Sunday, 18 May 2014

A Break from the Daily Routine


The week before last I took a few days off work and I thought I'd share a little of what we did on our holiday. Amazingly, we had a few warm days at the beginning of the week and we were quite keen to make the most of them.

The Monday was a bank holiday and we visited a very crowded and now, seemingly, an extremely popular venue, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park only 15 minutes away from home.

Sculpture by Ursula Von Rydingsvard

I often took the children here years ago and it was quite the getaway then but not so on Bank Holiday Monday when it was swarming with people, children and their dogs. The highlight of our visits in the past was always the time we spent at the secluded Playground designed by artist collective Greyworld. Here both adults and children had huge amounts of fun stamping and jumping up and down on the musical beams. Since then a visitor centre has sprung up as well as an exhibition centre where, this Spring, the magnificent work of Ursula Von Rydingsvard is on display. "She builds instinctively and by hand, assembling cedar wood beams into complex, tactile forms and monolithic structures that appear to echo the natural world."

Sheep at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Sheep were everywhere, in the fields with the sculptures and even sniffing around the cars in the car park.

The following day we set off following the blue skies and not actually knowing, initially, where we would end up. We had planned to visit the Lake District that week so, although we headed on up the A1 towards The Yorkshire Dales, we took a left turn at Scotch Corner and arrived at Penrith in time for lunch which was an olive platter at the Llama Karma Kafe just before you reach the town.


Then we headed for Keswick and parked up for a while to walk alongside the lake. We had our honeymoon in The Lake District and I love to return over and over again because the scenery and atmosphere are utterly breathtaking. Since we didn't have much time spare for hiking in the hills, the visit being a last minute decision, we spent some time ambling along the lake shore before travelling down to Ambleside where we walked to the lakeside..


...and took in the view from a bench beside the lake.


We ate later at Zeffirelli's Restaurant. Zeffirelli's is a vegetarian Italian restaurant with cinema. When we dined at the restaurant when the children were younger, they loved the novelty of "Teddy Bear Pizzas" but the cinema was very, very basic - I mean benches and chairs! Now the company own three cinema houses, two vegetarian restaurants and a vegetarian B&B - where we stayed a few years ago. I was elated to see gluten-free options on the menu making it still one of the best places, if not THE best place to eat in the Lake District.

On Saturday we visited The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival which was extremely crowded and cramped due to the many, many people (over 2000) who had turned up. Nevertheless, we managed to squeeze a route through the crowds to the stalls, my favourite ones being the beauty products. I found an awesome stall belonging to The Soap-Deli and lingered there a while sampling their products.

It was great surprise to see the My Cupcakes stall, a vegan and gluten free bakery from Nottingham, the cakes and cookies were disappearing VERY fast! How amazing to find such pretty and yummy cakes which are gluten free as well as vegan!

I bought some lovely soaps from Elphin..

A couple of other stalls..

Living Naturally Soapnuts