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.
It’s another walk through ‘ Pendle Witch Country’ with a couple of stops full of history and hospitality.
Walk 14 from Lancashire Year round Walks by Nick Burton. OS Explorer Map OL41. 5 and a half miles.
We parked at the pay and display car park opposite The Pendle Heritage Centre in the village of Barrowford. From here the author has devised a circular route that joins The Pendle Way with its Witchy Waymarkers , taking explorers across rugged countryside to Roughlee where The Last Clarion House resides.
For those of you who have never heard of Pendle Hill, it is probably the most famous natural landmark in Lancashire. Steeped in history and known for its wild rugged beauty, Pendle is included as a detached part of the Forest Of Bowland AONB. Rising above the green pastures of the Ribble Valley & Clitheroe to one side and the borough of Pendles industrial towns and scattered villages to the other, Pendle Hill dominates the landscape on most of my local walks. It is from where George Fox was inspired to rally people to join the Quakers after his vision at the summit, and it is from where the alleged Pendle Witches were marched in shackles to Lancaster for the infamous Pendle Witch Trials.
Alice Nutter was one of twelve people accused of Wtchcraft from the Pendle Area in the seventeenth century. The alleged witches were denied access to lawyers and hung together at Gallows Hill in Lancaster on 20th August 1612. Most probably innocent victims of the mass hysteria and superstition of the time, the Pendle Witches have never the less caught the imagination of visitors to Pendle over the years. Alice herself was a member of a wealthy landowning family in Roughlee. Her lifesize statue made from steel and brass can be seen walking in chains by the side of the road.
Open only on Sundays , Clarion House is the last of its kind left standing. Built in 1912 for mill workers and their families to escape into the fresh air on their one day off ,this cosy meeting place still welcomes walkers and cyclists who happen on this special place. The Clarion movement had caught on at the end of the 19th century, a socialist ideal for working class folk who wanted to get together with like minded people. Walking clubs, choirs and cycling clubs sprang up as well as club houses and refreshment rooms like this one. It was lovely inside with benches to sit on, vintage socialist paraphernalia decorating the walls and a welcoming roaring fire. And it’s all run and looked after by friendly volunteers. For a more detailed post about The Last Clarion House, check out Michael’s Blog Here.
Back in Barrowford I take a quick look around the Pendle Heritage Centre which has a museum, tea room and walled garden. Situated by Pendle Water in a grade 1 1 listed manor house and farm buildings, the centre includes exhibitions about life here through the years and The Pendle Witches.
Hope you enjoyed my muddy walk through Pendle Witch Country. 🧹
There’s an Autumnal nip in the air as I write this post. Summer is slipping away. Though actually, I am more than ready for cosy throws and candles. 🙂
Although September has had its sadness , with the loss of our monarch, there is much to celebrate about our Queens long life and reign. And it will be interesting to see what changes will unfold in this new non Elizabethan era.
Reading. A sensual and sometimes disturbing gothic retelling of fairytales and legends, often with a feisty female heroine at the heart of the stories. Angela Carter twists the tales around , recreating a carnival of familiar characters. One for the nights drawing in.
Watching. My favourite BBC comedy series is back for Autumn. And by golly, I’ve binge watched it already. Ghosts sees the return of Alison & Mike ( the only living residents of stately mansion ‘ Button House ‘. ) hoping to transform an estate cottage into an Airbnb. Help ( or hindrance) is on hand from a motley collection of ghosts, of which only Alison can see. I love that the ghosts are all from differing time periods, and each has their own particular life ( and death! ) story. Apparently there’s now a US version of this show. Surely can’t be better than ours. 😀
I am also loving Korean Comedy Drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix. In fact merely writing this blog post is keeping me from watching it right now, I’m becoming addicted ! And that’s no mean feat ,with subtitles and hour long episodes involved. Attorney Woo is an attorney with autism, navigating life at a high ranking law firm. There’s the intricacies of Korean law to contend with ( she’s good at that) and the intricacies of everyday life ( not always so good), an endearing obsession with whales & dolphins and a sweet burgeoning romance with a work colleague. I am adoring this show.
Eating. Gingerbread! Traditional Gingerbread from Grasmere no less. Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread has been made in the village since the 1850s, Sarah herself created the secret recipe and first sold it from a tree stump outside her front door. Eventually moving her business into a tiny old school house , that is still used today. The gorgeous gingerbread smell wafts around Grasmere attracting locals and tourists alike. I got in that queue. Always delicious 😋.
Weekend wandering. Speeking of Grasmere, we ended up here by mistake. Our plan had actually been to walk up Raven Crag from Thirlmere, adding another Wainwright to our short list. However we somehow failed to find the carpark, drove right past the lake and ended up at Grasmere. No complaints though, it was a lovely late Summers day, perfect for a stroll around the village and the water.
Another day we headed over Alston Moor to Garrigill for a hike taking in Ashgill Force. I love the beckside walk , which is usually peaceful, sometimes the quiet is interupted by the odd group of Gill Scramblers! Not sure I would want to try that myself though. We found a lovely cafe for lunch in a converted chapel in nearby Nenthead.
Wildlife. The amount of times I see Kingfishers is ridiculous ( I realise I’m very lucky) , though getting a photo of one doesn’t happen very often. I was gobsmacked when one of these beautiful birds posed for me, only a few metres away. ❤️
Hanging out with. Star Wars Characters! And other supernatural beings at Blackburn Comic Convention. As I have still never actually watched the Star Wars films ( I know, what! ) this might appear a little strange. Blame my friends A and M who love all this kind of stuff. And it was actually fun.
Between the recent storms last week we spent a couple of days up North in The Eden Valley of Cumbria. If you ever fancy a short dog friendly/ pram friendly walk there, I can recommend a nice one between the village of Dacre and the neighboring Dalemain Estate. Situated 2 miles from Ullswater this walk follows a quiet track and mostly avoids mud. Hurrah!
We parked opposite The Horse & Farrier Pub in Dacre and had a quick nosy in St Andrews churchyard to see the Dacre Bears. Four crudely carved stone creatures can be found amongst the gravestones. You can read more about them here.
The Public Footpath took us past Dacre Castle, a 14th Century Pele Tower, now used as a private residence. And then on into the grounds of Dalemain Mansion. We have walked here before from the lakeside village of Pooley Bridge. The route is part of The Ullswater Way known as The Marmalade March, due to The World Famous Marmalade Awards that are held at Dalemain every year.
We soon came across some beautiful snowdrops and other signs of Spring, Winter Aconites and pretty in pink Lungwort. In the fields just above the Mansion , Wil spied someone watching us….
Lunch time beckoned so we headed for the Tea Room inside the Old Barn. Even though it was during the Half Term Holidays the place was deserted. Perhaps the imminence of Storm Eunice had scuppered people’s plans. Dogs are now welcome inside the Tea Room , so no need for us to sit outside in the blustery courtyard. 😁
We enjoyed Ham, Cheese & Chutney rolls and a slice of delicious Marmalade Gingerbread. I then left Wil and Hugo in the Old Barn and went for a quick explore of the gardens. A door led out into a beautiful Snowdrop and Winter Aconite display. Stunning!
There are landscaped formal gardens of course, but what I wanted to see was ‘ the sleeping dragon 🐲 ‘ who lives in the Lower Garden. I made sure to tiptoe around him.
The Lower Garden was definitely one of my favourite outside spaces at Dalemain and not just because of the residing snoozy giant. A rustling in the fallen leaves alerted me to a wispy creature foraging for its own lunch possibilities….
The Red Squirrel was definitely a highlight for me. After showing the friendly staff in the cafe my photos , they gave us a bag of apples to tempt the Fallow Deer Herd down to the carpark wall. I was so excited when lots of them literally came galloping over. They love Apples. Who knew! Another highlight. 😊
For us visiting Dalemain from Dacre was the perfect thing to do on a calmer day between Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice. The Stately Pile is opening its doors for house tours once again from the Spring. No doubt we will return .
It’s that time of year when we sadly close our caravan for the Winter. The site it is on doesn’t actually shut down over the colder months, but being two hours away from home in a village that is prone to getting heavy snow, we figure it’s for the best really.
On Friday Eve we made sure we got stuck into the last couple of bottles of wine in the wine rack. 🙂
On Saturday the weather was grey, but the drizzle didn’t dampen our spirits. I had booked us lunch over at Bassenthwaite Lake Station , in a French Steam Engine no less. The disused train station was bought in 2019 by Simon and Diana Parums, who have been busy renovating the buildings. A permanent fixture on the track is the beautiful Steam Train , which is in fact not a real train at all…. . It is actually a replica made especially for the 2017 film version of Murder On The Orient Express , starring Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer,Dame Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. These days the film set is a lovely cafe/restaurant and being slightly wider than a ‘ real train ‘ lends itself to its new life perfectly.
We chose the Brunch Bowls for lunch, followed by cake of course! Delicious. 😁 There’s lots of choice on the menu and a good selection of drinks too. Food is a little more expensive than most cafes in the area. However the setting and the friendly service justifies the price.
It was great that Hugo was made very welcome on the train, even though he did have a habit of lying across the aisle. The staff brought him dog treats and made a real fuss of him. Perhaps the Station dog, a pretty black Labrador called Poppy , had something to do with that. 🤗
After lunch we had a quick look around the rest of the train. Our dining car had been bustling and busy , though a posher salon at the back was empty. Perhaps this is used for special occasions. For a finer day there is also outside seating and the Station building itself with Waiting Room is also part of the cafe.
I really love what the new owners are doing here. Breathing life into what only a couple of years ago, was an abandoned unused space. Hopefully we will visit again next year. I would also like to explore Dubwath Silver Meadows Nature Reserve opposite and of course go for a wander by the lake. 😁
Later in the afternoon we visited my Mum and Brother who live on a farm in The Eden Valley. The farm cats Tibby and Sooty have been used to spending time in the house recently, but weren’t too impressed that a certain Labrador was in residence.
Back at the caravan and Sunday dawned cold and bright, a lovely day for our last one there this year. We enjoyed a walk up the old bridleway from Melmerby to Unthank, I will miss those uninterrupted views toward the Lakeland fells.
After tidying and closing down the van we headed to the nearby village of Langwathby for a sausage butty lunch on the green.
Here’s to a few local adventures closer to home over Winter. Hope you can join me. X
Can there be no more decadent birthday celebration than Afternoon Tea? We were spoilt for choice in Manchester recently when exploring options in the city. Eight friends enjoyed a little shopping and cocktails followed by afternoon tea at King Street Town House on Booth Street.
King Street Town House is housed in an impressive Italian Renaissance building, originally the Manchester Salford Trustees Bank. Today it is a rather posh city centre hotel, famed for its seventh floor infinity pool and private wine cellar dining.
On arrival we were escorted to our own private dining room, one of the resident wine cellars I believe. The ambience was candle lit and cosy , it was certainly a nice touch to inhabit a dining area exclusive to ourselves. Although at times we did feel a little forgotten about by the otherwise attentive staff.
We all opted for the Traditional Afternoon Tea which consists of a sumptuous selection of finger sandwiches, dainty cakes and desserts, and of course the obligitary home baked scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. I loved how the goodies were decorated with edible flowers and cute Cape gooseberries.
There was a choice of teas and coffees to drink with free refills and out came the mismatched vintage China. Although I don’t make teacup candles anymore, I still love the ritual of drinking tea from a proper teacup. 🙂
The King Street Townhouse Afternoon Tea is perfect for celebrations. A delectable tea time treat. 😁
Thanks to Ailyn, Louise and Sarah for their photo contributions. 🙂
At the weekend we drove over to Ullswater ( about 20 minutes from our caravan in the Northern Lakes) and then on to the pretty lakeside village of Glenridding. Here we hopped onto one of the beautiful Ullswater Steamersfor a trip around the lake. Coincidentally the steamer service was celebrating its 160th Birthday! Colourful Bunting adorned these historic vessels and a grey morning turned into a lovely sunny day.
The steamers offer a hop on/ hop off service so we decided to dismount at Pooley Bridge for lunch. The newly painted Pooley Bridge Inn reminds me of a Swiss chalet. Ullswater itself flanked by Some of Britain’s highest mountains has been compared to the stunning lakes and mountains of Switzerland.
After a pootle about the village and Hugo’s obligatory paddle in the lake, we set back sail for Glenridding from Pooley Bridge Pier. The Steamers fleet has five vessels. It was our pleasure to travel back in M.Y Raven, she too was celebrating a Birthday, having been first launched on the 16th July 1889.
All the steamers have indoor and outdoor seating, toilets, serve coffee, teas and light refreshments and have fully licensed bars. Dogs are welcome onboard for a small charge.
I loved all the gorgeous wildflowers by the beck and the lake at Glenridding. Highlights were the swathes of vivid blue Vipers Bugloss and the sunshine yellow Monkey flowers.
Our lazy day on Ullswater finished with refreshments , sat outside The Glenridding Hotel which has a coffee shop called Let it Brew. I wasn’t really expecting such decadence when I ordered a milkshake. 😋
Thanks for bobbing by. Have you been messing about on boats lately?
If your looking for miles of dog friendly coastline then you’ve hit the jackpot in Cumbria. Because most people head for the lakes and fells, the beaches are almost always quiet, few having any dog restrictions at all.
We recently spent four nights in the coastal village of Ravenglass, and visited a couple of other seaside resorts whilst we were there. All three are served by the Cumbrian Coastal Railwayline.
Ravenglass. A tiny harbor village, Ravenglass has an ancient history. The Roman settlement of Glannoventa stood here and was an important naval base. The remains of a Roman bathhouse lie on the outskirts.
The beach is a mixture of sand, shingle and mud. There are lots of well signposted walks along the coast or up into the fells. Our dog Hugo enjoyed running here and his favourite nearby hill walk from Ravenglass was a mornings yomp up Muncaster Fell.
Hugo was made a fuss of in all three of the pubs in Ravenglass. We ate out at The Ratty Arms & The Pennington Hotel. Both were very good. 🐶
St Bees. Twenty minutes north of Ravenglass, St Bees is actually named after an Irish medieval Saint, St Bega . Bega ( a beautiful & devout princess) fled across the Irish Sea by boat, having been promised in marriage to a Viking Prince. She had other ideas, preferring to live in religious solitude on the English mainland.
I’m not sure if St Bega liked dogs ( there is a statue of her and her rowing boat in the village center) but the beach she landed on is a great place for a bracing walk. We took Hugo to the sands at Seacote Park, where there is a caravan park, lifeboat station and beach cafe. I don’t think dogs are allowed inside the cafe but as it was a nice day we had icecream on a bench outside and Hugo was brought water & dog treats.
St Bees is the start of the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk and the cliff top ( safely fenced off ~ Phew!) is also ideal for walkies. Look out for all sorts of seabirds. The cliffs at St Bees head are an RSPB bird reserve.
Arnside. A pretty estuary resort, Arnside resides in the Arnside & Silverdale Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is from here that I took part in The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay walk with Wil and Hugo, three years ago. This iconic organized hike across the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay must not be attempted without an official guide.
On our latest visit Hugo had a good run on the beach but there are also plenty of coastal and inland walks to do in the area including Arnside Knott and along the shoreline to Silverdale. Do make sure you listen out for the sirens that are sounded to warn of the incoming Arnside Tidal Bore, a high tidal wave that happens once a month in Arnside’s estuary.
The village has a couple of dog friendly pubs and cafes. We chose to sit outside with the best ever fish & chips from Arnside Chippy. We also visited a very cute little jazz cafe opposite Arnside’s Railway station. Moochin About is a teeny tiny espresso bar with the cutest decor and vinyl jazz records playing on a record player. Sad to say no doggies allowed inside, purely because it is so small. There are two benches outside though, water bowls and the lovely owner brought out biscuits for Hugo and a collie customer. 🐕
If you have a dog, what beaches do you like to visit with them?
Sometimes I love to revisit places on my blog and Skipton is no exception. On Friday a friend and I took a bus over the Yorkshire border to this pretty market town, often known as The Gateway to the Dales. With its 900 year old Castle, cobbled shopping streets and beautiful woodland walks, Skipton makes for a grand day out. 🙂
As my friend had never visited Skipton Castle, we decided to head there first. The incredibly thick walls of this formidable fortress held off a three year siege in The Civil War. Visitors can explore the many rooms including The Great Hall , the Muniment Tower and the charming Conduit Court. In the grounds Spring brings a glorious display of dancing daffodils.
After aquainting ourselves with the Castle, we felt a bit peckish ! This tasty pie selection in Farmhouse-Fare was to much temptation. Pies bought, we ambled toward Skipton Castle Woods ……. in search of sculptures.
Skipton Castle Woods is a rare ancient woodland with over a thousand years of history. It’s diverse wildlife includes dippers, kingfishers, woodpeckers, deer, bats, badgers and bluebells. Paths follow Eller Beck , meandering through a green carpet of wild garlic leaves. We used the Mill Bridge Entrance to access the woods.
Since my last wander in Skipton Castle Woods two beautiful willow sculptures have appeared, both looking incredibly natural in their forest surroundings. Other new installations include an Eller Beck Information Board and a gorgeous kingfisher carved bench.
After our walk and nosy round the shops we finished our day off with cake. 🙂
My favourite place to go for tea and cake in Skipton is the colourful and Quirky Cakeole in the Craven Court Arcade.
Ah but where in Clitheroe can you find a White Rabbit, a March Hare, a sleepy Dormouse and a Mad Hatter taking tea? There’s a very good chance you might, at Callooh! Callay , an Alice in Wonderland inspired Tea Room on Moor Lane. If your up for a Mad Tea-party…. or simply a tea-time treat, this is the place to come. ♤♡◇♧
Now Callooh Callay has been open for a few years now. In fact I had my 40th Birthday ( or should that be Un-birthday) tea-party here, four years ago. Sob! How time flies and where’s my pocket watch. Its recently become under new ownership and happily the owners have continued with the Wonderland theme.
My friend Lisa and I bobbed in for a brew yesterday and we couldn’t resist the tempting array of cakes on display. Lisa chose a slab of delicious millionaires shortbread and I ordered a slice of starry chocolate cake. It went very well with my March Hare Perk Me Up Peppermint Tea. Delightful. 🙂
As you can see everything comes served upon lovely mis-matched vintage china. Pink flamingos adorn the cafe walls.
After our refreshments we bobbed upstairs for a nosy. There are two further rooms and a cute bathroom on the first floor.
Upstairs you can browse in the newly opened craft shop and there are plans afoot for Craft and Natter mornings.
The cafe now extends to upstairs too. I love the ambience in this cosy room. Now available to hire for private parties, the dressing up area in the corner is a nice touch. I can see my niece and god daughters loving it here. 😁
Callooh Callay is open every day 10 ~ 5pm and 12 ~ 4pm on Sundays. Maybe Alice herself will welcome you!
‘ And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.
From the poem JABBERWOCKY by Lewis Carroll ~ Alice’s Adventures Through The Looking Glass.