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.
I had been researching Snowdrop Walks in Lancashire and found two. Both were at historic piles and not to far from the sea .Lytham Hall near St Annes and Hornby Castle , a short drive from Morecambe. I managed to persuade Wil that we could incorporate snowdrops and seaside into a good day out for ourselves and our Labrador Hugo. Off we set on a dreary grey day in Clitheroe, heading for Hornby Castle near Lancaster . We actually ended up blessed with some sunshine. 🙂
Hornby Castle in the Lune Valley overlooks the village of Hornby and the river Wenning. Parts of the building date back to the 13th century and the impressive tower that dominates it’s shape is 16th century. The castle is privately owned and the gardens are only opened to the public a few days a year
It was lovely to see all the many varieties of snowdrops in bloom. They carpeted the woodland, grew in thickets by the river and adorned the lovely walled garden. Hugo’s favourite part was exploring the riverside walk.
I wish I had taken more snowdrop pictures for you all. They really were stunning! Entry to the Snowdrop weekend was £4 per person and included a talk about the castle in the drawing room ( which we managed to miss! ) and you could buy plants, hot drinks and cake in the walled garden. A pottery exhibition was also in the grounds. If you wish to visit Hornby castle yourself, the next opening weekend is 19-20 May, Bluebell season. 🙂
The village of Hornby itself is quite pleasant and Hornby Post Office & Tea Rooms are a very good stop off point for a spot of lunch. The picture above is quite deceptive as the place was absolutely rammed, due I think to the Snowdrop Weekend and a second hand book sale in the village. The old fountain in the village depicts a cat with a rat in its mouth, said to represent the former owner of the castle, Pudsey Dawson, who brought in cats to clear the castle of a huge rat population in the 19th century. Yikes!
In the afternoon we headed to the coast and went for a blustery walk on the beach in Morecambe. Luckily at this time of year you can depend on pup friendly beaches, even if it is somewhat freezing! Morecambe has appeared in my blog quite a few times so apologies for any repetitive photos. Its a very photogenic place though, if a bit worn and weather beaten.
The bracing winds encouraged us to head for the Midland Hotel that looks over the bay and the long stone jetty, decorated ( as much of the town is) with seabird sculptures and poems.
The Midland is a Grade II listed Art Deco design hotel , which was built in 1933 by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Like many grand seaside hotels it fell into disrepair and decline. In 2008 it was re-opened to the public, all restored and its elegant curving façade happily housing a lovely hostelry once again.
After enjoying our hot drinks we headed home through the Trough of Bowland, calling in at my sisters for another brew. Can’t get enough of brews in this weather!
Have you been on any snowdrop walks this year? Or bracing beach walks for that matter! 🙂
Its actually Friday morning as I gather together some pictures for my Sunday Sevens post. Yesterday ( Thursday) I had the day off as I am working for a colleague on Saturday. Yay , I can hardly wait! I know I am totally spoilt really and have become to used to having my weekends off….
I have just finished reading ELeanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and I must say, I really enjoyed it. The story centres round Eleanor, a thirty something office worker who exists according to a regimented timetable during the week….and buys two bottles of vodka to drink at home every weekend. Eleanor thinks her life is rolling along as it should be, in other words she’s completely fine. And then she makes a friend. I found this book to be sweetly funny, heart-breaking and unputdownable. Anyone else read it?
Currently watching ~ The Killing on Netflix. I am probably very late to the party! Based on the Danish TV series Forbrydelsen ( The Crime) , The Killing is a serial detective drama set in the more often than not bleak and rainy Seattle. With Scandi Noir influences and Linden’s Danish knitted jumpers, our crime busting duo are two very different homicide detectives ,with contrasting styles of how to get things done. Although I am very definitely the kind of audience that hides behind a cushion when I think something bad is going to happen, I am seriously hooked on a good mystery at the moment. Other Netflix series that I have enjoyed recently are The Sinner, Godless and The Lizzie Boden Chronicles. Any recommendations?
Thursday and Friday have been bright and cold days. On Thursday I had a good walk round my local Castle grounds. I went up to the top of the keep and it was freezing up there! This gave me an excuse to visit a tearoom and indulge in a pot of hot tea and a slice of Lemon Drizzle Cake. 🙂
I also did a spot of shopping. I found a couple of cute cards in Roost, a fab new Gifts and Interiors shop on Moor Lane. Plus I purchased a pretty top in a charity shop for £4. Can you see it is covered in little cat motifs. Slinky does not care to compliment it. That little fur ball on the edge of the photo is actually Slinky curled up in sleep ( or ignoring! ) mode.
Speaking of which, I was disappointed to read ( yet again ) this week, that black cats in rescue centres are finding it hard to be re-homed due to them not being seen as photogenic enough for Instagram or selfies. If a person only wants a pet to decorate their social media feed, then I’m afraid they don’t deserve one. There are some eejits out there!
My final photo shows Pendle Hill in the back ground and is a view I tend to see a lot, when we are out and about with Hugo. I am hoping to #walk1000miles in 2018 and my progress in January has been pretty good. I have walked 120 miles in the first month. However I am probably only walking what I have always walked, its just that I haven’t bothered to record the distance before. If we didn’t have Hugo, would I have the motivation??? I think I would struggle!