A Day At The Lake Part 2

Saturday afternoon we were lucky enough to dodge the rain showers and bask in glorious sunshine at the cultural Rudyard Lake arts festival "A day at the lake".

As mentioned in my previous post, A Day At The Lake is a weekend celebrating 100 years at Rudyard Lake, Staffordshire.

As soon as we arrived we were greeted by the sight of a gigantic retro style helter skelter, swing boats and children (and even a few adults) having a go at hula hooping.  As we carried on past the lake the mister spotted a real ale bar converted out of the back of a vintage van and couldn't resist a cheeky pint of chocolate stout, whilst I headed straight to the street food area.  Here I was spoilt for choice and if you're a big foodie like I am, could have quite happily spent the whole day grazing.  From paella to hog roast, pizza to crepes, to hot dogs, toast and popcorn!  There's something for all ages.

After lunch we headed up to the treacle market, which had traveled over from Macclesfield.  The marquee was filled with stalls selling locally produced artisan goods and vintage homeware.  I'd like to give a special mention to Bonkers Clutterbucks and their unique, intricate dioramas.  If you get a chance please check out their page

After the Treacle Market we grabbed a coffee and took in some of the performances.  The jugglers and a live performance from Gaby Young & Other Animals were our favourite acts and judging by reactions certainly put a smile on everyone's faces.  Unfortunately we didn't get to see the tightrope walk act but we heard it was very good!

All in all we really enjoyed the day.  If you're planning on visiting the event I would recommend you check the timetable in case there's a particular act you'd like to see.  We would have really liked to have seen the tightrope walk but we'd just missed it by an hour and the next show wasn't for another four hours.  Also it's worth noting that although this is an outdoor event dogs are not permitted.  As dog owners ourselves we found this a little disappointing, however with large crowds and lots of small children we can see why the decision was made.  If you're planning on visiting we hope you enjoy A Day At The Lake as much as we did and we've got our fingers crossed the sun makes an appearance,


A Day At The Lake

A Day At The Lake is is a major outdoor event 30 April – 2 May 2016 taking place at Rudyard Lake, (near Leek on the Cheshire / Staffordshire border).

What used to be known as a cultural destination back in the late 1800s up to 20,000 day trippers would descend upon Rudyard Lake to take in the spectacular outdoor arts of the age.  

Now a sleepy beauty spot Rudyard Lake was once known as “the Blackpool of the Potteries”  and “the Geneva of the UK” and was one of the first examples of mass daytripping to rural beauty spots in the UK.  We're lucky enough to live just a 5 minute drive from Rudyard Lake and had no idea it was such a popular tourist destination of that time.

A Day At The Lake will include the recreation of the famous “African Blondin” tightrope walk (drawing huge crowds just 30 years after the abolition of slavery) and mark the other feats that took place there including Captain Webb’s aquatic fete, fresh from swimming the channel. It was on a trip to this beauty spot that Kipling’s parents met and took inspiration for their future son’s name

It is the first event of this scale to be held at the lake for over 100 years and as a regular visitor to the lake I'm pretty excited about what's on offer

From dry land synchronised swimmers, tightrope walkers across the lake, real life mermaids, helter skelters and swingboats, street food, brass bands, story telling, row boats and upping sticks from Macclesfield, is the fantastic treacle market featuring crafts and vintage finds. There really is something for everyone and is set to be a great event for all the family.

So if you live in the area or even fancy a daytrip out this bank holiday weekend, a visit to the historic Rudyard Lake will be well worth a visit.

For more information about what's on visit A Day At The Lake and why not purchase your tickets online whilst you're there.

What are you up to this bank holiday weekend? Are you planning a daytrip somewhere or thinking of visiting Rudyard Lake?  I would love to hear what you have planned.


Make Supermarket Flowers Look Gift Ready

There's nothing wrong with buying flowers from the supermarket.  There's often a wide choice, they're guaranteed to last a while and usually come with plant food, which is a bonus BUT their biggest let down is the cellophane wrapping and those ugly giant stickers normally plastered all over them.

If you were giving these flowers to someone as a small gift re-wrapping them can definitely give them a bit more wow factor, not to mention they add that personal touch.

Start by removing the cellophane wrapping and any elastic bands that were keeping them together.  Rearrange them into one bunch and once you're happy with the arrangement reuse one of the elastic bands to keep them in place.  

Wrap the flowers in your chosen paper at a diagonal.  I've chosen brown parcel paper as I always have some to hand  but you could even use tissue paper.  On this occasion I've held the paper in place with some coloured twine but you can use any ribbon, string or even lace that you may have lying around the house.

Overall I think the look is quick and easy to create yet effective and makes your gift a little bit special.  You could even go one step further and hand print a design onto the paper.


Jar of Love

Well in case you've been living in a cave this past week you may have noticed Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  No sooner have the retail store elves packed away the Christmas decorations and gifts they've hijacked Cupid and replaced them with chocolates, cards and roses.  Yep here come the retail giants rubbing their hands in glee as we dash out to spend a fortune on items that have nearly doubled in price.

Don't get me wrong, I love Valentine's Day and who doesn't enjoy receiving presents and being showered with love? It seems just as we're getting over the expense of Christmas, we're pressured into buying gifts and going out for expensive meals when we might not normally chose to do so. There's nothing wrong with romance and showing your loved one how much you care but this doesn't have to be confined to one day of the year and it doesn't have to cost the earth!

Sometimes a well thought out present can be more than  meaningful than an expensive bunch of roses.  If you're looking for something a little different why not try making your present?

If you're stuck for ideas how about a jar filled with handwritten scrolls listing all the things you love about your partner? It will certainly put a smile on their face as they unravel each scroll and read all the lovely ways you appreciate them and will last longer than a bunch of roses!

What are you doing this Valentine's Day?  Will you go all out with expensive gifts or maybe you boycott the whole thing?  What's the most romantic thing you've ever done for Valentine's Day?  Let me know, I'd love to hear.


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