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Wednesday 13 December 2023

December In Lakeland

We’re not at work on Friday and after a very welcome lie-in we head up to the Lakes. Just the four of us.

We are staying in Chapel Stile at Speddy Cottage. On the first evening we eat at the New Dungeon Ghyll after having tried to eat at the Sticklebarn, which is now run by Lanty Slees rather than the National Trust, but find building work going on there.

The New Dungeon Ghyll has its best beer range for many a year with its beers now coming from the Fell Brewery in Grange over Sands.

Saturday is the Lad’s birthday for which we take him to Rothay Parkrun in Ambleside, which he has to watch from the car. They have had to alter the course due to all the rain they’ve had and it’s still raining when we get there. Afterwards we head to Slates café in Elterwater for breakfast. Then we are back at the cottage in time to watch the Christmas Pudding 10k run past our front door.

In the evening we eat in the Wainwrights after doing the usual un-musical tables thing for three tables before getting an appropriate one.

On Sunday we are back at Slates for breakfast after trying again to support Lanty Slees but it’s not working out as their Wayside Pulpit does not seem to be opening until lunchtime. We could, I suppose, have gone for an evening meal there. Maybe next trip.

We then do a drive around the Langdale Valley to Blea Tarn then back to cottage. L and I run later with the Lad and the rain actually stops. We discover a £1.50 a slab cake stop across the road from out cottage which goes well with our coffee. We eat at Old Dungeon Ghyll and of course sample the Old Peculiar but they also have a 5.5% Stout on. 

On Monday we check out of the cottage and mix things up with breakfast at the Pier cafe in Ambleside. Then we do some shopping in Keswick with coffee at the Java cafe.

Back at home in Nottingham a man arrives unannounced to do the guttering which surprises Daughter and probably gets her out of bed. We try to discuss with him what we need doing over the phone but this is the Lake District and phones don’t work well up here, so we hope he knows what he’s doing.

In the afternoon we visit Derwentwater Lake before arriving at our second accommodation at the Mortal Man where dogs are now apparently classed as VIPs or so the man on the desk says. We eat in hotel where the food is very good and the Lad and I share a cheeseboard. It is washed down with Hawkshead Dry Stone Stout and for my dad a whiskey because he discovers they have his new favourite Bowmore. L probably has a touch too much mulled wine.

On Tuesday we do tourism in style and take a boat trip on Windermere. We travel from Ambleside to Bowness, have a coffee, then travel back. After that we visit the Hawkshead Brewery where they have a lively Baltic Porter but again no Brodies Prime. I am assured that they still brew it and it was on last week. They just don’t brew when they know I’m coming. 

Back at the hotel we indulge in a ‘Tuesday’ night presaged with a soak in the bath like we used to when we had a bath at home. Sadly the bath is tepid but the barley wine we have bought from the Hawkhead Brewery is warming. We eat again in the hotel although for some reason the service is this time very slow and there’s a guitarist in bar who is more annoying that entertaining.

In the morning, we take the Lad a brief walk around Troutbeck and then head home visiting Lakeside and Newby Bridge on the way.

We attempt to work off some of the excess by going to the gym together when we get back and working out under the gym’s minimalist Xmas tree. 

(Wednesday 13th December)

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