So… I’m back! Just about…! The past few weeks have felt super-duper surreal: a mixture of stress, elation, and crazy joy. We have been surrounded by so much love, so much kindness and so much positivity that it’s all a little bit overwhelming. I’ll be writing about the wedding in the next few days (or weeks, depending on how life is going), but for now, I thought I’d re-enter the mad world of blogging with a classic Make, Do and Push! The Week That Was… and this one is all about our relaxing, indulgent, decadent Honeymoon.
Perhaps it should have been called a Foodiemoon?
Wednesday 1st October 2014
After an emotional goodbye to Busby, we headed off in Nick’s Mum’s glamorous car to the Yorkshire Dales, and ultimately, The Yorke Arms. With one Michelin Star this was our first night away, and we couldn’t wait to get cracking with the tasting menu!
We had some time to kill before we could check-in so we popped into Betty’s in Harrogate for a cream tea and glass of bubbles to toast our week of uninterrupted sleep.
We had the four poster suite for the night (fancy) and the room was amazing… as was the location; completely in the middle of nowhere and absolutely no network coverage (bliss). We opted for the eight course tasting menu, with a full flight of wine, which retrospectively was a little bit of a mistake for two people who get tipsy on a bottle of prosecco, but we powered through like troopers. My memory gets hazy after about course number 3 or 4, but it was definitely some of the best food I’ve ever tasted – and the most delicious wine!
|1. Northern Nick // 2. The beautiful Yorke Arms // 3. The view from our suite // 4. The view in our suite|
Thursday 2nd October 2014
It wasn’t the best night’s sleep I’ve ever experienced… mostly down to the spinning room after 7-8 glasses of wine, but a breakfast of black pudding and bacon was welcomed by my hangover the next morning! Checkout was rather early (10am!) so we hopped in the car in search of coca-cola and paracetamol for my hangover, and headed towards our next destination in the Lake District.
We had a brief stop for lunch at the amazing Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes (I could happily live there), and we picked up my favourite cheese – Bishopdale – and discovered Wensleydale and Salted Caramal cheese, which was truly eye-opening and joyful. Yum!
We arrived at our next stop for the next four nights – Ann’s Hill Lodge, just outside of Cockermouth – around 3pm and we were greeted with a bottle of champagne, chocolates and strawberries. The owner, Vanessa, was an amazing host and even surprised us with delicious homemade cupcakes, and a present organised by my two Brother-in-Laws!
The Lodge was gorgeous! A huge, stunning kitchen and a number of log fires were just asking to be used… and use them we did; enjoying steak in front of a roaring fire that evening.
|1. Ann’s Hill Lodge // 2. The view inside // 3. The Kitchen // 4. The view outside|
Friday 3rd October 2014
We booked ourselves a spa day on the Friday at the Armathwaite Hall Spa, which was rather lovely… if a little lacking in personality. We spent the morning in and out of the various hot tubs, aromatherapy rooms and the pool until our treatments at lunchtime. (I had a well-needed body scrub and facial.) A two course lunch followed, and then we returned to the pool for more relaxing!
Dinner was booked at Overwater Hall that evening, so we headed over in a taxi… not knowing what to expect! Well… we felt as though we’d stepped into an Agatha Christie novel! The hotel was rather dated, and some of the staff were a little backward at times (they only addressed Nick for most decisions, such as the wine list), but the food was delicious – especially the pudding which was a “Trio of Orchard Apples”.
|1. A trio of Orchard apples // 2. Ceiling rose|
Saturday 4th October 2014
Saturday was our day for not leaving the Lodge! We were feeling a little bit “driven-out” so we decided to spend the day reading, eating and relaxing in the beautiful surroundings. We headed into the outdoor hot tub at 12.30pm(ish) to toast a week of marriage with champagne, and ate a lot of food!
|1. Champagne + hot tub! // 2. Beautiful, stormy Lake District // 3. Amazing copper bath // 4. Beautiful wood store|
Sunday 5th October 2014
We thought we ought to go for at least one walk on our Honeymoon – we were in the Lake District after all – so after a yummy roast dinner at the Kirkstile Inn (such a gorgeous location too), we went for a wander around Lake Buttermere. The walk started off well, but we got about halfway round and the weather took a turn for the worse! Let’s just say we were thankful for our wellington boots!!! We turned back and went back to the Lodge for a hot chocolate and hot shower.
|1. Roast! // 2. Beautiful Buttermere // 3. Stunning // 4. Sheep!|
Monday 6th October 2014
Reluctantly we waved to goodbye to the Lodge on Monday morning, and headed to our next destination (and my favourite place in the world) Grasmere. We had booked the “Beatrix” room at the Grasmere Hotel, mostly for the namesake! The hotel was very pretty, with a gorgeous garden out the back.
We had booked into The Dining Room at the Oak Bank Hotel (next door!) for our dinner that evening. I was really excited about dining there after reading Jay Rayner’s raving review and we were not disappointed! The food was ridiculously good, and we will definitely be visiting again.
|1. Beatrix // 2. The view from our room // 3. Beautiful cows // 4. Off to dinner!|
Tuesday 7th October 2014
Breakfast was quite early at the Grasmere Hotel, so we were up and ready to visit the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop on Tuesday morning! After saying goodbye to Grasmere for a while (sob) we headed to Cartmel for our final destination: L’Enclume.
We were able to check-in early, so we spent the afternoon mentally preparing ourselves for the 17 course taster menu that evening.
Wowza. The food was… sublime! The staff were amazing, and so very knowledgable! I’ve never had an eating experience like it. Just… WOW! The chefs (and staff!) at L’Enclume certainly deserve their two Michelin Stars as… well, wow!
|1. Outside Grasmere Gingerbread // 2. Our room at L’Enclume // 3. Raw venison // 4. Amazing mini cones|
Wednesday 8th October 2014
We woke up with a mixture of excitement and sadness on Wednesday morning; the Honeymoon was over, but we were going to see Busby for the first time in a week later that day – and we had both missed her LOTS! We started the journey home after breakfast at L’Enclume’s Sister restaurant Rogan, and made it back to Nick’s Parents in time for lunch (because we oddly felt ravenous after our 17 courses the night before!)
|1. A beautiful gift from my new husband // 2. Goodbye joyous L’Enclume // 3. L’Enclume Geek // 4. Not sure what Nick is doing…|
Our Honeymoon was a once in a lifetime experience (well, until we retire!) and we had the most amazing week of food, laughter and happiness. We will definitely be returning to L’Enclume and The Dining Room – they were certainly highlights from our week away!