Tag Archives: Skipton

Great Expectations, or A Disappointing Breakfast and a Damp Day

Sorry, due to a lethargic few days I missed posting on Sunday after we got back and fell asleep in my chair last night, waking after midnight – too cold, too stiff and too late to post.

When I say “yesterday” I mean Sunday.

Yesterday we went to Lakeland. It sounds good. It sounds like it should be a National Park full of lakes and trees and thoughts of Wordsworth. In fact Lakeland, formerly Lakeland Plastics, is Britain’s biggest seller of kitchen accessories, as generations of long-suffering husbands have found to their cost.

We actually went to the HQ, the flagship store, or the Mother Lode, call it what you will. Julia set me down in the cafe with a slice of Lemon Drizzle Cake and told me to stop whimpering.

Fortunately the Lakeland shop is based in Windermere, which is in the Lake District, so it could have been a lot worse. If it had been the one in Nottingham the views would have been terrible and there would have been no cake.

We started the day by waking up in Skipton, having dropped Number One son off in Leeds on the way through. We didn’t really need to drop him off but Julia hadn’t seen his new flat so there was a certain amount of nosiness involved.

To get me to agree to the trip she had promised me a night in a Travelodge followed by breakfast at the farm shop next door.

I am easily bought, but having visited the farm shop to buy pies and veg before I had high hopes for the breakfast.

I’d still recommend it for pies and veg, but can only say that my high hopes were not entirely justified. For one thing, we arrived at the front door to find it closed. There is a much smaller entrance at the other end of the building and no sign that we could see. If it hadn’t been for someone walking past and telling us we would probably have driven away and eaten somewhere else. With hindsight…

The cafe is new since we last stayed in Skipton. It’s nicely set up in the modern fashion (ie tables made from planks with paint on and that sort of gubbins) and was bustling. There were plenty of staff about, we were shown to a table fairly quickly and although I was sort of sitting in a gangway it wasn’t too bad.

I think they had to fit the table in that way. Seeing as they took twenty quid off us, and presumably off several other people during the course of the day you can see why they succumbed to the temptation to crowd an extra table in. It did cause a bit of a hold-up several times but that wasn’t my problem.

We ordered tea. We waited. We eventually ordered breakfast. We waited some more. The waitress who had taken the tea order noticed we hadn’t had the tea and chased it up for us with profuse apologies. The tea arrived. So did the breakfast.

We’d been there about twenty five minutes, which is a bit too long for breakfast. I want to feed and get back on the road.

It was busy, to be fair, but they had plenty of staff. The problem was that it all seemed a little chaotic and disorganised. Several couples who came in after us had their drinks before we did, and one even had their food order.

This gave me time to inspect our table properly – there were three uncleaned grease spots on on it and a big blob of something foodlike adhering to the salt cellar.

The good bits were – nice bustling atmosphere, lovely friendly staff (though the supervisor seemed a bit frazzled), excellent black pudding, fried eggs done exactly as I like them (turned over, set all the way through), great hash browns, tasty mushrooms, good portion size.

Average or  a bit above – Sausages were above OK but not as good as expected from the write-up. Bacon tasted good but had been cooked until leathery, massive cups which I always feel let the tea get cold (and are tricky for arthritic fingers).

The not so good bits – long wait, served out of turn, cold baked beans, poor signage, toilets upstairs, table hygiene (not just our table, they were a bit perfunctory with their wiping down – I was watching).

Then three women with pushchairs decided that they really had to make me move so they could get past. I’m sure that they could have got through without all the fuss and pulled faces, but some people just love to make a drama out of nothing. It’s not like they are the first people to push a kid in a pushchair…

Anyway, enough for now. I may well go to Greggs next time we stay at Skipton. It’s not a great breakfast experience but it is value for money, quick and never disappointing. I don’t expect much from them and I don’t provide much so our expectations meet perfectly.

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My Stalker

Did I mention it rained? If you know the Lakes you probably already knew this. It rained the first time I went there, around 1964, and it’s been raining ever since. To be fair, it only rained for about thirty minutes. Judging from the puddles I think they had more rain in Nottingham than we did.

A Day in the Lake District

As part of Julia’s birthday celebrations I planned a long weekend away in the Lake District. The plan did not go well, and was shortened by both her cold and a visit from Number One son. So, on Sunday we headed off for our Plan B break – a day in the Lakes.

After dropping Number One son off in Leeds we headed off for Skipton and the Travelodge. We passed the night there in relative luxury, with a quiet heating system, water that was, if anything, too hot, and nice fluffy towels. We were even able to complain about it being too hot.

It started to rain shortly after we arrived, continued through the night and was still going when we woke up.

At least we were able have a decent breakfast, provided by the Little Chef in the car park. Soon, I suppose, it will be something else. At least one I know has already been turned into a Starbucks and another is going to be converted. You can tell something is going to happen to them because very little has been spent on maintenance recently and a lot of them seem to be closing early.  They really have had a troubled history after the glory days when they virtually owned the roadside. According to the above link, they will all be closed next year.

The days of wine and roses are not long, as the poem says.

There aren’t many pictures, I’m afraid, as the combination of rain and low light meant you’d need to be a magician to get a result, rather than a mere photographer. Grey mist, leaden skies, slate grey water and, at best, light black hills, don’t make for easy photography. And that was when we weren’t troubled by low cloud.

When there was light and a view we couldn’t park. Julia did take some video clips as we drove along, but I can’t get any of them to load.

Later on we did get a few photos, and some meat pies, but that will be another post. Hopefully I’ll get caught up tomorrow.

I went to Leeds today. It rained. And to make things more depressing I trusted the satnav, which never ends well. If I ever enter Mastermind my specialist subject could well be “Being lost on the Ring Road in Leeds”.

I’m home now and watching The Apprentice. It gives me no hope for the future. If I was the producer I would rewrite it as a horror movie and  kill one every week in a horrible, ironic manner. The one selected from tonight’s show, to make and sell burgers, would be in serious trouble if I had access to an industrial-sized mincer.

To be honest, if I was in charge I’d feed the lot of them through it, including Lord Sugar and Baroness Brady. I give them their full titles because I know, from reading his book, that he considers it important, even if most of us find the current honours system a bit of an embarrassment.

Fair play to him though, if you excel in your field you deserve an honour. Not quite sure what field the Amstrad email phone was a leader in, but the principle is sound.

I like Claude Littner, I’d let him have his own series. Well, with my plan for the rest of the cast you’d have quite a few weeks to fill in.

After leaving Leeds we went to Skipton and visited a farm shop. We bought rhubarb coulis, samphire, marmalade with orange and chilli and a big steak pie. I will try to take pictures tomorrow if I have time after eating. It’s a big pie and will take some shifting.

Today’s photos were snatched during a dry few minutes. Sorry there are no better ones.