There are so many nice shop window displays! Here is the local bakers in Sleights. Not sure if you can see but this has a cute fireside scene and a wee polar bear. I just love the fact that they have made the effort ;-)
Aren't these little gifts sweet? I have made this chutney for a few years now, slightly varying ingredients sometimes, but keeping the same basic flavours which are very Christmassy, cranberries, cloves, cinnamon, orange. The house is heavy with scent of this which is generally made the first Sunday after bonfire night.
These two jars are going to two special homes; one to our next doors at the cottage, Dougie and Andrea, who are brilliant and perform all sorts if kindnesses through the year such as giving keys to guests who have forgotten there's and putting out bins when the guests didn't:-) We also swap books with them and covet their beautiful and slightly naughty dog Johnson. You haven't met him? Well I will rectify that at some point this holiday.
The last jar is for Julie at Becketts in Whitby, you may remember me blogging about Becketts, it's our favourite cafe in Whitby and the cakes are legendary. So this is a little thank you for all the cakey bakey pleasure this year!
Yesterday we went to York and there were any amount of gorgeous shops I could have photographed for you. However, there were so many people it was impossible to get a clear view!
Maybe today I will find one for you and I would love to hear about which shop display, grand or humble, has been your favourite of the season.
Hello there! I am now officially on holiday and in my favourite part if the world, north Yorkshire, more specifically near Whitby and at our Hideaway Cottage :-)
I am just back from a spot of shopping in Whitby itself, such a nice place to Christmas shop! It's full of Victorian charm, the smell of the sea and the sound of gulls. The festive lights are not flashy city centre types, but charming more gentille ones and the shops are beautifully calm with staff who aren't too busy to issue good service and a smile and even stop for a chat.
This picture is of one of my favourite shops in the town and a rare thing these days, an independent book shop, certainly in cities, and one that always takes a great deal of care over it's window displays, quite magical and of course designed to draw you right into the cosy store to look through it's selection of books, stationery and other gift items.
I love the fact it still has the old decorators sign up from years ago. Unfortunately due to the limitations of blogging on my iPhone I can only show one photo per post or they go really small and look a bit rubbish, otherwise I would have shown you a close up of the display, a sort of icy, twiggy wonderland with some gorgeous books, cards and calendars that look so bewitching. Maybe you'll just have to come to Whitby yourself and have a peek :-) it's on Church Street on the old side of the town. If you have ever seen You've Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, it's a little like The Shop Around The Corner.
And what am I doing later? Why, going to a candlelight carol concert at little St Marys Church in Sandsend with mulled wine and mince pies!
Anyone who is friends with me on facebook will be wondering why I didn't blog about this ages ago, such has been my confusion and annoyance!
Even though I am usually a bit suspicious of big corporate type organisations and favour independents where I can, Starbucks has somehow caught me in it's evil web. I think this is partially because their chai tea latte is the best hot drink EVER but also, I like the comfy seats, the cosy atmosphere, the soft easy listening type music and the fact that they are a great place to just go sit and read, write, do work on your laptop etc and you don't get bothered and it all feels quite safe and nice. (Although I did once have a very strange man in a bobble hat staring right at me for about 20 minutes once which was a wee bit creepy).
Anyway, one of the other things they have me crazy about it the whole red cups thing. Genius. Only a truly evil marketeer could have come up with a whole global festive campaign which is mainly based around the fact that in November and December, the take out cups go from white to RED. Cool huh? I have no idea really why this engenders so much excitement in me, and others, it just does. In fact, me and a fellow Starbucks addict, Kala actually met up in the first couple of days of red cups to celebrate the fact and to try out the new seasonal special drink, Dark Cherry Mocha.
And this is where the story really begins.
Every year, Starbucks have two seasonal drinks, Gingerbread latte (not bad) and, star of the show, Egg Nog Latte which frankly is bliss in a cup and I'll fight anyone to the death who says it is not so. Anyway! this year... dun dun durrrrr...NO EGG NOG LATTE! It has been usurped by the aforementioned Cherry Mocha and, wait for it, some toffee nut nonsense - what the buggery hell does toffee nut have to do with Christmas? NOTHING. The dark cherry mocha I could go with and as an addition to the existing already perfect duo, I would have been happy. But no egg nog latte? Outrage. I joined a Facebook group (the modern day version of organising a rally) for folk like me who are admittedly sad, have too much time on their hands and also have a passion of the ENL.
It seemed for a while that ENL was at an end. If you asked in store they said they weren't getting it this year (although one barrista told Kala that it was coming, but just not yet which just confused the hell out of me).
Calls were made to the Starbucks UK customer services team, even by myself to demand to know what was going on with the ENL. I realise as I write this I am sounding like a crazy woman but no matter. I know my faults. I was told that a small quantity would be released in early December, to selected stores, but it wouldn't be advertised and you had to ask for it - what the ??&*%!!
Sure enough, the day arrived and I walked into my usual branch and asked for an Egg Nog Latte - ever asked for something at a chain coffee store that isn't on the menu? it feels very weird. The girl behind the counter looked at me blankly and repeated my request back to me like I had spoken martian ... she then turned to a colleague who said quietly, "It's in the back of that top cupboard up there - make sure you put it at the back of the fridge when you're finished" - I mean, this is real cloak and dagger stuff for a milky, eggy, spicy drink!
No matter, I had my prize... and I settled down to enjoy it.
and look what I had in my bag to make the experience even nicerer?
But the whole ENL thing is just so curious. I can't decide whether;
a. it an evil viral marketing type thing to get people talking about Starbucks and the ENL and therefore driving sales (bit like when heinz said they were discontinuing Salad Cream).
b. they mistakenly thought it was time for a change, ditched it and have then had to quickly respond to customer outrage/ demand but don't have enough stock, hence the whole keeping it in the cupboard thing. (I happen to know they had it in the US all along, those sneaky Yanks :-) keep it for yourselves why dontcha!)
c. I just need to get a grip!
Have you had a red cup yet? I cannot try the toffee thing on principle and my desire to see it fail but the cherry mocha isn't bad at all. Hopefully next year ENL will be back where it belongs.