Keswick.

Today the boyfriend and I decided to head up to Keswick in the Lake District.He loves all the many outdoorsy shops and I’m never going to say no to a day out in such a picturesque setting. 🙂

We got there just before lunch.It was a cold and clear fine day (At Last!) and our tummies rumbled their way to The Lakeland Pedlar.

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The Lakeland Pedlar is a hearty wholefood cafe popular with cyclists.It serves a comprehensive menu of great veggie food such as Black Bean and Beer Casserole and ‘Pedlars’ Hot and spicy Chilli. We are not vegetarians.We just like to go there cause the food is so darn tasty!

My Mediterranean Mezze.
My Mediterranean Mezze.

Wils Hot 'n'Spicy Chilli.
Wils Hot ‘n’Spicy Chilli.

The decor in the Pedlar is Vintage Bicycle inspired.There was formally a bike shop above the cafe but that has now moved to elsewhere in Keswick. A few cyclists still stopped by for grub though.The clientele included families with young children,walkers,cyclists and a couple with a very cute ‘Sportsman Lucas Terrier’ so doggies are welcome too.
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After our delicous meal we went for an amble round the shops.Even I got a bit outdoorsy and bought a scarlet coloured North Face jacket reduced in the sales. 🙂
Both of us were pretty impressed with this tipi in the Nordic Outdoors store.

I want this Tipi :)
I want this Tipi 🙂

A trip to Keswick is not the same without a wander down to the lake.Derwentwater is 3 miles long by 1 mile wide and is surrounded by pretty wooded fells.You can take a pleasure cruise around the lake but we just decided to enjoy the view from the launch. We could just make out a dusting of snow on the distant mountains.

silly goose.
silly goose.

Derwentwater.
Derwentwater.

The boat coming in.
The boat coming in.

After the lake we decided to check out another of Keswicks tourist attractions , the ‘Puzzling Place’. The Puzzling Place is an exhibition of optical illusions and puzzles in Museum square.We had a fun time figuring out the illusions.And yes some really did Amaze! One for the whole family.

The anti gravity room.
The anti gravity room.

Just enough time for coffee and cake before we headed home.I decided we had to visit the Wild Strawberry Tearooms just because they looked so pretty. 🙂
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And the cake tasted good too.So much for my diet!

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I Love Cath Kidston….

About five years ago I stumbled into a Cath Kidston shop on a cold November day in Edinburgh.It was a discovery of starbursts of colour, beautiful floral fabrics and a nostalgic nod to vintage.I was in love 🙂

Cath Kidston herself started out with one little store selling home furnishings in Notting Hill and has gone from strength to strength ever since with shops all over the United Kingdom,Ireland and even far flung Japan. If I had my way I would do out my whole house Cath Kidston style but the other half isn’t so keen.:( But I do sneak in the odd tea towel and cushion here and there!

Here are a few items on my wish list.

Bloomsbury biker bag £65
Bloomsbury biker bag £65

Antique Rose Kingsize duver £85
Antique Rose Kingsize duver £85

Scrap book £12
Scrap book £12

london iphone 4 case £24
london iphone 4 case £24

Pinny flowers cross bag £45. Now £35
Pinny flowers cross bag £45. Now £35

Bath Melts £12
Bath Melts £12

Spot large wash bag £18
Spot large wash bag £18

Tea rose stripe gift set £18
Tea rose stripe gift set £18

All items can be found on the website http://www.cathkidston.co.uk. Happy Shopping!

New Years day by the River.

Happy New Year! We went for a lovely walk by the river today to get rid of our hangovers and it actually wasn’t raining for oh at least a couple of hours! Here are a few pics from our walk along the Ribble.

Mallards.
Mallards.

Mallards and a new duck on the block.
Mallards and a new duck on the block.

Jake getting impatient.'C'mon get a move on!'
Jake getting impatient.’C’mon get a move on!’

winter foilage
winter foilage

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A few of our feathered friends were tucking into lunch. 🙂
Great tit
Great tit

Blackbird
Blackbird

Bullfinch
Bullfinch

Anyone know what kind of ducks these are? They seem to have made Edisford their home.: )
Anyone know what kind of ducks these are? They seem to have made Edisford their home.: )

All the best for a fabulous 2013!

Christmas in Kettlewell.

This year we decided for the first time to go away for Christmas. We booked a tiny cottage with a log fire in the Yorkshire Dales. We packed our wellies and headed for the lovely village of Kettlewell in Wharfedale.
Kettlewell is a very christmassy looking village with a couple of inns and lots of pheasants.The folk there are very friendly and everyone seems to own a couple of dogs……which was good for us as we took along our labrador Jake.Well Christmas would not be the same without him!

The Blue Bell Inn is dog friendly.
The Blue Bell Inn is dog friendly.

Both pubs in the village are dog friendly and popular with families and walkers.We ate in the Blue Bell and The Racehorses and they both served excellant food. If you like your real ales then both have a good selection especially the Blue Bell.
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We knew before we booked that we were unlikely to get any mobile phone reception in Kettlewell. Looks like the locals had given up on theirs!
A jar of mobiles in water!
A jar of mobiles in water!

The village was very prettily decorated with lights and christmas wreaths hung on everyones doors. 🙂
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Kettlewell also has a couple of tearooms.I only tried out ‘Zarinas’ which serves a vast selection of teapigs teas and delicous home made cakes.
Zarinas.
Zarinas.

There is a very well equipped Village Store, a Youth Hostel, an outdoor shop and a picture gallery in Kettlewell too.It is very popular with walkers as there are hills to walk up with great names like ‘Providence Pot’but as we have an aging labrador we restricted most of our ramblings to around the village and along the river.
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one day we did have visitors. A couple of our friends bought their kids over and we had a lovely meal out and then did alot of splashing in puddles and admired one particular house which had a festive display of santas and snowmen.:)
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But most of the time we just snuggled up by the fire. 🙂 I think we will definatly go away for Christmas again oneday.Kettlewell is somewhere we would stay at any time of year.
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Nativity

I wouldn’t say that I am a religous person but I guess as I’ve got older   church has begun to come back into my life a little more.This is probably due to children.I don’t have any of my own but I do have a little nephew and niece and four godchildren.The lovely thing about this time of year is ‘The Church Nativity’ and usually I would definatly be watching one.This year though I will miss my nephews as my sister and her family have moved away and I will miss my god daughters nativity too as I’m on hols over Xmas.
I did manage to see my hometowns Nativity parade though.My god daughter Bronte dressed up as an Angel.:)
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Here is the crib in town which is lit up every night.

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One of my work collegues is very clever.She actually knitted me Mary,Joseph and baby Jesus.A Knitted Nativity! I took them up to my sisters when I visited this wknd gone and my niece and nephew loved them.I think I will add to them every Christmas.A knitted donkey and a knitted shepherd next year maybe….

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What Should I take with me on My Christmas Break In TheDales ?

This year the boyfriend, the dog, and I are going away for Christmas. I’m quite excited as we are off to a cottage in the Yorkshire Dales.A roaring log fire,beautiful countryside and three pubs and a tearoom all on our doorstep.Yay!
1046-XmasKettlewell
However I have on good authority that we will have no mobile signal in the village.Yikes! My boyfriend is very happy about this as he isn’t into social media at all.So whil’st he is cheerily pulling on his walking boots,I will be moaning the loss of Facebook,Twitter,wordpress and everything else I take for granted on my android phone. But not for long I hope! Instead I plan to make the most of an Internet free few days:

I hope to get out and about with my camera and see if i can take a few good wildlife shots like this picture of a bluetit I came accross on a walk back in October. 🙂
wildlife 008

I definately have to catch up on my reading.’A Street Cat Called Bob’ has been waiting patiently on my bedside table for a while now. It is a true story about a stray ginger cat who befriends a homeless busker.Bob certainly looks a cutie on the front cover and his story is supposed to be an uplifting and heartwarming read.
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I make enough lovely fragranced teacup candles so I will have to pack one to burn myself me thinks : )
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Last Christmas my friend Fi got me this pretty cat brooch to make and I haven’t got round to it yet.So this is definatly on my list of things to do. I might also try making some pom poms! Yes I need to get a bit crafty!
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And of course everyone probably has at least one classic Christmas film they have never watched but really should.In my case it is an old movie called ‘Its A Wonderful Life’ starring James Stewart.I hope I can find a copy…..
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No doubt there will be quite alot of walking too and quite alot of sampling real ales in the local inns…and maybe some romantic evenings in by the fire 😉

How are you going to spend your Christmas holidays?

A Retro Xmas Pud : )

Hey I found a fun Christmas recipe recently on the fabulous rosalilium blog (www.rosalilium.com) written by one of her guest bloggers ,the lovely Kathryn,writer of the equally awesome blog Kat got the cream( katgotthecream.blogspot.com). You really have to check out both their blogs if like me you love retro and vintage and pretty things. 🙂
Anyway I thought I would have a go at Kathryns Easy Peasy Retro Xmas Pud.
All you need for this 70s inspired pudding is:

1 packet of choc chip cookies
Sweet Sherry ( I used amaretto as couldn’t locate any sherry!)
small carton thick cream
small carton creme fraiche
Sprinkles to decorate ( I also used choc chips)
a retro christmas ornament( optional)

Mmmm spinkles
Mmmm spinkles

The general idea is to dip each cookie in the sherry,fix together with the cream and creme fraiche mixture,cover entirely with the rest of the cream and creme fraiche mixture,put in the fridge for a couple of hours, decorate with sprinkles and serve. For a more detailed method pop along to http://www.rosalilium.comLots of Christmas cheer going on there.X

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