Category Archives: vintage

A cosy cabin in Slockavullin, Kilmartin Glen.

Although I am back to work now and therefore back to normality, writing blog posts about my trip gives me a chance to reminnis about what was a very enjoyable holiday. After spending a short time on Skye and a week on North Uist ( post coming soon!) ,we fancied a few days on the equally lovely Scottish mainland.

I had booked a cabin in Kilmartin Glen in the heart of Argyll using airbnb. The 1930s hut resembles a wooden train carriage and stands in a small orchard next to the owners garden. Costing a very reasonable £170 for 3 nights, the cosy cabin was full of thoughful touches, including a vintage style radio, a wood burning stove and a cupboard brimming with books and games.

The tiny village of Slockavullin where our accommodation was located is almost hidden away, nestled in woodland amongst the many ancient monuments ( 800 apparently! ) that reside in historic Kilmartin Glen. A thirty minute walk will lead you to the slightly larger village of Kilmartin ,where there is a village pub, café and museum.

It was very easy to fall in love with the cabin. Its shape definitely reminded me of a train carriage or even the showman’s wagon in Cornwall that we stayed in a couple of years ago. ‘The Duke’ at Spring Park ~ Our stay in a Showman’s Wagon.

However this cosy retreat was purpose built as a cabin and the present owners have lovingly created a darling holiday home from it.

One quirky touch was the outdoor bath-tub , the water can be heated by lighting a fire underneath. However I never did get round to trying an alfresco dip!

Hugo was eager to explore of course! There are plentiful walks on the doorstep, many lead you past ancient burial cairns, standing stones and stone circles.

Temple Wood Stone Circle.

On our walks we saw lots of……hooded crows. To be honest I got quite excited as there are none in my neck of the woods. 🙂

And your never very far from a Highland Cow. The hardy breed originated in the Hebrides and the Highlands and is now found all over the world.

A short drive from Slockavullin is Dunadd Fort, the Iron-age remains are a steep clamber up a rocky outcrop, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Ancient Gaelic Kings were created here and the Footprint of Fealty was believed to be part of the Dal Riata Kingdoms coronation ritual. They must have had quite small feet though!

2km North of Kilmartin village is Carnasserie Castle, a ruined 16th-Century tower house.

Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve is one of the last wild, raised bogs left in Britain. 242 species of lichens have been recorded here and the reserve is home to the marsh fritillary butterfly and two pairs of nesting hen harriers.

And your never to far from the coast. Crinan Ferry Beach is a long walk or a short drive from the cabin. In the old days a little ferry took sheep and cattle over the estuary. I have a blog post waiting to be written about a lovely walk we did along the picturesque Crinan Canal.

But for now, back to our holiday abode, where the apples and plums in the orchard tempted me to make a crumble. And hot chocolate with marshmallows were very kindly supplied by the owners, as well as fresh milk, eggs, oatcakes, jams, juice and cereals. 🙂

And after a packed day of exploring, little Hugo was always happy to snuggle by the wood burner. 🙂

Future Scotland Posts will include our week in the Outer Hebrides and Britain’s most beautiful shortcut. 🙂

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Sightseers at Lowther Castle~ with Picnic Cinema.

So I have a 25 Before 45 Bucket List , which I have been neglecting recently. Still lots to do on there and not very much time left to do it ! Oh well C’est la Vie. Something I listed was ‘ Watch a film outdoors’ and the other weekend I did manage to cross this off my Bucket list, when I dragged Wil up to Lowther Castle in Cumbria, for an open-air cinema event.

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Lowther Castle.

Picnic Cinema specialises in bringing ‘cinema parties’ to some of the most scenic and iconic locations in the North, including castles, forests and in the case of cult classic ‘Withnail & I’ , a remote farmhouse that was used as a location in the movie.

It turned out that a favourite film of both mine and Wils ‘ Sightseers’ was showing at Lowther Castle, a once grand residence now in ruins, but still majestic all the same. Even though Lowther is only a couple of miles from where my Mum lives, I decided to book us camping tickets, as the lovely weather was perfect for an evening under canvas.

The weekend before,the Lowther estate had played host to the ‘Kendal Calling’ music festival, but this was the first time anyone had been allowed to camp so close to the castle , so we felt quite privileged. The fairy tale turrets certainly made for a magical backdrop.

It also happened that a Crafty Vintage fair was underway in the castle courtyard, so there was plenty to keep us entertained after we had pitched the tent.

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Being the rubbish picnickers that we were, we actually forgot to pack a picnic! Couldn’t get enough of this delicious pizza though. 😁

The Picnic Cinema entertainment commenced at around 8pm. We wrapped up warm and took camping chairs, blankets, wine, snacks, and a torch up to where the film screen was situated.

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We were each given a cute goodie bag containing love-heart sweets, a sherbert dib dab, a pencil, a badge and a jigsaw puzzle piece! While we were waiting for the sun to go down, the Picnic Cinema team entertained us with a sightseeing themed quiz, filmed interviews with some obliging campers and various fun and games.

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At around 10.15pm it was dark enough for the movie to begin!

If you have never seen Sightseers, then you have missed a treat. Its a British Black Horror Comedy about a couple who go on a touring caravan holiday, visiting various tourist attractions on the way….and leaving a few dead bodies in their wake….. Filmed in the North ( Derbyshire, Yorkshire & The Lake District) , Sightseers is pretty macabre and totally bonkers! It was great to see it on The Big Screen. 😁

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I think I would definitely go again to a Picnic Cinema event. I love that the films are screened in such gorgeous settings, the staff were enthusiastic, helpful and friendly and the movies shown are usually quirky and different.

Still to show this Summer.

Saturday 11th August ~ The Big Lebowski at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria.

Saturday 18th August ~ 24 Hour Party People at Kirklinton Hall, Carlisle.

Saturday 22nd September ~ Moulin Rouge at The Festival of Thrift, Redcar.

Whilst in the Lowther area we decided to do our own spot of sightseeing. ‘Long Meg and Her Daughters’ at Hunsonby is a druid stone circle that was used as one of the locations in the film.

Have you ever watched a film outdoors? Are you tempted?

Now, back to that Bucket List!

Were All Mad Here ~ Callooh ! Callay Tea Rooms in Clitheroe.

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.

Harrogate. 

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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. 😁

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.  😁

 

 

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. 🙂  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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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.  🙂

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. 

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

 

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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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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Fabulous. 🙂

 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  gorgeous  gift shops and quaint cafes.  I had spied Annie & Betty’s  Vintage Emporium and Tea rooms the day before, so  marched my other half in before he could object. 😉 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. 🙂

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It is to be expected , that  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. 🙂

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