Wednesday, July 29, 2015

England, Day Six, Part Two

After touring Townend we were really hungry and decided to go down to Annie's Clock for lunch.  It was only a little ways from Townend and still in the beautiful Troutbeck Valley!

Annie's Clock is a charming place.  If you look up on the hill there are sheep grazing.  The whole area is beyond lovely.

Let's go inside and have a bite to eat.  Look out this window--isn't it beautiful!

Here is Grayden's bacon and brie sandwich and couscous salad.  I took a bite and it was yummy.  Notice their bacon is more like Canadian bacon.  If you see streaky bacon on the menu it is like American bacon.

This is my quiche and couscous salad.  It was delicious!

We shared our lunch at the table with three other people as Annie's Clock was very popular.  They were delightful folks on holiday from Cambridge.  While eating they told us they were hiking the Troutbeck Paths.  I would so love to do that!  They also recommended an open garden nearby that we shouldn't miss.  So after eating we made our way to Holehird Garden. 

To all of my American friends this is what we passed on the way to Holehird.

Soon we arrive at Holehird Garden.  The garden is home to the Lakeland Horticulture Society.  It is totally run by members and is maintained by them.  

We strolled into the walled garden.  The tulips were blooming so beautifully.

The azaleas were in full bloom.  Across from the gardens is the manor house that was gifted to the people of Windermere.  The home was designed by J.S. Crowther, architect of the Manchester Cathedral in 1865.  The Groves family lived in the home from 1897 to 1945, then gave it to the community.  The original gardens are by Thomas Mawson. 

We were so happy to have met friends at Annie's Clock that sent us to Holehird Garden.

We needed to leave Holehird and head back "home."  What a wonderfully peace filled day!

Oh dear England, you have taken my heart! ♥

Monday, July 27, 2015


If you have grandchildren, do you miss them when they are away?  Do they live far away?  Our two youngest grands were in Germany for a vacation in late June.  They had a wonderful time and shared lovely photos with us yesterday.  Upon their return one was sick and therefore we had not seen them for about a month.  That's too long for this grandmother!  Our eldest grandson, that lives with us now while attending school, lived in New Hampshire.  That was a challenge for me.  We made a point of travelling to see him at least once a quarter.

The grands are staying with us for a few days.  It has been so hot and humid the last few days we are limited to early morning bocce games.

They love to go to the school playground at the school that their Dad and Aunt attended.  We all walked over for them to play and watched the antics of our monkeys.

Miles is known as the butterfly whisperer in our family.  He loves nature and is able to have butterflies light on his hand.  He doesn't hurt them.  I think it helps that he has lemonade juice on his hands!

Grayden made this German checkers game before we were married and the boys enjoyed playing with this simple game.

We grilled hamburgers, had ice cream, made microwaved s'mores (too hot to make fire in chimnea), played games, and just enjoyed ourselves.  We are so blessed to have grandchildren!

Friday, July 24, 2015

England, Day Six

Today is going to be one of those English weather days!  Yes, it is raining and it's a little chilly.  What we have found is the weather changes quickly as the day progresses and we just keep up with the plans of the day.  Today we are going to Arnside Silverdale.  Arnside Silverdale is a little village on the edge of the Morecambe Bay on the estuary of the River Kent.

Travelling to Arnside Silverdale was just beautiful, but they were all small roads!  Hold on, we are on our way!

Hedgerows on Narrow Roads

When we reached Arnside we decided to park the car and take a look around the area.

Our rental car

We walked across the street to take a look at the shore line and check out the pier.  This area is prone to high tides that come in rather quickly.  They have warnings all around about listening for the sirens.

Leaving the quaint little village of Arnside, we travelled to the Troutbeck Valley to see Townend.  This was a beloved area to Beatrix Potter.  She bought Troutbeck Park Farm in the area as she was afraid that the area was being developed too quickly.  She raised her famous Herdwick sheep in the valley.

The photo above is of one of the earliest bank barns in the UK.  The oldest part of the barn was built in 1666 by George Browne.  These barns had places for cattle, sheep and plenty of room for storage.  I just love the stone that was used in this barn.  The same stone used on many structures in the Lake District.

As you can see Townend is just to the other side of the street of the bank barn.  I must tell you this is the loveliest spot!  It was so peaceful and serene here.  Let's go and see when we can go inside.


There was no one to greet us, but fellow visitors told us to take a peg (clothespin) from the rope for our time to visit.  We took our 12 noon peg and when all of the pegs were taken that was all that were allowed in for that time.  We had a half hour or so to look at the garden before our time.

View from Townend Garden

We were so excited to see the birds in the garden and a beautiful little English Robin.  He is much smaller than our robins in America.  This was the best photo I was able to get.

It's now time to go inside Townend.  Watch your step as it is dark and the floors are uneven.  The kitchen is where we enter.

George Browne handmade all of the furnishings at Townend--he was a master craftsman.

The Brownes were neighbors of Beatrix Potter and she called on the family often.  She wrote how strange it was that Mr. Browne made furniture and put false dates on them.  It seems Mr. Browne wanted to appear more wealthy, so when he made furniture, he carved dates one or two hundred years earlier.

He raised Herdwick Sheep and his awards are displayed in the kitchen.

Upstairs Bedroom

Second Bedroom

George Browne carved this bed in 1872 not 1672

Now we approach the dining room and sitting room.  There are books lining the walls and the table is set with food that would have been served during Victorian times.

Townend was built in 1626 and remained in the Browne family until 1943 when it was acquired by the National Trust.  It is a farmhouse that has many interesting stories to tell about its long history.  The Troutbeck Valley is so lovely and Townend takes its place there so beautifully.

The docent mentioned to us a lovely little tearoom/cafe if we wanted to take a short walk down the road to Annie's Clock.  Let's go have some lunch.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What's for Breakfast?

There are so many choices for breakfast.  I love breakfast meals for dinner on nights when I'm tired or we just want something simple.  Pancakes or waffles are favorites in my home.  Grayden loves eggs and is happy to have them frequently.  Most mornings I really don't have time or don't want to make a hearty breakfast.  Those are reserved for slow easy days like weekends or vacations.


This week I decided to make an old standby ---Granola.  A simple recipe to make ahead so we can eat a healthy breakfast is always a goal.  It's so easy to make and so tasty for breakfast.  Of course it's great over yogurt or as my grandson likes-- over ice cream.

Here is my recipe for homemade granola:

7 cups of rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup of wheat germ
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of canola oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup of honey

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.

 Spread mixture in parchment or silpat lined baking pan.  Bake in 275 degree oven for 2 hours.  Stir every 20 minutes or so.  After the granola is all baked and toasty, sprinkle one or two cups of dried fruit over the granola.  I usually add raisins.  Any dried fruit is fine.  Allow mixture to cool completely and then store in an airtight container.  I love old jars and have a collection that I use in my kitchen.

When I was outside today, I noticed this bloom on the same hibiscus plant that produced the bloom above.  I hope this doesn't mean it is reverting back to the white plant it was grafted onto!

Pink and White Hibiscus

Saturday, July 18, 2015

England, Day Five, Part Two

After seeing the interior of Chatsworth, you know we are in for a treat looking at the grounds!  There are acres and acres of gardens.  So, do you have your walking shoes on?  Let's go!

Walking out of the Sculpture Gallery and through the very tempting shop we leave the home to see Flora's Temple.

Flora's Temple was built between 1693 and 1695.  It originally stood at the center of Flora's garden, but was moved to the current location in 1750.  Jan Nost sculpted Flora.  The gardens have changed with each generation.  

Walking to the right we see The Case.

The Case was originally called the Conservative Wall.  It was designed by Joseph Paxton in 1838.  It, of course, holds all the tender plants that cannot stand the cold in Devonshire.  The structure is quite large and is about 100 yards long.  

Climbing a hill beside The Case we approach the First Duke's Greenhouse.  It houses Chatsworth camellia collection.  Outside of the greenhouse are the most wonderful peonies in full bloom!  These tree peonies were introduced by Duchess Deborah.  Aren't they beautiful?

Look at the Kennedy half dollar chair we found at the First Duke's Greenhouse.

Even though not many roses are in bloom yet, the Rose Garden is lovely.

The Rose Garden was created in 1811 by the 6th Duke.  Flora used to reside in this garden.  In 1939 Duchess Mary, wife of the 10th Duke, remodeled this area and removed the statuary.

Here are a few camellias that are in bloom.  Check out the view of Chatsworth!

Let's climb the hill and go to the stable.  We need to walk through this woven gate--wattle gate style.

The Stables are now used to house dining establishments and markets.  It is quite a large rectangular affair with an open courtyard in the center.  Note the clock in the tower.  It must be wound every other day.  

War Horse-1991

War Horse is a fairly new piece that was added to The Stables by Deborah, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.  She shared a close friendship with the sculptor Dame Elizabeth Frink.  The bronze statue is the first contemporary piece to be added to the ducal collection in over 150 years.  

Are you getting hungry?  All this touring around the home and the grounds has me starving.  We would love it if you join us for lunch.  There are many choices for lunch.  Let's go into the Cavendish Restaurant.  It's so nice to sit down and enjoy a little refreshment.  Grayden and I are going to split the Ploughman's Lunch.  Have what you'd like.  I'll have a lovely pot of tea, please.

Let's gaze on this view and remember it!  It's so special here at Chatsworth!

Even bluebells bloom at Chatsworth!!

And of course there are lambs!

Chatsworth gardens are enormous.  The window views from England, Day Five gives you an idea of the size.  If you want to check out more of their gardens go to   Their website is wonderful!  

We wanted to visit one more place on the way back "home", Gawthorpe Hall.  This is an Elizabethan country house on the River Calder.  It is run by the National Trust.  Gawthrope Hall is affectionately known as the Downton of the North.  Since Highclere was not allowing visitors during the time we were in England we wanted to visit Gawthrope instead.  Gawthrope was redesigned by Sir Charles Barry --who designed the House of Parliament and Highclere Castle.

Driving to Gawthrope was lovely.

Arriving in the car park we noticed there were not many cars.  Also not any people as we are used to seeing.  So we walked to Gawthrope to take a look.

Now we're beginning to wonder.  Where are we going?  Continuing on we come upon a lovely estate.

Gawthrope Hall houses a large collection of portraits  from the National Portrait Gallery and The Gawthrope Textiles Collection.  I was so looking forward to viewing them.  Grayden saw some work men over the hill and asked them about us going in for a visit.  They informed him that the Hall is now closed for renovations.  They were sorry we didn't know and hoped we didn't come too far!  The National Trust had not updated this information on their website before we left home.  We were disappointed we were unable to see the inside but enjoyed the grounds to ourselves.