Category Archives: food

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™‚

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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. 

 

Sunday Sevens ~ 9th July.ย 

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. ๐Ÿ™‚  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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Photo An Hour Sat 20th May.

Yesterday I joined in with #photoanhour on Instagram, organized as always by louisa and Janey
 
, I think its been going a good few years now. My posts always seem to contain a picture of Slinky ( the cat) on the bed , and Hugo ( our dog) out on a walk. Nothing changes then! 

 

8am ~  the day started out quite bright and warm with the sun streaming through the bedroom window, so it seemed right to get up and out , despite slight hangovers. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

9am ~ As always here is Slinky , making the most of an empty bed! 

10am ~ Housework done , so settled with my latest photo album. I kid you not, I have millions! Putting a few photographs in and…… considering building an extension for them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

11am ~ Doing a few jobs in town and find a man with an owl outside the New Inn. Turns out he is advertising a Bird Of Prey charity , that has an exhibition on the market today. I bob by and donate a few pennies.

12 Noon ~ We bought a few plants off the market for our back yard. 

1pm ~ We have lunch at the wonderful Cheesie Tchaikovsky cafe in town. Sadly it is closing down as the owner has become deeply allergic to bread and baking bread. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . I will miss her amazing cheese scones. 

2pm ~  Back home and find some postcards from postcrossings in the post! Including these cute kittens from Germany. ๐Ÿ™‚

3pm ~ Out with Hugo in the rain. Wil spots this tiny glistening green beetle on a leaf. Could possibly be a flea beetle. Not sure.

4pm ~ A bit later than 4 actually. Got absolutely soaked in the rain so warming up with a brew indoors.

5pm ~ Weather brightened up again. Off to Homebase for some compost and pass these pretty cottages. I love the blue flowered bush , but not sure what it is.

6pm ~ A selection of bits and bobs for tea including samosas off the market. ๐Ÿ™‚

7pm ~ Settleing down to watch Doctor Strange on dvd.

8pm ~ Hugo does not seem impressed with Doctor Strange. Neither does Wil, but I quite like it. Keep thinking Mr Cumberbatch is Sherlock though! 

9pm ~ The money plant I obtained recently has not sprouted fivers. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I did get it a pretty new pot, so you never know…..

10pm ~ Yep I’m in bed. So Rock N Roll ! Jotting down ideas for #thirtydayswild in June. Looking forward to getting my pack! 

Well thats it for a pretty quiet Saturday. Let me know if you joined in too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday Sevens Sunday 12th March.

Hi there I thought I would gather last week’s pictures together and make a Sunday Sevens post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Last weekend I came upon an Honesty Box selling eggs whilst we were   walking in Rossendale. As one of the entries on my 25 Before 45 ~ A Bucket List. is to make a meal from provisions bought from an Honesty Box, I left the requested ยฃ1 for six eggs and the following day we made pancakes for breakfast. So yummy but I am not sure one ingredient purchased this way can warrant me crossing it off my list?

Spring is on its way for sure now. ๐Ÿ™‚  The snowdrops are almost over but blossoms are appearing on the trees, Daffodils and Crocuses are brightening up the parks and Celandines and Daisies are popping up everwhere. It feels good!

The decorating is over for a couple of months. Upstairs is pretty much done now. All that is needed are some more pictures for the stairs and landing. I am pretty happy with these framed retro Lake District Views we found in card  form from   Love The Lakes in Keswick.

Only a little over 3 weeks until we are off to London for some Birthday celebrations. My little sis is going to be 40! Eeeek ! So we are all booked into ‘The  Big Smoke’ for 4 nights in April. So far we have a theatre trip planned and of course an Afternoon Tea. ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Hoping to book The Sky Garden  for amazing and FREE views over the cityscape too. And maybe use a water taxi to Greenwich. Decisions. Decisions.

So I have been scanning my London Guide books for things to do. Any recommendations?

Sunday Sevens was devised by Natalie at Threads And Bobbins. 

 


Sunday Sevens 29th January 2017.ย 

Hi this is my first Sunday Sevens of 2017! ย Here is what I have been up to in the last week.

Books Read in January.

I have been on a roll reading this month. Three of the above were Christmas presents and all four books I have given solid 4 โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†โ˜† on Good Reads. A whimsical romance with books, a quirky story about a young adventuress who doesn’t recall her adventures, a laugh out loud romp with our favourite singleton Bridget and and an interesting novel about the reintroduction of wolves into Northern England. All good.

Derwent Water Morning light.
Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Last weekend was spent enjoying a mini break in The Lake District. We stopped in a cosy cottage in Keswick with our dog Hugo.Keswick has been voted ‘Most Dog-friendly town’ several years on the run. More about that coming soon. The above pictures show reflections in beautiful Derwentwater and the nearby ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle with its mountainous backdrop.

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Stella the Tabby.

On the way home from Cumbria we dropped by a Yorkshire village called Clapham and I met the proprietor of a local vintage shop, who was actually a tabby cat called Stella. ๐Ÿ™‚

New Mugs!

 

Whilst I was away I bought two new mugs from a shop in Keswick called ย Love The Lakes. Mine is the one with the sheep on. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Stairway to heaven. Erm not yet!

This weekends job is lots of sanding and getting the stairs and landing ready for decorating and a new carpet. I can’t claim that I have done much to help as Wil does not trust me with a paint brush! To speed up proceedings Mr Hugo has decamped to a boarding kennels for the weekend. It is really wierd without him. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Happy Chinese New year. ๐Ÿ™‚

After lots of decorating prep we stayed in with a Chinese ( do you like my dragon puppet? ) and watched anti-superhero film ‘Deadpool’. Quite amusing!

How was your week?