Sunday, 24 June 2012

Well, its been almost a week now since my birthday but I thought I'd write up what I got up to, my husband very kindly treat me to a night away at the Hotel Du Vin in Harrogate, we went up there early afternoon to check in get acquainted with our room then get ready for one of the best and most famous things to do in Harrogate... have afternoon tea at Bettys. As we were going for dinner later that night we decided to just share a tea between two of us and we munched on dainty little sandwiches with delicious fillings such as egg and cress, chicken salad, ham and mustard and salmon. Along with that there were the most perfect little cakes and a light and fluffy scone with Harrogate jam and proper clotted cream, the ultimate T factor! After lunch the heavens decided to open and pour litres of rain down onto us so it totally scuppered my plans to do a bit of vintage shopping but it didn't matter all that much because we had our lovely cosy hotel room to get back to and climb out of our soaking wet clothes awaiting a soak in the totally beautiful roll top bath, I've got to be the owner of one of these eventually!

After a luxurious soak with a drink we got ready for dinner at B.E.D restaurant, I don't really know Harrogate very well so took to Tripadvisor for recommendations on where to eat and this was rated number one for Harrogate which after dining there I can totally see why! It's a totally welcoming restaurant with some quirky features that make your time there really enjoyable, complimentary curly-wurlys with the bill being the best. The food was really yummy, described as 'Modern English with a twist', not fussy at all but well cooked and very 'homely.' For starter I had deep fried wedges of mozzarella with a sweet chilli dip and Phil had salmon and cream cheese with crackers, mains I opted for a chicken breast stuffed with goats cheese, wrapped in parma ham and served with grilled aubergine and tomatoes and Phil got a really delicious honey glazed ham hock with mustard mash (which I helped him finish cos I got food envy haha.) I would definitely eat there again, and recommend it to anyone else looking for somewhere to dine in the area.

We finished the night with another bubble bath and cuddled up in the super king size cloud bed in our dressing gowns, the next morning we had a really amazing breakfast (probably one of the best buffet breakfasts I've ever had!) but I was expecting it to be nice seeing as Hotel Du Vin is the sister hotel of our favourite getaway in Leeds the MalMaison. We then took a drive up to Ripon racecourse to attend the Yorkshire Food Festival where we wandered through the stalls sampling local foods like cheeses, jams, ciders and chocolates. We came away with quite a good bounty of stuff! 


Sunday, 17 June 2012

June has always been a pretty exciting month for me, its my birthday month along with my husbands and our meeting "anniversary." So we like to combine it all together and do stuff to celebrate all three occasions. I think I mentioned a while back that I had found a pretty good deal on Groupon for a mini-getaway in Northumberland. The voucher got us two nights in a luxury Wig-Wam situated at Herding Hill Campsite in Haltwhistle, Northumberland. I'm from that part of the country so I know how lovely it is and I was very excited to get up into the countryside. The owners of the campsite were really lovely and so accommodating, you could tell they were really genuine and wanted their venture to work. The campsite was really well done up and the wig-wam's were really comfy, and the addition of a hot tub made it extra special. I'm not shy of 'proper' camping, I was brought up having tent and caravan holidays and I'm a regular festival goer, but I think I'm a convert to the 'glamping' experience!

We spent the first afternoon soaking in the hot tub and roasting marshmallows over a fire pit before getting snuggled up in our duvets and having a pretty intense game of Trivial Pursuit that ended in a stale mate because we just aren't very clever haha. The next morning was the birthday boys day and we made a trip up the windy military roads to Vindolanda the Roman colony ruins where we got to see a live excavation of a new bit of the site as well as explore what life was like during the building of Hadrian's Wall. The museum with artefacts displayed was so fascinating, especially the ornate jewellery, its baffling to think those rings and bangles survived under the ground for thousands of years! When we got back to the campsite we had a massive birthday picnic and over indulged on sausage rolls and cake. Phil being a bit of a geek, asked for 'gadgets' for his birthday so after a few days thought I decided to buy him a telescope, he really loved it so that made me happy I was just gutted the weather has been so rubbish lately so we've not been able to use it yet.

A good time was definitely had by all and I'm certain we will make another visit to Herding Hill in future.