Festive Afternoon Tea at Panoramic 34

Panoramic 34 afternoon tea cakes

I finally finished maternity leave in September to return to work part-time. To say life has been chaotic is an understatement. Due to time and financial pressures that come hand in hand when you have a young family it can be tough to find quality grown-up time that isn’t interspaced with partly eaten rice cakes and the dulcet tones of Mr Tumble.

panoramic 34 liver building view

It’s a well-known fact I have a soft spot for Afternoon Tea. For both mine & Hub’s birthday my sister decided to treat us to afternoon tea at a venue of our choice with babysitting thrown in to boot. One wet and windy November weekend we headed to my homeland of Liverpool, LB safely wreaking havoc at the grandparents, for a spot of fine afternoon tea with views for miles and a celeb on the neighbouring table.

stawberry mojito mocktail and rose nyetimber

Before long we were taking the quick ride up in the lift to the 34th floor for the fanciest afternoon tea since Le Manoir. We were greeted with views over Liverpool that didn’t disappoint. There is something cosy about sitting 34 floors up with rain lashing against the window full in the knowledge that everything was ok because you had a glass of sparking rose Nyetimber in hand.

As my sister paid for our meal in gift vouchers we had a bit to spare so a strawberry mojito mocktail it was. As Hubs was driving I also had his glass of sparking rose. I’ve barely touched alcohol over the last 2 years so I decided two glasses of bubbly plus a cocktail would probably push me over the edge.

panoramic 34 Christmas luxury vintage afternoon tea

Panoramic 34’s festive afternoon tea launched a few days before we visited and it was popular choice among other tables there.

For sandwiches we had egg, turkey & cranberry, salmon, pork pâté. Fusspot me doesn’t eat smoked salmon but tha was no problem for them, they simply swapped the salmon starter for a blue cheese and poached pear salad and the salmon sandwich for cheese and caramelised onion chutney.

panoramic 34

I’m always pleased to see when the sweet course on an afternoon tea as a good choice of different treats. Although 3/4 of the sweets featured chocolate they were so delicious this didn’t matter. The chocolate tart was just pipped to the post by the cheesecake as the favourite sweet of the day.

As for the celeb on the next table? Now that would be telling, but she did comment to us as to how fabulous our lunch looked.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/12/19/festive-afternoon-tea-at-panoramic-34/

Signature Spice Festive English Muffins


signature spice english muffins

Waitrose have a #makeschristmas campaign this year. What makes Christmas for us is baking but it has been on the back burner for the last few years. 2013 – thanks to morning sickness I wasn’t interested in food unless it was raspberries, passionfruit or babybel cheese. 2014 – juggling a 5 month year old who just wanted to sleep, feed and play isn’t conducive towards baking, especially when it comes to accurate timing required with bread. So now this 2015 I decided it was time to get back on the bread baking wagon.

We have a tradition in this house called Treat Breakfast most Sundays and the same happens on Christmas morning. I’m not a smoked salmon kind of person so we’re more likely to go for something sweet. For the festive season as well as the #makechristmas campaign, Waitrose have released a signature spice that appears in a wide range of products. It is a mixed spice that contains: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, star anise, black pepper, tangerine oil and cloves. I thought this would go well with one of my favourite breads to make a great festive breakfast – English Muffins.

slow cooker bread proving hack

A cold, damp December morning isn’t conducive towards making successful bread. I did a little experiment discovered slow cookers on the warm setting with the lid off work well as makeshift proving drawer when the kitchen is chilly and you’re too tight to switch the heating on.

spiced fruit english muffin dough

Whilst making these LB helped briefly with the kneading process. I say helped, once she realised the raw dough was tasty she kept trying to eat it.

Signature Spice Festive English Muffins

Makes 9

note: they can be cooked and frozen in advance if making dough on christmas morning is not your thing.

  • 100g dried mixed fruit
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 3 tsp Signature Mixed Spice
  • 1 tbsp soft dark sugar
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 8g fine salt
  • 325ml warm water
  • Semolina


  1. Soak the dried mixed fruit in the orange juice, ideally overnight.
  2. Place all of the dried ingredients (apart from the fruit) in a bowl and mix so all the ingredients are well. combined.
  3. Add the warm water and mix until you have a dough. Turn out and knead for 10 minutes or until you have a smooth dough. Flatten out the dough and sprinkle over the soaked fruit. Fold the dough over in thirds (like an envelope) to contain the fruit then lightly knead. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise until it has roughly doubled in size.
  4. Knock the dough back. Split the dough in to 9 equal pieces and shape each of these into a ball. Press the ball until you have a round approximately 1.5 cm thick. Dust each side with semolina and leave to rise on floured towel until doubled in size.
  5. Heat heavy-bottomed frying pan on a medium heat. Slowly cook the muffins over a 10 minute period regularly flipping to make sure they are cooked evenly on both sides . If you’re lucky enough to have an Aga cook direct on the griddle plate for 15 min. Eat warm or toasted with lashing of butter.

Waitrose provided the spice for this recipe along with a festive hamper and Waitrose vouchers. Like usual words and opinions are my own.


spiced fruit english muffins 2

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/12/07/signature-spice-festive-english-muffins/

Little Baker Picks – December ’15


lb picks dec 15

Big changes have happened since last time I wrote one of these types of posts. LB is now running and climbing everywhere, eating us out of house and home (unless it’s broccoli) and loves anything that is edible and or outdoors.

Pop-in Coverall Bibs

Since weaning we’ve been using the brilliant bargain Aldi bibs but as LB is getting older they’re getting snug and she’s mastered pulling them off mid-meal. Close Pop-In bibs had been recommended to me and after only a few weeks of wearing and washing I’m already converted. I got them from the wonderful Babi Pur website. I challenge you to just buy the bibs from the site. They sell so many wonderful things for kids.

Little Helper Fun Pod

I first came across Fun Pods on My Daddy Cooks website. They allow a child to stand at worktop or table height safely. I usually pop LB in it when I’m prepping dinner. I’ll often give her some of the raw ingredients I’m cooking with along with some safe cookery equipment to play with. Yes they could stand on a chair like most us did when we were kids, but as LB seems to have no fear of heights something a tad bit safer was needed.  We bought ours on eBay and they have good resale value.

Lb baking pic

Penelope’s Pantry Sweet Potato Biscuits

I’m always looking for simple recipes to make with LB. She loves stirring mixes with a little chatter of “tur tur” or “row row” with a rolling pin. This recipe ticked the boxes with the additional bonus of it being egg free given LB has a current penchant of eating anything remotely food. In fact she pulled one of her first tantrums making these biscuits because I wouldn’t let her eat any more raw biscuit dough. That has to be a sign of a good recipe. We cheated a bit with the sweet potato biscuit recipe and used the mashing attachment on my stick blender plus swapped the coconut oil for a dairy-free spread left over from a recipe test.

Mini Club Puddle Suit 

Every little one who loves the outdoors needs a puddle suit. I’m a big fan of Boot’s Mini Club clothes. They are good value, wash and wear well, have funky prints and believe there are more colours than pastel pink for girls to wear. My favourite item has to be their pack-away puddle suits. Perfect for outdoor messy play and puddle jumping. You’ll often find them for half price at £8. Even at full price I think they’re a good deal. As the cold weather hits, she’s wearing it with the equally great Jojo Maman Bebe fleece trousers.



Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/12/02/little-baker-picks-december-15/

Review: Pool Green Kitchen meal box

pool green set table

Since LB arrived it has turned our life on its head. I remember as newlyweds not being phased by getting home at 5, 6ish then starting cooking dinner from scratch. Something like a lasagna. How. on. earth… We’re back in the swing of cooking from scratch but on weekdays gone are the long-winded recipes, in come the recipes that give us quick, balanced meals that can be served by 6pm. Thank the world for Jamie O.

We do still eat out but now it’s more likely to be lunchtime or early evening with LB in tow. It isn’t quite the same as having some precious time with just the two of you. That’s something that becomes even more important when you have a little one. It’s easy to forget that as well as mum and dad you’re also husband and wife.

pool green unpacked

I first heard about Pool Green Kitchen on BBC Radio Derby, then met them in person at Derbyshire Food & Drink Festival a few months back. Pool Green Kitchen deliver pre-prepped meals based on themed menu to your door with as many ingredients as possible being sourced from Derbyshire/Staffordshire. Think Dine In, but more upmarket. They also do a black tie package bringing the crockery, cutlery, candles, wine glasses, napkins, tablecloth and even pick it all up again the next day so you won’t even have to do the washing up. Genius.

While their initial concept was aimed at the dinner party market they soon started offering meal boxes for just two people. Right up our street. There are various menu options available including tapas and Thai-Indonesian. We picked Middle Eastern as those style dishes are not the easiest to find when dining out in the deepest darkest Staffordshire.

Early Friday evening Pool Green Kitchen’s owner, Joanna, delivered our box of goodies. Everything came labelled, with heating instructions and often in containers they could be heated up in. LB clearly knew something was amiss when we didn’t join her for dinner that night and she took far longer than usual to settle that night. Eventually, 2 hours later than planned, we managed to sit down to our Middle Eastern feast.

pool green mezze


Falafels made with chickpeas and spices, a dish originating in Egypt

Gozleme a savoury traditional Turkish pastry dish, made with a thin hand-rolled dough, filled with spinach and feta cheese and cooked on a griddle

Lamb Kofta seasoned and spiced minced lamb rolled and griddled

Mixed Olives Kalamata and green olives marinated with lemon, oregano and chillies

Pool Green Main

Main Dishes

Whole flattened spiced- herbed chicken a traditional recipe from Azerbaijan – marinated with thyme, paprika, cumin and garlic served and cooked with the skin on to enhance the delicate flavours of the dish

Lachmajou spiced minced lamb with tomatoes and chillies

Bulgur Wheat Salad with fresh herbs, red onion and cherry tomatoes

Served with accompaniments:

Flatbreads Middle Eastern Style Flatbreads

Harissa dip a yoghurt dip with harissa spices for a bit of a ‘kick’

Tzatziki a mild yoghurt dish made with cucumber and mint

Red Pepper Hummus homemade hummus with roasted red peppers

We realised that during the meal it was the first time in over a year we had sat down, just the two of us, without it being interrupted by a hungry baby or eating the meal as fast as we can as LB has finished her meal. Times like these are precious. The food was absolutely delicious. I loved all the different flavours and textures with my favourite dish being the spicy koftas.

Pool Green dine in

Will we treat ourselves Pool Green Kitchen meal again? A big fat yes. It was nice to have a delicious home-cooked meal without the prep and minimal washing up. We often have friends and family to stay, most of which are big foodies. In the past we would have spent the evening in a restaurant but now with little ones in tow and potential babysitters to consider this is the perfect solution. Another bonus, no squabbling over who’s going to be the designated driver or booking taxis.

We had a discount, but even at the full price of £30pp (2-3 people) or £25 (4+ people) it’s a price we’d be prepared to pay as compared to what we’re happy to splash out on a meal it’s good value. Another bonus being we had loads of delicious food left over that fed us the following evening. Here’s to the next meal we don’t have to share.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/08/18/review-pool-green-kitchen-meal-box/

Make Eat Get Read Go – July ’15

megrg July 15

July is a busy birthday month for us so unsurprisingly all of this month’s MEGRG centres around birthday celebrations.


Sugarpaste rabbits

When it comes to a first birthday cake you can’t go wrong with rabbits. The original plan was to fashion some out of marshmallows but last-minute ended up making them from good old sugarpaste. They are relatively simple to make, even when made bleary-eyed at 5am.


The Boot, Repton

We ate at The Boot’s canal side sister pub, The Dragon, a few months back. The Boot opened a few months back after an impressive refurb. All of our usual Sunday lunch venues couldn’t fit in a table of 7 so we chanced The Boot and I’m glad I did. Their roast dinners were very tasty, possibly one of the best I’ve had in a pub. Their puddings need refining, but we’ll certainly be back.  They also have a microbrewery on site and in between Hubs, my dad and brother they managed to try all the brews from their brewery.


Carly Dodsley Kissing Birds print.

I met Carly Dodsley at the Summer Fabulous Places event at the beginning of the month. I was drawn to her framed Kissing Birds illustration and peacock plate. It’s all made & designed in the heart of pottery – Stoke on Trent. Her current Ornithology collection is right up my street given I have a weakness for art and crafts featuring birds. Her illustrations remind me of some graphics used on pottery in the 1950s/1960s. There is something about her work that makes me think it’s worth investing in. Maybe a future gem?


Homemade Memories

I’ve read Kate’s Little Loaf blog for a good few years so when I heard she was bringing out a book I was really pleased. I received a copy for my birthday and oh my, what a treat. Not a cookbook you want to look at when dieting. Find out how to make your own Bounty bars as well as a naughty grown up version of Angel Delight called Butterscotch Devil’s Delight. I think this will have to be one of the first recipes I make from the book.


Fabulous Places with VIP ticket

I’ve been going to Fabulous Places events since they began in a small country hotel in the Derbyshire Dales. Now they hold markets three times a year in Derby Roundhouse. For my birthday Hubs bought me a VIP ticket to their Summer Market and spending money for the event along with very important Me Time. The ticket included a goody bag, discounts from many of the stalls and most importantly free cake and Prosecco in the VIP lounge. This is the first time I’ve been to the event as a VIP but there’s no going back for me!

Did you make any wonderful discoveries in July?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/08/04/make-eat-get-read-go-july-15/

Rabbit 1st Birthday Cake


1st Rabbit Birthday Cake

How fast has the last year gone? 12 months ago I was welcoming LB to the blog and wondering how on earth us foodie selves would cope with a little one. Well here we are, we survived… Just.

birthday cake to table

Some people take their little ones to a farm or zoo for their first birthday, we took her to a restaurant. Start as we mean to go on.

ELC Wooden Activity Kitchen

All little foodies need a kitchen. Little kitchens for 1 year olds are not the easiest to find, but I happened to stumble across this fantastic wooden one from Early Learning Centre. It doubles up as a walker and the storage underneath is great for the tea set she was given. However some poor unsuspecting teddies and wooden animals have been “cooked” in the kitchen already.

Digging Rabbit First Birthday Cake

There are only a few days between mine & LB’s birthday so we decided to celebrate with a BBQ for family. We were certainly blessed with the weather. All first birthdays (or any birthday for that matter) need a birthday cake.

The inspiration behind the cake was this rabbit cake from the Asda magazine. The week before the BBQ I discovered the wonder of Nigella’s custard birthday cake. A soft, fluffy sponge cake that keeps well, can be made in the food processor all while a nearly one year old is demanding your attention? yes please.

rabbit close up

You can buy and hire tins for number cakes, but I found this crafty graphic on pinterest that shows you how to make numbers 0-9 using just square, loaf or circular tins. This method leaves a few offcuts that are perfect for coconut haters, *stares at Hubs*. Do note though I picked up the wrong sized cake board and ended up having to hack my number to fit on the board.

LB cake rabbits

As I wanted a layer of jam in the middle I find it’s often easier to bake the layers separately to ensure the cake cooks through evenly rather than cutting a cake in half. Although many of my cake tins are meant to be the same size, they aren’t. This isn’t too much of a problem if you’re going to shape the cake then smother in icing. I ended up using two disposable square tins. A bit of crafty maths to help with scaling the recipe up and we were good to go.

1st Birthday cake

What you don’t see here is that I was awake 5am the morning of the BBQ making sugarpaste rabbits, trying to remember to take photos in the dawn light in between stages while trying to get everything else sorted. Not my best set of photos, I know. LB approved though. After a few strawberries, she decided the rabbits were what she wanted.

First Birthday Rabbit Cake
Serves 15 (approx)

Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.

For the sponge

  • 300g plain flour
  • 4 heaped tbsp custard powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 6 large eggs
  • 340g soft butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp milk
  • Raspberry jam (roughly half a jar depending on how fond you are of jam)

For the buttercream 

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 120g custard powder
  • 300g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp recently boiled water

For the decoration

  • 150g desiccated coconut
  • green food dye
  • sugarpaste (white and tiny amount of pink)
  • Black sugarcraft pen


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C then butter and line the bottom of two 20cm / 8 inch square sandwich tins.
  2. Put all of the sponge ingredients, except the milk and jam, into a food processor. Process to a smooth batter, and then add the milk a tablespoon at a time to make a soft dropping consistency.
  3. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake (ideally on the same shelf) for 20 minutes. The cakes are ready when golden in colour and spring back to touch.
  4. Let the tins sit on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before turning out and removing paper liner. Allow to cool before assembling.
  5. While the cake cools make the decorations. To colour the coconut put it in a ziploc bag with a small amount of green food dye. Seal the bag, remove as much air as possible, then massage the contents until the coconut is green and evenly covered.
  6. To make the rabbits roll three pieces of white icing. One the size of a small sprout (body), one of a pea (tail) and the third the size of a small grape (head). Roll the body into a ball then squash very slightly. Take the head ball and stick this to one end of the body with a small amount of water and press slightly into the body. Stick the tail ball at the other end. Take two small pea sized pieces of the white icing and roll into pear shapes. Press these on top of the body near the head. and flatten. These are the ears. Add a tiny amount of pink icing for the nose and mark the eyes with a black sugarcraft pen.
  7. Forget sieving the icing sugar and custard powder just put it in the food processor and blitz to get rid of any lumps. Then add the butter, processing again to make the buttercream come together. Feed the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running to make the icing easier to spread.
  8. Now is the time to start constructing the cake. First sandwich the two layers together with jam and cut in to thirds, like the picture above.
  9. Using a small amount of buttercream stick the pieces of cake on to the cake board in the shape of a number one. Unless you are going to ice the cake straight away cover closely in clingfilm to stop the cake drying out.
  10. As this is a light spongy cake the buttercream can pull off the cake. The best way round this is to do a crumb coat. Using a pallet knife carefully put a thin layer of buttercream over the cake and filling in any gaps. Don’t worry if some cake crumb gets stuck in the buttercream, this will be hidden in the next layer. Put the cake in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to allow the icing to set. This is when you grab your first and last cup of tea of the day and worry if the postman is going to deliver the last minute eBay purchase of party hats (he doesn’t).
  11. Once the crumb coat is set, spread on the rest of the buttercream. Before this final buttercream layer has set press the green coconut into it. Secure the bunnies and flowers with leftover buttercream.
  12. Sit down, drink that cuppa that has now gone cold and clean up the chaos.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/07/29/rabbit-1st-birthday-cake/

Yorkshire – The Barn, The Puffins & Baby

Burdale Barn view

Wonderful view from Burdale Barn.

LB’s first official holiday was with my family to Center Parcs when she was a wee 3 months old. This June was the turn for our first family holiday as a three. Our holidays have changed a bit over the years, less of the roughing it, more comfort and luxury but still based in the UK. I’m no longer a seasoned flyer (I clocked up the air miles as a kid) and the thought of taking a 10 month old on a plane filled me with dread.

Yorkshire has been on the hit list for a while after ticking Outer HebridesDerbyshire/StaffordshireCornwall, Brecon and Herefordshire off the list over the years. It certainly didn’t disappoint and guess what? it didn’t rain!

The Barn

Burdale Barn patio

While searching for family friendly holiday cottages in Yorkshire I stumbled across the fab Kiddie Holidays blog and their article about 5 luxury baby and toddler friendly cottages in Yorkshire where they mention Burdale Barn.

Burdale Barn bedrooms

Burdale Barn is in Fimber, a tiny village in the Yorkshire Wolds half the way between York and Bridlington. We found it a great location for exploring the east side of Yorkshire. The beautiful barn conversion has two double rooms (one can be a twin) and a single room that was perfect size for the travel cot they provided. Our main bedroom had an en suite and views from the juliette balcony over the beautiful rolling green hills.

Burdale Barn downstairs

What we liked was that nearly everything we needed for LB was provided – High chair, stair gates, plastic crockery and even a baby bath if LB hadn’t outgrown it. It was also relatively baby proof (anything that wasn’t could easily be stashed out of reach). It also had an incredibly well stocked kitchen. How may self-catering places have you been to that have different types of potato peelers? Everyone is fussy when it comes to peelers. Come to think of it this is the first place we’ve stayed where I haven’t felt the need to supplement the kitchen with some of my kitchen utensils.

This property is the kind of place you see on one of George Clarke’s programmes and a place we’d love to live in. We were sad to say goodbye to the property and it’s highly likely we’ll return.

The Food

Our holidays always involve food. There were two main places on our hit list and essential places if you’re visiting Yorkshire – Bettys in York and Magpie Cafe in Whitby.

York Cocoa House, Bettys, cathedral and Treasurer's House

York Cocoa House, Bettys, cathedral and Treasurer’s House

York is famous for its bakery Bettys. As we went to York on a Saturday for the food festival we picked up lunch at the festival (kebab from Shambles Kitchen and pizza from Happy Rover highly recommended!) and like most days the line for the main Bettys shop was growing by the second and not suitable for queuing with a 10 month old so we jumped the queue and went to the lesser known Little Bettys down Stonegate to pick up some Fat Rascals and a couple of other Bettys treats without a queue in sight.



After many recommendations on both Twitter and Facebook we went to Magpie Cafe for lunch on our day in Whitby. No queue when we got there at 11:45, about 10 people in the line once we left 45 min later. I’m not a big fish eater, in fact I usually only eat it when it’s from a chip shop so while the menu has a large choice of fish based meals I went for what most people dining there seemed to eat – fish & chips with a side of mushy peas, curry sauce and white bread (essentials). Well it turned out to be the best fish & chips I’ve ever had. I guess it’s cooked in dripping and I think that makes the difference plus you could tell the fish was super fresh, not dry at all. They source their fish from the fish market opposite. Interestingly this is the first place we spotted a menu for babies. LB didn’t get to try as we’d brought a packed lunch for her.

During our stay we also popped to Side Oven Bakery for their Open Farm Sunday. A lovely walk around farm and their elderflower field was fueled by a tasty giant cheese straw from the bakery. This was followed by a hearty Sunday Lunch at The Triton Inn in Sledmere. This is Yorkshire, there was no skimping on portions and they welcomed LB.

The Places

National Trust & English Heritage places played a big part on this holiday as we have membership to both. It means cheap days out for us and great to use on our way to somewhere as many of the places have good baby facilities. Also many of the Nat Trust places now offer hip seats, baby carriers and sometimes suitable buggies for hire in their properties making it easier to lug LB around.

Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall

One of these properties was on the way up to Yorkshire which wast Beningbrough Hall (NT) where we had a picnic in the beautiful walled gardens and LB’s first taste of ice cream, well it was holiday. A quick nosey around the National Portrait Gallery Royals exhibition to spot an Andy Worhol and a frolic in the woodland playground before we continued our journey to Fimber.

Treasurer’s House is a haven in a busy York city centre. It was lovely and cool on a warm June day and they were really welcoming to LB. Tucked just behind the Cathedral it’s a period property with an interesting history and best of all free posh toilets and baby change if you’re a National Trust member, just watch out for the ghosts!

The Deep Hull

The Deep – Hull

Hubs & I met as students in Hull so a day out here was a bit of a nostalgia trip for us. Our halls of residence has now been knocked down (RIP Cleminson) and replaced with a posh road of houses. LB was rather unimpressed when we dragged her out of the car mid-nap, in the rain for us to see how much the main campus has changed. Thankfully it hasn’t and the pristine lawns and flowerbeds still bloom. While in Hull we went to The Deep. I visited when it first opened but had no recollection of the inside. Either way this was probably LB’s favourite day. The aquariums were easily accessible for her. She spent ages standing up against the glass watching the fish and colours, though she clearly wasn’t a fan every time a stingray swam past.

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey

During the holiday we took in two abbeys. Whitby Abbey and Rievaulx Abbey. While the Whitby abbey is arguably the famous one and allegedly the most romantic ruin the atmosphere was tempered somewhat by a large primary school party so Rievaulx Abbey won for not only tranquility but also location. I would go as far to say Rievaulx Abbey was my favourite place of the holiday.

It’s unassuming on the map and guidebooks, but as you pull off the main road and drive down a steep tree-lined road to the bottom of the valley it’s almost as if you have stepped back in time. The chocolate box Yorkshire stone cottages are scattered around an impressive abbey ruin. We arrived for when the abbey opened so for a peaceful 15 minutes we had the whole place to ourselves. We were also treated to a couple of RAF fly pasts while there.

Puffin Bempton Cliffs

Spot the puffin

I’m no twitcher, but I’ve always wanted to see puffins and you can at Bempton Cliffs near Bridlington between May and July. Naively I was expecting  a bank of puffins. It took a keen eye and sweet talking some birdwatchers (quite easy when you have a waving/gurgling baby strapped to your back) to help us spot 3 in among the crowds of guillemots, gannets and kittiwakes.

After Bempton we travelled in to Bridlington. A traditional English seaside resort with a fairground, lots of kiss me quick hats, multiple ice cream options, arcades and a beach that was covered by the tide. LB had already shown her dislike for beaches at Whitby when she got mardy because sand isn’t edible. In true traditional seaside style Hubs won LB a teddy from a grabber machine and we had a gaudy Mr Whippy with not only a flake, but also a good dipping of sherbet and raspberry sauce. This is what visiting the seaside is about.

Bempton Cliffs


We had to vacate the cottage by 10am so stopped at Nostell Priory near Wakefield for a picnic on the lawn before driving the last of the M1 home.

Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory


Big thank you to everyone on Facebook, Twitter and email who recommended places that helped to shape our first proper family holiday.

#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire Tots

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/07/15/yorkshire-the-barn-the-puffins-baby/

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