Yay, last instalment of 50 Things

44 Windmill

I’ve wanted to live in a turret for years, possibly since I read the Bone People. This was the next best thing-  a BnB in the last windmill left in Scarborough. Howling winds, pouring rain, snug in bed. Bliss.44 windmill

We ventured out for a very posh fish dinner, which involved goat cheese rarebit on some hake. Reader please don’t try this at home, it was disgusting. We also passed ‘George Michael’s Restaurant’. Is this the George or a George, google won’t tell me?

45 Ambiente

Spanish food done very well in Leeds. I’ve been several times this year and enjoyed every morsel. There’s a great veggie menu and churros! Next time I’m definitely having the sherry taster.

46. Afternoon tea in London

My dad has spent years researching the best cream teas and this was in his top 3. A swanky 5 star in Kensington called the Milestone Hotel. It was so posh that there was none of that snootiness you get in lesser places. Just very comfortable sofas, delicious and copious food on proper 3 tier tea thingies and staff that were there to help, not judge. Amazing. I doubt I’ll be going again as it was so expensive, but I enjoyed every morsel.

47. Art Performance

This was an unexpected find while I was in London. We managed to catch the last day of a video installation by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartantsson ‘The Visitors’. It was in an old multistorey car park in Soho, which made it more of an adventure.

We stumbled out of the lift into a dark room full of video screens with people milling around and we weren’t sure what to do. It turned out to be a sort of virtual recital, with each screen showing one person playing an instrument and singing along with everyone else via headphones. It was filmed in an old mansion so they all started off in separate rooms, then gradually wandered into each others’ spaces then eventually all wandered off over the fields. It’s hard to describe how wonderful this was. Made me really think about how separate we all are in our virtual worlds, yet also can connect with each other. The music was repetitive and beautiful, kind of spiritual and made me cry at one point. From everywhere in the room you could hear all the musicians, even when you couldn’t see them.

I’d be interested in other stuff the Vinyl Factory are involved with.

48. Port at Gordon’s wine bar.

Possibly the oldest wine bar in London, certainly the oldest one I’ve been to. They serve port from barrels with delicious cheese/meat platters, and there’s a cavelike room to gather round candlelit tables, or you can sit outside next to a tiny park by the Embankment.

These pics are from their website:

49. Mudpack

My mate R brought me back a ‘mud mask’ from Jordan 5 years ago, along with scabies which she kept to herself. Nasty business getting rid, I wouldn’t recommend them. She also had a luxurious new bathroom installed last year with a huge walk in shower, so I decided to combine the two on a relaxing winter afternoon. 49. mudpackI’ve now got shower envy- no clammy shower curtain clinging to my back (even though I do have a rather nice periodic table one, also courtesy of R), no black mould and no worrying about falling over whilst washing my feet as it has a very sensible ledge to sit on.

50. Xmas at my dad’s

What a lovely end to my best year yet- a quiet family xmas. Dad’s wife P is such a generous host. 50 Xmas at dad's

Finally, I’ve booked my Fjord visit. Cruising up to Norway with my sister at Easter, can’t wait. Fleetway Travel have such good offers.

I’ve now got a long list of other things I really want to do, but I think one a month is enough and I won’t miss having to write about them. I prefer to write when/if the mood takes me, which seems to be once or twice a year.

Setting myself up to do 50 Things in a year has meant that every week I’ve been thinking about several things I really want to do, then doing at least one of them! A good way to live life I think.

Afternoon Teas remembered

There’s not much I enjoy more than a good high tea: whiling away an afternoon with a good friend, drinking gallons of tea and eating delicious morsels. If only I was in an Agatha Christie film and could dance the day away.

It’s rarely cheap, but for a birthday treat I think an afternoon tea is perfect. Most offer glasses of champagne if you’re really feeling decadent.

Here’s my personal reviews over the last couple of years.

The Queens Hotel, Leeds

2 or 3 tiers of lovely food each. Pics from 2 of my visits to the Queens.

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Variety of sandwiches sometimes open sometimes not, scone with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, selection of pastries, pot of tea.

Drawbacks: Feels like smokey dive as there are no windows.

Anthonys at Flannels, Leeds

Small but perfectly formed. Presented on slate, looked beautiful. Jam in tiny kilner jars. Lovely upstairs empty room, but leather seats a bit sweaty. Not enough food though! Scone was tiny. Good tea. Would go again, but have brunch earlier.

Quebecs, Leeds

The round Oak Room was great and we had it to ourselves.  Really disappointing food though- we had to send the curling dry sandwiches back- they’d obviously been sat around for a while in a hot kitchen. I had no reply to my email afterwards either.

Betty’s, Ilkley or other places in Yorkshire

Allround deliciousness.

Midland Hotel, Manchester

Delicious. Art deco room. 3 tier trolley.

Unlimited tea. Glass of madeira. Sandwiches, scone with butter/cream/jam/preserve. Cakes. Way too much to eat, but everyone took stuff home.

Only slight grumble- sultana scone, apricot/cream cheese sandwich filling.WRONG!

Radisson Leeds

Hardly anyone in there, so lovely quiet place to lounge on comfy sofas for hours and eat at leisure. (BUT the TV screen is a terrible idea- we managed to sit behind a pillar to avoid).

Medium priced cream tea, on a 3 tier stand: very fresh finger sarnies- egg mayo, mozzarella n pesto, feta n tomato, cucumber n cream cheese- veggie as requested. Then warm scones (well, not by the time we ate them) with jam n cream, tiny chocolate mousse tarts (would’ve been better without the pastry) and gallons of earl grey. Took my fruit cake home.

A special mention for the Marvellous tealadies at their newly opened tearoom in Leeds- delicious homemade cakes, gorgeous collection of  vintage teapots and cups, a quirky little slice of 50s heaven. They don’t do the whole afternoon tea stand thing- yet!

I’ve managed all these words on afternoon tea without mentioning  ‘quintessential’. Well done me.

STOP PRESS The Marvellous Tearooms do indeed offer tiered hight tea. Ill be trying it soon- looked delicious.