An English Bank Holiday


For bank holiday we decided to have a bit of a break and headed to the glorious English countryside in the Lake District. Despite all rumours of a torrential downpour and a typical soggy May bank holiday the weather was perfect. The first stop was a lovely lunch at Baldrys in Grasmere and it wouldn’t be lunch without a bit of cake afterwards. It was a gorgeous, home-made lunch in a very quirky, bustling cafe with really friendly staff.

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It was then a much-needed stop to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop  a place which I had sorely missed since before America. It is like a little piece of gingery heaven in a biscuit form and the staff are always lovely. I could buy the whole shop if I wasn’t so scared of my dentist.

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It was then time to potter around and soak up the views.
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The day was superbly topped off with a trip to the spa! Who says you need to go away to feel pampered. The next day was time to explore the little shops before heading back to avoid any manic traffic queues. We then had to prepare for a barbecue the next day. Now would it be a wash out? we prepared for both eventualities and had the barbecue and grill/oven prepped. Well my dad turned into some sort of live garden gnome with a hat and slippers and tackled the barbecue with a scourer while I watched and tried to refrain from laughing. It was tricky but if I wanted any food the next day I thought I had to try.

As it turns out, we Britons are hardened lots and we ended up having two barbecues sizzling away nicely, despite the spats of rain and cold.

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Some of us even put on lots of coats and ate sat outside. Now there is dedication for you as it isn’t a proper barbecue unless you eat the food outside, even if it was a bit nippy. I think the food always tastes much better eaten in fresh air anyway. Well, that is what I told myself as I put on a third jumper.

There was an abundance of food and cake.

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It was my Dad’s birthday party after all so there just had to be cake. Unfortunately, I did make a bit of a mess of the cake. I mean, I completely cut off the bottom when I took it out of the cake tin after committing the cardinal sin of baking and removing the cake from the tin too soon. Patience has never been a virtue of mine. However, I think I recovered it well with my version of deconstructed victoria sponge cake , in the true style of Masterchef, with cream cheese and strawberries.

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It went down well, but so did the drink so who knows if it was a success or not? Somehow I don’t think I will be entering any British bake offs with this creation.

I did a bit better making coffee and walnut cupcakes the next day (please see baking page) however, buttercream remains the bane of my life (after terrible drivers, lime and instruction manuals that don’t make sense) and I will soon be enrolling on a course so that I can successfully make a cupcake the American way, with a mountain of buttercream.

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