The Start Of A Lovely Day, River Cottage, East Devon

We have been to several functions at River Cottage, but I think the one we liked the most, was a combined vineyard visit, plus lunch back at the cottage, in July 2016.  For those of you that have not heard of River Cottage…..River Cottage is a brand that was used for a number of ventures by television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. These include a long running Channel 4 television series, cookery courses and events.  In 2006, River Cottage moved to the Park Farm location near to Uplyme in Devon. Here River Cottage HQ provides dining experiences, cookery courses as well as courses on a wide variety of topics including bee-keeping, brewing, breadmaking, cheese-making, curing meat and foraging.

Starting our day, we were picked up by the tractor pulling a trailer and taken into deepest Devon, well it felt like it.    Had no idea where we were going, which was half the fun, but we had been told…. to wear walking boots.  So glad we did, as we walked up and over Musbury Castle……..which is an Iron Age Hill fort situated above the Village of Musbury in Devon. The fort occupies a commanding hill top approx 175 Metres above Sea Level overlooking the Axe valley.


The walk would take us to Castlewood Farm, with a tour of the vineyards, so we would see what we would have a tasting of later.  I found it interesting, as we have vines at home and make our own wine, which is so we are told, very nice.  So I picked up some good tips and our crop this year is looking even more promising, also with a little help from the hot weather we are having at the moment.  


We then walked on to the farm, to have some wine tasting and some lovely local bead.  We did buy two bottles, so we could compare it to ours 🙂


After a most enjoyable tasting and finishing all the lovely bread, we were collected by the trailer and taken back to River Cottage HQ, for our lunch…..for more food and wine 🙂 This visit will follow in the next post.  

Flower Festival, St Peter’s Church, Upwell, Norfolk

The theme of St Peter’s Church, Upwell in Norfolk, Flower Festival in 2016 was ‘Work, Rest & Play’.  I’m a little late with this post, not sure where the time goes, and having been to a couple of Flower Festivals recently, I thought I should post this one first.  My last post featured the angels and demons in the roof of the church, this post is more of the ground level, some of the church and lots of the flowers.  

A little history…..The previous 13th century church, to which the tower was originally attached, actually sat on ground occupied by the current north aisle. The present nave was began adjacent in 1310, the old church demolished and redeveloped into the north aisle by the 1460s, at the height of Upwell’s mercantile prosperity. Restoration during the Victorian period was inevitable, leaving a largely 19th century interior, although Georgian galleries in the north aisle and west end of the nave survive, as does the gorgeous angel roof.


Angels & Demons, St Peter’s Church, Upwell, Norfolk

Angels and Demons in the roof of St Peter’s Church in Upwell Norfolk.  We try to visit St Peter’s Church in Norfolk each year for the Flower Festival, and also, so I can take photos of the wonderful roof carvings.  Each year I find something I have missed the pervious years. This post is covering the angels and demons from various years, and next post will be of the Flower Festival. 

The roof angels are likely to date from the first half, perhaps even the first quarter of the C15th. The wings have been replaced, but the bodies and heads are original, and I would think the demons date from that period as well.  The demons are pretty scary and would have kept the congregation on the the path of righteousness, or at least given them  nightmares.  I find both angels and demons fascinating and often wonder, were the wood carvers got their ideas from.

Seaside Town, Lyme Regis, West Dorset

Lyme Regis, the ‘Pearl of Dorset’  This post is a collection of three years worth of visits, at different times of the year.  It’s a bit late now to do separate posts of each year and it doesn’t really change much over the years, which is one of the attractions of visiting.

Situated at the heart of the world famous Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis is an historic seaside resort and fishing port.  Lyme’s existence depended upon the Cobb, a small artificial harbour dating from the time of Edward I.  Lyme is exposed to south-westerly gales, and the Cobb acts as both a harbour and a breakwater.  This is really a postcard to tempt you to visit, if you haven’t already discovered this amazing little seaside town.


Seaside Town, Beer, Devon

We have visited quite a few of the villages and towns that are dotted along the coast of Devon and Dorset.  I have always taken some photos, but never really posted any, until lately, and sorting through some old photos, I have found a few to add to my Seaside Category.  

The beautiful picturesque village of Beer is located on the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast in Devon. Surrounded by white chalk cliffs, the shingle beach is lined with fishing boats still bringing in their daily catches and is famous for its mackerel.

Historically, Beer has a great lace making tradition and, as with any seaside town, the locals have relied on the fishing industry to maintain their livelihoods. With no natural harbour it is a daily sight to see small boats being winched up the beach and their bounty from the sea being sold nearby.  

We were too late to visit the church, so I just took a few exterior shots and maybe next time we will visit.  Just a weather note from here in the Fens, in Norfolk, today it got to 31.  Too hot for me, but on a good note, England won against Sweden…..sorry Sweden, but we needed to win 🙂

All Saint’s Church, Rotherby, Leicestershire

As luck would have it, this little lovely little church had an open sign.  Having read that it is not normally open, maybe it is now, do hope so.  All Saint’s Church is in Rotherby, Leicestershire, not sure how we came to pass the church, sometimes we just drive and see what we can find.  In this case we found a church that dates to the 13th century and has an offset west tower, south aisle and porch with clerestory nave and chancel, so quite a find.

The only problem is the church has bats, which you can not disturb, so hence the plastic covering some of the church items.  I did try to zoom in and see if I could see any, but they were very well hidden.

A little history…..The church at the end of the 19th century was described as having fallen into ‘grave decay’ and plans for restoration were prepared by W. Millican Esq., Architect of Leicester. The work included a new vestry, porch and six new windows. The plaster was removed from the walls and a new pulpit and Communion rails were made from the oak timber of the old roof. A new roof was erected, the walls of the church were repaired and the old church gate was replaced. Pews were installed throughout the church in oak, and finally an organ was installed. 

St Mary’s Church, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire

I am still sorting through photos and I have found several churches that somehow, I have managed to miss, so I am starting which the beautiful church of St Mary’s in the market town of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.  We were just passing through Tadcaster, when I noticed the open sign outside of the church.  Now, no church can been passed if there is a sign welcoming you to visit, it’s a rule that you just have to adhere to.  So many churches are locked nowadays, so its lovely when one invites you in and I’m so glad we stopped, this is a beautiful church, with some wonderful stained glass window.

The church dates from the 15th century making it the oldest church in the town. It is of a perpendicular style with pinnacles.  The church was taken down in 1875-77, re-erected and raised 4 feet (1.25 metres) to safeguard it from floods.  The church was Grade II listed on 12 July 1985.  The architectural style is perpendicular and built out of magnesian limestone with Welsh slate roof. The church has a three-stage west tower, a three-stage bay aisled nave, south porch and a two-bay aisled chancel.  I am just going to let the photos show you how beautiful the building is.  I have added a few photos of Tadcaster at the end of the post.