Category Archives: vintage

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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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. 

 

 


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annie & Betty’s ~ Grassington.

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On our way home from our Appletreewick camping trip, we decided to call in at nearby Grassington for another walk to Linton Falls and a hearty breakfast. Grassington is a bustling little village, jammed with ย gorgeous ย gift shops and quaint cafes. ย I had spied Annie & Betty’sย ย Vintage Emporium and Tea rooms the day before, so ย marched my other half in before he could object. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wil is not one for pretty pastels and Cath Kidson fabrics, but see, he is smiling in the picture below…and Hugo has been brought a dish of water.

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I love how Annie & Betty’s has been done out , and of course it being a Vintage Tea Room, I had to order a pot of tea. There were lots of refills from this baby blue teapot, and of course I appreciated the floral teacup and saucer. ๐Ÿ™‚

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It is to be expected , that ย Annie and Betty’s is an amazing place to go for Afternoon Tea , but as we were morning visitors, I had to settle for Baked Beans on toast instead. No complaints though!

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Adjoining the Tea room is a very girly Vintage Shop. Definitely one for the ladies, wouldn’t you agree? There are lots of mannequins, wearing jaunty little hats and plenty of frocks, doilies and tea sets.

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I had to steal a cake picture from Annie & Betty’s facebook page. A slice of this would definitely entice me to visit again. ๐Ÿ™‚

We found Annie & Betty’s to be very friendly and relaxed, a must visit if you are ever in Grassington. X

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! 

Lido โ™กย 

I’m not quite sure how my fascination with Lido’s started. It’s definitely quite a recent thing with me. Maybe it’s their association with vintage seaside fun or in some cases, the glamour of their 1930’s art deco style. Maybe it’s the fact they were often built with pleasing views in mind ,or is it that they seem a safe and only slightly warmer alternative to outdoor lake and sea swimming …. The silly thing is I’m not even a keen swimmer !  And I’ve never even been to a lido.  Maybe I can remedy at least one of those things in 2017.

Lido season is well on it’s way, so I thought I would list a few of the iconic UK outdoor pools that adorn my  pinterest board. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Jubilee Pool ~ Penzance, Cornwall.  A beautiful art deco seawater lido , designed in the 1930’s.  The pool is a gently curving triangular shape and is surrounded by high streamlined sea walls, which are terraced upwards in the interior. Bare in mind the water temperatures can be quite bracing !  But I’m sure the stunning Cornish Coastal views are worth it. There is  a smaller children’s pool on site too and a cafe. This years season starts at the end of May. www.jubileepool.co.uk

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Tooting Bec Lido ~ South London.  One of Britain’s oldest lidos, Tooting Bec was opened in 1906 and at that time was known as Tooting bec Lake.  It’s an unheated fresh water lido and the pool is apparently quite enomas and lined with changing rooms, featuring brightly coloured doors. It is surrounded by parkland and trees and also boasts a small cafe and kids pool. Opens from May 1st. www.visitlondon.com 

Saltdean Lido ~ Brighton.

Reopening this May after extensive restorations , Saltdean harks back to it’s art deco hey day in the thirties. It is the only grade ll listed Coastal Lido in the country and unlike the above two beauties, it will actually feature a heated pool. ๐Ÿ™‚ Phase two of the restoration will bring back the iconic curved buildings to their former glory and include a heritage cafe.  The pool will open on the 27th of May. www.saltdeanlido.co.uk 

Thermae Bath Spa ~ Bath.  The only naturally hot (and  rich in minerals) waters in the UK , can be found in the ancient city of Bath. The Thermae Bath Spa’s Welcome package includes, use of the Indoor Minerva Pool,  Multi-Sensory Wellness Suite and use of the Roof- Top Pool , with its stunning views of the city and hills beyond.  Prices from ยฃ35 per person. www.thermaebathspa.com 

Pontypridd Lido ~ South Wales. Lido Ponty in South Wales looks like the perfect place to soak up the sun !  There are three heated swimming pools, a Heritage Visitor Centre, Cafe and children’s Adventure Play area. The Grade II listed Lido retains newly restored features , including the 1920’s turnstiles and wooden changing cubicles. Whilst it was a free attraction, 2017 sees a new ยฃ1 charge per adult.  Swimming commences at the end of May. ๐Ÿ™‚ Check out this  website Here. 

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Ilkley Lido ~ Yorkshire.  There are Lido’s up North too !  1935 saw King George V  celebrate his Silver Jubilee and many Lido’s were opened at this time, to commemorate the occasion. Ilkley is one of those and has an unusual shape, like that of a mushroom sliced in half. With the picturesque Ilkley Moors as a scenic  backdrop , this unheated fresh water pool benefits from a cafe, picnic benches and bowling green. There is even an indoor baths for inclement weather.  The 2017 season starts on the 28th of May.  www.bradford.gov.uk 

Stonehaven Heated Open Air Pool ~ Aberdeen, Scotland.  The Uk’s  Northernmost Art Deco Lido has an Olympic Sized (and heated) Sea Water Pool.  There are large sun terraces with free recliners and a cafe on site. Midnight Swims under the stars are apparently very popular at Stonehaven. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is also a heated indoor pool and leisure centre next door. The Lido reopens for the Summer at the end of May. www.stonehavenopenairpool.co.uk 

Bude Sea Pool ~ Cornwall.  This semi natural Sea Pool was built in the 1930s to provide safe sea swimming in a sheltered bay at Summerleaze Beach. The pool is a popular base for learning various activities including surfing and sea kayaking.  Swimming here is free. There are colourful beach huts to hire nearby and a cafe. I must admit I have actually seen this idylic attraction, bustling with holidaymakers on a warm August day. I should have ventured in !  www.budeseapool.org 

Tinside Lido ~ Plymouth.  Yet another beautiful example of thirties art deco splendor, Tinside overlooks the sea at the tip of Plymouth Hoe. The Lido is a sea water pool with three fountains and do I spy a lighthouse in the background?? On site is a coffee shop selling snacks and Icecream, but visitors can bring picnics too. There is also a Swim Shop and sun loungers for hire.  The splashing commences on Sat 27th May. ๐Ÿ™‚ www.everyoneactivecentre.com

There are plenty more lovely Lido’s and pool’s that I could include, so why not look up your nearest outdoor pool ? London and the South of England seem to have the highest concentration of original Lido’s still in use, while the further North you go, the fewer of these iconic beauties remain. 

Lido’s need our support to stay afloat ! 

Which Lido could tempt you to dip a toe in?

Toilets Of Manchester Tour.

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The bridge next to The Lass O Gowrie was the site of the Oldest ‘Pissotiere’

Can you think of a more unusual way to spend a few pennies ( Tee Hee )  than booking a walking tour round the old toilets of Manchester??  My friend Fi decided to do just that for her Birthday recently…..and it proved to be a very interesting way to while away a couple of hours. ๐Ÿ™‚  Billed as the cities ‘ most convenient tour’  this guided walk explores the history of Manchester’s use of toilets, from the Industrial Revolution onwards.

We met up with our tour guide and  the rest of the group ( which included a band of  poo enthusiasts !  )  at The Lass O Gowrie  Public House on Charles street , just off Oxford Road.  This old tiled Real Ales pub is situated on the site of  the oldest ‘Pissotiere’ in Manchester. A pissotiere is a much pleasanter sounding word for public urinal. It was a public toilet ( with no privacy ) , where gents could relieve themselves into the river below. As you can imagine the river Medlock soon became a very smelly cesspit.

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The Lass O Gowrie and nearby The Sailisbury are situated in a part of Manchester known as Little Ireland, a former slum area in the city. Anne ( our guide )  told us  that Irish immigrants moved here in the 1820s to work in the factories and mills.  Conditions were dyre with inhabitants living in crowded squaller in back to back terraces with  

whole streets sharing  just one toilet.  And that toilet was little more than a  big  bucket that was emptied once a week.  ๐Ÿ˜ฆ  With the smog and pollution and insanitary filth , it must have been one hell of a miserable life here. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Temple  Of Convenience !

On a more cheery note our next stop on The Toilets of Manchester Tour, was  a former public toilet which is now a subterranean bar !  The Temple Of Convenience  on Bridgewater Street was one of the Victorian-era lavatories  originally built for businessmen and gentlemen visitors to the city. I don’t think ladies went to the toilet in those days, not public ones anyway!  It would have been fun to bob inside the Temple for a quick half, but alas a drink in a former loo was not part of the  tour. ; (

 Anne regaled us with more tales and information about Manchester’s toilet history as we walked round the city in the wind and rain. It was therefore a nice surprise when she led us into an impressive  Neo Gothic building that looked like a church, but is actually John Rylands Library. 

John Rylands Library was completed in 1900 and was founded by Enriquita Rylands in tribute to  her late husband, a Manchester textile mill owner and millionaire. Enriquita wanted the best of everything in the library , including the latest in modern flushing lavatories. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Inside the magnificent  John Rylands  Library.

 The original  Victorian  toilets ( the oldest working loos in Manchester! ) can be found in the library basement.  Fortunately by 1900 Ladies could use public conveniences too, so Fi , Jo and I trundled off to spend a penny. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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The imposing ‘ King Of King Street’.

Our last stop on the tour was  ‘ The jamie Oliver’ Restaurant !   It resides in an imposing  1930’s  Art Decor building , formerly the Midland Bank at 100 King Street , known as The King Of King Street.  

 Whilst the top floors house  a swish boutique hotel called  Hotel Gotham , the former bank vault ( which can be hired out for parties)  is adjacent to the rest rooms, which contain reproduction Thomas Crapper lavatories .  

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Flushed Away!

Thomas Crapper was a renowned Victorian plumber and inventor whose flush toilets had the Royal Seal of Approval!  His name lives on in potty mouths everywhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

We found this walking tour at manchesterguidedtours.com

ยฃ8 per person.

Can you recommend any unusual walking tours?