Category Archives: vintage

Afternoon Tea at The Cake ‘Ole.Β 

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

 

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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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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Fabulous. πŸ™‚

 Thanks to Gill for taking the photos. X

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 Β gorgeous Β gift shops and quaint cafes. Β I had spied Annie & Betty’sΒ Β Vintage Emporium and Tea rooms the day before, so Β marched my other half in before he could object. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ™‚

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It is to be expected , that Β 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. πŸ™‚

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.Β 

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. πŸ™‚  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. πŸ™‚

 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. πŸ˜‰

Anyway thanks for dropping by and enjoy your Sunday.  Looks like sunshine out there! 

Lido β™‘Β 

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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚ 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 Β£35 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 Β£1 charge per adult.  Swimming commences at the end of May. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚  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.  πŸ˜¦  With the smog and pollution and insanitary filth , it must have been one hell of a miserable life here. 😦

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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. πŸ™‚

 

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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. πŸ™‚

 

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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. πŸ™‚

We found this walking tour at manchesterguidedtours.com

Β£8 per person.

Can you recommend any unusual walking tours? 

Searching for Panopticons in East Lancashire.

Despite being a Lancashire lass born and bred, the East Lancashire Panopticons have totally passed me by. Until very recently that is, when Richard’s post  ‘ Its Grim Up North’ ( honestly it’s not that bad ! πŸ˜‰ ) , brought Burnley’s iconic Singing Ringing Tree to my attention. Ever since I have been very keen to visit this amazing structure and its fellow Panopticons. Panopticons. Panopticons. I love that word! πŸ™‚

On the Mid Pennine Arts  Website  I found this description of a  Panopticon.

Panopticon  ( noun) Structure, Space or Device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view.

East Lancashire is home to 4 such sculptures and on Saturday Wil, Hugo and I managed to hunt down two of them. Thankfully it wasn’t a bad day weather wise ( unlike Richard’s experience) and my home county was bathed in sunshine. πŸ™‚

First we drove to the town of  Rawtenstall in Rossendale and parked at The Whitaker Museum & Art Gallery  on Haslingden rd. The museum is set in a pretty park and car parking is free. There is a cafe and a bar in The Whitaker and a children’s playground in the park. Therefore  it is  a great place to start and finish a walk up to The Halo Panopticon on Top O Slate , in the hills above Haslingden.

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We followed a footpath from Haslingden Old Road up Cribden Hill.
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And found ourselves on ‘The Shoe Trail’ that celebrates Rossendales Shoe Industry.
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Saw some friendly sheep.

 

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And these guys had been rolling in the mud. πŸ™‚
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The Halo !

It didn’t take to long to find  The Halo an 18 metre diameter  steel structure , supported on a tripod. It definitely resembles a Flying Saucer don’t you think ??

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Hugo and  The Halo.
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Yes Hugo it’s a Panopticon..

In daylight this Panopticon is the perfect vantage point for admiring the panoramic views over  Rossendale.  But it is when darkness falls that The Halo really stands out. The structure lights up at night and it’s blue glow gives the impression that it’s hovering over the valley. Maybe it does get mistaken for a UFO. πŸ™‚  Check out haslingdenhalo.co.uk  for more images.

After our spaceship discovery we walked into Rawtenstall , had a nosy around the shops and enjoyed some refreshments at  Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar &  Emporium.  Fitzpatricks Temperance Bar on Bank Street has been serving Lancashire folks alcohol free tipples since 1890.  In fact it is England’s only remaining original temperance bar !  Having recently been refurbished, Fitzpatricks now sells delicious cakes, icecreams, floats, coffee & tea , as well as  its famed vintage  cordials.

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Fitzpatricks.

We sat outside with a couple of hot cordials. Wil had a Blood Tonic and Orange and I had a Lemon & Ginger cordial. Of course we had to sample some cakes as well. πŸ™‚

These  lovely  Temperance Bar goodies set us up for our next Panopticon.  The Singing Ringing Tree  is situated about 15 minutes drive from Rawtenstall at Crown Point above the town of Burnley. Taking the form of a tree bending in the wind, this unusual musical sculpture is made from  galvanised metal tubes.  The wind whistleing through them creates a humming sound, as though the tree is singing. πŸ™‚

The Singing Ringing Tree.
Play those pipes. πŸ™‚

We were treated to a harmonious wailing up there in the Pennine landcape,which I find hard to describe. Think a cross between angels singing in old black & white movies…and a pack of howling dogs. Hugo was most intrigued..

Hugo being serenaded.

With far reaching views over the urban sprawl of Burnley and to the hills beyond ,this Panopticon  gives the town dwellers and visitors a new appreciation of the surrounding countryside……as well as its own personal backing track. πŸ™‚

So thats two East Lancashire  Panopticons bagged and two more to go, the others being  Colourfields in Blackburn  and  The Atom in Wycollar Country Park. My Panopticon Quest continues….. πŸ™‚

Have you visited any ? 

Which is your favourite Panopticon? 

Sunday Sevens 29th January 2017.Β 

Hi this is my first Sunday Sevens of 2017! Β Here is what I have been up to in the last week.

Books Read in January.

I have been on a roll reading this month. Three of the above were Christmas presents and all four books I have given solid 4 β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜† on Good Reads. A whimsical romance with books, a quirky story about a young adventuress who doesn’t recall her adventures, a laugh out loud romp with our favourite singleton Bridget and and an interesting novel about the reintroduction of wolves into Northern England. All good.

Derwent Water Morning light.
Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Last weekend was spent enjoying a mini break in The Lake District. We stopped in a cosy cottage in Keswick with our dog Hugo.Keswick has been voted ‘Most Dog-friendly town’ several years on the run. More about that coming soon. The above pictures show reflections in beautiful Derwentwater and the nearby ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle with its mountainous backdrop.

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Stella the Tabby.

On the way home from Cumbria we dropped by a Yorkshire village called Clapham and I met the proprietor of a local vintage shop, who was actually a tabby cat called Stella. πŸ™‚

New Mugs!

 

Whilst I was away I bought two new mugs from a shop in Keswick called Β Love The Lakes. Mine is the one with the sheep on. πŸ™‚

 

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Stairway to heaven. Erm not yet!

This weekends job is lots of sanding and getting the stairs and landing ready for decorating and a new carpet. I can’t claim that I have done much to help as Wil does not trust me with a paint brush! To speed up proceedings Mr Hugo has decamped to a boarding kennels for the weekend. It is really wierd without him. 😦

Happy Chinese New year. πŸ™‚

After lots of decorating prep we stayed in with a Chinese ( do you like my dragon puppet? ) and watched anti-superhero film ‘Deadpool’. Quite amusing!

How was your week?