Thursday, 31 May 2012

Picnic Lunch and Stone Circles

It was so lovely last weekend a trip out was a positive necessity, after all in the UK you never know how long good weather will last!

We visited Ford and Etal, two villages in Northumberland, which are the home to a number of visitor attractions.

By the time we got there it was already lunch time so sitting next to a pretty field of wildflowers we tucked in to our picnic lunch.

Hummus with carrot sticks.

Cheese savoury sarnies.
(Grated cheese, grated carrots and chopped spring onion bound together with mayonaise)

Banana and walnut tea bread spread with butter.
(This is such a fantastic easy recipe and so very tasty I have given the recipe below.)

All washed down with refreshing camomile tea.
(Water took in flask, and tea bags carried separately.)

We visited Lady Waterford Hall, built as a school by  Lady Louisa Waterford who was also a keen amateur painter and spent 22 years decorating the interior of the Hall with Biblical scenes as a teaching aid for pupils.

The murals were truly stunning.

We then visited Heatherslaw Cornmill,the only working water-driven cornmill in Northumberland. I purchased some of their  stoneground, wholemeal flour ground from wheat grown in the surrounding fields.

For me, the highlight of the day however was the visit to Duddo Stone Circle.

I have an endless fascination for stone circles. They are so ancient and have such an air of  mystery and other worldliness about them, particularly when they are off the general beaten track.

This was certainly the case with this one, quite a walk from the road and stood in the middle of a rape seed field, which had to be circumnavigated before finding the narrow pathway through the yellow flowers...

...and there it was!

Up close and personal the stones have weathered to form amazingly surreal shapes.

There wasn't another soul to be seen for miles around and no noise other than the songs of the birds. It sounds corny but it was a truly uplifting experience to stand inside this 4000 year old landmark.

And now for that recipe...
Banana & Walnut Tea Bread

1 3/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup oil (I used cold pressed rapeseed oil)
2 eggs
1 cup golden caster sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
Small handful of walnuts roughly chopped.
Bung everything into a bowl and give a good stir. - Told you it was easy!
Grease a loaf tin, pour in and bake in a moderate oven 180C for about an hour.


  1. I have a photo of me hugging a stone too, only mine is in Cumbria. I too, am fascinated by stone circles, there is such a strong feeling/vibe, call it what you will, when you enter one. I can't explain the feeling exactly, other-worldly? Maybe you will understand, most of my friends and my husband certainly don't!!

    1. Yes Maggie I do understand totally, that'sexactly how I would describe it too. I am lucky in that my other half also understands, though most of my friends just think I'm slightly mad!

  2. Hello my lovely :o)

    Love all your bargain finds from your previous post! That casserole dish and stand is awesome! I never find the ones with stands LOL.

    I agree with you and Maggie on that stone circle feeling..I feel it in most churches too, but not because I'm religious or anything, I like to visit when no one else is about! But generally Christians stole the Saxons 'worship' sites to build their churches on and the saxons did use to choose their sites carefully for the good 'vibes' and all that ...:o)

    Have a fantastic Jubilee long weekend my dear..
    Will look forward to seeing your quilt that your pressure though ;o)

    Love n hugs,
    Donna xx

  3. Such a lovely blog post, that rapeseed yellow is a proper British summertime colour is it not? Ahhh bliss on an extremely wet Thursday :o) xx

  4. Sounds like a great experience, nothing beats the feeling of freedom and adventure xxx

  5. Your photos are just amazing! I am so in love with them!

  6. You know I don't live too far from the standing stones and I've never been to see em! Terrible must put that right, thanks for the lovely photos x

  7. Oh me again! It seems we are swap partners for the all things british swap Lynda is organising. Exciting, please drop me an email as I'd love some ideas of things you might like :0) xx


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