One of the best bits of popping up North? Seeing this handsome boy, Troy!
But I’m getting ahead of myself… We decided to drive up to Carlisle to visit the Mister’s family instead of enduring the ever delayed Virgin train service. People stealing the overhead cable, someone threatening to jump off a bridge and people walking on the tracks have all magically turned 3 hours into 6 on our previous trips.
The drive also takes 6 hours but at least we could make pit stops for nibbles, listen to loud music, and chuck an obscene amount of stuff in the boot without caring about overpacking.
It’s tickles me that the signs all say ‘The North’. Sounds ominous…
Cumbria is miles away …literally… from the franticness of London, with the Lake District and lots of chocolate box villages like Caldbeck. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all! The main city, Carlisle, is pretty sleepy with a tiny town centre, cathedral and university (which a marketing mistake fleetingly branded UCUM *sniggers*). Unfortunately, the rain was torrential (“spitting” the locals would call it) so we didn’t make it to the Lakes but wandered around cute villages and went out for dinner and afternoon tea.
First stop Orton Grange! It’s a farm with a cafe, gift shop, swimming pool, beauty salon and, most recently, Cranstons the award-winning butchers.
We sank into the comfy leather sofas & caught up over coffee and cake then had a peruse around the shop. I have a few of these Polish Pottery style mugs – they’re the perfect shape for wrapping your hands around to warm up and totally adorable! Found them available online here.
The Plough Inn on Saturday evening.
It’s all hearty northern pub food so I tried to find something that wouldn’t leave me in a food coma. Salmon with Chive Mash and pea puree from the Specials menu.
Hearty Steak Pie & chips. It may look small but the Mr. was suitably stuffed afterwards and had no room for dessert… which was annoying as I wanted a bite.