Product Type: Grasmere Gingerbread Snacks
Newest Review: ... and others have had a go at replicating it - I've not tried making it but if you google 'Grasmere Gingerbread Recipe', you will find a numb... more
Sarah Nelson's original celebrated Grasmere Gingerbread
Member Name: Gemma_C
Advantages: It's so yummy and it's hard to stop eating it!
Disadvantages: None for me.
I'm lucky enough to live only a couple hours drive away from the Lake District National Park and so I have been to the Lakes many a time in my life. I prefer the quieter areas and Lakes than the hustle and bustle of Windermere, which is the biggest lake and thus the busiest, however I always like to have a drive to Grasmere, even if it's only to pop into the famous Gingerbread shop!
Grasmere village is just north of Windermere, and it's a big tourist attraction as it was the home of the famous poet, William Wordsworth, and his grave is also here for everyone to visit. It's a gorgeous little village, but it also gets extremely busy making it tough to drive through as there are often no pavements, and finding a parking space can also be quite tough! In the middle of Grasmere, next to the church, is the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.
Around 1850 a small cottage named 'Gate Cottage' became available to rent. It was originally built in 1630 to be used as the village school, and it was big enough back then as education was not compulsory and so only people who could afford to send their children to school. When education did become compulsory, a school was built to fit in all the village children, and the Nelson family took over the cottage. Sarah Nelson made gingerbread and sold it to the Victorian tourists passing by, sitting in the cobbled yard in her white apron. Her gingerbread soon became renowned and the recipe was locked away in a local bank vault, and she turned her parlour into a shop. Sarah Nelson died in 1904, but thankfully her secret did not, as it was passed down to her niece and well, the rest is history!
I love visiting this little shop, and I must say it really is tiny. People queue in the very tiny entrance way, and most people have the common sense to not take in pushchairs, and leave their children with another adult outside as it is a squeeze. But of course, there's always one.
There's information on the walls about the history, and the gorgeous smell of gingerbread is everywhere. The shop itself is a tiny room, but its old fashioned and full of tradition. There are usually 2 women serving behind the counter, both wearing old fashioned white aprons which really add to the feel of the place. The gingerbread is of course right at the front, a pack of 6 pieces costs £2.50 and a pack of 12 costs £4.50, I always go for the pack of 12! There's also a good variety of Lakeland treats to buy here ranging from fudge, to teabags and even ginger wine.
The gingerbread itself comes wrapped in white paper and states 'None Genuine without Trademark' which is what Sarah Nelson wrote on her gingerbread as people attempt to copy it. It states on the Grasmere Gingerbread website that you may see imitations of it in shops in the Lake District however it will only be a copy. The ONLY place you can get this genuine gorgeous gingerbread is at this shop (or you can order some direct on the website, but more of that later!) and the recipe is still to this day locked away in the bank.
I love this gingerbread. Are you bored of your average gingerbread men from the local bakers? You need to try some of this! If I'm honest, gingerbread isn't something I would really ever fancy eating, but once I start munching on this, I really have to stop myself it is so incredibly moreish. It does also make a bit of a mess. A piece of gingerbread is quite thin, the middle is chewy and delicious, and it has a good coating of lovely crunchy crumbs. It's quite hard to describe as I've never had anything like it before, but one thing I do know is that it's really very tasty. It does state on the packaging that the fresher the gingerbread is, the better it tastes, but I never need to worry about that as it barely lasts 2 days when I buy some!
If you live too far away from the Lake District then you can order some from their website: http://www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk
Here you can read more in-depth about the history of Sarah Nelson and find the opening hours for the shop. If you are visiting the Lake District anytime soon, then you must take a visit to Grasmere Gingerbread shop, you won't be disappointed!
Summary: Lovely gingerbread made using a genuine secret recipe. Delicious!