Even a smattering of snow completely changes the look and feel of a place. Clitheroe Castle this morning ,before the betwixmas crowds landed ,had a magical quality about it. I took these photos with my phone on an early walk with Hugo. ❤️
Later today a friend asked me if fancied going for a Pendle Hill walk. I did not hesitate. I wanted to experience some more of the white stuff. 😁 Once parked , we headed to the Wellsprings at the Nick ,where we bought take away sausage butties & hot chocs before stepping into a winter wonderland. My friend took most of these lovely pictures. ❤️
Some of you will know that I happen to live, but a hop, skip and a jump away from a tiny castle keep in a small Lancashire market town. I have been neglecting the grounds of Clitheroe Castle on my blog recently, so yesterday I took my camera and a coffee out and explored for an hour.
The Castle was built in 1186 by Robert de Lacy and rises proudly over the town. Its really only a Norman ruin with no roof, but it’s our roofless ruin. 🙂
Below the keep is a memorial commemorating all those residents of Clitheroe, lost in two World Wars. The soldier stands, head bowed, looking out toward Pendle Hill.
Clitheroe Castle Museum resides in the former Steward’s House in the grounds. Many moons ago I visited with a friend and wrote this post ~ Clitheroe Castle and Museum.
There is also a café in the Atrium, which is a good place for a brew.
I soon got side tracked by the local wildlife.
The Pinnacle , situated in the Rose garden was once part of the Houses of Parliament and was gifted to the town in 1937. Also in the Rose garden are a couple of sculptures , a leaping limestone salmon and a hawk.
That’s all for now though, my hour is up! Maybe I will return soon, with a camera and a coffee . 🙂
Hole. I guess the most famous hole in Clitheroe ( teehee) is the one in the front of our tiny Castle Keep. Local legends to how it got there include Oliver Cromwell fireing a cannonball from Pendle Hill. Even less likely, the devil himself flung boulders at Clitheroe Castle, also from the top of Pendle. Which do you think?
Making. I attempted to make some Chocolate Truffles from my Eat What You Watch ~ A cookbook for Movie Lovers cookbook. They ended up looking more like onion bhajis! But they do taste like chocolate truffles. Success! The recipe is inspired by Vianne’s chocolate creations in the sweetly sensual film Chocolat starring Juliette Binoche and a yummy Johnny Depp. Well worth a watch by the way. 😊. These truffles are very rich though, I can only manage one with my mug of coffee..
Reading Now. You may be shocked to learn that I have never watched Star Wars! Yet I am reading this book by Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher. From what I have read so far she was one very funny, bat crazy, inteligent and gutsy lady. Enjoying it so far. Oh yes I know, I am still using my snowflake duvet set. Hopefully this is not a future weather prediction!
Black & White. Last weekend we met a llama and some alpaca on a walk to a local village. This black & white llama was definitely the most inquisitive and demanding, he came trotting over when he saw us stop at the fence. Wil gave him a bit of loose hay, then he tried to chomp my rucksack! I do love llamas though and a couple of years ago I dragged my family on a llama Trek in the Lakes.
Starts with an H. Well I just had to include a picture of our gorgeous Hugo for this one didn’t I. I think he is as much a part of this blog as me really. 🙂 Hugo is a three year old black labrador and we have had him since he was a wee pup. I definitely have a thing about labradors now as before Hugo there was Jake, who came with Wil ( his faithful shadow) when I met him. They are such a loyal , loving , mischievous breed of dog. I can’t imagine life without a labrador.
My Own Choice. The bright sunshine we have experienced recently has certainly brought out my blogs namesake, these cheery celandines. 😊
Its actually Friday morning as I gather together some pictures for my Sunday Sevens post. Yesterday ( Thursday) I had the day off as I am working for a colleague on Saturday. Yay , I can hardly wait! I know I am totally spoilt really and have become to used to having my weekends off….
I have just finished reading ELeanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and I must say, I really enjoyed it. The story centres round Eleanor, a thirty something office worker who exists according to a regimented timetable during the week….and buys two bottles of vodka to drink at home every weekend. Eleanor thinks her life is rolling along as it should be, in other words she’s completely fine. And then she makes a friend. I found this book to be sweetly funny, heart-breaking and unputdownable. Anyone else read it?
Currently watching ~ The Killing on Netflix. I am probably very late to the party! Based on the Danish TV series Forbrydelsen ( The Crime) , The Killing is a serial detective drama set in the more often than not bleak and rainy Seattle. With Scandi Noir influences and Linden’s Danish knitted jumpers, our crime busting duo are two very different homicide detectives ,with contrasting styles of how to get things done. Although I am very definitely the kind of audience that hides behind a cushion when I think something bad is going to happen, I am seriously hooked on a good mystery at the moment. Other Netflix series that I have enjoyed recently are The Sinner, Godless and The Lizzie Boden Chronicles. Any recommendations?
Thursday and Friday have been bright and cold days. On Thursday I had a good walk round my local Castle grounds. I went up to the top of the keep and it was freezing up there! This gave me an excuse to visit a tearoom and indulge in a pot of hot tea and a slice of Lemon Drizzle Cake. 🙂
I also did a spot of shopping. I found a couple of cute cards in Roost, a fab new Gifts and Interiors shop on Moor Lane. Plus I purchased a pretty top in a charity shop for £4. Can you see it is covered in little cat motifs. Slinky does not care to compliment it. That little fur ball on the edge of the photo is actually Slinky curled up in sleep ( or ignoring! ) mode.
Speaking of which, I was disappointed to read ( yet again ) this week, that black cats in rescue centres are finding it hard to be re-homed due to them not being seen as photogenic enough for Instagram or selfies. If a person only wants a pet to decorate their social media feed, then I’m afraid they don’t deserve one. There are some eejits out there!
My final photo shows Pendle Hill in the back ground and is a view I tend to see a lot, when we are out and about with Hugo. I am hoping to #walk1000miles in 2018 and my progress in January has been pretty good. I have walked 120 miles in the first month. However I am probably only walking what I have always walked, its just that I haven’t bothered to record the distance before. If we didn’t have Hugo, would I have the motivation??? I think I would struggle!
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!
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. 🙂
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 time again which means I’m sharing seven photos from my personal week.:) Last Sunday I found myself in the lovely Yorkshire Dales, staring at a table full of yummy looking cakes! No surprise there then.:) Wil and I had stopped for lunch at a cute little tea room in the town of Leyburn called kTea’s which has a bit of an Alice In Wonderland theme going on.
As you know I love finding quirky little cafes and this one is no exception. I had a savoury cheese scone with Wensleydale Cheese and chutney followed by a generous slice of Victoria Sponge. I was then ready for further adventures at the nearby Forbidden Corner
The Forbidden Corner in nearby Middleham is a country park with a difference. Everywhere you look there are amazing statues, kooky wood carvings, fiesty fountains, mazes to get lost in, secret tunnels and talking trees. We met up with my sister and her family for an afternoon of magical exploration. Having been once before 3 years ago and throughly enjoyed the experience, it was a pleasure to return …… and find even more to love.:)
Monday night was Halloween and a friend had bought me a ticket for the local Clitheroe Ghost Walk. The walk started in the Swan Courtyard and took in most of the Castle grounds, which looked especially spooky that evening…..
This tour was a family friendly one so my two god daughters were dressed for the occasion and here they are with Simon Entwistle who was our Top Hatted Guide in Victorian dress. Clitheroe has certainly had a lot of hauntings in its time, including runaway coaches, drowned scullery maids, spectres in paintings and the devil even props up the bar in the New Inn. 😉 We managed a quick half of cider in our fave Clitheroe local straight after!
Speeking of cider last night I made some mulled cider for a small Bonfire gathering in our back yard. Where I live, we do get the best views of Clitheroe castle’s Firework display from our tiny outside space. I totally forgot to take any photographs though.:( Anyway the mulled cider went down really well….. and is easy peasy to make. Simply pour a few bottles of apple cider in a slow cooker, add an orange stabbed with whole cloves and a couple of chopped apples. Let it simmer on low for a couple of hours and serve in mugs with a cinnamon stick. Perfect served with sparklers and parkin cake on the 5th of November….. or indeed any chilly Winters eve..:)
Just time for a very quick SUNDAY SEVeNS this week,before I head away on my jollies to Sunny (hopefully) Cornwall. My sister sent me this pic of my niece Imogen in the dress I bought her for her birthday. What a cutie.:)
Speeking of cuties, here’s how I often find Hugo sleeping these days. A-hem.:)
Slinky strikes a more ladylike pose. 🙂
Sorry nasturtiums. I attacked the nasturtium jungle again. But I went a bit far, and ended up pulling ninety percent of them up. That wasn’t meant to happen.They are extremely easy to pull up though. 😦
Saw this wildflower patch in a friends allotment,love the vibrant colours.:)
Saturday night mean’t going to the yearly Proms at Clitheroe Castle. It’s basically just a good exscuse to grab some beers and some friends and enjoy rousing renditions of Land Of Hope And Glory etc ,in a beautiful setting. 🙂
This is my new shower curtain. I sort of fell in love with the new(ish) fern and botanical trend..,ordered this curtain online,didn’t even realise it was coming from the US..and ended up paying customs and excise £11 to release it. Not sure I am enamoured . Maybe it will grow on me!
Have you ever planned a day out and it hasn’t turned out how you expected? Today was a bit like that, well a lot like that to be honest ! Happily in the end things panned out ok. We started off by heading over to Hardcastle Crags in Yorkshire.
We parked on the National Trust Car Park and walked to Gibson Mill , a beautiful 19th century textile Mill which is now a completely self sufficient museum,visitor centre and cafe.
There were stepping stones over the river. As I gingerly hopped from stone to stone, Hugo sped by and nearly sent me a cropper!
The Weaving Shed Cafe opened at 11am , we were just in time for coffee and cake. It was quite chilly , so we were happy that we could sit inside with Hugo. 🙂
So far, so good. Our next planned stop was the quirky town of Hebden Bridge. Its great for independent shops,pubs and cafes. Theres something for everyone there, the town has a hippy,artisan,eclectic vibe. Unfortunately our history of actually getting to Hebden is not good. Like a modern day Brigadoon, our sat nav has previously either got us there eventually, or not at all.
Today we bizarrely managed to totally bypass it altogether and ended up in nearby Todmorden before we realised what was happening. We had actually been congratulating ourselves that we were not in the ‘ millipede of cars’ going the opposite way,when it dawned on us that, that was the way we should have been going. Doh!
So change of plan! I suggested we head to Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham , which is another NT property in our home county of Lancashire. We got there ok but at 12.30pm on a Sunday in July, the quite frankly too tiny carpark was full to bursting. 😦 Feeling frustrated we gave up and pointed the car in the direction of home.
This weekend is actually the anniversary of when Wil and I got together 11 years ago! So instead of a celebratory day out like we had planned , we accepted that we should just hang out in our home town. Things immediately got better from then on. 🙂
We enjoyed a gorgeous lunch at The Atrium at Clitheroe Castle.
Then headed for a pint at our fave local , The New Inn.
And after had cocktails…….and a giant pink meringue in Escape Coffee & Cocktails in the town centre. 🙂
So Sunday didn’t turn out quite as we planned. But it wasn’t bad in the end! Where is your Brigadoon?? Or do you have more luck than us!
#photoanhour challenge. This Saturday just gone was their chosen day.I posted a photo of what I was doing on the hour every hour ,along with a few other folk on Instagram. Fancy seeing 12 or so random pics of my day………
8am. Breakfast today was a black coffee and a yogurt.
9am.Out with Hugo.We are in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle. Amazingly we had the keep to ourselves for a bit. Then bumped into a personal trainer working her client really hard.Although she (the client) begged us to rescue her,think she was joking.I hope.;)
10am. Looking for a Birthday present for my soon to be 6 year old niece.Finally decided on this butterfly dress,a book of childrens classics ( she is an amazing reader!) and another butterfly inspired gift.
11am. No shopping trip is complete without tea and cake ,especially from my home towns Alice inspired Vintage Tea Room ‘Callooh! Callay’. I like to come here for a Raspberry Almond slice and a pot of ‘Were All Mad Here’ fruit tea. All served in mismatched vintage china.:)
Noon. Checking the jungle of nasturtiums in my back yard for flowers. Found one! 🙂
1pm. I’m out with Hugo again,this time down the fields. My other half is working until five,but a few games of ‘chasing stones’ in the brook ,stops Hugo missing him.:)
2pm. Oh heck I’m at ‘Bowland Beer Hall in Holmes Mill ‘ yet again! Met a couple of friends for a quick lunch.This place is to handy as it is incredibly local to where I live. Here’s my fish finger butty.
3pm. Spending more time in the back yard with the pets ,before I go babysittin g for a friend.
4pm. Walking up to said friends house. I’m stopping over so packed a bag.
5pm.Took my charges up the Castle. We are checking out the view from the Keep. Clitheroe Castle is said to be the second smallest castle keep in England. We still get a good view from the top though.:)
6pm. Wil joined us up the Castle, then we took the boys to the park. Much fun was had on the swings,slide and roundabout.:)
7pm.Pizza in oven and train track built!
8pm. Goosebumps dvd presently being watched. The boys have conned me into getting some sweeties out of the cupboard. 😉
10pm.Two Hours later and kids in bed.Time to relax,put my feet up and enjoy a glass of wine.This babysitting lark is sooo exhausting!
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. 🙂
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.