The first few signs of Spring are appearing at last. The first of the green shoots are showing through, blue skies, we even managed to get a couple of days of sun last week which was a lovely feeling on our skin. The blossoming of snow drops and even the daffodils are starting to appear. The birds are singing and the ducks are still roosting on the rooftop and diving into our pond. Enjoy the start of Spring by heading out into the country for a lovely walk or cycle ride along quiet country lanes and you may spot the hare leaping in the air and the red deer lying down in the farmers fields. Start thinking of those Spring and Summer breaks and come and enjoy one of our cosy country cottages in a lovely tranquil setting with beautiful views of joining paddocks and arable farmland. There's plenty to do here in Suffolk or you can come and relax and recharge your batteries.
Our fresh local Christmas wreaths are up and doesn't this one look fabulous against the red door. Holly, berries, cinnamon sticks, fir cones & evergreen come together to make this perfect Christmas wreath. We purchased ours from Clopton Dried Flowers, Woodbridge.
Have a go at making your own stunning wreath, it's simple just follow the steps below.
You will need:
Here are some winter warming alcoholic drinks for you to enjoy whilst celebrating the festive season. Whether you're staying at home or coming to relax in our holiday cottages, these drinks are the perfect way to raise a glass to Christmas.
CHRISTMAS DAY PUNCH
Christmas Day Punch - A lovely fruity punch with prosecco for the grown-ups. A great way to keep your guest's drinks topped up!
Serves: 18-20 servings
Put 125g light muscovado sugar into a large pan with 600ml water and heat gently until dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and add 6 slices fresh root ginger, 1.25 litres ale, 300ml brandy, 2 whole cloves, juice 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon, sliced and cut into quarters. Heat gently for 10 minutes to mull the spices. Do not boil. Serve in heatproof glasses. Makes about 2 litres.
Recipe from Country Living.
OLD FASHIONED EGGNOG
One of the many villages we recommend visiting when staying at Upper Langdales is Bury St Edmunds where you can immerse yourself in history. Bury is a historic treasure with its architecture of the past and present.
The abbey is located in the heart of Bury which is surrounded by Abbey Gardens. The Abbey was once one of the richest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England. Its remains include the complete 14th century Great Gate, Norman Tower, the ruins and altered west front of the church. The remains of St Edmund, the Saxon King of the East Angles were moved here in 903 and his shrine was a place for pilgrimage for peasants, kings and everyone in between. The Abbey was founded in 1020 and grew in power and fortune until it was destroyed in 1539.
The Normans replaced the Saxon church on a large scale using Barnack limestone. The west front was completed around the 13th century under Abbott Samson, he added the great central tower and lower octagonal towers to either side. He improved the accommodation by adding the new Black Hostry hall. The abbey suffered a lot of damage with part of the west tower collapsing and there was a serious fire. It was surrended to King Henry VIII in 1539.
You can still see the Great Gate which is the Abbey's best surviving feature, the precinct wall in some places which crosses the River Lark over the Abbott's Bridge, parts of the abbey church, the crypt: bases of its supporting piers and lower courses of its walls, piers of the crossing tower and the north wall, centre window of the north transept, the chapter house and the monks cemetery and infirmary.
St Mary's Church is one of the largest parish churches in England and was part of the abbey complex and originally was one of three churches in Bury. St James which is now St Edmundsbury Cathedral and St Margaret's which no longer exists.
In between the 14th and 16th centuries the nave, aisles and tower were built. During this time Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, died and was buried in the church. Her tomb is in the sanctuary to the north of the Lord's table. The church is dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Have you booked your stay at Upper Langdales over the Christmas break yet? If not, we still currently have some availability. We dress all our cottages with a fresh wreath and real Christmas tree with simple and stylish decorations to help fill you with Christmas spirit. We purchase our wreaths and trees locally to help support local businesses. You can buy food from our local farm shop, Alder Carr Farm in Needham Market or a selection of the supermarkets in Stowmarket and Ipswich deliver to this address so why don't you order your groceries so they are all put away for you upon your arrival. You just need to contact us beforehand so that we can make sure a member of the team will be here for the delivery.
Whether you are visiting family or spending Christmas tucked away, you'll have a wonderful stay in our warm cosy cottages. With our free Wi-Fi you can send family and friends Christmas wishes and thanks. There are plenty of walks on our doorstep so once you have enjoyed your Christmas fare dinner, you can go for an enchanting walk surrounded by hedges and fields through frost-laced countryside and breathe in the fresh air. If we have some snow you can go out into the paddock and build a snowman or an animal if you're feeling a bit more creative. Return to your cottage where the tree lights are twinkling, the kitchen is full of festive goodies and the warmth from the heating warms you through. Sit on the cosy sofa with a warming hot chocolate and relax in the peace and quiet in front of the TV watching an old film. Staying at our tranquil, romantic, self-catering holiday cottages has got to be the perfect way to spend the festive season, in the middle of the beautiful Suffolk countryside.
We currently have a competition running on our Facebook page for you to have the chance of winning a two night stay in Chaff Cottage. All you have to do is like and share the post which is pinned to the top of the Facebook page. Click the tab on the left hand side to be taken there. Entries to the competition close on 27th November 2017. This self catering holiday cottage sleeps two in style and comfort. We are based 5 minutes from Needham Market and 10 minutes from Stowmarket. The stay must be redeemed in January or February 2018 and the winner will have the chance to lengthen their stay at a reduced cost if they wish. All other terms and conditions can be found on the post.
The cottage has a well equipped kitchen with a real home from home feeling. There's plenty of wildlife around and ponies in the field. You may even get the chance to spot the red deer across the fields. You'll find plenty to do locally as we have some lovely villages nearby and we're also just a 10 - 15 minute drive from the A14. Whether you will be staying in and relaxing or going out and exploring, Upper Langdales cottages would be the perfect break. So what are you waiting for? Enter our competition to treat yourself or you could give it away as a present.
Don't forget to tell your friends and family to enter as well.
Romanesco, also known as Roman cauliflower is an edible flower bud. It is chartreuse (lime green) in colour with a crunchy texture and a delicate and nutty flavour. It is rich in fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. The perfect romanesco will be nice and bright, the stem will have no signs of wilting, fresh perky leaves attached and it should feel dense and heavy for its size.
Blanch the florets and shock in an ice bath to lock in the vibrant colour.
Add to pasta.
Use romanesco in stead of cauliflower in a cheese sauce or make into a gratin
Roast or saute in olive oil with onions and garlic.
Eat raw, either finely sliced or cut into florets.
Break into florets and pickle with garlic.
In season now, so you should find this funky vegetable in your local farm shop.
Beautiful Bury St Edmunds is a quintessentially English market town with artisan shops, Abbey ruins, Britain's last remaining regency theatre, Suffolk's only cathedral, picturesque gardens and award winning restaurants. The town has literary links to Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. It also has links to the Magna Carta, follow this link to find out more http://magnacarta800.org.uk.