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On Friday,on one of my many walks about town, I took a different route and went downhill over the railway bridge to Barnards Green, and from there I headed back uphill to the Blue Bird Tearoom on Church Street; I had decided it was high time I paid them a visit!  There is nothing I enjoy more than a cup of tea and a scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream…is there any other way to eat a scone?

the blue bird tearoom and edward elgar

Statue of Edward Elgar on Belle Vue Terrace & The Blue Bird Tearoom, Great Malvern

The Blue Bird Tearoom was opened in 1913 and is recognised for one of it’s most famous patrons…Sir Edward Elgar, the well-known English Composer, famous for composing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ who visited frequently there with his friend Troyte Griffith.

Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.’

Most of the furniture dates back to when the tearoom opened and some of the tables date back to the 1700’s. I wonder if I sat in the same chair that Edward himself did? 😉

This delightful little tearoom, up a flight of stairs, separated into two dining areas is just big enough for a few parties without being over-crowded. The settee at the top of the stairs looks very comfortable and very inviting! I can imagine lounging about with a good book and a tray with a large pot of tea….

I found myself a table facing the window with a view of Belle Vue Terrace and at a pinch the hills behind the town. A very young and hesitant young man took my order in due course and in no time at all my pot of tea arrived. A delicately flower patterned china ensemble that fit right in with the olde worlde atmosphere. Mind you, I would have been delighted if my tea had arrived in a silver teapot!! After a couple of minutes my fruit scone with strawberry jam and fresh clotted cream arrived….time to tuck in.

scones and tea at the Blue Bird Tearoom in Great Malvern

scones and tea at the Blue Bird Tearoom in Great Malvern

The scone was absolutely delicious…freshly made and bursting with plump juicy sultanas…just as I love it. The strawberry jam, although minimal was in fact just enough to spread generously over both sides of the scone, the clotted cream soft and fresh was also just enough to top the jam. Personally I love to heap the cream on top of the jam, but the quantities were just enough to send my taste-buds into a spin but not too much to increase my cholesterol exponentially.

I relaxed into the atmosphere and toyed again with the idea that perhaps Edward E had sat in the very chair I was sitting in 😉 Through the windowpanes I could see life in the town bustling on.

a statue edward elgar stands on Belle vue terrace, blue bird tearoom great malvern

the statue of Edward Elgar stands on the Belle Vue Terrace with a most marvellous view over the Severn Valley

I do so enjoy this little town and surprisingly, Great Malvern, when you look at it on a map is not very big at all….and yet, into that small space is packed an enormous amount of history. Great Malvern is an area of the spa town of Malvern, Worcestershire, England. It lies at the foot of the Malvern Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty….and it really is a beautiful area.

I can highly recommend a Cream Tea at the Bluebird Tea Room. (9 Church St, Malvern WR14 2AA) All the food is freshly prepared on the premises and the prices are incredibly reasonable. I paid £3.95 for the scone with jam and cream and a pot of tea. A massive bargain in my opinion…the same thing in London would set you back between £5.95 and £8.95 depending on the location of the venue. I can’t even get it for that price in Broadstairs!

 

 

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how ironic, that the Queen has given up on the ‘Royal’ Mail.  reading an article in the Sunday Times on sunday 01.11.09 I was highly amused to read that ‘one is not amused’.

according to the article as the postal strike really starts to bite, it seems even the Royals have lost faith in the ‘Royal’ Mail.    For anything that’s urgent, the Queen has been using DHL.

DHL, which is owned by the GERMAN (?) postal service Deutsche Post, has a warrant to deliver express parcels for the Queen, even though Royal Mail offers a same-day service.   “DHL are used a very great deal by the Royal household,” says Pippa Dutton from the Royal Warrant Holders Association.  “They use them like you and I do.   If it’s something that’s got to get there quickly and you want to guarantee delivery, who else?” (Well the title ‘Royal Mail’ would be the clue there.)

A Royal Mail spokesman sighs: “The sector is particularly competitive.  Obviously ours offers the best value for money and the best service.”

And if you are a particularly valued customer, they’ll even put your face on their stamps.   🙂

so there you have it, become a regular user of the Royal Mail and you could get your ‘head on the block’, so to speak.   However in the meanwhile the Queen has lost faith in her royal postal service and we her loyal subjects have too!  I wonder why she doesn’t do Fedex?

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Hello dear readers,

Pumpkin

not just a pumpkin!

Here we are almost at the witching hour of Halloween (ok, so for some of us the witching hour has already come and gone and it is now 1st November……whatever!!! 🙂 🙂   Wherever you are I hope you joined in the fun and got some real great treats.

As for us here in the UK and for our Americans cousins on the other side of the water, midnight is on the way and our trick or treating is yet to come.

And as it approaches do you ever stop to wonder about the what, why or how of Halloween.   Personally I love the idea, I also love the US of A for introducing us to the idea.   Any excuse for a bit of fun is good with me 🙂

I decided to do a bit of research this year, not having stopped to answer the above questions myself in the past and this is what I found:

Wikipedia:

Halloween (also spelled Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31.    It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints.    It is largely a secular celebration but some have expressed strong feelings about perceived religious overtones.

The colours black and orange have become associated with the celebrations, perhaps because of the darkness of night and the colour of fire or of pumpkins, and maybe because of the vivid contrast this presents for merchandising. Another association is with the jack-o’-lantern (named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o’-lantern).   Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.”

I am totally into things that go bump in the night, scary movies, ghost stories, haunted castles, being scared witless and having fun watching other people being scared witless;  so this type of event is right up my alley.

I was watching ‘Autumn Watch‘ on BBC2 last night and they showed Simon in Abney-Park Hackney Cemetery wandering about at night, which is so cool.  Abney-Park became the first non-denominational Victorian Cemetery.

so if you are into being scared witless, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night 🙂 why not venture into your local cemetery tonight, the UK certainly has plenty of really ancient graveyards that should fulfil your wildest nightmares 🙂 then drop by later and leave us a comment on what you got up to!

My thanks to our American cousins for introducing us to this marvellous event.   HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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Living with your car: top tips for safe night driving

 

Stock up on carrots or hang up your car keys until springtime. 🙂

Neither of these options are very useful, the simple fact being that if you want to get around at this time of year you’re going to have to get used to driving in the dark. For some that’s a terrifying prospect, but keep in mind a few simple rules and driving when it’s dark should be no more difficult than driving in daylight.

Check your lights

Drive within the speed limits

Don’t strain your eyes

Plan ahead and get some sleep (if driving long distance especially)

Be alert

Set an example – be seen

Get your eyes checked

for more on Yahoo’s top tips for driving at night, go to

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