Birthdays, countryside and one really big pie.

This morning was a bit of a special one – my birthday! I turned the big 23, however I like to think of it as 21 + 2 years :p I actually wasn’t too fussed about my birthday, it just felt like another day. I guess that means I’m getting old! After a quick brekkie and Skype with my sister back home we checked out of the Farmyard Inn and drove onto Bakewell for a quick poke around the local markets. The small township was jam-packed full of people checking out the goods for sale. Because we needed a birthday cake (and caffeine), we dropped into the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for a slice of their famous Bakewell tart and a coffee. If you ever happen to be in Bakewell, definitely get your mouth around one of these bad boys. The caramelly, cakey goodness is absolutely lekker! Definitely was a good choice for a birthday cake!

Happy birthday to me! Dad and I devouring the delicious Bakewell Tart
Happy birthday to me! Dad and I devouring the delicious Bakewell Tart

We continued onto towards our next perch for the night, Starbotton. Mum is a genius at finding cute little B&B’s in cute little towns and this one didn’t disappoint. The drive there was another bendy one with miles and miles of lush green paddocks and rock fences. The English countryside sure is growing on me!

This.
This.

 

..and this.

 

..and this.

Starbotton is a small blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type of town in the Yorkshire Dales but the stony houses, manicured gardens and random red telephone boxes made it memorable. We were staying at a place called the Sweet Briar B&B for the night, which was run by an youngish English man. We were literally staying in his house, but had a totally private section of the house.

Developing a bit of an obsession with these telephone boxes!
Developing a bit of an obsession with these telephone boxes!

There were all these painted yellow bikes hanging off buildings and on top of roofs. We couldn’t work out why there were so many, sure the roads in the Yorkshire Dales were reasonably bike friendly, but these people must be more bike obsessed than the Dutch. It wasn’t until we commented on the amount of bikes that we discovered Le Tour De France had been held in this very place just two months earlier! Apparently the race holds a stage or two in a different country and this year it was England! Well, the yellow bikes suddenly made sense!

Some of the locals recommended heading to the next town for dinner so we drove the 2 minutes down the road to Kettlewell to the adorable Blue Bell Inn. Dad was starting a trend of ordering a pie in every town so he went for the steak and ale pie. Mum and I went for steaks, though when Dad’s pie came out, we abandoned our steaks and helped him devour his. This was no problem because the pie was the size of the entire dinner plate and the best pie I’ve ever tasted! We rolled back down to Starbotton and passed out in another food coma. English pub food is ridiculous; I don’t know how much longer I can indulge in such goodness!

Yellow bike and giant pies. Welcome to Blue Bell Inn!
Yellow bike and giant pies. Welcome to Blue Bell Inn!
Just a steak and ale pie they said, you don't need to share they said..
Just a steak and ale pie they said, you don’t need to share they said..

Our next stop on our very rough itinerary is the Lake District. I’ve heard lots about the area and am keen to see what all the fuss is about!

J. x

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