Welcome to my blog. I live, knit and craft near the Northumbrian Coast (but not too near – the waves won't be splashing my knitting!).There's a story in every stitch, every grain of sand, every blade of grass. I thought I'd blog about it…
Today is my Mum’s Birthday. We used to have a weekly trip out to local cafe or tea shop for a scone and a drink. I always wrote a “Scone of the Week” blog post in which we’d rate the quality of the scone baking wherever we went, but that’s not possible at the moment. We are locked down and and our favourite places are closed. We had to come up with something safe, and fun to celebrate so instead of going out, afternoon tea was delivered to her!
K and I made some dainty little sandwiches this morning: smoked salmon and cream cheese; ham and mustard; cheese and chutney; egg mayonnaise.
I baked my favourite cheese scones and some fruit ones too, which were served with jam and whipped cream.
There were cakes too: my lemon drizzle cake and daughter’s chocolate brownies…….
…..but the star bake was this magnificent celebration cake that Daughter made yesterday. It looked stunning and tasted great too – a deliciously light moist Victoria sponge. She makes the most amazing cakes.
There was a small glass of fizz too…..well it was a celebration!
Of course Mum couldn’t manage to eat the whole feast by herself. I brought some home for the rest of us.She thoroughly enjoyed her surprise. It was lovely to do something special.
It was a bright and breezy day in Northumberland when we set off today, so we decided to start by driving down to Alnmouth Beach to see the sea. it was very choppy with lots of white tops on the waves and spray blowing about, though not much surf.
The Aln estuary main channel has moved north over the winter as storms have shifted the sands. The wind had kept people away and there was only one dog walker in sight. Apologies for the marks on the car window!
We drove down the coast to nearby Warkworth. This historic village, which nestles in a bend in the River Coquet, has ruined castle and some nice pubs, cafes and shops. We decided to try Bertram’s.
The cafe is on the ground floor of a luxury B&B on the main road through the village on the right just after the bridge as you come from the north. It’s lovely inside, all duck-egg blue paintwork which looks perfect against the natural stone and scrubbed pine and it’s quite roomy inside. I loved the art on the walls, especially the pictures of hares. I took this photo of an empty table to show the decor, but it was soon occupied – the place was quite busy. They don’t take bookings. Tables are available on a first come, first served basis and a queuing system operates at busy times. It’s dog friendly too. I had to say hello to the Labrador that arrived shortly after us.
We sat at one end of a long table which was already occupied at the other end, but this wasn’t a problem as it was a very big table! Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea are served and it’s a good menu with plenty of choice. Lunch includes hot and cold sandwiches, soups and quiche, with daily specials and preferred use of local produce. There’s a good range of cakes too…and scones!
The staff were pleasant and friendly and our scones and coffee soon arrived. Each of us was served two small cheese scones. These were at room temperature and came with a small dish of butter that was from the fridge and rather too cold to spread. The scones themselves had a good light texture but little or no cheese flavour apart from the crust. The coffee was good. Compared with other places we’ve visited, this was one of the more expensive ones. It was nicely presented and looking around at other tables all the food looked very appetising.
Bertram’s was buzzing, with plenty of atmosphere and lovely surroundings so we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
On our walk back to the car we called in at The Greenhouse – one of my favourite shops, which is situated in a prominent position on the corner as you turn off the Main Street towards the church. It sells an eclectic mixture of gifts, tableware, ornaments, mirrors and cards. There are some fascinating and beautiful items – it’s well worth a visit.
All in all, we had a thoroughly delightful trip out for Scone of the Week.
Yesterday’s jaunt took us to Amble. It was a bright, breezy day and a run down the coast was definitely in order. We ended up for our snack at Radcliffe’s Cafe Bar. Close to the harbour and the new apartment development, this place was inspired by the cafe bars that the owner visited while touring Europe on a motorcycle.
I’ve had lunch at Radcliffe’s several times and the food is great, but I hadn’t realised that they serve scones until I was there last week. The menu includes a variety of open sandwiches, soup and lots lots more. Last time I had a goats cheese, beetroot and caramelised onion chutney open sandwich and it was delicious. The bar stocks a good range of continental beers and craft gins.
There were both cheese and fruit scones available (so we chose our favourite cheese ones). Our lovely server offered to warm our scones and they each arrived with a generous pat of butter in a little dish. The butter was hard from the fridge but this soon softened on the warm scones…and what wonderful scones they were: nice and cheesy, light, with just the right amount of crust – probably as good as a cheese scone gets! When I said how much we enjoyed them I was told they were freshly baked on the premises that morning.Our coffees were served with a tiny cookie on the side – a nice finishing touch.
Radcliffe’s is also dog friendly, with water bowl and treats available. Buddy the Labrador always enjoys visiting. There is plenty of seating outside, though that always seems optimistic in February when the cold wind is whistling through the masts and rattling the rigging at the nearby boatyard. I have been in the summer, when the beer garden is buzzing – there’s a great atmosphere inside too.
Scone of the Week is back! Today Mum and I needed to do a spot of Christmas Shopping at Dobbies near Morpeth, so we had our Thursday cheese scones in the coffee shop there. It’s a Costa.
The scones were OK, though a bit heavy and had a decent cheesy crust. The butter, in foil-wrapped pats was at room temperature and easy to spread. I had a Black Forest hot chocolate (made with a shot of black cherry syrup) with whipped cream and it was yummy.
As next Thursday is Boxing Day there won’t be a Scone of the Week post – we’ll be eating leftover Christmas goose. K is a brilliant cook and he’s making Christmas Dinner – he’s not a fan of turkey so he’s cooking a goose. Not long now!