Mum’s Birthday Staycation – Part 1

Beautiful stone cottages

I’ve decided to separate this post into two, indicating the two full days of our staycation. We travelled up on the Tuesday, stopping for lunch en route – which is where we met my mum and brother. We stopped off at a little village called Castleton and ate at a lovely pub, The George Inn. We ate outside in a gazebo – needed as the heavens soon opened! We then made our way to the cottage for the remainder of the week, Wren Cottage in Denshaw, just north west of the Peak District.

Peak District in the background of Dovestone Reservoir
A view over Dovestone Reservoir

So, to Wednesday. After breakfast, we spent the morning walking around Dovestone Reservoir, which is on the western side of the Peak District National Park. We eventually managed to find somewhere to park and followed the steps down through the woodland before making our way around the whole of the circular route – nearly 3 miles. From super tall trees in the woodland, to the gravel path and close to the water, there was no end of scenery, and a lovely gentle breeze. Alfie was very good – we just kept telling him we were going back to the car (not a complete lie), and I bribed him with animal biscuits. But he did so well.

We saw a few people on our walk, even passing the same people twice when we were halfway around the route. It wasn’t overly busy though, and being such an open space, there was no chance of us really bumping into someone else.

Table set ready for afternoon tea, with tea and prosecco

Lunch was at the cottage on our return and Robert had organised an afternoon tea. He prepared all the sandwich fillings: egg mayo, smoked salmon & cream cheese, cucumber & cream cheese, and celery with cheese & cream cheese – inspired by M&S Food. That was a real gamechanger, I’d never have thought of combining those flavours and the Philadelphia was mixed with mayo too – wow! There were warm scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and then all the sweet treats. We had leftover birthday cake, mum had baked banana bread and we had plenty of goodies in our welcome hamper (cherry Bakewell cookies, millionaire shortbreads and coconut macaroons). We had a pot of tea and some pink bubbles – really celebrating!

Ash and I then decided to go for a walk around the local area, mainly because we needed a post box – but after little success, we decided on a drink at the local pub, sitting outside to make the most of the sunshine. It was so good, we then had dinner there later – The Junction Inn.

Butchers board with hoi sin duck, black pudding croquette, chicken skewer and pot of sausages

It was another lovely village pub and we had a decent meal there. Ash had a local speciality – steak wragg pie, while Rob had a veggie burger. Alfie had his favourite of course, sausages – and ate all five, as well as most of the mash… he’s always had a good appetite. Mum and I shared the butchers board: black pudding croquette, mini sausages, hoisin duck pancakes, and chicken & pepper skewer, with garlic ciabatta and house salad. There was plenty of food for two, and actually, Alfie helped us out with the sausages – taking his tally to the evening to 7 (SEVEN!).

Somehow, we (nearly) all had room for dessert. Mum and Ash had tea/coffee, and Alfie had chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce – which was included with the kids’ meal. Rob had banoffee mess which looked delicious, if a little sickly. But I had the dreamiest strawberry cheesecake. I left the cream on the side, but the cheesecake was sooo good. After returning back to the cottage (not even a five-minute walk), we just relaxed in the living room, before retiring for the evening. Despite being a busy day, I already felt so chilled.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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