So it’s time to share with you my photo diary from the rest of our trip to Northumberland 2 weeks ago (time flies- feels like yesterday since we were there!) If you haven’t seen the first instalment, take a look here. The Sunday was our only full day, so we tried to make the most of it despite the awful weather we had, and Monday was our anniversary so we had a lovely lunch to celebrate before our journey back home!
Our first breakfast at Roxbro House was perfection. We both chose Eggs Benedict served with bacon on a croissant, and it was cooked beautifully and such a lovely treat! I also made the most of the fresh fruit and yogurt on offer, having a little starter of peach filled with raspberries, yogurt, honey and pumpkin seeds- yummy! I love the Tiptree jams you always seem to find in little cafes with cream scones- we had a whole stand to choose from, and I love the little messages inside the lids.
We spent the morning walking back up to Warkworth Beach, which we managed to reach the edge of the previous evening, but had to turn back as we had already booked our evening meal! It’s a beautiful walk through the countryside up to the beach- the best of both worlds- and although the weather was grey and a bit chilly we still enjoyed the scenery. The beach was lovely and quiet- I just love being by the water with the peaceful rushing of the sea, looking at all the different pebbles and shells and skimming stones!
George found a few unusual things- a sort of burnt-looking acorn thing which was really pretty, and a block of something like charcoal that had loads of different layers that looked almost like a crystal- there’s so many weird and wonderful things to find on the beach! He used the charcoal to draw our initials on a log- very 2010.
When we got back from the beach, we made the 20 minute drive to Alnwick Castle and Gardens. I was so excited to see the beautiful castle and its grounds, which have featured in Harry Potter, Blackadder and Downton Abbey (I was mostly excited about the Harry Potter bit- the courtyard where the first broomstick scene was filmed for The Philosopher’s Stone!
Unfortunately, as we got back from the beach, it started raining and it gradually got worse so by the time we got to Alnwick it was pretty heavy! I don’t really use an umbrella as they just get in the way, but it meant the rain actually soaked through my parka and onto my clothes underneath by lunchtime. Nevertheless, we still tried not to let it bother us, and when we arrived at the castle we tagged onto the end of the ‘on location’ tour and heard all about the filming of Harry Potter. Apparently, they called all the local school children in to be extras in the film, and went along in a line saying yes or no depending on whether they looking like a witch or wizard- brutal!
I was sad we couldn’t take photographs inside the castle rooms, as there was a Downton Abbey exhibition about the Christmas special that was filmed there, featuring lots of Lady Rose’s beautiful costumes worn by Lily James- most of them vintage dresses that had been beautifully restored. The rooms were so grand, with little modern touches such as TVs and furry bean bags in the family room, as the family still use the rooms for half of the year.
We were desperate to get warm, dry and fed, so we headed across to the Gardens area, where the Treehouse Restaurant is. I’ll show you some pictures of this later, as we came back the next day, because it was completely booked up for the whole day! We ended up in The Potting Shed- a cute little cafe just outside the Treehouse- for a cute little lunch of Hot Chocolate, Sweet Potato and Leek soup and crisps. It was cosy in there and we sat on little tree stumps at wooden tables- the decking and little wooden huts outside were beautiful and really set the treehouse vibe.
Although we really wanted to visit the Gardens as well, we didn’t really have enough time as the weather only just started to clear up once we had left. It finally stopped raining and we headed into the centre of Alnwick to have a look around. We spent a bit of time in WHSmith having a look at all the stationery and finding a pen for George to use at work (he has a habit of losing them- even the expensive one I bought him for his birthday last year- tut tut!)
With it being a Sunday, it was quiet and not everywhere was open. Deciding that we wanted a cream tea, we found Bailey’s Cafe (we didn’t know at the time, but my mum and dad went here on their trip I mentioned in my previous post too- we pretty much did all the same things they did!) We had a lovely warm scone with cream and jam each- another little message inside my Tiptree jam jar lid!
By the time we left Alnwick, the rain clouds had almost cleared and the sun was peeking out finally! We drove back through Warkworth and headed to Amble just down the road, as there is a beach there too and we wanted to see more of the surrounding area. The centre of Amble wasn’t much to see, but when we drove out further to the seaside, the scenery was gorgeous and made even better by the welcome sunshine! It was quite windy though and still pretty cold, but we got to exploring the rock pools as George was in search of a crab!
George loves climbing on rocks and taking risks- I’m less comfortable doing this, so I ‘climbed’ up on a tiny little rock sticking out of the sand that was quite difficult to balance on- and he kept pushing me off! Excuse the windswept hair- my hood wouldn’t stay up in the wind!
We came back to Roxbro House to chill out and enjoy their Happy Hour with free cheese and wine once again! There was another couple sitting in the lounge- oh the smalltalk- so after we had our nibbles we went back up to the room to watch a film and wait for our room picnic to be delivered. Anyone remember Space Jam– the Looney Toons film with Michael Jordan in from the 90s? Yeah, we watched that. Turns out it’s not as epic as it seemed when we were kids- queue huge disappointment. Enjoying the gorgeous view of Warkworth Castle from our window, we had a cuppa and eventually our picnic arrived.
It’s such a lovely idea, and I’m not going to lie and say the food was amazing, because it was definitely all shop-bought and most likely microwaved, but the novelty of eating it sprawled out on our big bed from a picnic hamper was enough! We both had paté to start with, and then I had a chicken curry and George had scampi for mains. Although we could barely finish it, we had Sticky Toffee Pudding with cream for dessert- it was delicious but I had a massive food baby afterwards!
We booked to go in the hot tub outside in the lovely gardens after our meal. It was… an experience! It was still sunny and not too cold outside, so the warmth of the hot tub wasn’t as welcome as it would be in the colder months, and we actually got a bit too hot and couldn’t stay in for long. Also, because it’s outside, there were cobwebs and a bit of mould that kind of creeped us out so we decided we were happier back in our room- we’re so adventurous haha!
After a lovely last sleep in our oh-so-comfy bed, we woke up on our anniversary morning! We went straight down to breakfast after a cup of tea in bed whilst we opened our cards from my family, and then both went for a good old full English. It was the perfect size- not too much food but all beautifully cooked and excellent quality- and I had my peaches and raspberries with yogurt again! The breakfast room is in a beautiful conservatory overlooking the garden.
George ‘falling’ from the same light that Neville Longbottom falls from after his little broomstick accident in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone- an excellent action shot from me I might add!
Back in our room, we got packed and ready to leave, before opening our cards from each other. George also surprised me with a Pain Au Raisin Yankee Candle (which I’m burning right now and smells divine) which was lovely! We sadly checked out and left our lovely room and Roxbro House behind- I’d definitely recommend staying here if you’re around this area. Claire, the lady who runs it, insisted George looks like Tom Daley and even told the owner of the hotel next door that he was him- he came to our room to ask when we would like our room picnic and actually believed it was Tom Daley! She told him I was his cousin to explain the whole gay guy sharing a room with a girl thing- can’t believe he bought it!
We had booked lunch at the Treehouse Restaurant, so headed back to Alnwick again! The ticket for the castle is valid for a whole year, so we actually went back again to enjoy the scenery in the lovely sunshine and get a different perspective on it. It was so much nicer this time! Walking around the grounds and along the castle walls without peeking out from under my hood was much more enjoyable, and we had a lovely walk around and explore before it was time for lunch.
Jacket – New Look // Playsuit – New Look (old) // Sunglasses – Osiris by Specsavers // Loafers – ALDO (old) // Bag – Primark (old)
I wanted to introduce you to my new Spring jacket that I picked up on my shopping trip to Leeds a couple of weeks ago. I featured the lilac version in my Spring Jacket Wishlist post, and was so happy with this one when I tried it on that I had to have it! I was so glad I actually got to wear it after all the awful weather we had- it was perfect to keep me just warm enough on a sunny but windy Spring day.
The Treehouse Restaurant is probably the most beautiful place I have ever eaten. I mean, just look at it! It’s an actual treehouse, with trees growing through the floor and all around it. The interior is just magical, with fairy lights and wooden beams all around, and a log fire right in the centre that gives it that cosy, sauna-like smell that makes it so warm and inviting. You wouldn’t expect a restaurant located at a tourist attraction to be so elegant and unique, but this is definitely far from any visitor cafe or restaurant I have ever been to!
The menu is full of locally-sourced produce, and although the lunch menu isn’t massive, we had no problem choosing what to have. I chose the Grilled Chicken Strips with pasta, sunblushed tomato sauce, courgette and parmesan, which was beautiful. George had the Seabass, served with seasoned potatoes, pease pudding, lemon jelly and sour cream, which I had a taste of and it was beautiful- and extremely well presented on a slate with the sour cream in a mini saucepan! The pudding was the highlight (of course)- I had Turkish Delight cheesecake, served with rose gel and raspberry compote, which was truly divine. I resisted the temptation to order George’s amazing dessert- Peanut Butter shortbread with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce. Oh. My. God. You guys, the shortbread was warm. It just melted in the mouth. Divine.
We couldn’t have asked for a better meal to celebrate our anniversary, in the most gorgeous setting! We saw an adorable baby bunny munching on some grass on our way back through the grounds- I could have watched it all day, so adorable! I was sad to leave the peace and beautiful surroundings and head back home, but it was time. The only thing that made it slightly better was getting to burn my beautiful Pain Au Raisin Yankee when we got home, and the Coconut and Vanilla candle from M&S my mum bought us (cutie).
I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip, and if you’re thinking of somewhere for a little weekend break I couldn’t recommend Northumberland or Roxbro House in Warkworth enough. Let me know if you’ve ever been to these places, or if you’re planning to go!