Sunday, 23 March 2014

Christmas in the Lake District

One thing I love about living in the Northern hemisphere is the magical Christmases and how festive and traditional the festive season truly is. Growing up in South Africa, we had braai's (bbq's) outdoors and in between swimming and playing in the garden we would manage to stuff our faces with food that wasn't always a traditional Christmas meal. Don't get me wrong, I loved it and have great memories of those years, but it certainly means I really appreciate the "proper" Christmases over here.

Oxford Street Lights. Image Via
I love the build up to Christmas in England. I love the cosiness of the dark, long days being lit up by beautiful Christmas lights and decorations. I love that walking down the street you feel like it has been raining green, red and gold on account of there being so much colour everywhere. I love dressing up in my coat, scarf, gloves and hat to brave the icy weather and then be rewarded with a nice mug of hot chocolate, or even better, a steaming glass of mulled wine. The thought of Christmas carols, Christmas markets and snowy days make winter on the muddy island a far more endearing season {at least until 02 January} and when the clocks turn back in October every year, I secretly feel a little thrill of excitement for the season that is about to start.

In 2011 I was lucky enough to spend Christmas in the Lake District with Hamish and three of my old school friends from South Africa who were also living in London.  We decided to have an orphans Christmas and rented a quaint and cosy apartment  right on Lake Windermere in the Lake District. We had high hopes for this being a true white Christmas for us all, but alas it ended up being a Wet Christmas instead.

The girls 
Regardless of the weather and a few hiccups in the travel department {delays, lost tickets, broken cars etc} we managed to have a great time. Margot and I were the chefs for the weekend and if I do say so myself, we managed to cook up one heck of a brilliant meal. We spent hours in the kitchen, tempers may have flared, things may have gotten slightly stressful, but wow was it delicious.

Aside from eating our body weight in food on Christmas day, during our stay we also ventured into one of my favourite places in the world, Ambleside village for a traditional English cream tea - nothing beats clotted cream and honey on a fresh, warm scone - my tummy grumbles just thinking about it! In addition to the feasting, we managed to sneak in a lovely long walk through the wet  lush green forest to a small waterfall. We also visited the Beatrix Potter museum, which I definitely remember being a lot larger {or maybe I was a lot smaller the last time I visited circa 1993} and played ALOT of board games, which if you know me, means it was a success of a trip in my mind - I love playing games!

It was a good thing we packed our Wellies!
Top left to right : Me and Tara, Tara hugging a tree, Jenna hugging a tree, me standing in a puddle

Beautiful countryside **
I have always loved the Lake District {more on this later}, it is a place I visit at least once every year and it was lovely spending Christmas there with special friends. I am so lucky to have such great friends in my life and as I get older I certainly think I appreciate these people and these friendships more and more.

Back to front: Margot, me, Tara, Jenna **

**Thanks Jenna for letting me use your photo's from this trip! 

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