Monday, March 30, 2015

Holiday in Yorkshire - Day 4 - Scarborough and Bridlington

After breakfast, we set off for the one hour+ drive to Scarborough. We parked in the South Bay area and walked down to the beach. Brock found a friend to play with on the beach, but it was much quieter than our last visit, and a bit chilly, so we headed up into the town. (Please click on the photos to see a larger version.)

The seaside has lots of arcades and typical tourist shops, and the town centre has the usual chain stores, with a mix of smaller businesses. We had planned to go to The Gallery Cafe, but it was closed. We happened across Cafe Heart, near the covered market and saw that it welcomed dogs and also had vegetarian and gluten free menus. Bingo!

Rob had veggie sausages, mash, peas and gravy. I had jacket potato with cheese and beans and salad. With two large coffees, the bill was less than £12! Excellent value, and our waitress was very friendly; Brock got a lot of attention, three biscuits and a bowl of water, so he was delighted.

We drove on to Bridlington next. Neither of us liked it very much: it had a rather run-down feel to it and the beach front was very commercial, with arcades and fair rides etc.

Last time we had visited nearby Filey. It was a more genteel place, with an old fashioned parade to walk along next to the beach, nicer architecture and a more unspoilt ambiance.

It depends what you are looking for really, as a child I would probably have loved Bridlington! Nowadays, I prefer country walks, art galleries, independent shops and good food ;o)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Holiday in Yorkshire - Day 3 - Brimham Rocks and Ripon

After a vegetarian cooked breakfast at the cottage, to set us up for the day, we headed out to Brimham Rocks. There are hundreds of weird rock formations on the site.

It is like walking around an alien landscape. It was a bit busier than when we were last there in October. The car park costs £5 per car, which is their 'entrance fee', I suppose.

Dogs are allowed onto the site, so Brock came along and was off the lead for most of the way, although you do have to watch out for some steep cliff edges in places. We wandered at random along small grass pathways and over the moorland before coming back to the Visitor Centre, which sells souvenirs. There is a refreshment stand (not yet open when we were there), picnic tables and a toilet block.

We drove on to Ripon and ate lunch at The Royal Oak pub. Dogs are allowed into the bar and beer garden.

I had feta salad (the only vegetarian, gluten free option), Rob had a falafel burger and chips and we both had cups of coffee. There were about four vegetarian options to choose from. The food was tasty and well prepared, and the staff were very attentive. The other people in the bar were locals and chatted about dogs with us - always a good subject! Definitely a recommended place to eat.

Ripon has a good range of small, independent shops, as well as some chain shops, plus plenty of places to eat. We bought some food for dinner in the Sainsburys, then headed back to the cottage to read the papers and relax.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Holiday in Yorkshire - Day 2 - Thirsk and Sutton Bank

Thirsk, a small market town, was the first stop of the day. Brock enjoyed a walk by the river.

Rob and I then went for a coffee in Olivias Artisan Bakery & Cafe. After being ignored by one of the two counter staff for five minutes or so, she announced that she would "be with you in a minute". I stood there for several more minutes as she slowly filled pickle pots one by one and placed them under the glass counter. I eventually gave up on ever being served by her and went to the male member of staff who did take our order. The coffee was fine when it was finally delivered to the table, but the service was atrocious!

While we were there, we had a look on Trip Advisor to find a better place for lunch, and were directed to the Upstairs Downstairs Cafe where things couldn't have been more different. The young waiter and waitress were both polite and efficient. The food was fresh and tasty and the manager very attentive and genuinely concerned when we had a minor complaint.

The staff in the Tourist Information office were equally helpful as we looked for a dog walk in the area. We were directed to Sutton Bank and a 3.5 mile walk along the Bank, with fabulous views over Yorkshire.

At the midway point of the circular walk was Kilburn White Horse made on the side of the hill by a headmaster and his pupils in Victorian times. It was hard to make anything out from a close distance, but the walk is worth doing anyway. We took the lower path through woodland at the base of the Bank on the return leg and had a steep uphill climb at one point. If you prefer a flat walk, I would stick to the same path you started out on.

Brock met plenty of other dogs on the walk, so he was very happy.

My brother, Philip, came to stay with us overnight and we all went out for a return visit to Sonali Indian Restaurant in Tadcaster. Philip likes vegetarian food (although he is not one) so we ordered three vegetarain main courses to share: dhansak, pathia and madras, with two side dishes: bindhi bhaji (okra) and Bombay potatoes and three different versions of pilau rice (plain, mushroom and pea). It was really tasty and we managed to finish virtually every scrap, despite having poppadoms and pickles to start with.

I was amazed when the Manager remembered our last visit in October. The staff are all friendly, and our waiter even rushed out into the street after us, when he realised that I had left my scarf behind. I was very grateful as it was rather chilly!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Holiday In Yorkshire - Day 1 - Journey Down & Skipton

First stop of the day was in Unthank, Cumbria at the UpFront Gallery for coffee and cake. We were just about the first people there. This great cafe, gallery and puppet theatre is well worth a visit if you are in the area. They serve mainly vegetarian food, and also cater for gluten free diets. There is a gift shop and regularly changing gallery of paintings for sale.

Skipton was our main destination for the day. We walked around the town with Brock and had lunch in the dog-friendly Coopers Cafe. I had toasted goats' cheese/veg/walnuts with salad and GF bread. Rob had hummus, olives, salad and bread. There was more than I could eat: a very generous portion. There were lots of interesting shops in Skipton - would have been nice to browse around if we hadn't had a small dog in tow!

[Photo from the I love Skipton website]

We drove on to Blacksmith's Cottage at Askham Bryan near York. The traffic was horrendous, especially around Harrogate. We also stayed at the cottage in October, and it was much as before: a little bit old fashioned, but it has a garden, and plenty of room inside, and there is a great pub in the village. The most annoying thing was to find not one sheet of loo roll in the place. Good job I'd bought some with us!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lavender Pinterest Board

My 'Lavender' Pinterest board has made it to the front page of today.

If you would like to see the rest of the board, from where you can click through to the items for sale, please click here.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Collage ACEOs

I have added some more strange creatures to my collage menagerie. These are ACEOs (art card editions and originals). Please click on the link below the image to go to the listing for sale.

It's A Rival
I Look All Right
Eating Us Alive
Beautiful Food

These pieces are made from a combination of cut and combined, found images and lettering. 

The size is approx:-
3.5 x 2.5 inches (height x width)
8.8 x 6.3 cm (height x width)

Start your own affordable art collection!

The cards have my initials on the front, with title, name and date on the reverse.
They come in a protective cello bag, with card backing and blank envelope.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday, Brock!

Happy 5th Birthday, Brockie Boy!

Brock has been celebrating his birthday with a walk, new toy, special food and treats, and his usual tickles and attention, of course.
We have had Brock for 2.5 years now (half his life!) and we are so pleased to have him. He came to us from Workington Dog Rescue. He is a Patterdale/Jack Russell cross.

Collaged Easter Cards

Something different for Easter: hand made, collaged cards...
[Please click on the link below to the picture to go to the listing for sale.]

"9 Eggs" - handmade Easter card

 "12 Eggs + 4" - handmade Easter card

 "16 Eggs #2" - handmade Easter card

"Happy Easter!" - handmade Easter card

"Happy Easter #2" - handmade Easter card

These cards, and many others, are listed in my Etsy and Folksy shops.


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