Saturday, November 23, 2013

Scotland: A Cottage in the Lake District

As part of our Scotland trip we headed south and spent four days and nights in the English Lake District. Oh the beauty, history, and joy of this area! It hit me so deeply and profoundly that I will be forever different in some way.

Here is Hole House, the 16th century cottage that we stayed in during our visit, formerly owned by Beatrix Potter's husband, William Heelis, before being donated to the National Trust. The cottage itself was worth driving down for, let alone the countryside around it and all the sites we wanted to see.

We spent much of our time in the cozy sitting room with the tiny wood stove burning and a pot of tea ready to hand. The ceilings were low and the black beams sagged with the centuries. And there was a paned window to gaze out of.

The Lake District is a very wet place. And while we were there it was also on the cool side which made the fire very attractive.

In the UK, all the houses seem to have doors on every room. This is meant to help conserve heat. It also lends to the cozy feeling. I loved the ancient black boards on which the coats hung. I never see wood that old in my normal life.

And I loved the little holes in the entrance way -- perfect for the glass bottles of milk that arrived each morning from the dairy.

It was the view out back that completely captured me. Everytime we drove in the driveway I had to run out back just to see how gorgeous it was! And not another soul or house visible.

I had to take picture after picture of this, trying to memorize it forever in my mind's eye.

The kids found the barn yard to be full of adventure and took the liberty to turn the fencing posts into war machines.

Isn't this the ideal situation for children to grow up? Countryside, farm yard, outside, fresh air, etc. Too bad it only lasted a few days!

Michael enjoyed time for reading in the shelter of the entrance way.

I discovered an ancient Bramley apple tree out back and thought how perfect it would be to make a Bramley apple and bramble (blackberry) crisp with apples from our own garden and brambles from the hedgerows about.

Even with the simplest of ingredients, this was delicious! (Especially with the thickest of local dairy cream poured on top!)

One morning I heard a very loud "moo" and looked down the stairs to see a cow staring at us in the window!

There were other things that stared in the window too!

I definitely had to make use of the dairy delivery and phoned in my order the evening we arrived, ready for delivery in the morning.

Every morning I stuck my head out our window and inspected the day. It was just too story-bookish.

Another view from my open window:

And this is the food we ate the night we arrived: Karen's Lake District Soup. Since we couldn't stay the whole week at the cottage we'd sent a friend on ahead of us to use up the first few days. When we arrived she had the leftovers of her invented soup in the fridge and since there were still more ingredients, suggested I make this for dinner. Oh it was so good, and so perfect for a cold, autumn night. Leeks, mushrooms, ham, rice, cream, and hard cider. The combination is delicious!

So that is where we stayed in the Lake District. At some point I will have to post about what we did.......


Heather said...

Oh my goodness - your were indeed 'living the dream' - what a joy and a delight to peak into your Lake District cottage and the sweet remembrances you've gathered there! I will certainly try the soup recipe too - thanks so much for sharing!

jill said...

What a fantastic place to stay. Wow! I don't think I would have left. Oh, how I miss having milk and such delivered to our door...been about 40 years at least.
Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful photos of your trip.
blessings, jill

Susan said...

I love everything about this post!

puttermuch said...

What a wonderful post!

A dream come true, imagine being able to stay in such a special place, so happy for you and your sweet family :) Thank you for sharing!


Everyday Things said...

Oh Heather... the visit to that lovely place is worth it for the beautiful view alone! what a glorious adventure you had!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I want to LIVE there!

Lovella ♥ said...

Wow that is amazing. I love those photos and especially seeing the kids outside! Milk deliveries.... how fantastic.

GretchenJoanna said...

Wonderful pictures of what seems, as you wrote, truly storybookish. It reminds me of a trip my daughter and I took - we went through that area, but we never could stop in one place long enough to suit me. Your stay was so much nicer than that, "hanging out" for a few days.

Ruth MacC said...

Hi Heather, great to see you still doing 'your thing!' Photos, cooking etc. You all look great! Hope all is well with you all.

HeatherMavis said...

Daughter, Haley and I enjoyed these pictures and the story with them. Haley likes the pictures with food.
My favorites are the scenery, wow! Indeed, just like a story book!

reader19 said...

What a great post! I just want to climb right in and stay there forever! That castle with the quote from Psalms--the quote and the photo were totally AMAZING, and fitted together so perfectly! Well done!!!