Monthly Archives: February 2017

It’s Our Birthdays (cont)

For the last part of our birthdays celebrations we headed off to Ulverston, we set off about 09:30 and arrived at 11:00, so not too early a start; after parking the car near the B&B we set off to explore, one of the things we like to do when visiting a new place is find the local Tourist Information Office, unfortunately Ulverston have had theirs closeIMG_2509.JPGd down, but luckily the Laurel and Hardy museum was trying to fill the gap and had a good range of leaflets in their foyer.  After picking up what was probably far too many leaflets we went for a wander round the town calling in at the indoor market, we went to Gillam’s
, they specialise in tea of which they have over 50 types, all of which are loose leaf.  Inside the place was warm and cosy with a real fire in the upstairs room where we sat. Alison had a liquorice tea while I the house chai, to eat I had the Cumbrian Rarebit which was so cheesy it came in a dish and Alison had the creamy mushrooms on toast,
recommended by none other than Dave Myers of Hairy Bikers fame and very tasty they were too, as was the rarebit.  After lunch we went to the Laurel and Hardy Museum, well it would be rude not too after all we were in the birthplace of Stan Laurel.  The museum is in the main auditorium of the Roxy Cinema, as it was a cold Friday in February the place was quite, there was only one other couple in and there didn’t seem to be anybody “official” there.  The museum is a little run down but there is lots of information and memorabilia and there is a mini cinema which shows Laurel and Hardy films on img_2511a loop, unfortunately it was so cold you couldn’t really sit and watch for too long.  On the way out we found the attendant and paid our entrance fee (he had been sorting out some of the exhibits).  From


there it was off to Cumbrian Crystal to watch the glass blowers, it was a quiet day with not a great deal happening but it was lovely and warm.
As the B&B would still not be open for another hour or so we decided to check out the gin parlor at in Virginia House where we had a couple of nice gins while we were there we also booked our evening meal.

We booked into the Rock House B&B and were show to our room which was big room with a very high ceiling there was an on-suite, tea and coffee facilities and proper coat hangers!  After a cup of tea and a wash and brush up it was of the Virginia House for our evening meal.  When we arrived we were show into the bar were we ordered cocktails, a Forager’s Fizz (Sloe Gin, Raspberries and Prosecco) for Alison and a Autumn Angel (Gin, Frangelico, Autumn Spices and Egg White) for me. When our table was ready we were shown into the dinning room had given the menus, after much deliberation we decided to go for The Cumbrian Way Tasting Menu, with matching wine flight, this consisted of an Amuse Bouche (a Cassoulet) and home baked bread, this was followed by Duck with scratchings, beans & shallots, the accompanying wine Chateau Corbin, Montagne St Emilion, Bordeaux (France), next Mackerel two ways tartare, ceviche, pan fried; yoghurt, peanuts, the wine, Chapel Down Bacchus (England); Pheasant “Pot au Feu”; wild mushrooms, tarragon, cabbage, bacon, roasted potatoes, thyme broth, Turi Carmenere (Chile), Goats Cheese with candied walnuts, hazelnut & juniper, wine Rioja, Vega Crianza , (Spain), Plum & Figgy Pudding steamed pudding, macerated fruits, ice cream, Tokaji 5 Puttonyos, Tokaji (Hungary), finally Chocolate Orange meringue, zest, orange, Brown Brothers Orange Muscat (Australia), each dish was served with a description as were the wines, we did quite well with the wines as nearly every time we got them it was near the end of the bottle so me had more!

In the end I had to take one for the team and help Alison out with the wine; both the food and the wines were excellent and I would recommend eating at Virginia house if you are in Ulverston.

The next day after breakfast at the B&B, we set of on a walk, it was a 12 circular walk we had picked up at the museum the day before, with it being circular you could start at any point and we decided to start in the center of Ulverston, the walk then took us up and out the back and afforded us views over the town, then into woodlands and up to the Sir John Barrow Monument the highest point of the walk, from there it was down to the Ulverston Canal which claims to be claimed to be the deepest, widest and straightest canal in the UK (there is some debate on all these points!),  From the end of the canal the walk takes you along the coast passing The Bay Horse where we stopped for something warming, which confused the staff completely!   Now the Bay Horse looks like a upmarket establishment, posh carpets and chairs so may be a pair of wind swept hikers dressed in boots and cagools may not be there usual clientele, but when we asked for two coffees with spiced rum in they were flummoxed, after explaining things in words of one syllable a couple of the bar staff came back with a bottle of Lambs Navy Rum and said that was all they had, oh and there was only one measure ,no more rum in the place; so I had that and Alison had brandy!

From there we carried on the cost before turning inland and making our walk back to Ulverton over fields.  It was a good walk that had a little bit of everything, hill, woods coasts, even a bit of industrial landscape.  After arriving back we went to Fourpence Cafe for a snack, its an interesting quirky place run by a quirky couple, but the food and drink were good and homemade and they also have homemade produce for sale, including a lemon drink which is very good with gin.  From there it was back to the guest house for a bit, before going out for our evening meal.

For tea we went to the Stan Laurel Inn which is a short walk outside the center, this is an independent pub run and owned by the landlord and landlady, straight way when entering it felt warm and friendly, they had a good selection of beers including some local ones.  First I tried on from the Ulverston Brewing  Company and after this I went for on of there beer flights, which I asked the landlord to choose for me.  To eat I had Stan’s Special Chicken (butterflied supreme, marinated in oregano, sauteed in a creamy wine and garlic sauce oozing with peppers, onions, olives and garlic sausage), Alison had Chicken Forestiere (Strips of chicken, bacon and mushrooms, sauteed in a creamy wholegrain mustard sauce)  for dessert we shared three scoops of English Lakes Ice Cream.  As I say it was a very nice local pub, with friendly staff.

I the morning after breakfast and checking out we made our way to Furness Abby for a bit of history and after walking round the ruins we did a short walk to Bow Bridge both of these are ancient monument looked after by English Heritage.

Then a short trip to Dalton-in-Furness, which on a cold Sunday in February was pretty much shut!


It’s Our Birthdays!

As you may or may not know Alison and I have our birthdays four days apart, so we usually end up with two weeks of celebrations!  This year was no different; my birthday is first and the night before the night before we went out with a couple of friends for a girls night out!  We started at the Cork of the North where the girls had a bottle of prosecco and I had a War of the Raspberries by Thirst Class Ale,img_2479 this was a raspberry oatmeal stout.  From there it was over to Vida where I may have mentioned before in these blogs so will not go on about it but we had a great meal, with more prosecco and beer,


from there it was across the road to The Steam House for a gin night cap; again I may have metioned this place once or twice! All in all a great night with great friends.

The night before we were at a friend’s fortieth celebration, which turned into a late one, home at 03:00hrs!  The party itself was held at Kings Café in Altrincham and it was a good do; there was a  mind reading magician who was excellent.  Because of the late night my birthday was a quite affair, we had a nice lie in, followed by a walk up the canal to The Bridge Inn for lunch, the Bridge was refurbished  a couple of years ago and is having some more work done now.  It has a nice bright modern interior and the staff were very friendly, due to the excesses of the night before Alison started off with a lemonade, I however went for a beer!

To eat Alison had the Creamy Fish Pie, which she said was lovely while I went for the Slow Braised Rack of Ribs, which was huge with a very big portion of fries it was very tasty but unfortunately I was not able to finish it all.  For dessert we went for cocktails, well it wouldn’t be a celebration otherwise!  I had a Raspberry Cosmopolitan with uses raspberry Stoli vodka rather than plain and is garnished with flamed orange peel, Alison Strawberry Mojito a classic mojito with Havana Club Blanco & fresh strawberries; then it was a stroll home for a quite night in.

For Alison’s birthday we went into Town, we were going to go to Science and Industry at Cane and Grane, but there was a private party on so we ended up at the blue pig The Blue Pig where we both had the same meal; the  Crispy Buttermilk Chicken, which came with liquorice maple glazed bacon, crisp shallots and an avocado & new potato salad, to drink it was cocktails I had a Beers Knees (Botanist Gin, lemon and honey, topped with lemongrass and ginger lager) and Alison a Apple & Elderflower (Absolut Vodka, Sauvignon Blanc, apple juice and elderflower liqueur); both the food and the cocktails were very nice.  From there it was over to Dusk Til Pawn, duskthis is somewhere we have been meaning to try for ages, it a speakeasy style cocktail bar behind a pawn shop facade in Stevenson Square; inside it is basically just a room with chairs and tables down on side and a bar down the other, its quite dark inside but this adds to the atmosphere,  it was quite when we arrived but got busier as the evening wore on.  to drink we had a Devils Elbow (Vermouth, Chilli, Grapefruit and Bitters) and a Freebird (Vodka, Toffee, Lemon, Cinnamon), IMG_2503.JPGthey were prepared with some style which is always good when having cocktail, but did get the feeling the bar staff thought they were a little “too cool for school”, the list of cocktails looks interesting so will be going back at some point to try some more and may even try out some of the tunes on the free jukebox.

Next we went to Epernay to meet Alison’s girls, Epernay is a champagne & cocktail bar near the Great Northan Warehouse, it is above No1 Watson Street and has a bar area with a balcony and a large seating area at the back, which was booked for a private party.  Alison was going to try the Birthday Treat cocktail, which comes with a secret surprise, but unfortunately it had Amertto in and she is not a fan, so we have no idea what the surprise was! Instead she went of an old favorite a classic mojto, the rest of us had a  Candyshop Sling (Absolut Raspberry, Strawberry, Vimto, Citric Acid and Lemonade) and an Aloe Aloe (Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Aloe Vera, Pineapple, Pechaud’s Bitters and Absinthe), positively

a health drink!  After more  Candyshop Slings and a couple of Estrella Damm Inedits, we made are way home ready for an earlyish start for even more birthday fun, more of which in the next post!