Tag Archives: afternoon tea

Postcard from London. ♡

This past week I have been fortunate enough to have spent some time in my nation’s Capital London. And what a wonderful week !  Our trip was all in aid of celebrating my baby sister’s upcoming 40th Birthday. We managed to pack quite a bit in. Here are a few photos of what we got up to in this beautiful city. 🙂

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Travel in Style.

Far the best way to travel to London ( unless you have your own private plane 😉 ) is by train. You can often find relatively cheap First Class Tickets, so your journey is speedy and comfortable with plenty of food and drink included. We booked with Virgin £80 each return from Preston and had use of Virgin’s complimentary First Class Lounge at Euston. ;0).

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Natural History.
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Deinonychus.

The Natural History Museum

 is well worth visiting, if only for the Dinosaurs !  Like many of London’s museums it’s free and is  so vast you could easily spend the whole day here.  I especially liked the moving Deinonychus above.  One of the best ways of getting around the city is via The London Underground and the nearest tube stops are Gloucester Road and South Kensington. Underground travel has gotten simpler with the use of contactless payment. Remember though , the money doesn’t go out of your account until a couple of days later.

Typically I hunted for Green Spaces in the city, and there are plenty. One day  Wil, my brother and I bought a picnic from Harrods ( like you do) and sat down to eat it in Hyde Park. We then walked through Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park , back to our hotel near Trafalgar Square.  It was a nice way of seeing London and the various wildlife that makes the park its home.  Look out for the Parakeets!

My sister wanted to see a show whilst we were away and which better to experience than The Lion King which plays at The Lyceum and has since 1999. Its an amazing piece of musical theatre and we loved it.  Highly recommended.

Even in London it is possible to stumble upon almost secret places.  Colourful Neals Yard  in Covent Garden is an Instagrammers delight with its multi – coloured buildings. Its also a lovely spot for a coffee or a bite to eat. The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.

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An Instagrammers Delight. ♡

If you are going to celebrate a special Birthday in the Capital then you might as well go the whole hog and book a luxurious Afternoon Tea in one of London’s high class hotels. 🙂   Claridges  in Mayfair offers a delicious array of finger sandwiches, warm scones with Marco Polo jelly & Cornish clotted cream,  a varied  selection of teas and a tray of delectable cakes and desserts from £60 per person. The setting in the grand art-deco inspired foyer and the attentiveness of the friendly staff add to this sublime experience.

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Afternoon Tea at Claridges.

A must for everyone’s London trip is a river cruise down the Thames, taking in all the cities famed landmarks, old and new.  We  used  City Cruises  to plan a return jaunt to Greenwich which is definitely worth a visit.

Another way of enjoying stunning views of London is to go some place high. Very high !  Like The Shard  The Sky Garden  commands a spectacular vista of the city. Unlike The Shard, it is absolutely free !  You still need to book online and tickets are usually available from three weeks before you go.  We enjoyed cocktails ,amazing views and an unusual garden setting from 155 metres above. 🙂

So there you have it, just a small selection of what we got up to in London town.  It was a fabulously memorable holiday and a fun way to spend time with family too.  Hopefully I will try and blog about some of our adventures in more detail soon.

Thanks for reading and a Very Happy Birthday to my sister Yvonne. 🙂

A Year In Afternoon Teas.

Last year was a bit of an immense year for Afternoon Teas in my household, so I thought I would document them all in one post. 🙂 Who doesn’t enjoy reading blogs about cake!

 

Scones!

 

The taking of Afternoon Tea was invented by Anna Maria , Duchess of Bedford , in the 1840s. The yawningly long intervals between luncheon and dinner often left her feeling peckish and bored, so one day she requested a light meal of Darjeeling tea and cake. She found this  refreshment to be sufficient in keeping away those annoying hunger pangs, and an ideal opportunity to invite friends over to join her. Thus Afternoon tea was born.

Today Afternoon teas are  still seen as a very British Institution, and have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent times. Birthday treats and Girly Get togethers, Hen parties or Lunch with a loved one, there are plenty of reasons to book one. 🙂

Browns.

Afternoon Tea in the City. Only last month a spot of Christmas shopping in Manchester with friends Arwen and Gill , was interspersed with a lovely Afternoon tea at ‘Browns’ on York Street. Set in the converted Athenaeum pub, the building is a fine example of Edwardian baroque architecture. Choose from a selection of leaf teas served with finger sandwiches, fruit scones with strawberry jam & clotted cream and mini cakes and desserts. £12.50 per person. Brownsrestaurants.co.uk


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The Atrium.

A Picnic Afternoon Tea. Fancy Afternoon Tea in the grounds of a historic Lancashire Castle?  ‘ The Atrium’ at Clitheroe Castle provides a more rustic picnic version of the traditional  afternoon tea. Feast on goodies that include ham hock terrine, sausage rolls, pate & toasts, mocha frappe with shortbread and lemon & vanilla posset. Then take a stroll around the park or climb the steps up the castle keep. £12.50 per person. castleweddingevents.co.uk

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Alice Tearooms.

A Wonderland Inspired Afternoon Tea. Ooooh kids and grown-ups alike would no doubt queue to tumble down the rabbit hole, for a Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. ♤♡ The Alice Tearooms in the Lancashire seaside resort of St Anne’s are a treat for all Lewis Carroll fans. Treat yourself to tea or coffee,mini sandwiches, fruit scones & clotted cream and a selection of cupcakes and rainbow meringues, all served on pretty vintage china in quirky and colourful surroundings. £17.95 for two people. alicetearooms.com

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Hey Little Cupcake !

Cute as a Cupcake Afternoon Tea.  Back in Manchester with the girls and here is an adorable Afternoon Tea at ‘Hey Little Cupcake’ in Spinningfields.  Welcome to a pretty in pink cupcakery and cafe where you will be spoilt with finger sandwiches, chocolate coated strawberries, scones with clotted cream & jam, speciality teas, mini cupcakes and mouth watering macarons. £14 per person. heylittlecupcake.co.uk

Coombe Abbey.

Afternoon Tea for the Guys.  Coombe Abbey in Warwickshire is a historic country house hotel that was originally founded as an abbey in the 12th century. We were  fortunate enough to stay there in March. Gentlemen ( and ladies) can opt for the ‘Knight’s Afternoon Tea’ that features old English favourites including mini pork pies,duck scotch eggs, finger sandwiches , a selection of sweet treats, all washed down with half a pint of Coombe Ale. Served in the attractive Garden Room Restaurant on a mini picnic bench. £22 per person. coombeabbey.com

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Cafe Autisan at Whalley Abbey.

 

Best Value Afternoon Tea.  I’ve visited ‘Cafe Autisan’ at Whalley Abbey in Lancashire a couple of times for Afternoon Tea. Earlier last year I got together with my sister and cousins for a family get-together in this vibrantly colourful tea room, which is run by the National Autistic Society.  We tucked into finger sandwiches, pork pies & chutney, scones with jam & clotted cream and diminutive desserts with tea or coffee. A cake stand piled high with goodies for £7.50 per person. No website but look for Cafe Autisan on facebook.

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Fernhill Hotel.

Afternoon Tea with a View.  Whilst on holiday in Dumfries & Galloway in November, Wil treated me to Afternoon Tea for my birthday at the’ Fernhill Hotel’ in Portpatrick. The stunning views over the harbor and Irish Sea made this lovely celebration all the more special. I loved that the tea & coffee, delicious open sandwiches, scones and cakes were all presented on mismatched vintage china. We could even bring the dog, though Mr Hugo did drool quite a bit when he saw us tucking in! £15 per person. mcmillanhotels.co.uk

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Mitton Hall.

Afternoon Tea in a Country House Hotel.  Mitton Hall near Whalley in Lancashire hosted two of my Afternoon Teas last year. The elegant country house puts the emphasis on naughty but nice cakes and includes open sandwiches and prawn cocktails in kilner jars. Unlimited teas and coffees too. The Afternoon Tea above came served on a three tier cake stand but when I dined there again in November it was presented on separate plates. £15.95 per person. mittonhallhotel.co.uk

 

Are you a fan of Afternoon Tea and have you any booked for 2017?

Sunday Sevens 18th December.

I totally forgot about yesterdays #photanhour challenge , but I do have enough pictures of my week to catch up with you guys via  Sunday Sevens . Yay!  Above is last Sunday’s  attempt at making Chestnut & Mushroom pate from a recipe in December’s edition of’The Simple Things’ magazine. Turned out pretty well actually…but neither Wil or I are really that keen on it. Oh well…..maybe a jar will find itself with you. 😉

Last Sunday I went to a local craft fair and found this charming stag head candle, which I couldn’t resist buying. He was only £5 and he is beautiful. A fellow blogger says he looks like a Sidney or a Sheridan. Sheridan it is ! I shall not be lighting Sheridan though. 🙂

And also on Sunday I went to Mitton Hall near Whalley with a few ladies from work. We had a Christmassy Afternoon tea by Candlelight, gossiped quite a bit ( girls will be girls!) and admired the beautiful Christmas tree which stands by the fire and is HUGE.

I bobbed into ‘The Boiler Room Cafe’ at Holmes Mill in Clitheroe during the week for a gift voucher….and ended up with a free coffee and a sticky blueberry Danish ! There was a problem with the till so I got a complementary elevenses, while I waited. Seemed a good time to bring out ‘The Little Book Of Hygge’. Has anybody read it?

Yesterday Wil and I had a Christmas Shopping for ‘each other’ day In two Southern Lakes Towns. We had planned to not buy anything this year, but that’s snow fun!  First we visited Kendal where we had coffee in a little Tea & Coffee house called Farrer’s. It was very cute and Dickensian. Also got chatting to an owl charity and petted a Barn Owl , a Tawny owl and a Little Owl. 🙂 I am a lot easier to buy for than my fussy OH so Wil purchased some goodies for me in Kendal but alas he found nothing he liked. 😦

Kirkby Lonsdale is smaller than kendal but has some lovely shops and quirky street names, such as Salt Pie Lane & Jingling Lane. Whilst I did find some unusual Victorian Whale tree decorations ( I bought one for our yet to put up tree ~ thats todays job) , I came away with nothing at all for Wil. He is one of those annoying people who doesn’t care about opening presents on Xmas Day. Tough, I shall get him something , whether he likes it or not!  Another job for today me thinks. 🙂

Hope you had an enjoyable week. Wish me luck with my shopping!

 

Twenty Things To Do This Autumn. :)

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Autumn Leaves. Image via Pinterest.

 

I thought I would get in the mood for Autumn, and the best way for me to do that, is to make a list of course! Enjoy. 🙂

 

 

1. Go for a woodland walk and admire the changing colours.

2. Refill your hanging baskets with Autumn favourites such as pansies, cyclamen and Ivy.

3. Fill your home with the scents of Autumn. Add cinnamon sticks,orange rind,whole cloves and bay leaves to water and simmer on the stove.

4. Go Blackberry picking and make a lovely crumble.

5. Autumn is the perfect time to get cosy on an Autumn Glamping Break. How about staying in a colourful Shepherd’s Hut  in the Lakes, a luxurious Safari Tent in the Trough of Bowland or a beautiful Showman’s Wagon in Cornwall.

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Poetry. Image joana-duarte-23198-tumblr.com

6. Curl up with some Autumnal Poetry , such as Emily Bronte’s Fall, Leaves Fall.

7. Dust off the Slow Cooker and make some simple hearty stews.

8. Grab the girls and head out to the movies to see Bridget Jones Baby or A street Cat Named Bob. 🙂

9. Bring Nature indoors and decorate your Mantel Piece with leaves and fruits.

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Autumn Fireplace Display by Rosalilium blog.

10. Rent a good gothic movie. How about Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak or Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.

11. Jump in a big pile of leaves. 🙂

12. Fill a vase with colourful orange and gold blooms such as dahlias, crysanthemums and chinese lanterns.

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Toasty.Image ~ The Londoner.

13. Grab cosy blankets, a camping stove, and toast marshmallows with friends.

14. Learn to crochet. I really need to do this!

15. Join in the fun at your local Apple Pressing Day.

16. Explore your local town on a spooky Ghost Walk.

17. Look out for an Autumn Themed Afternoon Tea to try out, or create your own..

18. Collect sloes and make boozy Sloe Gin.

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Afternoon Tea. Image via Pinterest.

19. Practice your Apple Bobbin skills. 🙂

20. Get your mitts around a warming Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

What would you add to the list? X

The Queen’s Ninetieth Birthday.

On Sunday Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her Official 9oth Birthday. Her actual Birthday was in April, but you know ,Queen’s are definitely allowed more than one. 😉

Above ~  Elizabeth at the beginning of her reign …..and at one of her 90th Birthday celebrations this year.

All over the country her subjects celebrated with her. Street Parties, Tea Parties and Picnics galore. Luckily for us we didn’t need to picnic in poncho’s to protect us from the drizzle. I met up with some friends and their children at the local Church Hall for Tea, Cake and family fun. 🙂

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Bronte, Jasmine & The Cake. Photo C Marsden.

In the absence of the real Queen, the Queen’s Birthday Cake was cut by a lady whose 9oth Birthday it was too.

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Lydia and Bronte nearly fell in the cake. 😉

I wish I could show you photographs of the lovely cream teas we enjoyed but I hopelessly forgot to take any. The clean plates obviously mean they were good!

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Cream Teas and Union Jacks  ~ Photo  C Marsden.

What do you think of the kids crowns, made from paper plates. Good idea hey.  There was a Guess the Royal Baby picture competition, a Birthday Card to sign, Birthday Cake to pass round and we all sang a rousing ‘God Save The Queen’….. though not the Sex Pistols version. 😉

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Signing the Queen’s Birthday Card.

The Queen herself actually turned up at the last minute. HRH is very well travelled !

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Lydia is mesmerised by Her Majesty. 🙂 Photo J Blackburn.

Did you celebrate the Queen’s Ninetieth Birthday?
Thanks to the St Mary’s Centre for organizing the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atrium Picnic at Clitheroe Castle.

A couple of weeks ago Wil and I had a day off work so we decided to go out for lunch. Where better than somewhere local…. just a short walk in the park away, in fact. 🙂 The Atrium Cafe at Clitheroe Castle has just got a new chef and a brand new menu. We thought it might be worth a look.

The Castle Keep was looking a wee bit mean and moody that day. Luckily the Cafe itself is a light and welcoming space with attentive staff. We decided to try the Picnic Lunch which I had lusted over on Facebook a few days earlier. 🙂 After ordering our drinks ( The Atrium grounds it’s coffee beans on site and the Coffee Exchange in Clitheroe supplies their loose leaf tea), we took a seat by the window and admired the drizzly but historic view. 🙂

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Tempting treats.

The Picnic arrived served on a rustic bread board.As you can see it looks scrumdiddlyumptious!  Happily it tastes that way too. The delicious array of goodies include a selection of sandwiches,ham hock terrine ( a favourite with Wil),sausage rolls ( the best I’ve ever tasted 🙂 ), a flask of soup, pate and toasts, mocha frappe with shortbread,lemon and vanilla posset ( to die for), chocolate brownie and homemade  scones with jam and clotted cream.

This was definitely our kind of Picnic!  The food is yummy and locally sourced and it’s actually a clever spin on an Afternoon Tea. 😉  One that the Atrium  at  Clitheroe Castle can proudly call it’s own. And not bad value at £12.50 per person.

Are you tempted?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BEDM Alice’s Tea Room ~ St Annes.

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Saturday was a marvelous day, as not only did I get to spend some quality time with my lovely friend Lisa, we also visited an Alice In Wonderland inspired Tea Room and partook of Afternoon Tea. 🙂   Alices Tea Room in the Lancashire seaside town of St Annes can be found on St Albans road, away from the front and not to far from the town centre. Once there you can sit outside in the sun or enjoy the Wonderland inside.

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Everywhere you look there are characters from Lewis Carroll’s magical tale along with Top Hats and White rabbits , Teacups and ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ signs. There are two rooms to be seated in as the cafe has recently been extended due to it’s popularity. Lisa had reserved us a table luckily. 🙂

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Lunch at the cafe includes sandwiches,paninis and jacket potatoes. However we couldn’t resist The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. 😉  Served on a beautiful vintage three tier cake stand, the Afternoon Tea is a feast for the eyes indeed. Accompanying the gorgeous selection of sumptuous sandwiches and divine cakes, came our tea in china teapots. And all was served on pretty mismatched crockery.

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Lisa getting ready to tuck in. 🙂

The Afternoon Tea contained mini cheese,egg mayo,tuna and ham sandwiches ( Veggie fillings are no trouble either), fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, flapjacks, chocolate cupcakes and marvelous sparkly meringues. Tea refills were plentiful and there’s lots of choice on the tea menu. If you don’t fancy doing the Afternoon Tea but need a sweet treat, Alice’s have fabulous cakes and an Ice cream counter too. 🙂

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And if you want a memento to take home with you , there’s a little shop too full of Wonderland inspired goodies. In fact my super talented friend Lisa makes all the lovely Alice tags you can see hanging here. 🙂

The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea was £17.85 for two people.

Are you a fan of Afternoon Tea?

This post is for day Two of #BEDM set up by Elizabeth at Rosalilium.