Wildlife, Flowers and Food Festivals

Wildlife, Flowers and Food Festivals WeekendIf you're looking for an extended weekend which is both relaxing and interesting, here's a little suggestion for you. Buckets and spades have some appeal when you have a young family, clubs and cassino’s maybe, but there are alternative which might stimulate your mind and not empty your wallet.

Take the “Wildlife, Flowers and Food Festivals Weekend” Arranged by The Anis Louise Guest House in Chesterfield these short break suggestions cater for a varied range of tastes. Included in this three night break are, on Friday 11th July Bolsover Flower Festival which opens at 10am and runs throughout the day. On the Saturday there is the Dawn to Dusk Wildlife Extravaganza at The Avenues Wildlife Reserve. This is an even for the early riser at it starts at 4.30am. But there are event through the morning concluding just before lunch. On Sunday the Belper Food, Real Ale and Craft Festival is open all day from 10am. The festival attracts people from far and wide and is regarded as on of the best food festivals nationally.

I hope you'll agree a varied in interesting weekend.

Unintended Travel Consequences

Anis Louise Guest House - ChesterfieldSometimes decisions have unintended consequences, we all appreciate this. With this in mind it should be difficult to make a strong case for taking children out of school for family holidays in term time. After all they do have extensive holidays spread throughout the year. So the decision to allow parents to be charged for doing so, one might expect, would be grudgingly accepted. Nobody much likes politicians and the nanny state telling us what to do and taking money off us if we don't, but sometimes people need nudging in the right direction. Unfortunately this decision appear to have opened the doors to the holiday industry and airlines to load their prices. There are arguments for and against this premise according to an article in The Independent but the undeniable truth is that a family holiday abroad during August will cost your considerably more than at any other time of the year. 

Another consequence which was not initially considered I suspect and one which is great for both families and the economy is the fact that an increasing number of families are remaining in the UK this summer and seeking interesting and new destinations. We might not have the Mediterranean sun or a poolside lifestyle sipping cocktails, we've actually got something much better! A bucket and spade holiday might seem a little dated to some and might not offer the sort of excitement the little folks crave, but a bit of planning and imagination will pay dividends with the whole family finding something to interest and entertain. The Peak District, for example has a world of contrasting natural beauty, with moors and dales, rivers, springs and caverns and at its heart the Peak District National Park, known and loved by millions for its breath-taking landscapes, relaxation, inspiration and adventure. Spanning parts of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire in the heart of England, it’s home to dozens of market towns & pretty villages, historic houses, famous attractions and hundreds of traditional events.

If you would like a few suggestions for a break in the beautiful part of the country look no further than Anis Louise Guest House – August Short Breaks There's something for everybody here and if you don't find anything of interest in the suggested breaks you'll find a wealth of local events and attractions here.

Tour De France – York to Sheffield

Tour De France, stage 2 2014 – York to SheffieldSunday 6th July - Sees the second leg of the 2014 Tour De France end in Sheffield. The second stage of the 2014 Tour de France, sees riders starting from the historic cathedral city of York. After leaving the city, the race heads due west towards the Pennine Hills on the A59, crossing the previous day's route north of Harrogate, and then again just east of Skipton. Next they head south to Keighley, then on up the Worth Valley, with it historic steam railway, to Haworth, a small picturesque town famous as having been the home of the Brontë sisters. From here it's up and over the "wuthering heights" of Haworth Moor and down to Hebden Bridge, one of many small former weaving towns. It was in the valleys of the Pennines and the Peak District that many of the first industrial weaving mills, powered by water from rivers like the Calder, sprang up in the late 18th century.

From Calderdale, riders head up again onto the fells, to Blackstone Edge reservoir, before turning east to Huddersfield. Then it's south through the industrial heritage area of the Holme Valley, and up to the pass at Holme Moss, 524 metres, at the north end of the Peak District National Park. This is reputed to be one of the wildest spots in England and the climb to Holme Moss one of the hardest cycling climbs in Britain. At Woodhead reservoir, riders then head east on the A628 Manchester-Sheffield road, to a final pass at Woodhead Pass, before the sprint to the finish at Sheffield.

If you are planning to visit to see second stage The Anis Louise Guest House is ideally located just over 10 miles south of Sheffield in Chesterfield.

34 Clarence Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. S40 1LN 
01246 235412

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House to Open New “Jetty Spa” in the Lake District this SummerGilpin Hotel & Lake House to Open New “Jetty Spa” in the Lake District this Summer

The award-winning Gilpin Hotel & Lake House in the Lake District unveils its brand new ‘Jetty’ Spa at Gilpin Lake House this August. The new spa will feature two cosy treatment rooms with roaring fires and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the private lake, offering a truly serene setting for relaxation. These plush treatment rooms also combine to become a romantic couples’ suite.

The ‘Jetty Spa Trail’ is the antithesis of the big glitzy spa, with the entire trail booked for each couple in complete privacy. The journey begins with an aromatherapy consultation to create personalised blended spa products for the treatments and to create a bespoke gift to take away. Couples then enjoy a private swim in the heated indoor pool, unwind in the warm salt snug with an aroma spritzer, and exfoliate with a salt scrub shower. They then follow a lovely trail through the woods leading to their private couples’ spa suite, where they will enjoy relaxing massages with their bespoke oils, lit fires and spectacular views. Couples then chill out in the Boat House with a warming speciality tea and delectable nibbles, and then to complete the Spa Trail, enjoy a glass of Champagne in the Japanese Ofura hot tub surrounded by delicate candles.

More details here

If The Crown Fits

Rose & Crown RomaldkirkIt’s all rosy at the newly refurbished favourite Rose & Crown at Romaldkirk

A mini-break is a rare treat for my wife and I, so it was important to find somewhere to make the most of it; a place where we could completely relax and unwind; a place that would also satisfy our never-ending need for delicious food and drink. Having given it a great deal of thought, our attention turned to the Rose and Crown at Romaldkirk, which we heard had undergone a recent refurbishment. We booked two nights. The word in the North East is that the Rose and Crown at Romaldkirk is one of the brightest stars, if not necessarily one of the biggest, in the increasingly sparkling Teesdale crown. We therefore arrived with dangerously high expectations. We were certainly not disappointed. On arrival we were met by the very welcoming Rose & Crown team, including Sarah the Hotel Manager and owner Cheryl, who escorted us to our room.

The thing with this place is it’s steeped in history. It’s been a coaching inn since back in about 1733, and you’d think that with the passing of a few centuries it might be looking a little tired, maybe in need of a lick of paint. We could not have been more wrong. The room was named High Force, after England’s largest waterfall (a convenient nine miles away and well worth a visit), and what we discovered as we walked through the door was an extremely beautiful and well-appointed suite of rooms. Decorated with sumptuous fabrics and furnishings, it was immediately clear that we’d be staying in an esteemed hotel. There was a very comfortable sitting room next door, which can double as a children’s room, and the adjoining bathroom was excellently appointed – my wife was particularly impressed with a heated mirror, which meant she could put her makeup on while I was engaged in what she characterised as a ridiculously long shower.

Despite have hurtled to Romaldkirk straight from work, the shower meant I was very refreshed by the time that we headed down to the newly refurbished, yet still traditional-looking bar for a pre-dinner drink. We were greeted by roaring fires and a choice of three gins for my G&T, along with a very substantial wine list from which my wife took a ridiculously long time to choose a delicious rosé. Olives and menus arrived, which provided us with some considerable difficulty – with the exception of the vegetarian choices (we’re confirmed meat-eaters) there was literally nothing that we didn’t fancy. After much deliberation and a degree of mind-changing, my wife plumped for the goat’s cheese mousse followed by the pork. I opted for the whitebait and courgette fritters followed by the sea bream on brown shrimp noodles. Further deliberation followed over the wine until we both agreed on a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet.

The dining room here must be one of the loveliest panelled dining rooms around. It really is gorgeous – the type of place that makes you take your time so you can enjoy the surroundings as long as possible. Having taken our places we were offered a choice of tasty homemade bread, then an utterly delicious mise bouche of curried parsnip soup. The whitebait were beautifully served – it was falling out of a cornet with a delicious homemade tartare sauce – and the goat’s cheese was a perfect foil for the beetroot that accompanied it. My wife’s pork was an amazing cheek loin in pancetta which almost had her sunk, but it was just too good to leave. My sea bream was delicious with an array of flavours that had my taste buds tingling. Despite a few puddings teasing us on their way to other tables, we’d had our fill and felt it appropriate to retire to our haven, where we collapsed into the very comfortable bed and both had the best night’s sleep for ages. The morning dawned clear and bright with the chirp of the local birds. What a refreshing change to be able to open a hotel window properly. For breakfast I had a perfect full English, while my wife had smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. The woman serving us was as bright and chirpy as the day outside. We took advantage of the weather by exploring High Force and enjoying a fine walk through Teesdale, as recommended by the walking book in our room, before returning late to enjoy our comfortable bed once more.


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