carpet, which would look more at home at Manchester Airport. And our first seats were not even by the window, fortunately we were moved on request.

The birthday girl soon got to grips with dancing on the table! Joke. πŸ˜ƒ She is in fact stood on a glass walkway ( a bit like a mini version of the ‘ Walk of Faith’ up Blackpool tower) where you can see all the way down to the bottom floor. Eye dizzying.

Our Afternoon Teas came served on easy to carry chrome cake stands. And there was a choice of coffees, tea, infusions or hot chocolate. I chose an iced coffee which was very refreshing.

I must say, I really enjoyed the selection of delicate finger sandwiches, petite cakes and decadent desserts. The chocolate bomb was super indulgence. 😚

Our cocktails arrived and the one I had chosen was certainly theatrical! Metropolis had the wow factor , it came with a fluffy candy floss topping, rather like a cloud. I loved it. ❀️

The Birthday Girls cocktail didn’t have any flare , though tasted fine, our other friends cocktail tasted…medicinal.

The Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23, for me , was a 4 out of 5 stars experience. As it cost an eye watering Β£40 , three girls from a tiny town , escaping for the day to the Big City, had high expectations!

Niggles.

. Afternoon Tea high in the clouds should always be situated with a view, when possible. Happily we were relocated.

. The pattern on the crockery made the inside of the cups look stained. They weren’t, though we think a nicer set should be used.

. The cocktails were hit and miss. Mine was fabulous. The others didn’t have the same wow factor.

. Although I had mentioned my friends birthday on the booking form, our server didn’t refer to this at any point.

So I’m definitely not saying I would never go back, but there’s some room for improvment. I did however love the drama of a panoramic afternoon tea.

View from the Ladies. πŸ€—

Have you enjoyed Afternoon Tea in the clouds?

May ~ Round-Up. 🧑

My goodness these months are whizzing by are they not. May seems to have come and gone in a flash! I am currently off work as it’s the Spring Bank Half Term Holiday ( advantage of being a school cleaner) so it’s a good time for me to do my May Round-Up Post.

Reading ~ not that much to be honest. After recently extending my hours at school with five earlies a week, I find myself frankly too knackered to pick up a book. Wrong I know! I have bought The Lake District In 101 Maps & Infographics to take to the caravan. And I shall learn all about Haunted Cumbria, Cumbrian Film locations and quirky Cumbrian place names, amongst other things. Should keep me going for a while!

Everyman Cinema trip to See Top Gun Maverick. As soon as I heard the original soundtrack music I was hooked!

Watching ~ it’s all about good old nostalgia for me at the moment. I’ve been to the movies! We Clitheronians are very fortunate in that we have a fabulous Everyman Cinema in town and May has not disappointed on the film front. I have enjoyed both Downton Abbey A New Era and Top Gun Maverick , they are both appearing on the big screen right now.

On the box my go to show is Grace & Frankie. I am as usual a bit late to the party with this one. Not sure how a witty comedy series starring Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin escaped my attention until now but I am loving the pairing of uptight Grace and Kooky Frankie. πŸ™‚ Other shows I have returned to in May include Ozark , Bosch Legacy and of course Stranger Things.

A lovely meal at Roundthorn Country House near Penrith.

Eating ~ It is rare that Wil and I spend time up at the caravan without our Black Labrador Mr Hugo, but we did have one weekend in May when we were there without him. It seemed a good time to book a meal out somewhere where you wouldn’t usually take a dog. Roundthorn Country House on the outskirts of Penrith is one such place, there wasn’t a four legged friend in sight. Which was strange for us, though also kind of liberating not eating in front of a drooling hound, eyes transfixed on our dinner. The food was yummy but I couldn’t help missing my boy.

Lowther Castle.
A walk through Cow Parsley.

Exercise ~ Our pet free weekend was all because we actually won a prize! We won half a days E-Biking at Lowther Castle In the Lakes , it was great fun. However I still felt like I had done some proper exercise even if it was power assisted cycling. πŸ™‚ There haven’t really been many notable walks this month, just my normal dog walking routes. I have loved seeing the wild flower displays, the lacey blooms of Cow Parsley have been beautiful lately.

Relaxing at the van.
Lilac Time. πŸ™‚

Enjoying ~ Relaxing at the caravan ~ My favourite area at the van is probably the front bit of decking, which is a real sun trap and perfect for lounging about on a deck chair with a brew. I especially like to look up and watch all the Swift’s whizzing about the sky, now they have returned from Africa. The scent of a lovely lilac bush in the garden there was a real treat too.

~ Friends Reunited ~ On the last day of May it was great to meet up with some friends I haven’t seen for two years. I love how normality has returned at last, I’m not taking it for granted.

Catching up in Holmes Mill.

Thanks for dropping by. Hope your May has been a good one. 🧑

Afternoon Tea At Mitton Hall.

A friend’s Birthday and her choice of celebration ? Afternoon Tea. I was there! Mitton Hall near Whalley was her destination decision. This impressive country manor dates back to the 15th century and boasts a timber framed great hall with a walk around gallery. Outside to the rear an attractive stone terrace looks out over gardens and the meandering River Ribble.

Mitton Hall from the rear.
Anyone for πŸ₯‚ Champagne?

Our sumptuous Afternoon Tea was served in the decadent dining room with its busy wallpaper and portraits of nattily attired canines. Mitton Hall is dog friendly by the way. On this occasion though, I was glad not to have a drooling Labrador waiting to devour my dainty sandwiches and fluffy scones. ☺️

Afternoon Tea ( photo A Garley ).
Keeping an eye out for treats?

Most of us opted for the Traditional Afternoon Tea ( Β£19-50 per head) which came displayed on an elegant curved stand. The savoury selection was excellent and included three finger sandwiches, smoked mackerel & horseradish pate en croute, caremelised onion tartlet and a mushroom cappuccino, which I especially enjoyed.

Savouries.
Scones on top.

The scones too were delicious and baked to perfection. They came served with the obligatory jam and clotted cream.

Sweet Treats Below.

The sweet treats were a little hit and miss with everyone. I loved the After Eight Brownie and the Blueberry Macaron. The Chestnut & Chocolate Swirl was a bit meh and I wasn’t too keen on the Banoffee Pie or the 3 Leches Sponge. I totally forgot to photograph the tea! I enjoyed my Raspberry & Elderflower.

That Fireplace! ( photo A Mader).
On the Terrace ( photo R Preston).

I have sampled Afternoon Tea at Mitton Hall several times over the years, it’s always a nice place to return to. A relaxing and ideal setting to meet up with friends.

Ps ~ It was still the Winter Menu on our visit.

Ten Places To Enjoy A Hot Chocolate In Clitheroe.

The recent colder weather has made me crave toasty fires, cosy sofas….and hot chocolate! In the interests of this blog I thought I had better go ahead and sample some of the delicious and heavenly hot chocolates that Clitheroe has to offer. 🀩

The Unicorn. Photo Credit ~ Lesley Turner.

Escape Coffee & Cocktails ~ Oh my goodness, have you ever seen anything so crazily colourful as The πŸ¦„ Unicorn. It’s just bound to bring a smile to your face. Escape are renowned for their eye-catching creations and presently feature a Christmas Hot Chocolate and their ever popular Classic Indulgent Hot Chocolate. So why not relax in lovely surroundings and Escape to chocolate heaven.

The Beer Shack ~ If you haven’t realised yet that Craft Ale Bar ‘ The Beer Shack ‘ on King Street opens daily and in the mornings, you probably haven’t sampled one of their cute frothy Hot Chocolates, served with squirty cream and marshmallows. I love the cosy alpine feel of the place and if your lucky you might bagsy the comfy sofa or arm chair in the front room. There’s a home baked cake selection too. Yummy πŸ˜‹.

Maxwells ~ Which festive delight will you partake in before you board the train bound for the twinkling lights of Manchesters Christmas Markets?? Situated near the train station Maxwells Cafe Wine Bar has a Christmas Hot Drinks Menu that includes a fabulous Ferrer Roche Hot Chocolate ( above) and a madly morish Cadburys Chocolate Orange. Both come with a mouthwatering chocolate treat.

Toms Table ~ I must admit I haven’t tried the heavenly Hot Chocolat from French Bistro Toms Table at the time of writing, but I think it may very well find its way onto my Festive Treat List. Ooh la la. 🀩

Take Away Hot Chocolate & Croissants ~ Photo Credit M Fenner.

Fenners Bakes ~ What better way to warm up whilst shopping in the market town of Clitheroe, than a decadent Hot Chocolate from the bustling market itself. Fenners Bakes not only make their own delicious Chocolate Brownies, their continental Hot Chocolate is made from the finest Belgium Dark Chocolate. A real treat , it’s thick and velvety and goes excellently with a warm fluffy croissant. Scrumptious!

Chocolate Works Creations ~ Photo Credit ~ Nicola Gornall.

The Chocolate Works ~ Of all the establishments in Clitheroe that serve sensational Hot Chocolate , its The Chocolate Works that inevitably is always the first on everybody’s lips. This lovely cafe always makes me feel like I have been enfolded in the wrapper of a sublime bar of the finest freshest home made chocolate. Indeed the folks here make their very own chocolate and turn it into waffles, marvellous milkshakes, fondues and winter warming beverages. Heavenly.

Moor ~ Once you’ve tried one of Moor’s marvellous marshmallow loaded mugs of Hot Chocolate, I guarantee you will go back for more. Situated on Moor Lane ( of course ! ), this homely cafe with its unique Clitheroe floor map and pretty decor is also very reasonably priced. I am tempted to return. πŸ€—

Bowland Food Hall at Holmes Mill ~ I always find wandering round the Food Hall at Holmes Mill a treat ,especially at this time of year. There are plenty of mouth watering produce on display, much of it from local suppliers in Lancashire. A friend and I enjoyed a warming Hot Chocolate recently, accompanied by a dainty Portuguese Custard Tart. A delightful combination.

The Secret Garden Cafe ~ Tucked away above Clitheroe Market, this Vegetarian/Vegan Cafe is a hidden gem, a welcoming stop off after perusing the stalls. Serving fresh and tasty food including home baked cakes, their menu features both regular and vegan Hot Chocolate.This one was made using Oat Milk and was super delicious. And if your wondering, the cafe includes an adjacent Health Food Shop and Wool Shop.

Exchange Coffee Company ~ Their Three Storey Coffee House , Roastery and Shop on Wellgate has been a Clitheroe staple for many years. And the well established Coffee Company always knows how to jazz up their Winter warming beverages! I relaxed in the lovely William Morris wallpapered dining room on the second floor with a toasted teacake and a delicious white chocacino topped with half a Tunnocks Snowball. Bliss.

Hope you enjoyed my Ten Places Post. I’m thinking of doing a few others for Clitheroe in the future!

One Night In Settle.

My Other Half treated me to the best early Christmas Present this year. A night away in the lovely Yorkshire Dales town of Settle and a gig in its popular Victoria Hall. It was a Sunday and quite a few shops in town were closed but there was still a festive atmosphere about the place. Here are a few photos from our trip.

The gig venue ~ Victoria Hall.
View from the Market Place.
A beautiful Christmas Tree in the centre.
Inside my favourite Settle gift shop ‘ Car & Kitchen ‘.
Talbot Arms pub.
Mulled Wine moment.

We stayed at The Golden Lion on Duke Street which is one of those welcoming Yorkshire hostelries with a cosy wood burner and a good Full English breakfast. πŸ™‚

The Golden Lion.
Golden Lion Room.
Toasty fire.

In the evening we went to Sydney’s Tapas Bar & Restaurant for a meal, followed by Peat & Diesel at Settle Victoria Hall which amazingly is the World’s oldest surviving Music Hall.

Lit up Shop.
Fish & Chips at Sydney’s.
Support act singer ~ Cody Feechan.
Stornoway band Peat & Diesel rocked on the last day of their UK tour.

The next morning we had a leisurely lie in ( for us!) followed by breakfast at the pub. Then there was a small detour on the way home……

Dining room and tree.
Love the Highland Coos.
Golden Lion Breakfast. No egg on mine as I’m not a fan.

It was absolutely pouring it down as we set off back. Still time for a quick visit to award winning Cheese Monger The Courtyard Dairy to finish off our trip. Cheese was tasted and cheese was bought. 😁

Merry Christmas Cow.
Indeed!
Cheese Grommit!
Too cold for ice cream today.
Quite random but , Ski Lifts. 😁

Hope you are enjoying your December so far. β™₯️