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I will be back one day soon, just need to find more time, working long hours - Lyn x

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since 08/07/2005


Bettys & Taylors 01/10/2011

Bettys the Ritz of the North

Bettys & Taylors Bettys of Harrogate A few years ago we stayed at Nidd Hall and paid a visit into Harrogate. When I mentioned our trip my mother-in-law who is nearly 94 yrs young, she told us to visit Bettys and what a wonderful shop, cafe and tearooms it is; she was really excited and really wanted us to experience the place. On that visit the queue to lunch at Bettys was all round the shop and down the side street and this was in the depths of winter, so we only went into the shop and tried a couple of their cakes, although that was all we had. I was hooked; both my hubby and I agreed we had never tasted cakes as good as these. I also discovered on that visit that they had an on-line delivery service and they delivered to Canada, well that sorted Mom’s birthday and Christmas presents for the next couple of years. If you read my reviews you will know that later this year, December in fact it will be my 50th Birthday and like my hubby with his Jaguar experience for his 60th last year, I wanted the Betty’s experience for my special birthday. I know we are a few months early, but we enjoy having short breaks and spreading them about, plus I have a weekend planned for my actual Birthday weekend and I am hoping that my family will all come over then as well, so this weekend is before the Christmas rushes and the weather being still fairly mild seemed like a great idea. ~~ A Little History~~ The first Bettys was opened in 1919 by Frederick Belmont a young Swiss confectioner, it is still very ...

Leeds Castle, United Kingdom 15/09/2011

Leeds Castle a pleasure to visit

Leeds Castle, United Kingdom Leeds Castle August 2011 after doing our annual trip to Belgium for hubby's tobacco, we decided to stay over night at a Premier Inn and visit Leeds Castle the following day before heading home. Anyone that reads my reviews will know I love historical buildings and the UK has these in abundance; every year we pass signs for Leeds Castle and I have finally got to visit it. ~~ A little spot of history ~~ The records of Leeds Castle dates back as far as 855 when it was known as the 'manor of Esledes' and was owned by a Saxon Royal family. Before the Norman Conquest, King Edward the confessor granted the manor to the house of Godwin, whose son (King) Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It is also mentioned in the doomsday book dated 1086. It was in 1090 when William II gave the manor to his cousin Hamo De Crevecoeur and it was his grandson Robert who began with building the first stone fortication in 1119 where the castle stands today. The castle went on to have six Royal Queens live inside it over the years, it went through many years of Royal residency and between 1517-1523 on the orders of Henry VIII the castle was transformed from a fortified stronghold into a magnificent Royal Palace, which he used with his first wife Catherine of Aragon. After 300yrs of Royal ownership it was leased out to Sir Anthony St Legar for the vast sum of £10.00 per annum in 1552. In 1632 it went through further changes when part of it was demolished and replaced with a ...

Cricket St Thomas, Chard 02/09/2011


Cricket St Thomas, Chard Cricket St Thomas Hotel We decided to grab another weekend away using the £200.00 gift voucher we had from Littlecote House Hotel towards the cost; so we booked whilst at Littlecote getting a good discount and a free room upgrade to a signature room. It still cost us quite a bit of money, but we had also saved a bit with the all inclusive on our last break so we had some of our holiday money spare to treat ourselves. It had been around 9-10 yrs since we came here last, it was for my 40th birthday and I celebrate my 50th later this year. There has been a few changes since our last visit, one of them sadly was they got rid of the Wildlife Park in 2009, which I never actually got to see as when we first came here it was in the cold month of December. ~~History~~ If like me you love to know the history of where you are staying, especially if it is as grand as this, then always ask at reception if they have any information; I did and was presented with some A4 sheets on the Manor and the Parish Church which is also within the grounds. They also told me about some books which I could purchase at the gift shop, which of course I did and I can highly recommend reading 'Sea lions in the fountain' by Peter Spence, which is a humorous book on life at Cricket St Thomas when it was owned by the Taylor family. Anyway as usual I have digressed and we should really start at the beginning and not in the middle when writing about its history. From what I have read the history dates back ...

Premier Travel Inn, Folkestone 21/08/2011

A premier place to stay for a short break

Premier Travel Inn, Folkestone Premier Inn (Folkestone - Channel Tunnel) Well it's that time of year again, when we nip over to Belgium via the Channel Tunnel to get a years supply of tobacco for my husband's terrible bad habit. After the disastrous hotel last year at the Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone, I thought we would play safe and try a Premier Inn this year. I went online to see what was available near to the Channel Tunnel and they do advertise the prices from £29.00 per night with good spacious rooms; so it had to be worth a try. I found their website ( very easy to navigate even for a novice like myself who normally likes to book hotels over the phone. On the homepage you are faced with a few simple questions about your destination, i.e. the area/location; dates arriving and departing, no. of nights, no. of adults and children, no of rooms and the type of room etc. Once this has been filled in you move onto another page which lists the Premier Inns near to the designated area starting with the nearest and moving away; you can then click on the hotel of your choice to see if it has any rooms available, you may want to check the other hotels as well before you make your final decision. Once you have made up your mind you just fill in the simple question on line, make a decision if you want to have breakfast or take a meal deal (but this can be left until you arrive and you can book with reception) click, book now, and you are nearly done. They ask you for a debit or ...

Littlecote House Hotel , Hungerford 04/08/2011

Where Henry met Jayne

Littlecote House Hotel , Hungerford Littlecote House Hotel Our May holiday in 2011 was going to be at Norton Grange, as we wanted a sedate holiday looking out at the Solent on the Isle of Wight. Fate had a different plan for us as we were informed just a few days before our visit that there had been a fire and the hotel at Norton Grange would now be closed for repair and they offered us after a few options which we turned down; and we accepted a week's break at Littlecote House Hotel in Hungerford (not by the sea sadly). I was a little put out by the customer service rep at this stage, she kept saying that we had an upgraded hotel and we should be happy with this, even when I tried to explain the disruption of our plans and I had lost the money I had paid for a night's stay at a travel lodge the night before (as we planned to stop the night halfway to the Isle of Wight and continue the journey the next day). I know the money was only £30 but it’s the principal, all she said was I had an upgraded room, intimating that I should be grateful!!! Oh well, I accepted this and decided to look forward to a different holiday, we had been to Littlecote House once before for my husband’s 50th birthday 10 yrs previously so I was expecting a good experience as I enjoyed our first visit all those years ago. I will fill you in on a bit of the history and then take you through our personal experiences both good and bad. ~~ A Little History ~~ Littlecote House has been here since approx 1250 and was built by the de ...

SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES. What tracks/albums have made a significant impact in your life and what made it so meaningful? 03/08/2011

These are a few of my favourite songs

SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES. What tracks/albums have made a significant impact in your life and what made it so meaningful? ~~Music of my Life~~ Music never fails to touch on people’s emotions and has often been used to tame the angry heart, or woo your partner over a romantic dinner. During my very long life time (well it feels long), I have listened to all kinds of music and a lot bring back many memories, I name a few on here, some will be short, some will give a little bit more detail, but it will be just a sample of records that have touched on my life in one way or another. I will say that although these memories will remain, if you asked me to do this again in a few months, I may have new memories, I may even remember some older ones, that is the thing about music you never know how it will affect you until you listen to it, or until an event makes that track stick in your mind. I was born in 1961 so I missed a lot of the 60's although I do love a lot of 60's music, one of my earlier tracks that I remember listening to was Michelle, but to this day I could not tell you if it was the Beatles version or the Overlanders, but I just remember singing along to it. During the 70's many songs gave me some lovely and sad memories and I discovered disco's, boyfriends etc. I have cried over love songs and boogied along to many a track, I went out with a DJ when I was 16 years old so my music taste expanded, I remember screeching along to Nazareth and going all gooey over When I need you by Leo Sayer with my first true boyfriend. It was at the beginning of my teenage years when I was in love with ...

Ripley Castle, Harrogate 11/07/2011

A Galaxy of history!

Ripley Castle, Harrogate Ripley Castle I am very behind on writing reviews at the moment; we visited Ripley Castle in November 2009 when we stayed at Nidd Hall near Harrogate. The village is so steeped in history it is like stepping into a time warp, absolutely beautiful. Even though it has been a while since we visited I have my notes (which I made at the time), loads of photographs of the outside only and a couple of guide books to keep my memory alive, which I will share with you now. ~~ A Little History of Ripley Castle ~~ There are a couple of theories as to how Ripley got it's name, one being that it came from the Latin word 'ripa lea' which translates to the field by the bank of a river. The other theory is that it comes from 'Hrype-leah' (the woodland clearing of the Hrypes who were the tribe that were populating the area around 500 AD). Ripley is not just a castle, it is a whole village of which a large percentage of it is currently owned by Sir Thomas Ingilby, who resides in the castle with his wife and five children. The castle has been in his family for around 700 yrs. There are not many families that can boast that they have lived in the same family home for 700yrs, apparently their 700th anniversary was back in 2009. Can you imagine the history and the stories this building could tell about the Ingilby family; you can take a look at a new website they have produced to find out more information On researching the history of the Ingleby's ...

Conwy Castle, Conwy 11/05/2011

T'was once a place for Cons

Conwy Castle, Conwy Conwy Castle On a weekend break in November 2010 we decided to have a drive out to Conwy to see if the castle would be open and to my delight it was. The castle itself looks very impressive as you drive along the road; on our first attempt we missed the entrance and started to drive out of the town. It is a walled town so this in itself gave me plenty to get excited about as we drove around the wall, before turning back to find the car park and entrance to the castle. ~~A Touch of History~~ The castle was commissioned by King Edward I as part of his plan to encircle the area of Snowdonia with English fortresses. The new site for Conwy Castle was established in 1283, it was to be a new castle and town which was to take its name from Aberconwy Abbey; yet it has been known as Conwy right from the beginning. It was the start of May when they started work on the building of the castle in the high rock facing the river estuary. King Edward I hoped that after the long battles with the Welsh were finally over that Aberconwy would become the administrative centre of the new country, but the Statute of Wales issued at Rhuddlan on March 19th 1284 that the North Wales Territories which had been conquered during the recent war, were now to become three counties known as Anglesey, Merioneth and Caernarfon, the latter being the one to be the administrative centre, which also had a new castle and town under construction. Pulling resources and master builders from all over Wales and ...

Shannon Falls, Vancouver 19/04/2011

An Exhilarating Experience

Shannon Falls, Vancouver Shannon Falls Our 2010 visit to my mother-in-law included a lovely visit to Shannon Falls on our first day in Canada. For some reason we missed it on our visit last year. You see Shannon falls is just off Highway 99 near a little Indian Village called Squamish which is on route to Whistler Village, where they held some of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Mom bless her even with her limited eye sight was able to direct us to the falls relatively easily, and to be honest I have no idea how we managed to miss it on our visit last year. We pulled onto a very large pay and display car park at the bottom of the mountain, at the side of Shannon Creek. We were actually very lucky as the pay and display machine wasn't working so we didn't have to pay the parking fees. We started our walk towards the waterfall and passed a lovely large picnic area, which apparently gets extremely busy during the summer months and they do advice that during that time of year, you should arrive early as usually by lunch time the car park is very full. We continued walking up a rather steep path, past a log cabin on our left which was a rather quaint gift shop, which I explored at the end of our visit and purchased some rather cute cuddly toy animals for the Grand-children and a small furry eagle for myself. There were toilets on the opposite side of the path to the gift shop, but we did not use these facilities, but we did find Canada very clean, wherever we visited. Whilst walking up this mountain Mom ...

The Pear Tree Inn, Wolverhampton 22/03/2011

Not a Blossoming Success

The Pear Tree Inn, Wolverhampton The Pear Tree Inn My sister and I along with our husbands went over to moms’ bungalow to give it a good clean, so we could get it valued with the hope of putting it on the market, as it was time for closure. It is a heart rendering experience every time I go there I just want to crumble and cry, it does get me very down, but saying that it was nice to see the place looking clean and tidy, sadly it did look a little lifeless as all the personal things that make it a home have now all been removed just leaving the big pieces of furniture which still need to be moved. After all our hard work, our other sister was able to join us and we spent a few hours listening to different estate agents, before finishing for the day, and going out for a quick meal before heading our separate ways, as we all live in different areas. My one sister and I have to travel a fair distance so we decided to try a different pub/restaurant which was the Pear Tree Inn, Wolverhampton only a couple of miles away from moms’ and very close to where my eldest sister lives. We pulled up onto the car park and luckily it was not very busy on this Saturday afternoon, possibly because the Wolves were playing at home and the match was on. The four of us opted to go to the far corner of the pub where there was a bench and chair around a table for four and a smaller table for 2 next to it. As it works out it was just as well we went here because my eldest sister decided to surprise us whilst we were looking at ...

The Masons Arms , Kemberton 08/03/2011

No Funny Handshakes Here, Just Good Food

The Masons Arms , Kemberton The Mason Arms (Kemberton) The Mason Arms is a lovely village pub and restaurant in Kemberton, near Shifnal in Shropshire. We have been going here a couple of times a year for the last 10 years possibly. We tend to go a couple of times and then maybe not go again for 6-12 months. We are now at the age where we don't really need anything for Christmas and Birthdays so we usually treat ourselves to a meal out somewhere and this one is listed as one of our favourites, which is not too expensive. It even caters for my daughter who can be very fussy on what she eats; we have great difficulty normally in finding anywhere she likes. As it is now January 2011 and we have been a couple of times over the last couple of months, I thought I would give you a selection of the foods we tried and our opinion on them. For my review I did a little research on the internet and located two Shropshire Star reviews (a few years apart) which both gave it a 4 star rating and both reviews were obviously favourable with their excellent rating. I did notice it must have changed hands over recent years as one review mentioned a different proprietor than Kevin and Lucian Moses that run it now. On all the occasions we have visited we have always found the staff very warm and friendly, that goes from the bar staff to the restaurant staff. There is always a warm friendly atmosphere in the pub, after our meal at the beginning of the year we both took our tea and coffee with us and sat relaxing on a ...

Chez Maw Restaurant,Telford 14/02/2011

The House of Maw

Chez Maw Restaurant,Telford Chez Maw Restaurant This review is about the eating experience at the Chez Maw Restaurant which is part of the Valley Hotel in Ironbridge, Shropshire. We have been visiting the restaurant here on and off for the last 18 years, we actually had a romantic meal here when we got engaged all those years ago, which was actually my first visit here; since then we have visited a couple of times a year for a special occasions. I remember one year we celebrated my friends' daughter's 18th Birthday here and also enjoyed the Christmas disco in the restaurant after the meal as she was a December baby. ~~ History ~~ As I have mentioned the restaurant is a part of the Valley Hotel which belongs to the Best Western Group of hotels, and has 44 ensuite bedrooms, two conference rooms and its restaurant. The hotel dates back to 1757 when a George Goodwin of Coalbrookdale commissioned the building of a house and gardens, this became known a Severn House and over the years passed through various owners including Arthur Maw and his family in 1871. The Maw family were very famous in this area for their tile manufacturing and the Maws Gallery became famous around the world. In his honour the current owners The Casson family have kept some of the original Jackfield tiles associated with the Maws family and named 'Chez Maw' Restaurant after the family. Chez Maw translates as 'The House of Maw'. The restaurant has been running now for 21 years, it has gained two AA Rosettes accreditation over the ...

Best Western Honest Lawyer Hotel, Durham 04/02/2011

The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth

Best Western Honest Lawyer Hotel, Durham The Honest Lawyer Hotel Approx six years ago I started selling items on eBay to help me raise the money to go and see my mother in law in Canada. One of my customers that bought regularly off me emailed me to wish me luck and we got chatting. Over the years we have laughed and cried together and become close friends, but I have never picked up the courage to visit her. This year I finally decided it was about time I went to visit so I set about making arrangements, with my friends help we were recommended the Honest Lawyer Hotel. I looked the hotel up on the internet and the pictures on the website looked lovely and the hotel was not far from the centre of Durham, I also checked for any reviews which were mixed but overall positive. We decided to go with the recommendation my friend had been given for this hotel and located a phone number to book with the hotel direct. It was a very simple process booking the room, I spoke to the receptionist and asked for a very large bed and gave her the dates we wanted the room, she advised me that she could meet our requirements and took my credit/debit card details to secure the booking, advising us that in a few days we would receive confirmation or she could email us confirmation of our booking, we chose the latter. ~~ Our Visit ~~ The day arrived and we set off early for our three hour journey to Durham, we arrived around 2pm and the cleaners were just finishing off the rooms, we could see them with their trolley outside the rooms ...

The British Lion , Folkestone 17/01/2011

The British Lion a Roaring Success

The British Lion , Folkestone The British Lion We spent a couple of days in Folkestone and due to our hotel being flipping awful we needed to find somewhere to eat. We looked around the town and eventually asked our taxi driver if he recommended anywhere. We went to a lovely old pub on the first night, but my hubby wasn't overly impressed with the food, but whilst we were there they had a flyer advertising their pub and another really old pub further up the road, which was called the British Lion. After our meal we took a walk up the hill to the British Lion and I popped inside to borrow the menu to show my hubby who was out the front having a ciggie. I liked what we saw and I popped back inside to book a table for the next evening. We had a little banter with a couple of lads at the bar and the barman, so we were happy with our choice as the place looked lovely and had a nice atmosphere to boot. ~~A Little History~~ The publicans are Nick and Dee who have been at The British Lion for the last 11 years; they have kindly provided a wonderful information sheet at the front of their menu's, giving you a little history on the pub itself, which I think is a great idea. They gave me a copy to bring away with me, it was done very well with the Union Jack as the background and the history typed over it, also having a picture of a lion on the top of the page. It told us that it is one of the oldest pubs in Folkestone dating back to 1460 when it was known as the Priory Arms, it is also a grade II listed ...

Pacific Sands Holiday Resort , Vancouver 03/01/2011

Pacific Sands - Waves of Beauty

Pacific Sands Holiday Resort , Vancouver Pacific Sands Beach Resort My mother-in-law asked if we would take her for a short break to Pacific Rim National Park during our visit to Canada this year; once we said yes, she went about booking somewhere for us all to stay, with the help of my brother-in-law in Canada. We had no input on the search for somewhere to stay, we just got the excited phone call from Mom to say that they had booked a cabin at Pacific Sands and it was mom's treat all we had to do was arrive safely in Canada and driver her over to Vancouver Island for our mini break. ~~Our visit and our suite~~ After travelling for around 6 hours and taking a scary turn into a derelict site with a graffiti covered building we finally arrived at a rather smart looking reception to book into Pacific Sands Beach Resort. Mom and I sat in the car whilst hubby went inside to book us in; mom had already paid in full so it was just a simple task of getting instructions and the key. The whole process was painless and took about 5 minutes, which did seem like a life time when you are sitting in a car waiting, especially after such a long journey. Hubby returned and we drove about 50 yards to our Beachfront Suite; we parked the car in the small car park right by the front door, this was very handy for the luggage and getting out of the rain pretty sharpish. We were on the ground floor with another floor above us. The outside looked clean and tidy, the building looked wooden which was painted in a mushroom colour. We ...
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