Days Out: Visiting Stockport Air Raid Shelters

Having lived all my life a few miles from Stockport town centre, I’m slightly ashamed that it’s taken me this long to visit the Stockport Air Raid Shelters. They’re a fascinating place to visit; so taking advantage of an INSET day off school, we headed down for a look around this unique museum.

The Stockport Air Raid Shelters are a system of underground air raid shelters dug under Stockport during World War II to protect the people of Stockport during air raids.

Days Out: Visiting Stockport Air Raid Shelters

From September 1938, four sets of underground air raid shelter tunnels for civilian use were dug into the red sandstone rock below the town centre. The first set of shelters was opened on 28 October 1939; although thankfully Stockport was not bombed until 11 October 1940. The smallest of the tunnel shelters could accommodate 2,000 people and the largest 3,850. Over time, the tunnel system was expanded to take up to 6,500 people.

Despite it being an underground system, it is largely accessible; though there are a few steps down at the start, and again steps up at the end. The tunnels are fairly smooth, though dark in places and it’s certainly a little eerie.

Days Out: Visiting Stockport Air Raid Shelters

I took the boy for a walk around, formal tours are available too; but we were issued with a comprehensive leaflet and sent off to explore by ourselves. Along the tunnels there are various information boards where you can read about how the tunnels were built and the conditions down there. It’s not hard to imagine the narrow tunnels, lined with benches; heaving with people sheltering from the worst the Luftwaffe had to offer.

The air raid shelter was known for its ‘luxurious’ amenities such as 16 seater chemical toilets, electric lighting and a canteen. The shelter was known locally as the ‘Chestergate Hotel’. Although I’m not sure how luxurious 16 toilets shared between 6000 people would be.

Days Out: Visiting Stockport Air Raid Shelters

The Stockport air raid shelter has several areas which are set up pretty much as they would have been back then. With a first aid station, a kitchen area and several smaller tunnels with bunk beds lined up. You had to take your own bedding; but being able to lie down and stretch out if you’re spending 12 hours or so sheltering there must have been a luxury.

The boy was especially horrified by the toilet situation. The nicest and most normal looking toilets were reserved for the nursing staff; but everyone else had to jostle for one of the connected chemical toilets. I can only imagine the smell after a busy night in the shelter!

Perhaps my favourite part was the mocked up home air raid shelter, the kind of corrugated iron structure you’d have in your garden. We are able to sit inside it and even with just the two of us it felt cramped. I really hope our visit made my boy think about how life was back then and how much everyday people had to give up or go without for the war effort.

Days Out: Visiting Stockport Air Raid Shelters

My ticket was just £5 and his was free, him being under 16. It’s so fascinating down there; and if you’ve an interest in history or the home front, then it’s well worth a visit. I know I’ll go back again and take a bit more time to look around.

For more information about Stockport Air Raid Shelters, visit their website.

Days Out: Visiting Stockport Air Raid Shelters

Winter in Abney Hall. PLUS Save Abney Cafe!

Abney Hall in Cheadle is one of my favourite places to visit. It’s a little gem, tucked away and hidden from those not in the know. It is popular with families and dog walkers and I’ve been going there since I was a baby. It’s one of our most lovely green spaces locally, it’s a wildlife haven, it’s fabulous for families and dog walkers, and is home to a little gem – The Abney Cafe.

Winter in Abney Hall. PLUS Save Abney Cafe!

I grew up pond dipping and climbing trees there. I swam in the stream, played pooh-sticks on the bridge, and my son does the same things I did and he loves it there too. I’ve visited the pet cemetery and wondered about the lives of the horses, dogs and cats buried there, obviously adored by their owners who lived in Abney Hall years ago. I think Abney Hall is now offices, but it’s still a beautiful building in equally lovely grounds.

Winter in Abney Hall. PLUS Save Abney Cafe!

We visit Abney Hall regularly. I sometimes slip in and take the long route home after I’ve been in Cheadle. If I’m by myself I’ll stop for a brew and a bite to eat. If we’re walking the dog we’ll stop at the cafe for some refreshment. It’s the only cafe in a park I’ve ever been to where the dogs have a whole exciting field to run about on while you drink your coffee and have a sit down.

It is a great cafe. It’s an oasis and a community hub for locals in search of a hot cuppa. The welcome is warm and everyone is friendly. A stop at Abney Cafe is something I look forward to on our walks there. It’s the warm, welcoming heart of the park and Abney Hall will be much poorer if it loses the cafe.

Winter in Abney Hall. PLUS Save Abney Cafe!

Sadly it seems this small community cafe is one of the smaller victims of Carillion going bust. The cafe owners were renegotiating their lease when the firm went bust; left in limbo Stockport Council called time on their lease and they have until 1st March to clear out.

When I visited earlier today, Steve the owner was prepared for the fight. I chatted to him over a coffee and a steady stream of visitors came in for a coffee and to talk to him about what could be done to save Abney Cafe.

If you want to help save Abney Cafe and this important community hub, please email Councillor Sheila Bailey.

You can also give the Cafe Facebook page a like and keep up to date with cafe news there. There will be a gathering of support at 11am on Sunday 18th February. Bring along the whole family and your dogs to show your support!

Winter in Abney Hall. PLUS Save Abney Cafe!

Thank you for reading!

Stockport Foodie Friday – a fantastic festival of food!

Living in South Manchester, my local food festival is the increasingly popular Stockport Foodie Friday. This is a fantastic festival located in and around Stockport Market, and it takes place on the last Friday of each month.

I’ve been going with friends for the last few months and I’ve loved the child friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The range of interesting street foods, not to mention the market stall offering prosecco by the glass (a bargain £3 if memory serves).

The area outside the market hall is fringed with street food vendors, each with a small queue of hungry festival goers. Local bands entertain the crowds with live music which drowns out the gentle hum of the diesel generators which make it all possible. The pubs are filled with thirsty visitors and when the sun shines, the area is filled with relaxed and happy people, all contentedly munching away, bumping into people they know and happily soaking up the atmosphere. 

I’ve been to loads of food festivals and apart from the range and quality of the food, one of the things I enjoy most about Stockport Foodie Friday is the convivial atmosphere. It’s like a relaxed village fete with something for everyone. 

Stockport Foodie Friday
Tapas Y a la Carta at Stockport Foodie Friday. Photo: Esther Morrison

The last time I went I had an amazing veggie burrito from The Wrapscallion, the time before a Pad Thai from Somtam Street, and I can never resist a portion of hot churros with chocolate sauce. Both times I’ve been keen to try out the veggie dishes from Nasi Lemak Street Food, but both times they’ve sold out before I got there.

Each month there are old favourites as well as newer street food traders, indoors (where there is more seating) there are a few market stalls open as well as a bar or two. It’s a lovely evening out with friends and family. It’s great for kids and equally good with foodie loving friends who might enjoy a prosecco or a craft ale alongside their al fresco meal.

On the last Friday of each month you can usually find me chatting with old friends, making new ones, gobbling down some street food and quaffing prosecco by the glass at Stockport Foodie Friday. There’s plenty of parking and public transport nearby, the atmosphere is fantastic and the variety and quality of the food available is excellent. Stockport Foodie Friday is well worth a visit. 

To find out more about Stockport Foodie Friday visit their website.

Stockport Foodie Friday

Five things to do in Manchester in May Half Term

It only seems like five minutes since the kids when back to school after Easter and the May half term is just around the corner. It’s often hard to think of things to do to entertain the troops. Playdates and trips to the park always feature heavily, but it’s good to have a few bigger things in the diary too.

I’ve picked a few things to do in (and around) Manchester with the kids this May half term. We’ll definitely be popping along to some of these.

The Lost Carnival

If you’ve ever been to the Just So Festival, A Day at the Lake or event The Lost Carnival last year, you know that Wild Rumpus know how to put on an event. Last year we went to The Lost Carnival which was in Bury, this year you can experience an evening of wonder in Crewe, and trust me, it is an experience to remember for all the best reasons.

This year features a “Battle of the Carnivals” between the rival carnivals, The Ingenues and the Birds. Together they will meet for a thrilling evening of spellbinding theatre and enthralling installations, circus, music, visual trickery and sideshows galore. Last year was so good it gave me goosebumps and this year looks set to be even bigger and better!

The Lost Carnival will take place on May 28/29/30 (4-9.30pm) at Queen’s Park, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 7SE. Early Bird tickets cost £10 per ticket. Under 3s go free. Carnival goers should dress for the weather, and wear sturdy shoes.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre & SEA LIFE Manchester

Over the May half term, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and SEA LIFE Manchester at the Trafford Centre will have lots to entertain families come rain or shine. better still, guests only have to buy one ticket and will have the freedom to explore two brilliant attractions!

In the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre visit the brand new play area, City Builder. Visitors can create their own buildings and structures in the City Builder zone. The only limit is your imagination!

For movie enthusiasts, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre has another new 4D movie starring the LEGO Nexo Knights. Experience this fantastic new 4D film with all the elements – wind, water and smoke – bringing the battle to life all around the cinema.

May Half Term

Down at SEA LIFE Manchester, families can dive deep to the fascinating world of new exhibition, Octopus Hideout and spot the star of the show, the Giant Pacific Octopus called Hank and his Cephalopod friends. A visit to SEA LIFE is always a fascinating, fun and educational day out.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the LEGOLAND website and the SEA LIFE website. 

Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park

From Easter until the end of 2016, Tatton Park is is bringing Roald Dahl’s imagination to life, with a host of children’s trails and events for all the family. Join Danny the Champion of the World in the gardens, Fantastic Mr Fox at the farm and Matilda in the mansion and you’ve got to be careful of The Enormous Crocodile out in the parkland!

We’ve already visited and explored the farm at Tatton Park where we found Fantastic Mr Fox, and we’ll be visiting again over half term to explore some of the other fabulous Roald Dahl goings on. You can read the full preview of the Roald Dahl adventures at Tatton Park here.

May half term

GeronimO Festival at Tatton Park

The Geronimo Festival is on at Tatton Park (May 29th and 30th) and will feature CBeebies star live shows, a full circus, 3 theatre companies, amazing bands, a full county fair arena including jousting, sheep shearing, motorcycle displays, funfair rides, tortoise encounters, spy school den building and 100 other amazing activities.

This year CBeebies megastar Justin Fletcher will be there, as well as Mr Bloom, presenters Andy Day and Alex Winters and Cook and Line from Swashbuckle. As well as Les Enfants Terrible who present their Imaginary Menagerie. We’ve seen this show before and it is fantastic, so we won’t be missing that particular festival highlight! You can read my preview here.

What else?

Manchester is a lively, vibrant city full of museums, art galleries, things to see, do and explore. Just a short drive out fo the city you have a wealth of unspoilt countryside and fresh air to fill your lungs with.

If the weather is decent then you could visit and explore outdoors at Dunham Massey, Lyme Park, Delemere Forest or Quarry Bank Mill. There’s Manchester Museum to explore; the Museum of Science and Industry, The Police Museum, Manchester Airport Viewing Park, Stockport Hat Museum, the air-raid shelters; as well as Wythenshawe Community Farm and the utterly fantastic Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.

There’s lots to do this May half term, do you have any interesting ideas for things to do during May half term?

A seriously good facial at Beauty Bee, Bramhall

When Beauty Bee opened in Bramhall a few months ago, I started to hear from friends how good it was. As something of a facial addict I decided to book myself in for a treat and to see if the buzz about Beauty Bee was correct.

Located at Moorend Golf Driving Range in Bramhall, it might at first glance seem to be an unconventional location for beauty treatments, but Beauty Bee offer a selection of deep tissue and sports massages to the golfers, as well as a full range of beauty and pampering treatments to non-sporting types too. Once you are in the Beauty Bee treatment room you’d never guess you were in a golf club and it has the benefit of having more than ample free parking too.

Beauty Bee

On arrival Abby greeted me and escorted me into her treatment room, it was warmly decorated and very comfortable. We sat and chatted about my skin and if it had any problems, then she left the room while I got undressed and I made myself comfortable on the treatment table. Abby wrapped me in towels and a blanket and offered to put the heated blanket on for me, but I was warm and comfortable enough without it.

I’d booked myself in for the Prescription Facial (£30) and Abby took a good look at my skin. It’s fairly normal, combination skin which is a bit dehydrated around the eyes and starting to show a bit of wear and tear (I am 40 this year so it’s time I started looking my age, if not acting it occasionally).

Abby explained that she would be using products from The Potion Shop, a Manchester based company who make organic and paraben free skincare products.

Beauty Bee

It was at this point I largely zoned out and just relaxed into my treatment. I was aware that for the best part of 45 minutes I was being pampered to death. My skin was exfoliated, massaged and treated to hot towels and lots of TLC. Towards the end of my facial, Abby applied a face mask and put chamomile and lavender soaked pads on my eyes whilst she gave my hands and forearms a massage. It was blissful.

My skin felt amazing and was really glowing. As you can see from the before and after photographs below, my skin is a much more even tone, it’s less shiny and I look incredibly relaxed afterwards.

Beauty Bee

The treatment lasted just under an hour and it was an excessively good pampering. Abby clearly loves her job and is very passionate about what she does. I can really recommend Beauty Bee and the prescription facial, I adored my treatment, the look on my face in the second photo is all you really need to know – I will definitely be booking to go back again soon!

SPECIAL OFFER: Maternity Mondays at Beauty Bee – 30% off all treatments if you are on maternity leave and book in on a Monday. 

Beauty Bee is at Moorend Golf Driving Range, 177 Woodford Rd, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire SK7 1QE Phone: 07876 032125. You can find Beauty Bee on Facebook. They also offer treatments on selected days at The University of Manchester.

Days Out: Etherow Country Park, Stockport

Last week, one particularly sunny day we hopped in the car and went to Etherow Country Park, located on the far flung edges of Stockport. We’d not been before but we’d heard that it was well worth a visit for a walk, and if we went on a weekend there was a high chance we’d get to see the boating lake in action.

We arrived just before lunch and parked (pay and display, but not ruinously expensive). The boy and I wandered over to the lake to check out the local bird life, there was the usual selection of Canada geese, ducks, some swans and a few more colourful interlopers. There were also three little model yachts pootling about on the lake which were quite fun to watch.

etherow country park

We watched the birds and the boats for a while, there were lots of small children throwing bread for the ducks, but proper duck food is available from the little garden centre near the cafe if you forget your own.

We decided to walk down the path to the weir and back around the lake. For the most part the path is tarmac or firm ground and is accessible. The path runs along a small waterway so you can watch the wildlife and waterlife as you walk. There are lots of ancient ferns, undergrowth and interesting bushes and trees all around and it’s clearly a popular spot for local families and dog walkers alike.

Walking up to the weir you pass a few reminders of the industrial heritage of the site, Etherow Country Park was once a thriving cotton mill and various bits of machinery and gears remain. You can hear the weir from some distance away, the roar of the water is something to behold and I can’t help but think Stockport Council are missing out on a trick here, not making use of the water power at the weir. 

Etherow Country Park

Walking back to the car park we decided to skirt around the other side of the lake, by that time a few yachts were out catching the wind. The lake is surrounded by beautiful views all around and even in bleak but sunny February it was breathtaking, you’d never know you were so close to civilisation!

By the time we’d got back to where we’d started, the boys were hungry, so whilst I went to the garden centre to pick up some plants, they popped into the busy cafe for coffee and sandwiches.

We’d enjoyed our morning out, the walk is a good length for a five year old, with enough to interest them along the way. The walk we did was not long, but you can walk up beyond the weir and explore the woodland further up if you want. We’ll be returning later on in the spring for another walk up to the weir.

Etherow Country Park & Local Nature Reserve, George St, Compstall, Stockport. SK6 5JD 

Review: Dinner for two at the Bamford Arms

As one half of a pair of fairly exhausted parents we often find it difficult to have a night out together. Every few months we make a special effort to have a date night, dress up a bit and go out somewhere, anywhere for a few hours of couple time together. With Valentine’s Day approaching we visited the Bamford Arms in Stockport for a romantic dinner for two.

We’ve been to the Bamford Arms a few times before as a family, we’ve always been impressed with the quality of the food and the child-friendly atmosphere. This time we visited at night, the restaurant was busy with couples and small groups of friends on a night out. We were shown to a cosy booth and ordered a bottle of prosecco while we looked over the menu.

The Bamford Arms is a Beefeater Grill, so steaks are the order of the day. We ordered starters, him a classic prawn cocktail and me the potato dippers with sour cream and spring onion. His prawn cocktail was a fairly big portion, lots of prawns in marie rose sauce, layered on top of lettuce and cucumber and served with slices of ciabatta. He gave it a 9/10 which is praise indeed! My potato dippers were like thin potato wedges or fat crisps with melted cheese over them and served with a sour cream and chive dip. It was a big portion but very tasty. They do sharing plates of these too which I would definitely order again, to share obviously. 

Bamford Arms

For our main course he ordered the huge 18oz porterhouse steak which comes with unlimited fries (skinny or triple cooked), half a slow roasted tomato, a grilled mushroom and salad. I’m veggie so I ordered the baked veggie enchiladas which were soft flour tortillas stuffed with lime & coriander rice and tomatoes, topped with melted cheese, red chilli, spring onion and sour cream & chive and served with  mini corn on the cob. We also rather greedily ordered sides of macaroni cheese, garlic king prawns and chunky slaw.

Bamford Arms

My enchiladas were very fresh and tasty. It’s nice to see an alternative to the standard lasagne for veggies on the menu. It was piping hot and still bubbling when it arrived at the table. It was fresh and filling, full of wholesome beans and veg, with just enough melted cheese on top, despite the cheese I suspect this is a reasonably healthy choice. 

The sides we ordered to share were huge, the macaroni was toothsome and cheesy, and I know my pasta loving son would have devoured the lot in one go. Hubs loved the garlic king prawns, you get 10 big juicy prawns in a serving for just £4.99 which was excellent value and the chunky slaw was the perfect foil for my spicy enchiladas. 

Hubs valiantly faced the 18oz porterhouse steak; priced at £20.99 it was the most expensive steak on the menu but it was a special occasion so we pushed the boat out. He asked for it to be cooked medium and for some hot piri-piri sauce on the side. The steak was perfectly cooked and huge, it was beautifully tender and he rather impressively managed to devour it all and declared it to be delicious.

Bamford Arms

We were both absolutely stuffed, but we wanted a little bit of something sweet for pudding, so after much deliberation and negotiation we chose to share the Rocky Road Sundae. This was the perfect size for sharing, lovely ice cream and chocolate sauce with chunks of chocolate brownie and topped with marshmallows and a wafer. 

Bamford Arms

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal, although we were stuffed, we’d eaten and eaten well. The restaurant was cosy and the tables weren’t too close together, so you could have a good conversation without feeling like you’re sharing with everyone else. The booth was comfortable and we quickly relaxed into our evening, and importantly at our age there wasn’t loud music blaring, so you could actually hold a conversation rather than shout at each other across the table, which made a nice change.

The food is perfect for sharing, the unlimited skinny or triple cooked chips offer is fantastic, it mean’t that I could pinch a few chips off his plate without him complaining. We couldn’t fault it, and without drinks out food came to £54, which we thought was excellent value for the feast we’d just had.

For a romantic dinner with good food, great wines in a cosy and relaxed atmosphere, the Bamford Arms is well worth a visit for Valentine’s Day, and if you want to push the boat out, order the porterhouse steak. You’ll not regret it! 

Note: We were invited guests of the Bamford Arms Beefeater Grill in Stockport, all images and opinions are our own.

Welcoming Your Child – Humanist Naming Ceremonies

The arrival of a baby is a cause for celebration and an excuse for extended family and friends to get together to welcome the new addition. Traditionally families would gather for Christenings or Baptisms; Bris or Zeved Habat, or an Aqiqah, a rite of passage in which they are embraced by the chosen faith of their parents. But if you have no faith, how can you celebrate the life of the new child in an ‘official’ way? I met Humanist Celebrant, Guy Otten to discover more about Humanist Naming Ceremonies.

Guy is a retired solicitor and tribunal judge who is an Accredited Celebrant of the British Humanist Association. He specialises in conducting Humanist naming ceremonies and funerals in the Stockport, Greater Manchester and Cheshire areas, as well as being a noted public speaker and aspiring author. He invited me along to a naming ceremony to see him at work.

naming ceremonies

We met at the Stockport Masonic Hall for the naming of a gorgeous baby girl called Charlotte (aka Lottie). Guy explained that Humanist naming ceremonies can be held in a variety of locations, from the garden at home, a hotel or a hall; he told me he finds local sports clubs are a popular venue these days, and after the ceremony there’s usually a family party for everyone.

Guy spends some time with the family in the run up to the big day, finding out more about them and about their baby. He works hard to make each naming ceremony personal to each family, filling it with anecdotes about them and how much they love and welcome their new child. It’s never a generic ceremony, it’s always absolutely unique to the child, which is lovely.

naming ceremonies

Humanist Naming Ceremonies are joyous occasions where the parents introduce their child to their extended family and friends, often choosing special ‘guide-parents’ to help them through life, giving them advice, comfort, support and encouragement.

Naming ceremonies are wonderful family occasions and Charlotte’s was no different, with one of her guide-parents choosing to say a few words, Grandma doing a reading, Grandad reciting some poetry and Dad Stuart making a speech. It was a real family affair, very personal and extra special. It’s just a shame Charlotte won’t remember the occasion, although Guy does provide the family with a paper copy of the ceremony as a souvenir of the day, so she will be able to read that when she’s older.

Humanist naming ceremonies are rapidly growing in popularity as more people identify themselves as atheists or non-believers. Having now been to two Humanist naming ceremonies, I can hand on heart say that they are the most wonderful, loving, uplifting ceremonies, and a very special way to welcome a child into the family.

If you would like more to find out more about Humanist Naming Ceremonies, or find a Humanist Celebrant near you, please visit the British Humanist Association website.

Review: The Bamford Arms, Stockport

As a child growing up in the 1980’s we regularly dined out in style at our local Beefeater restaurant. They had a reputation for great steak and back then kids ate for just 99p, plus pudding was always a giant ice cream sundae. I have very fond memories of Beefeater restaurants, so I was looking forward to visiting the Bamford Arms in Stockport to see if the steaks were still good and the ice cream sundaes still giant!

Bamford Arms Stockport

The Bamford Arms has recently been refurbished and the interior is light and bright with lots of interesting features, it is decked out in calm neutrals and if you peek through the bar you can still see the chefs grilling in the kitchen.

We were shown to our table by Gemma, a lovely cheery waitress who gave the small boy a Mr Men activity book and crayons and a matching Mr Men menu. The activity book kept him occupied throughout the meal, something which is pretty unheard of.

We ordered our food, to start we decided to share the Whole Baked Camembert, priced at £5.59.  It is a 45g Camenbert drizzled in garlic and parsley butter, served with onion marmalade and ciabatta. It was impressive looking and delicious. The onion marmalade worked well with the cheese, my only small complaint was it only came with four pieces of ciabatta and it could’ve done with another couple of pieces, but it was an excellent start to the meal.

Bamford Arms Stockport

The main courses soon arrived. I’m a veggie so I ordered the “Veg Out Burger” (£7.99) which was a huge Quorn burger topped with Monterey Jack cheese, a chargrilled red pepper, ranch dressing and smoky tomato sauce, served with your choice of fries and some chunky coleslaw. It was an excellent burger, because it was Quorn it held together and didn’t collapse into my lap after the first bite. It was served with my choice of fries, because you could choose from plain, smokey spiced or chilli and lime spice. Gemma brought me both kinds to try as fries are unlimited (yep, eat as many fries as you can, is that a challenge?).

Bamford Arms Stockport

Hubs was hungry, so he opted for the 10oz Rib-Eye steak (£16.99), served with a tarragon bearnaise sauce (99p), chunky chips and salad. He asked for it medium and it arrived perfectly cooked. It looked beautiful and it cut like butter, I snaffled a couple of his chips and they were excellent, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. He couldn’t fault it and left a clean plate!

The boy had sausage and mash which came with its own little jug of gravy (give a northerner a jug of gravy and they’re in heaven). He happily ploughed through his meal, the sausages and gravy vanished quickly, he ate about half of his mash and peas, which is pretty good going for him. I would say that I thought the mash was a little on the salty side for little ones, we’re always being encouraged to minimise their salt intake so a little less seasoning would be good.

Bamford Arms Stockport

Although we were full we decided we *needed* to try the puddings. Hubs went for the plum tarte tatin (£5.49), I opted for the giant (hurrah) Caramel and Popcorn Sundae (£4.09) and the small boy had jelly and ice cream.

The tarte tatin was good, the pastry wasn’t as puffy and billowy as I would’ve liked, but it was tasty and had a generous amount of plums, the custard was obviously good as I had to step in to stop Hubs drinking it straight out of the jug. My Caramel and Popcorn Sundae was huge, with a quivering tower of popcorn on top. I was slightly expecting the soft whip ice cream I remember from 1983, not the vanilla seed flecked considerably posher ice cream of 2015, but I did enjoy it, especially as I worked my way down through the sundae I’d find little pockets of popcorn or sauce.

The small boy loved his jelly so much, he sat so quietly while he concentrated on scooping the wobbly jelly onto his spoon and into his mouth. It was a joy to watch.

As we went for lunch we all drank soft drinks which had free refills, so the drinks bill was pretty inexpensive. When the bill for the meal came I had to double check that it was correct, it came to just £46.64 (kids eat free every Saturday from 12-5pm) which is remarkable value for what was a really delicious and enjoyable family meal. It was so good Hubs wants to go back again next week!

Note: We were invited guests of the Bamford Arms Stockport, all images and opinions are our own.