Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

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It may be cold outside

It may be cold outside but it is a great time to visit Parwich. We have had some lovely frosts and the cosy barns are a great place to come back to after a nice stroll around the Peak District. Douglas’s Barn has an electric fire to give instant heat, not that you should need it with the central heating, and Tom’s Barn has a lovely log burner to toast your toes by. Dates are filling up but still plenty to go for. Short break are available all year. Just give us a call if you can’t find what you are looking for.

Parwich ‘One of the best place to live in Britain’!

According to the Sunday Times, Parwich is one of the best 50 places to live in Britain!

Come and see for yourselves, and make the most of it with a stay in Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Robert and myself are thoroughly enjoying life in Parwich and its surroundings and totally agree with it being one of the best places to live. We look forward to meeting all the lovely people that visit the barns as well as getting to know the people who live in this lovely village.

To top it all there is a welcoming village pub, The Sycamore, that has earned its place in the Good Food Guide 2015.

There are still some short breaks available to book in Douglas’s Barn before the peak season starts early April or why not experience a longer stay in one of our lovely peak district cottages.

 

Evensong in King’s College Cambridge Chapel

100s of people queued to attend the evensong service at King's (Sat 5th July 2014)

The queue waiting to attend Evensong

We have just returned from yet another happy jaunt, this time to Cambridge for the Golden Wedding of some friends who held a wonderful lunch party for their friends and family in Clare College.

After tea and golden wedding cake which rapidly followed lunch we had a stroll round the quite beautiful Clare College gardens and then, we decided with several friends to go to King’s College Chapel next door for evensong.

We strolled around in the sunshine; naively, because it was a Saturday and not a special day of any sort that we knew, we were startled to have to join a queue snaking round two sides of the quadrangle, simply to get into the chapel.

We were fortunate enough to get in, and even more fortunate to be seated almost immediately behind the choir.

A wonderfully peaceful scene as a punt glides down the River Cam at Cambridge

Idyllic Cambridge summer evening scene

No mobiles (obviously), no photographs and no recording so I was thinking you’d have to rely on your imagination and memories of the Lesson of the Nine Carols at Christmas to paint the picture for you.

But by an incredible coincidence, my very favourite, much respected and admired book blogger, Dovegreyreader, has actually written a blog post today, with wonderful photos after a recent visit to King’s. Do have a look, and if you enjoy reading I am sure you would find her reviews very stimulating, and beautifully written.

I do have three of John’s to show you however, and you will be amused to see that even in a King’s College Chapel Tudor crown he managed to spot a swallows’ nest!

However, back to the service. It may have been an ‘ordinary Saturday service’ but there was nothing ordinary about it at all.

King's College Chapel Swallows' nest. Trust John so spot a swallow wherever he is!

Trust John so spot a swallow wherever he is!

The anthem was Britten’s ‘Hymn to St. Cecilia’; all the music, the singing and even the readings were absolutely faultless, and in that superb setting it was all very deeply moving…

We were greeted, individually and very pleasantly as we filed out and i was startled to be actually thanked for attending by one member of the clergy when I remarked how moving I had found the service!

You have to pay to enter the chapel as a visitor/tourist but not if you come to a service, and in fact it was quite hard to find where to leave a donation.

It’s Not Greed, It’s Culinary Tourism

Lunch at Ballymaloe

We all enjoyed a delicious ‘dynamic vegetarian’ lunch – eating what had been made during the demo

Our blog has been disconcertingly silent while it seems as if we have have happily eaten our way round (parts of) Ireland and North Yorkshire!

It is lovely to find that one’s delight in good local food, is not so much greed but seeking ‘culinary authenticity’…

Culinary Tourism is defined by Wikipedia as ‘the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences’. It is now considered a vital element of travel. Farewell fruitlessly searching foreign shops for fish and chips… (not that most of us ever did) but I remember once, many years ago when we were camping in France being ‘befriended by an English couple whose sole aim was to find what they considered proper food; their greatest triumph was when they knocked at the tent door to say they had tracked down some M&S biscuits!! They were disappointed by our lukewarm response.

We have long noticed that our Tom’s and Douglas’s Barn guests invariably come to enjoy comfort, countryside, walking and good food. We have loved this, sharing their joy and have always felt very grateful that we have so many terrific local pubs and restaurants, farm shops and delis to recommend.There are also two excellent cookery schools locally and we and our Peak District Premier Cottages friends are hoping that we may be able to work together in some exciting way as yet to be defined. Hopefully more later… and any suggestions gratefully received.

The Irish are streets ahead of us in recognising the benefits and attractions of culinary tourism. I am sure one can eat badly there, as in any country, but in ten days we did not have a meal that was anything but delicious, whether in wayside pubs, smart Dublin restaurants or a simple quayside fish restaurant in Co Cork: all serving fresh local produce beautifully cooked and nicely presented.

Dynamic Vegetarian Cookery at Ballymaloe Cookery SchoolBallymaloe Cookery School, in Shanagarry, Co. Cork. Basically a dozen or more of us amateur cooks were sitting in on an element of the serious professional students’ 12-week course.

What an exciting experience it truly was from the delicious coffee and cakes upon arrival. We were lucky that the session was taken by the great Darina Allen herself and her brother Rory, both were inspirational and entertaining and throughly impressive throughout.

I felt so lucky to be there. They produced during the four hours twenty truly exciting dishes – using organic and ‘unmessed around with’ ingredients – which we all enjoyed for lunch. I came away with all the recipes and couldn’t resist buying some very ‘authentic’ ingredients from their shop.

After lunch we were shown round their extensive organic gardens, while the students went off on a session on wine and local school children were being introduced to gardening and keeping hens.

A week later and I am still bubbling with superlatives! Meanwhile, if any of you have any bright suggestions for some really great culinary experience that we could plan locally here in the Peak District, please let me know!


LATEST NEWS

  • Time for a short pre Christmas break

    Time to get a bit of relaxation before the Christmas mayhem. There are still short breaks available in Douglas’s Barn. Plenty going on in the Peak District. Lots of Christmas markets selling lovely gifts that you don’t see elsewhere. Chatsworth House is also a must at this time of year. There are plenty of stories […]

  • A busy Sunday in the Peak District

    Lots of events to go to in and around Parwich today but managed to get to the Horticultural Show in Parwich and the Hartington Show. Missed out on the Antiques in Ashbourne though which is always worth going to. Izzy did better than me by getting 1st prize as the Prettiest Bitch at Hartington Show […]

  • Time to book a last minute Autumn break.

    So the sun may not be shining at the moment but we are going into one of my favorite times of year – AUTUMN. If the weather follows previous years we are in for a lovely September and October and even November can still be delightful. This time of year attracts reduced rate for some […]

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