Archive | June, 2012

Grasmere Gingerbread

24 Jun

The village of Grasmere is just a few miles down the road from where we were staying in Ambleside. Despite being taken here as a child (I’m pretty sure anyway) I had no idea the place was famous for gingerbread. One of my favourites.

I’m not talking gingerbread in the shape of a person. I’m talking, big, chunky, delicious slices of the stuff. The proper  home of the traditional gingerbread is Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread shop. It’s a tiny, twee little place where the friendly staff where uncomfortable looking, slightly cringy Victorian wear, complete with bonnets and aprons. Once the boy and I entered the shop, it was basically full, so I can imagine long queues down the street in the height of the tourist season. The shop and factory are both in this tiny building and the smell of ginger in there is amazing. The gingerbread is unbelievable, so tasty and light and much softer than the gingerbread we’re used to. Legend would have it that the secret recipe is locked in the vault of the Nat West bank in Ambleside.

Despite the olde worlde nature of the business, you can buy their gingerbread online – so it’s probably going to turn into a bit of an addiction! Watch this space…

I’ll never buy another gingerbread man again…

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Apple Pie Bakery, Ambleside

16 Jun

The Apple Pie Bakery, Ambleside

I’ve just returned from a few days in the lovely Lake District. I’ll be honest, the countryside isn’t usually my sort of thing, but this week we were up for a bit of doing nothing, so we decided to give it a go. I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed the walking, which was interspersed with plenty of pub crawling and tea shop frequenting.

The best tea shop by far is the Apple Pie Bakery in Ambleside. I know this because we stayed just next door at Rooms at the Apple Pie. These four star rooms are absolute steal at £60 per night and come with everything you could possibly need: super comfortable king size bed, i pod docking station, flat screen TV, huge wine glasses and some scrummy complimentary ginger bread from the bakery next door. They’re right in the heart of the village too, just a stumble away from the best pubs and restaurants in the area.

Staying so close, we sampled as much as we could of the Apple Pie Bakery’s menu and were never disappointed. Local sausages and bacon for breakfast, sandwiches and scones for a mid-walk picnic and lots and lots of tasty cake. I can highly recommend the ginger cake whilst the boy is now in love with their bath buns – sweet pastry filled with dried fruit.

More of my Lake District foodie finds to follow…

Tasty treats in the window

Cooking with kids: a ‘train’ cake

10 Jun

These things never turn out the way you expect them to, but constructing the ‘train’ cake with the little one was fun nonetheless!

I say ‘train’ as opposed to just train, because with hindsight it could have been a little bit more realistic. But I liked it. And the boy thought it came to life, which was pretty cool.

I’ll not insult you by explaining the combination of swiss rolls, Cadbury’s mini rolls, baby doughnuts and buttercream required to piece this together. It’s fairly obvious. However, if you have a very sweet tooth and have a little one to keep entertained, I’d strongly recommend giving the ‘train’ cake a go.

All aboard…