Champagne afternoon tea at The Royal York Hotel.


Last Sunday we had a jaunt to York for the afternoon, for a stroll in the sunshine and a change of scenery. I haven't been to York for a few years now so it was wonderful to revisit the narrow streets, the variety of sweet shops, and to take in the sights like the stunning York Minster. There's something about the streets and shops that make me feel like I'm in Harry Potter, and that can never be a bad thing!

We were kindly invited to The Royal York Hotel for a complimentary champagne afternoon tea for two. The hotel has recently undergone a huge refurb and I take my hat off to the design team. The areas we had a nosy round are visually very, very beautiful. The location for their afternoon tea is the 'Garden Room', where we were seated by one of the huge windows looking out to the gardens and Minster. 

I've never experienced an afternoon tea that came with a starter before, but this savoury trio were most welcome to balance out the sweetness that was coming up. The starters consisted of an avocado mousse with Whitby crab and sieved egg, a red onion and goats cheese tart, and a parmesan scone topped with cream cheese, pumpkin and toasted seeds (all delish but I think the scone was my favourite). 

The sandwiches were tasty, although I've developed a difficulty with the texture of smoked salmon over the past few months so the egg filling was my favourite of the two. It had a twist to it, mustard I think, and it was a bit different to the usual bog standard egg sarnies I make for my pack up ;)

We were surprised and rather delighted to get two scones each; a plain and a fruit scone a piece, complete with clotted cream and home made jam. By this point, full of champagne, tea, our starters and the sandwiches we were starting to bulge around the middle a little so we slowed down and debated undoing our top buttons to fit it all in! 

The mini cakes and sweet things on the top tier were a real treat for the eyes. We were promised a box to take any leftover cakes away with us so we tucked in to what we could manage and took the rest home for our tea. My favourites were the eclair with a chocolate cream filling (and gold leaf!) and the battenburg. I'm an absolute sucker for battenburg and as Paul doesn't like it I got the whole piece. Result!

We both thoroughly enjoyed our food, drinks, attentive service and the setting of the Garden Room. The champagne afternoon tea is £25 which we feel is really good value for the quality and the amount of food you get. We both agreed it would be nice to return to The Royal York Hotel for a weekend away in the future. If the rooms are as impressive as the rest of the hotel they would be the perfect place for a sleepover!

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Our trip to the Lakes - day two.


Day one - here!

On our second full day in the Lakes I was having a rare "good health day" so we made plans to get out and about to see some more sights. After a trip to the bakery next door for brekkie and a potter round the village with Lily and Lola we wrapped up warm and headed out.

First stop was Hawkshead, home to the Beatrix Potter museum and narrow streets full of beautiful old houses and shops. We went in all the gift shops and I wanted to buy all the Peter Rabbit things for myself my niece. She knew what she was doing, Beatrix P, didn't she! Genius.

After a spot of lunch, and a rest in the car while a light shower passed overhead, we went to Tarn Hows for a walk. My eyes couldn't quite take in how beautiful the surroundings were. Stunning! With the snow covered mountains in the background and the shimmering water reflecting the trees even a complete photo-taking amateur like me couldn't fail!

We did the 1 3/4 mile walk round the waters edge, stopping to take photos and towards the end stopping to rest my weary legs as I was starting to flag at this point. Totally worth it for these views though.

After two days of exploring I think all the fresh air and cold temperatures got to me as I started to feel unwell with swollen tonsils and blocked sinuses that evening. We decided to spend the rest of our trip taking it easy (and going back and forth to the chemist!)

I hope we can go back when the weather is warmer and when my health/energy levels are back up to normal. We all had such a lovely time, the puggies included, so it would be nice to go back and be able to enjoy it fully.

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5 good things (Pug wallpaper, postcards and my Happiness Planner).


How has everybody's week been? With sleepless nights on Sunday and Monday my week didn't get off to the best start, especially as I knew I had a busy week ahead of me at work, but after discovering Boots "Sleepeaze" tablets and having a few bubble baths and cocoas before bed I have managed to get back on track.

1. The new wallpaper in our house. Since moving in with Paul we have been thinking up ways to make little changes to make things more homely and when I spotted this Pug wallpaper I was desperate to do a feature wall with it. I didn't think Paul would go for it so when he said it was amazing and we should get a roll I was ON IT. We decided to use it on the wall that separates our kitchen/dining room and living room as the pattern is quite jazzy so this small area is perfect. We are thrilled with how it turned out and it always makes me smile when I see it.

2. I'm several weeks into my acupuncture now and I have noticed some positive changes after each treatment. I am going again this evening so I'm hoping it will help me have a more comfortable weekend.

3. My Happiness Planner. I saw these on Facebook as a friend must have liked a photo and I thought "ooh - that looks like my cup of tea!" I ordered the 100 day planner and have just finished completing the exercises at the beginning. They have really made me think about all the little things that make me happy and to focus on my good qualities instead of just the bad ones. 

4. Lush products. I've been on a couple of Lush shopping sprees recently and I can't get enough of bubbles in my bath. I currently alternate between the Unicorn Horn and The Comforter bar. I also picked up a pot of Ocean Salt which is a lovely scrub which smells delicious and really fresh. 

5. A new colouring book. A book of postcards to be precise! This beauty is from Waterstones (link!) and the patterns are all amazing. I love the idea of colouring something and popping it in the post. It's fair to say I'm a little bit obsessed. 

What are your "good things" at the moment?

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