Sunday, 20 March 2016

A Very British Hike

Perfect spot for a brew!
"If something is worth doing, it's worth overdoing" that's my motto. We needed to come up with an idea for a blog about tea - of course we could have gone no further than our kitchen, or perhaps a pleasant picnic in a local park, but oh no, not me, far too tame,  My plan involved packing our rucksacks so we could enjoy Afternoon Tea on top of a 778m fell - obvious really...

It all started with an invite from the lovely folks at Birchall's tea - no they're not Cumbrian but they are a 5th generation owned by the same family company, which is the sort of thing I really rather like. (* See note at the end)

First up we needed to pack the rucksacks - not your average hike, so not your average packing - alongside our smoked salmon sandwiches we were planning to have a cream tea, so decanted some home made jam into a suitable tub and dusted off my posh picnic rucksack.

We thought long and hard about where to head and settled on Harter Fell for its magnificent views of Haweswater.  We also needed to wait for the right weather because a) I can't fit a full set of waterproofs and ice spikes in my posh picnic rucksack and b) a cream tea on top of a fell is no fun in torrential rain.

When we arrived Haweswater was looking as lovely as ever with Harter Fell looming large ahead of us.

Harter Fell

Those of you that have followed our blog will know that we never go far without our flasks of tea but it seemed wrong to put such lovely tea into flasks so we took up hot water and a tea pot and proper china mugs.  (Having chatted to the nice folks at Birchall's they inform me that Breakfast Tea is the best tea for flasks because the flavours are stronger which overcome the "flaskiness" - I may have just made that last word up.)

To be fair we soon whipped up Gatescarth Pass and up onto the top of the crags - so now it was time for tea,  As well as all the proper gear I also insisted on laying out the picnic cloth - though I think referring to Steve as Carruthers and chiding him for not bringing the family silver may have been a step too far...

I was gasping for a brew!
Smoked salmon sandwiches safely dispatched, it was now time for pudding - a fabulous cream tea with a HUGE tub of clotted cream on account of the fact it was on special at Booth's.

Really, all hikes should be this way.

Even though it was a lovely day, by now we were getting a bit chilly so headed down - our route took us over the top of the fell then down along Nan Bield Pass and the views were pretty impressive the whole way along.

On our way down Steve spotted a good spot to pause and enjoy the view - I suggested it would be a great spot for our post lunch digestif of half a bottle of Wainwright and a Kitkat - I am SO classy!

The rucksacks were now considerably lighter than when we started out and we'd been lucky enough to enjoy fantastic weather the whole way around.

Done and dusted!
If, like us, you enjoy your tea then do pay a visit to the Birchall's website where you can order the tea directly.  They have a huge variety on offer and, having sampled the entire range, I can vouch for them all (even the fruit teas which I normally hate as they smell divine but taste like dishwater).  They're also an incredibly ethical business which these days is hard to find.

Note: As you'll notice we don't host any paid advertising on the blog (Google ads pay naff all and "click bait" ads are generally demeaning to the poor folks involved or telling downright lies to convince you you can loose 2 stone in a week) - we host ads from Leighton Moss and Cumbria Wildlife Trust for free because they're fab and we like them.

We only ever say yes to products we can genuinely say nice things about and also stuff we can have some fun with.  (If filling your rucksack with tea pots, china mugs and enough clotted cream to sink a battleship before hiking up a fell can be counted as fun).so hopefully you'll forgive us for accepting the odd freebie in exchange for a few kind words and some nice photos.

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