Pancake with Hot Raspberries

After a family gathering in Banbury last March we planned to return later in the year to visit Broughton Castle and perhaps sample some pancakes in the Little Amsterdam Cafe. The occasion of Mr C’s birthday was the perfect to occasion to realise our plan.


We arrived in Banbury just in time for lunch and headed straight to the Little Amsterdam Cafe. As it was lunchtime I elected for something light and chose a pancake with hot raspberries and ice cream whilst Mr C chose chicken stilton and mushroom. I can confirm my pancake tasted as delicious as it looks in the photograph. After lunch we had a brief look around the town before heading off to Broughton Castle. We had timed our arrival to when it was just opening so were among the first to arrive.

Gate House

We joined the back of the small queue of people purchasing tickets. There was a man talking incessantly about how he had only come to look at the castle because he thought it was only a ruin and now he now realised that it wasn’t and would buy the guidebook and come back with his wife another time. When a car drove down through the gateway to the property in what can only be called a rude manner he challenged the people inside it, ‘are you the owners?’ They were not, one of the passengers had a disability, this led to the man becoming even more rude and out of order grumbling at the staff about him being unfairly treated as he had been made to park his car in the car park and he was disabled.

Then he began a rant which did not make complete sense but was over the top. I think there had been a misunderstanding about his needs due to his disability. Some people just like to make life harder for themselves than it needs to be and then  to grumble and cause trouble.

I am not sure if he was able to resolve his issue with the member of staff who was trying to help him out but eventually he made his way back towards the car park and out of earshot. Peace and tranquillity resumed. After purchasing our tickets we decided to do a tour of the gardens first. The sun was out and we were unsure of what the weather would do later and also we thought that most visitors would do the house first making it quieter later also.

Broughton Castle

The gardens and grounds are delightful as is the castle, more accurately described as a fortified manor house. The house is interesting both architecturally and historically. The house has been in continuous ownership of the same family since 1377. The house is home to Lord and Lady Saye & Sele whose family name is Fiennes. When we had finished viewing the house we thought it necessary for a visit to the tea room where we opted to share a slice of orange cake accompanied by a refreshing drink. When we were suitably refreshed we visited the Parish Church of St Mary Broughton with North Newington before setting out on our journey homeward.

Parish Church of St Mary Broughton

The return journey wasn’t pleasant; there were delays in the rush hour traffic. The SatNav initially told us we would arrive home at 18.30 and we had booked a meal reservation on the basis of this. A short while into our journey the arrival time had changed to 19.30 and then more alarmingly to 20.10. As the SatNav normally advises of shorter journey times (it has live traffic updates) we were a little puzzled that it had not provided any alternative route information and we didn’t feel that the arrival time was correct.

I made the bold decision (bearing in mind we are in congested traffic) and said I am going to reset our journey. Mr C said do it quickly then because we were at the point of making a choice of route. I complied and the SatNav recalculated and changed its original route advising that our arrival time would be 19.00.

Phew… We arrived home with just enough time to freshen up and chill out before it was time for our evening meal in the Ugly Duckling.

11 Comments CherryPie on Aug 18th 2017

An Unexpected Gift

Last FridayI asked Mr C to pick up a courgette on the way home from work. In addition to the courgette he presented me with a bunch of flowers. How lovely :-)

12 Comments CherryPie on Aug 17th 2017

Mediterranean Fish Parcels

Mediterranean Fish Parcels

Mediterranean Fish

Patio Dining

18 Comments CherryPie on Aug 15th 2017

Sincerity is the way of Heaven.


Piran Sunset

8 Comments CherryPie on Aug 13th 2017

Moseley Old Hall

For two days, in September 1651, the destiny of Britain was decided within the walls of Moseley Old Hall.

In January 1649 Charles I had been executed in Whitehall, the monarchy had been abolished and the country declared a Commonwealth. The hopes of the Royalist Cause now rested on the shoulders of his eighteen-year-old son, Charles II, who was in exile in France. In the late summer of 1651 Charles marched south from Scotland with an army of 16,000 men in a final effort to reclaim the throne. But on 3 September outside Worcester his army was annihilated, and for the next 41 days he was on the run, with a price of £1000 on his head.*

Moseley Old Hall

Early on the morning of 8 September the bedraggled figure of the King arrived at the back door of Moseley Old Hall. He had had no sleep and little to eat since the day of the battle. He was disguised in rough woodsman’s clothes with ill-fitting shoes that made his feet bleed. He was cold, wet and desperate. Standing waiting to greet him were the owner of the house, Thomas Whitgreave, and his priest, Father Huddleston.

Like many in this area of Staffordshire, Whitgreave was a Catholic, and his mother Alice, who was also in the house, had suffered heavy fines for their faith from the Parliamentary authorities. They welcomed the King inside, gave him dry clothes and food, and found him a safe hiding place in one of Moseley’s ‘priest’s holes’. Here he crouched the following afternoon, while Whitgreave confronted a Parliamentary search party in the road outside.*


The priest hole was hidden beneath a cupboard which was either a garderobe of a wardrobe.

In the floor of the cupboard is a trap-door concealing the hiding place below, some 4ft 6in by 5ft and only 4ft high, a cramped space in which Charles, who is believed to have been ‘over two yards high’, spent an uncomfortable time when Parliamentarian soldiers came to the house. Whitgreave tells us that, after being presented to the King in his room, Charles asked him ‘where is the secret place my lord [Wilmot] tells me of?’ On being shown the hide, he entered it ‘and when came forth, said itt was the best place hee was ever in’.*

Having devised a practical plan of escape Charles left the house two days later.

Moseley Old Hall

As well as a priest hole the house had a chapel in one of the upper rooms of the house.

John Huddleston took the King up to see the Chapel during his stay at Moseley. Charles described it as a ‘very decent place’ and told Huddleston that if he ever regained his throne, Catholics would no longer have to worship in secret. Charles married a Catholic, but as part of his efforts to reconcile the anti-Catholic majority, professed a moderate Anglican faith, unlike his openly Catholic brother, James, who was driven from the throne in 1688 because of his religion.

The Chapel, or more properly the Oratory, did not look as it does now when Charles saw it in 1651. The roof was open to the rafters, and is said by tradition to have once contained a secret hiding place, although there is no evidence of it. The barrel-vaulted ceiling was added following the Relieving act of 1791, which allowed Catholics greater freedom of worship.*

Moseley Old Hall

Moseley Old Hall

*From the National Trust guide book to Moseley Old Hall 1997 revised 200. The photo of the priest hole was also taken from the same guide book (all other photos are my own as usual).

14 Comments CherryPie on Aug 12th 2017

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This year I have found that our summer months resembled autumn rather than summer. In the few weeks since I have retired from my career there have only been a few occasions when it has been sunny enough to sit outside in my garden. It hasn’t even been sunny enough for me to be inspired to go out on a day trip. Day trips in the rain are only fun if you have a companion to share them with! Despite the weather I have been enjoying myself doing different things than I had planned to do.

Today the sunshine played hide and seek. In the morning as I was choosing meal options for the next couple of days I heard gentle tweeting in the back garden. The sun had come out and a family of long tailed tits and a couple of blue tits were flying around my garden and settling in the trees that surround it.  I watched them for a while until a magpie arrived and scared them off. Shortly after that the sun was once again obscured by clouds.

Later in the afternoon the sun came out again and I seized the opportunity to sit at the top of my garden reading a book before it was time for me to go out to my regular thursday meeting.

When I arrived home, the sun was still playing its tricks would it shine so that Mr C and I could enjoy dinner on the patio. The sun decided to be kind to us :-)


10 Comments CherryPie on Aug 10th 2017

A Mystery Explained…

Northumberland's Prehistoric Rock Art

Synopsis: (from  book preface by The Duke of Northumberland 1983)

It is approximately 4000 years ago that our remote ancestors, who are sometimes known as the ‘Beaker People’ because of the distinctively decorated cinerary urns they fashioned to contain ashes of the dead, incised markings on the sandstone rocks of Northumberland, which are generally but not always associated with burial sites.

It is these markings so similar yet varied in form, and the identification of the places where they may be found with which this interesting book details.

The book brings together not only the results of a long tradition of research in which my predecessors took great interest but also in the personal observations of the author who has devoted many years to the discovery of new examples and the careful assessment of sites and individual stones already recorded.

It is therefore a definitive work and has a great deal to contribute to the international study of rock carvings.

The title refers to ‘a mystery explained’, The mystery is certainly well explained but as the author states it is not solved and there in part lies the fascination of the subject. Clearly the form of the markings is symbolic rather than decorative but the question remains – symbolic of what?


The book is a comprehensive study of the rock art in Northumberland. The types of carvings on the rock and types of locations are explained followed by detailed descriptions of the rocks and where they can be found. The text is accompanied by black and white photographs of the stones and diagrams of the carvings. I found the book a fascinating read especially as, despite trying, I failed miserably to locate any of the stones on my most recent visit to Northumberland.

2 Comments CherryPie on Aug 9th 2017

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