Bowness… in January

Blogger’s block! Fear of a blank page! Quick, write something on it!

Last week was my birthday, so I made Kevin take the week off to play with us. Of course, the one day he Absolutely Had To Go In, was my actual birthday, which caused me to sulk somewhat, but he went anyway. But only for half a day.

To compensate, we decided to take a proper trip, last Wednesday, and spent the day in Bowness. Now, if you’ve been with us for a long time, you might remember that we rather like Bowness. There’s not much there, but it’s about as a far removed from Delhi as it is possible to be, and there have been times when that was important to us.

This time, of course, we had two young children in tow, who, if I’m honest, were not in the greatest of moods. I don’t think taking them to the Lakes for the day was a mistake – they’d been in the same mood for a couple of days, and it wasn’t any worse there. But it might have been nicer if they’d been able to calm down and enjoy things rather than twitching, fidgeting and resisting everything. C’est la vie.

Our initial plan was to ride on the boat across the lake to Ambleside – possibly get off, have lunch there, come back – but when we arrived, the lake itself was shrouded in fog, and really, there’s not much point riding across a lake that you can’t see once you get 30 feet from the bank. So, we made optimistic statements about how it might burn off later, and walked into the village for lunch, instead.

Do you struggle to select lunch venues? We do. Especially away from home, where there’s no real solution but to wander around looking for inspiration. We walk past cafe/restaurant/pub after cafe/restaurant/pub, rejecting one after another on the basis of it being too greasy, too posh, too expensive, too seedy, looks nice but not open in January, etc, etc, etc, and it makes the process very, very frustrating. However, eventually, we pored (not poured – that would be weird) over a menu in front of a pub, wondered if we were prepared to pay that much, then found a much cheaper lunch menu in the next window, and decided to go in.

Such a good decision. It was a very nice, very quiet pub called the Albert, right in the middle of the village, with (oddly enough) Prime Minister’s Question Time showing on the TV, and the food was to die for. Kevin and I both had the fish pie (we’re trying to grow out of our natural inclination to say “I was going to order that! Now I have to choose something else!”) and it was just wonderful. I think they achieved such an amazing fish pie with generous use of cream and butter, mind (and I do wonder if my cooking would be that amazing if I just put cream and butter in everything), but it was by far the best meal I’ve had in months. Honestly, go. The Albert, Bowness-on-Windermere. 2 lunches for £5, cheap at double to price.

From there we meandered next door, to the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, which was almost a museum, but mostly not. It had an odd room of information about Beatrix’s life and whatnot, but mostly it was little tableauxs and animatronics of BP stories. They were delightful, and the children loved them, and as a one-off, I didn’t mind how stonkingly overpriced it was.

By then, our optimism about the fog was starting to seem more like well-founded wisdom, so we went back to the lake, and spent an hour riding across and back on a boat. Across to Ambleside, we sat upstairs, outside, but it was SO VERY COLD once we got out onto the lake, that coming back, we sat downstairs in the warm. The kids were losing their patience by this time, but it didn’t matter, because we were on the way back to the car.

It was a lovely day, and I’m very glad we went.