Here I am snug as a bug in a rug. The radiators are piping hot , I have numerous throws to wrap round myself and two fur babies to snuggle up with. Bliss !
Friday night though was spent ( mostly shivering!) In a little B&B in the Yorkshire town of Haworth. I won’t say it was our accomodations fault. I couldn’t properly get warm anywhere at all. I think Yorkshire folk must be alot hardier than us Lancashire lot. The heating was on everywhere but didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I layered myself up and was tempted to keep my coat and hat on….even in bed. I have turned into a right softy!
Wil and I ( minus the pets) stopped over in Haworth as we were attending a talk in nearby Keighley by the Arctic adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It certainly seemed touch and go whether the event would take place. But of course ‘ the world’s greatest living explorer’ was easily up to the challenge of travelling from Exmoor to bleakest Yorkshire, whatever the conditions. 🙂
Despite my whinging, we did have a lovely time. The snow gave the cobbled streets of Haworth a wintery charm. The town is of course, famed for being the home of an extraordinary literary family, the Bronte’s. Writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne lived in the parsonage with their father the Reverend Bronte and brother Branwell. We had the Bronte Parsonage Museum all to ourselves on Saturday morning. Photography is no longer prohibited inside the museum,so I took a few pictures and imagined the Bronte siblings sitting at the dining room table, scribbling away. How frozen must their fingers have felt in the perishing south pennine winters.
We ended our visit to Haworth with a winter warming lunch in The Hawthorn on Main Street, whilst browsing our purchases. I bought ‘The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef ( Can’t wait to start it! ) and Wil had purchased a signed copy of Ranulph Fiennes appropriately titled ‘Cold’, the evening before.
In the past when Wil and I have driven to the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge, we have arrived there completely frazzled, because our old sat nav loves magical mystery tours. Or we just couldn’t find the place at all! Happily on Saturday the Gods did not conspire against us, and we pulled up in a sunshiney Hebden before ten in the morning.
Hebden Bridge is a market town in Calderdale. , famed for its independent stores and creative community . Artisan shops and pavement cafes adorn the cobbles and Victorian terraces cling to the steep hillsides. On a bright September morning, it really did look like we had arrived in the ‘Happy Valley’.
As we were accompanied by a certain ‘ hungry black labrador’ , I suggested we stop by at The Lamppost Cafe for coffee and flapjacks for us…and a pup cake for him. On the Lampposts facebook page it says ‘Because every dog deserves to feel special and be treated so! Don’t tie your best friend to a lamppost, bring them in The Lamppost!’
Hugo and new friend ‘Lucky’.
Waiting for a Pup Cake.
Help yourself to water for your doog.
We loved the rustic decor in this very dog friendly cafe, and it was fun choosing Hugo a mouthwatering muffin from their impressive pup cake collection. It’s a pity he wolfed it down before I could get a picture ! His new friend Lucky was most happy to pose though. Isn’t she adorable. 🙂 Lucky is sat on a hessian coffee sack , which you can help yourself to, if your dog doesn’t want to lie on the wooden floor. I really enjoyed my fruity flapjack and the coffee was good too.
After a wander round the shops and the market ( I found a lady who makes felt fairy lamps ~ Christmas present sorted for one goddaughter! ), we had lunch at Green’s ( a veggie cafe) and then went for a walk by the canal.
We headed in the direction of Hebden Bridge’s neighbor Mytholmroyd, where poet Ted Hughes was born. Along the way there were were many barge businesses and floating homes.
On the outskirts of Hebden Bridge a rust coloured sculpture of a hawk, roosts in memorial to the Yorkshire born poet. I’m not sure it looks hawk-like enough. What do you think? Hughes first wife writer ‘ Sylvia Plath’ is buried in the churchyard at nearby Heptonstall.
Mid afternoon and Hebden Bridge was crazy busy , so we left the town and headed for nearby Haworth, another Yorkshire parish with famed literary connections. But first we stopped off for a walk on the rolling moorland above Oxenhope. Hugo decided to leap onto this wall and nearly ended up in the steep ravine below, tangled with the purple heather and brambles. Luckily he decided that running amongst the rushes was just as much fun!
Beautiful Haworth is still so evocative of its famous residents, the Brontes. Surrounded by wild moor land , Haworth’s cobbled streets are brimming with old fashioned shops and is little changed from the days when Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell lived with their father in the parsonage , now a museum.
I love the cute shops in Haworth and make no apologies for buying a couple more Christmas gifts. I just couldn’t resist and ‘ Wave of Nostalgia ‘ especially, really drew me in.
There are lots of Tea shops on the cobbled main street, but Wil can certainly recommend the Jamaican Peaberry Coffee from 10 the coffee house, where all coffees are freshly ground to order. As you can see the African Lime cake we shared is tiny! But I’m kind of glad, as it has been my only cheat in a fortnight of abstaining from cake, pastry, crisps , bread and chocolate …..so far. 😉
It’s been a few years since I have wandered round the wonderful Bronte Museum, and on this visit I contented myself with a stroll in the garden and a quick glance in the museum shop.
I’ve already decided that I would like to return soon and follow in the footsteps of the Bronte’s ,up onto the South Pennine Moors, via the path that passes the parsonage. Watch this space. 🙂
On Saturday the girls were in Leeds doing some serious shopping! After hitting the end of Summer Sales we needed a well earned break and some of that famous Yorkshire hospitality. What better place to go than an eclectic Vintage tea room. The interior of Just Grand in the Grand Arcade is the perfect mish mash of decor from different decades and quirky touches, there are pretty teacup light fittings and menus on retro record sleeves. The staff wear clothing from other eras. Pretty 1950s style dresses, colourful Hawaiian shirts and Rockabilly pin up frocks.:)
When we arrived it was very busy ( Its a popular place! ) so we were seated out front in the arcade. My friend Arwen ordered a very marshmallowy Hot Chocolate that came served in a pretty vintage teacup. She also chose a ham sandwich and a rocky road cake. As for myself and Gill, we decided that yes , everything does start with tea, Afternoon tea. 🙂
The Just Grand Afternoon Tea arrived on a vintage cake stand and on the bottom tier there were four delightful finger sandwiches each, on brown and white bread. The fillings were egg, cucumber and cream cheese, cheese and ham. On the middle tier was a generous slab of homemade cake each of our choice. This was instead of the usually served fruit cake and Wensleydale cheese. Its up to you which you would prefer. And the top tier held our scrumptious scones which came in two varieties. Gill chose a fruit scone and I went for the apricot and ginger . It was pretty darn good! The scones came with strawberry jam and clotted cream. All were washed down with either Yorkshire tea ( of course 😉 ) or filter coffee.
All in all our dining experience here was Just Grand indeed. A must if you visit Leeds. 🙂
On Saturday we headed off to Saltaire near Bradford for the afternoon.I have posted about this former mill workers village before, but hey its so lovely its deserving of another mention. The wonderfully named textile factory owner ‘Sir Titus Salt’ designed and built Saltaire for his workers in the 1800s. The location was inspired.Away from the crowded and unhealthy conditions of Bradford , yet close to railway and canal links, Saltaire was built next to the river Aire and benefited from a church, a school, allotments to grow food,pleasant greens and squares, a hospital and even a large park. Many of the buildings were designed in a classical style , influenced by the italian Renaissance. For the times, Titus Salts workforce were very fortunate indeed. Today the village is a UNESCO World heritage site and Salts Mill houses several shops including Salts Book and Poster store & All terrain Cycles, as well as a huge David Hockney Art exhibition. On Victoria road there are several fab independant shops and cafes.
At the moment I am quite addicted to……….rhubarb. The tangy pink stalks can be turned into all sorts of captivating creations, including a mouthwatering recipe I found in The Simple Things magazine. Of course I completely cheated and instead of making the luscious looking rhubarb and ginger pavlova, I just made the topping and scooped it into a shop bought meringue nest with a generous dollop of whipped double cream. For the original recipe look Here. 🙂
The topping involves rhubarb,honey,juice and zest of an orange, vanilla pods and star anise baked on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes. As you can imagine the aroma was gorgeous.
I loved the tangy tart taste of the rhubarb offset by the added sweetness of honey and vanilla. The aniseed flavour of the star anise seems to go perfectly with it.
I recently came across a book that celebrates Northern food…and I admit that I didn’t even know that rhubarb was ( and still is) grown widely in West Yorkshire. According to the book the heavy clay soils and rainfall contribute to the area being the ideal place to grow the fruit. It thrives in the county , where the land is unsuitable for growing most other crops. The area is known as the Rhubarb Triangle.
The book is called ‘From Eccles Cake to Hawkshead Wig’. If your interested Hawkshead Wig is a type of bread baked in the Cumbrian village. I can just see myself tucking the book under my arm as I galavant around the countryside trying out all the Northern England delicacies. 🙂
Anyhew, back to rhubarb!
Oooops the wrong rhubarb. ;))
My favourite beverage of the non alcoholic variety is Mr Fitzpatrick’s Rhubarb & Rosehip cordial. Seriously, I cannot get enough of this stuff.Its divine! Mr Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar in Rawtenstall, Lancashire is one of a very few Victorian temperance bars left in the whole country, its quirky vintage cordials such as Blood Tonic, Blackcurrant & Liquorice and Rhubarb & Rosehip hark back to a time when the movement sprang up to promote abstinence from the ‘demon drink’. Actually the rhubarb variety is very good with prosecco. 😉
In two and a bit years of blogging I have posted about several lovely tea rooms.And I do love a good tea room ! From the Kisch to the Quirky, the Classy to the Creative, I’ve frequented many a tearoom treasure in my time. I have chosen ten to give a mouthwatering mention here. All of them…and a few more….. can be found in my Category Cloud under Tea Room Treasures. 🙂
The Blitz Cafe. ~ Hebden Bridge. This is a 1940s style tea room with dishes and decor inspired by the second World War. Menus are printed as ration books and the waiting on staff wear fashions from the era. On the menu are old fashioned favourites such as Corned beef hash and rabbit pie and jolly puddings like Jam Roly Poly and Spotted dick. Downstairs an apothecary and gift emporium brims with lotions and potions and other goodies.
Betty’s Tea rooms ~ Ilkley.The first Betty’s tea room was established in 1919 in Harrogate by young swiss baker and confectioner Frederick Belmont who fell in love with the scenic Yorkshire countryside.These were eventually followed by others in York, Northallerton and Ilkley. Betty’s are a delightful combination of switzerland and Yorkshire. The tea rooms in Ilkley have an elegant interior with mirrored walls,art deco lamps and the waitresses wear clean crisp aprons,buttoned up blouses and vintage brooches. We did have to queue twenty minutes for a table but the delicious tea and cakes we ordered were well worth the wait.:) Bettys are a popular Yorkshire institution and a national treasure to boot.
The Garden Kitchen ~ Holden Clough, near Clitheroe. If you fancy experiencing a delicious afternoon tea served on a fun miniature picnic bench , then you will adore this countryside tea room alongside Holden Clough nurseries. The afternoon tea menu changes seasonally and I have visited both in the summer and the winter. Always a treat to drink milkshake or indeed mulled wine from a dinky glass welly boot. 🙂
Luby’s Charming Tea Room ~ Cross Hills, nr Keighley. As the name suggests Luby’s is the very definition of Charming. Bijou and cozy and packed full of retro nik naks and vintage loveliness!
Luby’s serve their tea, cake and sandwiches on beautiful vintage crockery.Always a plus! On my visit I didn’t have chance to try any food but I had the most momentous milkshake. It was almost a pudding in a glass. 🙂
Propertea ~ Manchester. Tucked away in the grounds of Manchester Cathedral and only a stones throw from Victoria station, Propertea is a relaxing and contemporary haven for a ‘proper cuppa and slice of cake’.
I liked how the tea is served in glass teapots and how you are given a tea timer to time how long to stew your brew. The cakes are rather good too. 🙂
Richmond Tea Rooms ~ Manchester. Also in the city are the Wonderland inspired ‘Richmond Tea Rooms’ located just off Canal Street. Once inside you do kind of feel like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole. The tea rooms are brimming with pictures and curio’s inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale. Eat Me and Drink me are written above the counter. There is an amazing selection of cakes and puddings and don’t be surprised if you spy a Mad Hatters Tea Party going on 🙂
Liz N Lils ~ Blackburn. This quirky and homely cafe bar is located in what used to be ‘The Grapes Pub’ in Blackburn town centre. Spacious yet cozy ‘Liz N Lils’ is packed full of vintage touches and is the ideal place to relax after a spot of retail therapy. A popular choice on the menu is the Blackburn Bake made from sausages,bacon and black pudding in a mustard sauce! I opted for a delicious home cooked ham sandwich with salad and a refreshing berry smoothie.
The Glass House at Stydd Gardens ~ Ribchester. An elegant and eye catching restaurant and tea room, housed in a tropical glass house. I came here with family recently for my birthday. What a treat it was ! Glorious food in stunning surroundings ~ I loved my portabella mushroom burger, naughtily followed by an Eton mess sundae. The Glass House and its gardens are full of fabulous features such as fountains, ornamental ponds and statues. And there are several pretty shops to browse on site too.
The Cake ‘Ole ~ Skipton. Having walked past this colourful looking cafe a few times with a look of longing, I was excited to finally take a look inside. Vibrant colours and quirky decor ( a zebra sticking out of the wall, I ask you 🙂 ) greeted us. The whole place is a feast for the eyes ! Situated inside The Craven Arcade it s half vintage tea room/half Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory ~ the Cake’Ole has that kind of feeling about it. I would not have been surprised if Mr Wonka himself had poured the tea. 🙂
Callooh! Callay! ~ Clitheroe. A vintage tea room in my home town , with more than a touch of Alice In Wonderland about it. A fine selection of Alice inspired teas such as ‘Were all Mad Here!’ and ‘ Off with her Head!’, Pink flamingos and pretty china. The afternoon teas are heavenly …… and there is a gift emporium and a vintage shop ‘ Tum Tum tree Vintage’ upstairs.
Which of these gorgeous tea rooms would you like to visit?
Have you ever been to Hebden Bridge? Its a bohemian little Yorkshire town , packed full of quirky independent shops. There’s hobbledy cobbledy streets and surrounding craggy countryside. We drove here the other weekend and saw quite a bit of said countryside! The satnav took us on a bit of a magical mystery tour, so we were a bit frazzled by the time we finally arrived.
It was a rainy & wet yet humid day. Even the ducks and geese were bedraggled. 🙂
We went in search of lunch and happily found a cafe above Feathergills Emporium in st George’s Square called The Blitz Cafe. Its a 1940’s tea room brimming with wartime
The menus are written in ration book style with wartime inspired dishes such as Corned Beef Hash, Rabbit Pie and Blitz Rarebit. Wil chose Bacon & Egg pie and I enjoyed my Homity Pie.
My Homity Pie was very tasty. Its made with spam, leeks and savoury mash. 🙂
There were some delicious homemade cakes on the menu too. And old fashioned pudding treats such as Spotted Dick and Jam Rolypoly. The waitresses dressed up in 1940s attire . I wish I had asked for a picture.
Downstairs in the Emporium there were wonderful sweet smelling aromas from the Apothocary. Lotions and potions galore.
So if your ever in Hebden Bridge , why not bob into the Blitz Cafe for a cuppa or a frefreshing glass of Rhubarb & Rosehip Cordial ( a waitresses recommendation which was amazingly good) and a piece of pie or afternoon tea.
Because I am a traveller I can look down on the birds and up at the fishes. I collect moments and can venture back in time to lost worlds. I seize life and simultaneously escape it at will. Because I am a traveller I envy no man at home.