Culture, Travel

Caves, Coldstones Cut and Colton Abbey (well, Bolton Abbey really…)

A while ago Momma and Mr P won some free tickets to the caves at Stump Cross, but as they’d already been, they offered them to me and Mr T. They also mentioned that there was a big sculpture just nearby that was worth a look too (The Coldstones Cut), and while we were over that way, I thought we’d try to make it to Bolton Abbey and maybe even treat ourselves to something tasty at The Devonshire Arms while we were at it.

Off we toddled this Saturday and we had a great day. The caverns are definitely worth a visit (and it’s not pricey either). It has a little cafe with plenty of homemade cakes (Mr T scoffed the biggest cheese scone) and a gift shop; both of which seem as if time has forgotten them, but they are terribly charming. After a hot chocolate and flapjack for me, and the ginormous scone and a cuppa for Mr T, we were ready to don our hard hats and descend into the depths…

Descending into the depths

Descending into the depths

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He looked so serious! (And also really cute in his jumper printed with brass instruments…)

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Does anyone else think this looks like a boob? I had to take a photo. Obviously.

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I made the erroneous assumption that this would feel really slimy, but Mr T just pointed out it was the mineral deposits. Didn’t I feel silly?!…

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Sorry this is a bit blurry, but I loved the way it looked so much!

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A ‘fairy’ palace created by the owners. This little kitsch addition might give you some idea of how quaint and adorable the whole attraction is!

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No idea who this chap is. It’s not Harrison Ford*

*Star Wars reference

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It wasn’t very clear so the views weren’t as amazing as they should have been, but the sculpture was still fairly impressive, and it’s free, so no complaints from us

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Really odd single yellow lines

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See?! How cool is the jumper?

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Finally managed to wear in my Gazelles. Yessssss

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Only 49km from York 🙂

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Still looking a bit grey, but it’s such lovely countryside. We saw two brides pottering (well, gliding) around with husbands and photographers in tow.

Bolton Abbey, here we go!

Bolton Abbey, here we go!

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There’s something about old stone coffins that fascinate me. I promise I’m not crazy morbid.

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Getting stuck behind a horde of American tourists

Getting stuck behind a horde of American tourists

Another feet shot

Another feet shot

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Awwwww

Awwwww

And now for some refreshment so we popped over to The Devonshire Arms where I had that incredible Afternoon Tea a few weeks ago

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Betsy Loves, Food, Travel

Afternoon Tea at The Devonshire Arms

Yesterday was another good day at the office; or more correctly, not at the office. At The Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey. For Afternoon Tea. Oooooooooh, I hear you cry. How swish! And you’d be right.

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Another local(ish) place I’ve never made it to before, the drive from York was glorious – incredible Dales scenery, tummy-dropping dips, two separate rain storms and plenty of time to sing along to Taylor Swift.

I arrived a bit earlier than my colleague so there was plenty of time to potter around and take some snaps. I’ll grant you that from the outside, the hotel doesn’t look super duper impressive, and it was quite grey at that point, but inside, I was enchanted. It plays to the whole rustic theme beautifully but then throws in expertly chosen contemporary elements, such as the gorgeous black flocked wallpaper in a cosy little sitting area – who doesn’t love velvet dachshunds?

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We were booked into the conservatory area for our Devonshire Fizz Afternoon Tea, and by then the sun had come out and was streaming through the windows. Mr P (that’s Poppa P, except no one would call him that…) would have approved of the pristine white tablecloths with matching napkins, while the polished silverware would have made his little heart sing.

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Within moments, two flutes of Laurent Perrier NV were popped in front of us. What a delight. Our lovely waiter offered us a selection of tea and coffee. I went for peppermint as I felt it might somehow counteract the insane amount of sugar that I was about to consume. (Update: it didn’t, but it was still tasty.)

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Then our cake stand arrived. Now, I’ve had Afternoon Tea before. Don’t sound all surprised, guys. I know I’m usually a lettuce-munching exercise fiend (cough), but wowwwwwwweeeeeeee. Not your traditional fancy silver cake stand, instead, we were presented with a modern right-angled jobbie with three tiers of goodness.

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First up – individual pots of strawberry and custard, blueberry and lemon shortbread, chocolate brownies, and raspberry and white chocolate macaroons.

I could happily have pounced on them, but the grown up in me forced me to look one tier down to the sandwiches – dainty fingers of brown and white bread with egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon, cucumber, cheese, chicken, and ham. They probably have really fancy names like Yorkshire’s finest Ham from Hand Reared, Bottle Fed, Christened in a Church, and Read Bedtime Stories, Local, Organic Pigs; ditto with the other fillings, although how you hand rear cheese is beyond me… in fact, scratch that, I don’t want to know. Shudder. Whatever their official titles, the sandwiches were tasty, alright? But once they were finished, that meant I could move on to the good stuff.

All of tier number one disappeared into my mouth. And I loved every single mouthful. Every. Single. Mouthful. Although would it have killed them to have two brownies EACH?…

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Finally, the cream tea part. The scones with clotted cream and jam. Now, if you’re Cornish, you pop the jam on first, and then the cream, but we were at The Devonshire Arms, so it was cream first, and frankly, that’s the way I like it anyway. We each had two individual scones to scoff – one plain and one with raisins (or dead flies as they’re universally known). I collared a waiter to ask for more cream. Obviously.

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You’d think I’d be STUFFED by now, and I admit I was filling up, but I hadn’t had lunch, and I was also kidding myself that this would be tea. Anyhoo, with the tiers in front of me depressingly empty, and the pot of clotted cream scraped out with a finger (I may or may not be joking about this. Who knows?… You know, right? You know…) I was forced to realise that there would be no more sugar coming my way.

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Wiping a tear away, I luxuriated in the warm embrace of the conservatory watching the clouds skitter across the blue sky and the bushes of lavender sway in the light breeze, and then I went home to Mr T.

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And here’s some more pics that didn’t fit neatly into my genius narrative…

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