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Robins, Rooks and Gingerbread
Grasmere in general
Member Name: Whitehorse
Grasmere in general
Date: 26/03/02, updated on 26/03/02 (87 review reads)
Advantages: Beautiful, Full of History, Gingerbread!
A few weeks ago a friend of mine decided to drive up to Castlerig stone circle. An opinion on that will be coming later. Happy but furiously cold after stomping around muddy fields it was suggested that our Sunday shenanigans would not be complete without a bite to eat in nearby Grasmere.
I had never been to Grasmere and Goddess forgive me but I completely forgot that this was the place where Wordsworth had lived and been inspired by. I have always adored his poetry so I don't know why I forgot this. He and wife Mary lived in the village and were buried here.
We arrived in Grasmere around 2pm and I was immediately struck by the peace and beauty of the place. It was a chilly day but bright and birdsong echoed through the place. I suddenly understood why artists are so drawn to Grasmere - the light is exquisite and, had I not been stood right beside a car, I could easily think that I had just stepped back in time.
Quaint is the word I want to use although it is an overused word and can be demeaning. Yet quaint it is in an achingly beautiful way that makes me long for times past. Every house and building feels like it oozes history.
There were quite a lot of tourists wandering but this didn't detract from the village. People dressed in country clothes with dogs or children or both seemed happy to just quietly stroll pass and everyone seemed to smile.
We were making our way to The Rowan Tree - a little eating house recommended by my friend. It was only as I passed St Oswald's Church and saw the sign pointing to Wordsworth grave that I remembered why I had always wanted to visit!. I felt overwhelmed with emotion as I wandered through the quiet cemetery and twisted yews to stare at the grave of a man who had inspired me so much with his writing whilst I was at school.
After paying my respects we made our way through the grounds back to the main street. I was delighted to see rooks hopping around nearby
(the goth in me never dies *grin*). They were incredibly fearless and hopped right up to my feet.
The Rowan Tree eating house is just down the road from the cemetery and I absolutely recommend it to all you veggies. It’s only small but my goodness - the food! For just under a fiver each we were inundated with the most scrummy food imaginable and they aren’t mean with portions either! I heartily recommend the hot chocolate complete with marsh mellows! Mmmmmm... The service was friendly and the decor is very appealing with original artwork all over the walls.
After stuffing ourselves with food, my friend then insisted we had to go and get more food in the form of gingerbread! The gingerbread shop is a tiny cottage built in 1660 that is right on the corner beside the Church. For 200 years it served as the local school then a lady called Sarah Nelson began baking and selling her gingerbread there and was so successful that her secret recipe thrives to this day. If you like ginger you just have to try this. Be warned though - eating it all in one go will make you feel quite sick! The shop also sells lots of other homemade goodies such as various fudges, Kendal mint cake (sorry but yuck!), jams and non alcoholic ginger wine.
Hanging around outside I became a momentary attraction as a robin sat within touching distance of me on a wall and whistled his reply each time I whistled to him. The birds sure are very friendly in this place. After a few minutes of this my friends bundled me away.
We only spent about 3 hours in Grasmere but in those few hours I could feel all the stress of the city fall away from my shoulders. Had we had more time we may have walked up to the lake that sparkled or wandered more around the village perusing the gift shops. It would be a lovely place to spend a long weekend.
Definitely one of the most beautiful villages in England.