Category Archives: Pretty things

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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Two Eden Valley Houses in Autumn.

Once you have scaled the heights of Wainwright’s fells and completed The Ullswater Way, there are gentler pursuits to enjoy in Cumbria’s ‘Eden Valley’.  Only minutes drive from the historic market town of Penrith stands a 15th century fortified manor , with an unusual sanctuary door knocker  and a  fine stately home famed for its annual Marmalade Festival.

Last Sunday I took a few photographs of both Brougham Hall and Dalemain House. It was a perfect sunny Autumn day, and though our visits to both were brief, I hope my pictures inspire you to look them up when you are next in the area.

Brougham Hall 

The historic remains of the home of the Brougham family date back to Tudor times . The Hall and several other buildings lie inside the thick fortified walls in the small parish of Brougham. Sir Winston Churchill commandeered the site for secret military research during WWII.   Renovations here are a work in progress, so do not expect a grand old house. Instead delight in the area’s history, enjoy a stroll round the grounds and browse the array of arts and crafts workshops in the courtyard. There is a small friendly cafe too. Entry to the Hall is free though donations are of course welcome. As are anyone who cares to visit, including four legged guests. ๐Ÿ™‚  www.broughamhall.co.uk

 

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Free car parking on this side of the Hall.
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The Brougham Door Knocker is actually a replica of the original, but impressive all the same.
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The 1520 door and gatehouse entrance.

 

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Behind the black doors are artist’s studios and craft workshops.
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Plenty of room outdoors for the kids to run around.

 

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Gwen Bainbridge Ceramics are unusual and beautiful.
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Wil and I just had to share a scone in Bettyann’s Tea Parlour. ๐Ÿ™‚
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View from the cobbled ramp under the Gatehouse.
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Brougham Hall and Durham Cathedral both have replica’s of these ‘Beastly Bronze Door Knockers’. They are called Sanctuary Door Knockers and by tradition, anyone  who was running from the law and dared to grip the handle and knock, could claim sanctuary within the walls.

Dalemain House  

Unlike Brougham Hall, Dalemain is an impressive Country House that is still resided in by the Hasell family, who have been in residence since the 1600’s.  The imposing Georgian facade certainly makes the visitor curious, as to what the rooms are like inside. Of course we rocked up here an hour before the house and gardens closed for the day!  So we chose to venture round the gardens. We did not have Hugo with us but that is probably a good thing, as dogs are sadly not allowed at Dalemain.  Car parking is free and there is a Tea Room in the Medieval Hall. Because we only had an hour to explore, we were charged a discounted price of ยฃ3 each to view the gardens. www.dalemain.com

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The impressive rose tinted Georgian Facade.

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Lady Marmalade Rose.

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We came across a giant topiary Dragon!
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Relax and enjoy the view.
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Even at the end of October there was a wide array of flowers at Dalemain.
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Above the house there is a Deer Park.
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And to our delight, a large herd of Fallow Deer. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We didn’t even have time for a brew in the Medieval Hall. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
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Dalemain holds The World’s Original Marmalade Awards every year in March, along with a festival of all things Marmalade. Next years Festival will take place 17th & 18th March 2018. Will Paddington Bear be there, that’s what I want to know!

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I hope you enjoyed my super quick tours of two Eden Valley delights.  I am determined to visit both of them again in the future. I especially need to frequent the Marmalade Festival. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you are thinking of exploring this beautiful area of the Lake District, you might also want to read my blogs about  Lowther Castle  and  Ullswater & Aira Force.  

Which historic houses do you like to visit in Cumbria?

Hawthorn’s October Scavenger Hunt.

So my Photo Scavenger hunt for October is not going to be very inspired, as I haven’t been out and about very much. It’s been a quick scramble to find some suitable pictures. Here goes !

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1. Making.   I have been Making progress with my Christmas shopping!  I know, a bit to organized. But when having a mooch in Oxfam the other day , I saw some really cute recycled  paper bird houses and couldn’t resist buying them. Oxfam have a really fun gift selection this year, including some lovely books and… Beer Bread. Nice stocking fillers. I also found a couple of bits in ‘ The Keep’ , a really fab gift shop in Clitheroe. I’m on a roll ! 

2. Empty.   It’s always good to walk Hugo in the early morning, when the woods and fields are Empty, save for us and nature. 

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3. It Starts with an F.   A favourite  Flower  of mine at this time of year is the Chinese Lantern.  It appears in a front garden of one of my neighbors every Autumn and I always stop to admire the papery orange flowers. A few years ago Wil even bought me a Chinese Lantern necklace, and it’s my favourite piece of jewellery.  ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Paper.  I have recently picked up this spooky looking paperback. Thought it may be a good Halloween read. Anyone read it yet? 

5. Neat.  Hurrah that my other half is so neat at wallpapering and tiling! Living room coming on now. Will post some more pics when completed! 

6. Street.  A photo of a Clitheroe Street taken from inside the Castle grounds, on a walk with Hugo.

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7. Kettle.  So here’s a very boring picture of my kettle.  It lives on top of the microwave , as space is at a premium in our kitchen.

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8. Unexpected.    It was  Unexpected  to see a singer sewing machine on a wall in Boot !  This photo was  actually taken last month, on our holiday in The Western Lakes.

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9. Vase.   I love my seahorse Vase in my bedroom window, but I’m not sure a bunch of flowers would suit it.  What do you think ? 

10. My Own Choice.  This shrub in the Castle park bares purple berries every Autumn. I always wonder what it is? Any ideas? 

Thanks to  Kate / Hawthorn  for arranging the Scavenger Hunt once again. 

 

 


Links & Likes ~ October. โ™ก

Wow we are really rushing through October!  Everyone has been up to some good stuff this month. So please make yourself a nice hot drink and settle down for a read of these lovely blogs. โ™ก 
Apparently BottomlessBrunch is the New Afternoon Tea ! Kellie gives it a try. Yum. ๐Ÿ™‚

Theres a Quick and Easy French Toast Recipe on Wonderfully Bookish.

I had no idea that in Scotland Mums To Be recieve  a very useful and cute  Scottish Baby-Box.  Nina shows us whats in hers…

Apples galore on Christine’s blog.

Eunice shares a Missing Pooch Story  with a Yappy Ending. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 Christine searches for her favourite Apple varieties at an Apple Festival in the Gorse Hill Nature Reserve. 

Fancy a mug of tea and a hike round Rufford Old Hall.   Melodie’s blog Tea Bee’s Trips explore’s the English countryside, holidays abroad and her tipple of choice  ‘ Tea.’  ๐Ÿ™‚

An Idylic Hideaway  in Bodmin  ~  My Little Country Life.

Emma stays at the most perfect little holiday cottage in Bodmin . I really want to book this place ! 

 I love the look of  this wonderful journal reviewed on  Made by Mi. 

And this delicious Ginger and Syrup Sponge on Emily Llou’s blog.

 

The Breathe journal is reviewed on Made by Mi.

 Theres a great little review on the recent H is for Hawk documentary on Only Natural, which I still need to watch.

I really must get round to visiting the  Yorkshire Sculpture Park which appears  on Down by the Dougie.

Lets end with the cats of Monmartre Cemetery


  in Paris, who live and prowl amongst the graves of famous Parisians.  
 

 Thanks for reading and hopefully see you soon. ๐Ÿ

 

 

Sunday Sevens 17th September.

There has definitely been an Autumnal feel to the past few days. I have been taking quick snapshots on my phone of the many nuts, berries and fungi I have come accross, when out with Hugo.

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Some kind of fungi in a tree stump.

It’s rained cats and dogs ,but inbetween showers there are always good photo opportunities! 

 

Hugo and Hips.

 I would not trust myself with identifying whether any fungi shown are edible or poisonous ! Have you ever collected any and cooked them? I remember my sister and I picking Horse Mushrooms from the fields as youngsters and Mum created all sorts of grey gloop with them for our teas. The picking was more fun than the eating! 

Below are elderberries ( edible) , Nightshade ( definitely poisonous) , Scabious flower, more fungi and new green acorns. 

 

Wild finds in all their September glory. ๐Ÿ™‚

We have ordered a new fire and some wallpaper. Operation Living Room commences in October!  The fire is actually electric, but looks like the real thing, especially with the log storage. The wallpaper is for the alcoves and is by Minimoderns.  The Dungerness Print is actually inspired by a real place in Kent, that we would love to visit oneday. 

 

Yesterday ticked one off the Bucket List and entered Hugo in a dog show. There weren’t many categories left when we arrived at The Wuffit Mix Fun Day , so we had a go at Best Working Dog. Not that Hugo has ever worked a day in his life!  We didn’t win but…..

we bought Hugo a big bone biscuit anyhow……x

Yum Yum. 

These are my 7 photos for Sunday Sevens devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. 

Afternoon Tea at The Cake ‘Ole.ย 

A couple of weeks ago it was Afternoon Tea Week here in the UK, so what better excuse for an indulgent treat at The Cake ‘Ole  in Skipton.  My friends Arwen and Gill and I, just happened to be walking past this Hidden Gem whilst enjoying a little retail therapy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tucked away in the Craven Court Arcade, just off the high street , The Cake ‘Ole’s funky vibrant decor enticed us through the door.

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A dazzling array of cakes.
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Cuckoo !

The lovely staff were charming and friendly and found us a table straight away.  Our eyes were drawn to every colourful nook and cranny.  The Cake’Ole is definitely a cafe that likes to dazzle you with it’s quirky decor. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Fairy Lights.

I’ve experienced the Cake ‘Ole’s mouthwatering cakes before, so I was eager to see what our Afternoon Teas would look like. As expected , they were served on pretty vintage china. I had a refreshing fruit tea with mine.

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Mismatched Vintage Crockery. Always a delight. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our Afternoon Teas were prepared speedily and oh so wonderfully scrumptious.  There was an assortment of soft roll sandwiches on the bottom tier. The middle tier contained the obligatory fruit scones with clotted cream and yummy strawberry and black pepper jam. On the top tier a super selection of delicious cakes rounded off our feast.

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Let us eat cake !

We found our dining experience at The Cake’Ole to be the perfect addition to our girly afternoon shopping in Skipton. Quirky, friendly and fun , with a delightfully delicious Afternoon Tea. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Fabulous. ๐Ÿ™‚

 Thanks to Gill for taking the photos. X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawthorn’s August Scavenger Hunt.

Hey there, it’s time for another bash at Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Looking at this month’s pictures makes me realise, I have been out and about quite a bit in August. Not that I’m complaining!

1. Relaxed.  A friend’s cute Bedlington Terrier is supplied with her own cushion in the pub , on our camping trip to Ingleton.

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2.  It begins with an M.  This curved sculpture on the beach in Cleveleys is called Mary’s Shell.

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3.  Time For…… a delicious slab of moist ginger cake in a cute cafe bar in Sedbergh called ‘The Three Hares’.

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4.  Tangerine.  Ok this photo is a bit of a stretch!  I am seeing a slight hint of tangerine colour here , in a waterfall on the Ingleton Falls Trail.

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5.  It begins with an O.  The Old Fashioned Traditional Sweet Shop on Blackpool’s North Pier sells all sorts of goodies. ๐Ÿ™‚

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6.  Whiskery. Ok he’s not really that whiskery, just scruffy and cute. I met this sweetie in The Three Hares in Sedbergh. His name is Tigger!

7.  Lace.  Cow Parsley in a local meadow. It’s also known as Queen Anne’s Lace.

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8.  Bridge. Well how about this bridge! Ribblehead Viaduct is Europe’s longest viaduct and its in our very own Yorkshire Dales, not far from Ingleton.

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9). Letters.  The letter appears prominently on these colourful Collins hardbacks in a book shop in Sedbergh. Sedbergh is a Book town in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

 

 

10.  My Own Choice. My two god daughters with their camping breakfasts. ๐Ÿ™‚

 Please check out Hawthorn’s Blog for more Scavenger Hunt posts. ๐Ÿ™‚