Category Archives: food

Flora, Fauna and a Festival in a Forest.

I haven’t just been spending my time yomping up hills recently. At the weekend Wil and I joined some friends at the annual Cloudspotting Festival in Gisburn Forest, a popular family-friendly Arts & Music festival, set in the heart of the beautiful Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.

As this year’s festival was actually on a smaller scale than usual, with two nights camping and one full day devoted to fun events for all the family plus some great Live Bands, it was called A Break In The Clouds. Being my first ever experience of Cloudspotting, I wasn’t sure what to expect!

Apart from the early evening midgie beasts ( we were in a forest after all) , I loved it. When I wasn’t participating in laughter yoga, noshing on yummy festival food, drinking cider in the Bitter Suite Bar, listening to storytelling by the campfire or dancing along to Sweet Baboo’s psychedelic floor- filling tunes, I was chasing butterflies in the surrounding wildflower meadows. ๐Ÿ˜

Our friends daughters ( aged 7 and 8 ) had a wonderful time too. There was plenty going on for kids including Forest School, The Highway Rat Trail and Interactive Theatre ‘ The Sorrowful Stag’ . What was lovely about ‘A Break In The Clouds’ was the chilled friendly vibe. It felt very safe and allowed the kids a rare degree of independence, that children don’t get to experience so much these days.

Here are a few images that myself and my friend Fiona took. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Cloudspotting Hen Harrier.
Wildflower Meadow.
Bronte & Lydia.
Festival Footwear.
Silver Y Moth.
The Sorrowful Stag.
The Sorrowful Stag.
Festival Food.
Common Spotted Orchids.
Holistic Therapy Trailer.
The Green Canteen.
Damselfly.
Small Skipper.
Forest Camp Fire.
Festival Thoughts Tree.
Headliners, Lancaster Band ~ The Lovely Eggs.
A Break In The Clouds. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Cloudspotting Festival is set to return in it’s fuller form in 2019. ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you off to any festivals this Summer?

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Wild Garlic & Cheese Scones.

Today I reached a little milestone. I am currently participating in the #walk1000miles challenge , which I started in the New Year. I have just become a Proclaimer. I have walked 500 Miles! To celebrate, I thought I would do a little baking , so I made some Wild Garlic & Cheese Scones. Wild garlic has speer shaped leaves and is abundant in woodland at the moment. In fact it’s white pompom shaped flowers are just starting to appear. I foraged some leaves whilst out walking locally this afternoon.

Wild Garlic & Cheese Scones.

I found this recipe in the Ribble Valley Magazine and it is one of wild food forager James Woods , from www.totallywild.co.uk

Ingredients ( 8 Scones).

250g plain flour.

75g unsalted butter, small chunks.

1tsp baking powder.

1 tsp salt.

50g mature cheese, grated.

15-20 young wild garlic leaves and stems, finely chopped.

150ml milk.

Method.

Place the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the flour into the butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs.

Add the salt, baking powder, grated cheese, chopped wild garlic leaves and mix.

In the mixing bowl.

Make a well in the middle and add the milk, a little at a time, mix with your hands or a large spoon.

Flatten the dough into a thick round on a floured surface. Ok!

Remove and form it into a ball in your hands, then flatten the dough into a thick round on a floured surface and cut into eight wedges ( I only managed 6). Place on a lined baking tray.

Scones…..that actually look like bannocks. Ready to go in the oven.

Bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven, 180 C , for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and lightly browned.

Happy 500 Miles!

I found the scones to have a subtle garlic flavour. They are really good with butter! I think I should have tried to cut the wild garlic leaves finer, but all in all I am quite pleased with how they turned out. ๐Ÿ˜

Heres to the next 500 miles!

Sunday Sevens 15th April.

Hi folks welcome to another Sunday Sevens, a collection of 7 or more photos from the last 7 days. ๐Ÿ˜

On Monday eve I met a couple of friends for a date with some dogs! Isle Of Dogs is the latest Wes Anderson movie and it’s definitely got the Anderson quirkiness. The story revolves round a Japanese Cities population of dogs who are all banished to ‘Trash Island’ after an outbreak of doggy illness. One boy vows to get his beloved ( though some what tick infested! ) best friend back, so we follow the scruffy mutts adventures as they attempt to become reunited with their former humans. I quite enjoyed it. โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†

It was my sisters birthday recently so it was nice to get together with her little family to celebrate. We went out for a lovely meal to The Three Fishes in Mitton. I loved my Fish & Chips served on a fishy plate. ๐Ÿ˜Š

My sister will probably kill me ( if she reads this!) but my favourite photo that I have loved this week has got to be a selfie she took of her and the cat. ๐Ÿฑ Sis has just turned 41 and Chloe is 20 this year. Talk about the fountain of youth ladies. xx

Thank goodness Spring has arrived! Lots of colour in my local park this week. Always nice to see. ๐Ÿ˜

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Yesterday was a pleasantly warm day so we made the most of it with a couple of walks. We drove over the fells towards High Bentham, hoping to do a good hike round there.

Unfortunately we couldn’t let Hugo off lead as there were lots of ground nesting grouse in the grass. I was pretty delighted to hear their calls and catch glimpses of their eye-catching red eye flashes. I swear I saw a black grouse ( I think the one below is a red grouse) but now I’m not so sure. Anyway it was wonderful to see them….and also The Great Stone Of FourStones , a local landmark , that made us think of a mini Ayres Rock. ๐Ÿ™‚ This glacial deposit has been used as a border marker for Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is said that it was dropped on the moors by the Devil himself, whilst on his way to Kirkby Lonsdale to fashion Devils Bridge. There are well worn steps carved into the side.

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After larking about on The Great Stone we drove over to Clapham in North Yorkshire and had a wander along Clapham Nature Trail with Hugo. He had a splashing time in the brook with a couple of golden retrievers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to Natalie at Threads And Bobbins for devising Sunday Sevens.

Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ March.

It feels good to join in again with Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt this month. Heres what I came up with for the prompts.

Hole. I guess the most famous hole in Clitheroe ( teehee) is the one in the front of our tiny Castle Keep. Local legends to how it got there include Oliver Cromwell fireing a cannonball from Pendle Hill. Even less likely, the devil himself flung boulders at Clitheroe Castle, also from the top of Pendle. Which do you think?

Making. I attempted to make some Chocolate Truffles from my Eat What You Watch ~ A cookbook for Movie Lovers cookbook. They ended up looking more like onion bhajis! But they do taste like chocolate truffles. Success! The recipe is inspired by Vianne’s chocolate creations in the sweetly sensual film Chocolat starring Juliette Binoche and a yummy Johnny Depp. Well worth a watch by the way. ๐Ÿ˜Š. These truffles are very rich though, I can only manage one with my mug of coffee..

Reading Now. You may be shocked to learn that I have never watched Star Wars! Yet I am reading this book by Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher. From what I have read so far she was one very funny, bat crazy, inteligent and gutsy lady. Enjoying it so far. Oh yes I know, I am still using my snowflake duvet set. Hopefully this is not a future weather prediction!

Black & White. Last weekend we met a llama and some alpaca on a walk to a local village. This black & white llama was definitely the most inquisitive and demanding, he came trotting over when he saw us stop at the fence. Wil gave him a bit of loose hay, then he tried to chomp my rucksack! I do love llamas though and a couple of years ago I dragged my family on a llama Trek in the Lakes.

Starts with an H. Well I just had to include a picture of our gorgeous Hugo for this one didn’t I. I think he is as much a part of this blog as me really. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugo is a three year old black labrador and we have had him since he was a wee pup. I definitely have a thing about labradors now as before Hugo there was Jake, who came with Wil ( his faithful shadow) when I met him. They are such a loyal , loving , mischievous breed of dog. I can’t imagine life without a labrador.

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My Own Choice. The bright sunshine we have experienced recently has certainly brought out my blogs namesake, these cheery celandines. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Happy Easter guys. Have a fantastic weekend.

Harrogate.ย 

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A few weeks ago we spent a couple of nights in the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate. This charming town is the ideal mini break destination , boasting elegant architecture, beautiful parks, art & theatre, olde worldy pubs, over 130 restaurants and shopping galore. Whats not to love!

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From the cobbled streets and boutique stores of the historic Montpelier Quarter to the chilled 70’s vibe of Major Tom’s Social, we discovered some fab places, yet there is still so much left to explore.  Which of course can only mean, we shall have to return. ๐Ÿ˜

Wil had booked us into one of these lovely apartments , quite centrally located,  off  Cold Bath Road.  Because we had planned a morning at the Turkish Baths Hugo did not accompany us on this trip. But just in case your wondering, our accomodation did turn out to be pet friendly, so he could  definitely come with  us in the future.

I’ve made a little list of some of my personal favourite places that we came accross in Harrogate.  ๐Ÿ˜

 

 

Major Tom’s Social.   Describing itself as a ‘ Youth Club for grown ups’ this laid back hangout above a retro vintage shop specializes in selling craft beer and real ales. Also on the menu are fantastic stone baked pizzas made freshly on site. We spent an enjoyable couple of hours here one evening chilling out on a comfy sofa and soaking in the 1970’s flavour of the place. Dotted around Major Toms are allsorts of retro memorabilia and like it’s name suggests it’s a very sociable bar, welcoming everyone including families with children and dogs too.  www.majortomssocial.co.uk

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Covet.   A few doors down from  Major Tom’s Social is an eclectic gift and interiors emporium called Covet  which has a sister store in Ilkley.  Packed full of unique pieces this quirky independent is a treasure trove of the unusual. I wish I had gotten a photograph of the ground floor as some of the more unusual items for sale included wire moose heads and taxidermy butterflies. Well worth a browse for a thoughtful gift or interesting pieces for the home.

 

 

 

 

Baltzersen’s.   Sometimes it’s good to try something a little different and Harrogate certainly caters for all tastes. Balterzen’s on Oxford Road uses Yorkshire sourced produce in its  Scandinavian inspired menus.  This place was buzzing when we arrived on a Saturday lunch time so it’s probably best to roll up early to miss the queues. I tried a delicious open sandwich with maple and mustard roasted root veg , houmous and pickled baby carrots. Was soooo good!  Other goodies on the menu include Lentil and root veg Lapskaus ( Norwegian Stew) , Gravlaks on potato cake with poached duck egg & sweet dill dressing and Mackerel Pate with rye toast, gooseberry chutney and feta salad. www.baltzersens.co.uk

 

 

Betty’s Tea Rooms.  No visit to Harrogate is complete without a trip to Betty’s.  This Yorkshire institution blends the county’s friendly  hospitality with elegant surroundings and a distinctly Swiss flavour. It’s founder Frederick Belmont was born and raised in Switzerland almost 100 years ago. Bettys is renowned for its delectable cakes and chocolates and of course Afternoon Tea ,which has been enjoyed here for nearly a century. One way to avoid the crowds ( Bettys is extremely popular) is to treat yourself to a Betty’s breakfast early in the morning. My Swiss Rosti set me up the day. Make sure you check out the gift shop too with it’s dazzling array of baked goods and confectionary.  www.bettys.co.uk

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Turkish Baths.  Harrogate is  home to Britain’s most fully restored Turkish Baths, dating back to the 19th Century. I have long wanted to discover them for myself, so I booked us both in for a Saturday morning session. ๐Ÿ™‚  The Turkish Baths experience begins in the elegant Frigidarium above, where you gradually become acclimatized to the warmth. Next it’s a case of braving The Steam Room, The Tepidarium ( warm room), Calidarium ( hot room) and Laconium ( hottest room) with showering and immersions in the invigorating plunge pool in between. And then…. simply…repeat!  What I treasured most about my visit was admiring the stunning moorish architecture. The Baths are so beautiful and definitely worth a visit. Make sure you book, take some flip flops ( the terrazzo flooring gets quite hot) and drink plenty of the free water that is provided.  www.turkishbathsharrogate.co.uk

 

The Little Ale House.  A very happy discovery , the Little Ale House on Cheltenham Crescent is Harrogate’s first Micropub. Cosy and friendly with a great selection of real ales and gins, this bar is run by a young husband and wife team , often accompanied by their gorgeous collie cross rescue dog. ๐Ÿ™‚ A tiny pub but well worth a visit if you can squeeze in. Oh and the pork pies are to die for!

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Weetons Food Hall.  My browse round Weetons was all to brief ,but if you are a foodie you will definitely enjoy perusing the many goodies on offer in this attractive Food Hall. Overlooking the Stray ( one of the town’s many green spaces) Weetons also has a restaurant , an award winning butchers and lots of mouthwatering displays. www.weetons.com

 Have you ever been to Harrogate?  Where would you recommend me to visit on a future trip? I am sure I will return. ๐Ÿ™‚

Manchesterย  ~ย  Hanging out in The Northern Quarter.

I thought I would share with you a few of the quirky shops and cafes that my friend Lisa and I visited in the vibrant Northern Quarter area of Manchester last week. This plethora of independent bars, eateries and emporiums is situated not far from the city centre and can easily be reached from both The Arndale and Piccadilly Gardens. 

Oklahoma. A must if you are after a quirky gift or something unique for the house, this colourful gift and homewares shop on High Street is a delight to mooch around. Ideal for cute stocking fillers and novelty items too. Has a super Christmas decoration section with lots of kitsch baubles and festive fun. I bought a couple of little fun presents from here. ๐ŸŽ„okla.co.uk 

Craft & Design Centre.  Housed in a Victorian Fishmarket building , the Manchester Craft & Design Centre is home to several talented artists and maker’s workshops over two levels plus a wonderful little cafe. After admiring some of the crafters work we had lunch here. I can recommend the tasty frittata and salad. ๐Ÿ˜ craftanddesign.com 

Lisa and I find a Manchester Bee.

Northern Flower.  I was dazzled by the array of plants and flowers in this bijou florists on Tib Street. Describing itself as a Potting – shed boutique, Northern Flower has an impressive selection of cacti and succulents as well as beautiful pots and hangers. I couldn’t help but purchase a tiny cactus for my collection. ๐ŸŒต www.northernflower.com 

Image from Pinterest.

Chapter One Books. A great place to relax with a coffee and cake this spacious and comfy coffee shop is also a book shop. We bobbed in for a brew and a chat and made the most of the comfy sofas. Its quite alright to settle down with a book and if you buy one you get a free drink. Oh and the cakes are good too! ๐Ÿฐ chapteronebooks.co.uk

Afflecks. No visit to the Northern Quarter is complete without a mooch round the institution that is Affleck’s on Church Street. Over 70 independent shops and businesses trade under one roof and any spare wall space is adorned with colourful street art. Fancy dress, vintage clothing, tattoo studios, music, art and quirky cafes can all be found here. Well worth a look. ๐Ÿƒ afflecks.com 

Bonbon Chocolate. Just as we were thinking about heading home Lisa and I stumbled into … a chocolate cafe! 

Bonbon Chocolate Boutique on John Street is an artisan chocolate makers that also serves amazing Hot Chocolate. Lisa tried a chocolate orange flavour and I had the chilli hot chocolate. The cafe area is tiny with only room for 3 or 4 small tables and chairs. But if you happen upon it in a quiet moment , why not enjoy the decadence.  ๐Ÿฎ bonbonchocolate.co.uk 

Of course I have only touched upon the huge amount of shops and cafes in the Northern Quarter, not to mention the many bars in the neighbourhood. Hopefully I have inspired you to visit! 

Sunday Sevens 15th October.

Heres a quick burst of photos  for Sunday Sevens. 7 pictures from the last 7 days.

We collected the wallpaper we ordered for our front room from Live Like The Boy in Colne. Brimmed full of retro, vintage and contemporary interiors, this eclectic store might just be our new go to for any finishing touches. Plus a very cute dachshund called Stanley lords over the stock. ๐Ÿ•

Whilst in Colne it was recommended we go for coffee at About Coffee , which is just a few doors down from Stanley’s shop. I overloaded on sugar when I ordered an Austrian White Hot Chocolate and Raspberry & Pistachio cake!

A night out with friend in Clitheroe took us for gin cocktails in The Parlour. I always get drawn to the teacup cocktails! Wil looks like he is wearing mascara in this photo, but actually he woke up with a mysterious black eye. Not sure which is worse!

On the last day of our holiday 2 weeks ago , Hugo hurt his paw. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So its been rest and on lead walks for our labrador lad. Luckily he is now on the mend and no longer limping. This was my atempt at getting him to pose amongst the Autumn leaves. I suspect he wanted to pounce on them instead!

Meanwhile Slinky Malinki is spending most of her time in her cosy new bed. ……. and looking put out when I disturb the madam for a photo. ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿพ

On Friday afternoon I dropped into a friends Tile and Kitchen Showroom…..and drank far to much wine on their Open day.  ๐Ÿ˜‰ We did choose some new flooring for our living room though, so its obviously a good idea to keep the wine flowing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s their website. 

I am so glad I joinedPostcrossing  !  Its a fun way of sending and recieving postcards from all over the world. I always get so excited when I get some happy post……and what is happier than a pretty postcard. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are some I have been sent recently. ๐ŸŒ

Thanks for dropping by and thanks to Natalie  for orgaizing Sunday Sevens.