About karenlovestodance

I love to dance and I like to buy clothes in charity shops, though on one occasion I bought a teddy bear called Horace instead!

Making Scones using National Trust recipe

We had some clotted cream to use up so I decided to make some scones to go with it. National Trust Book of Scones seemed the best place for a recipe as National Trust scones are always very yummy.

To begin you have to rub the butter into the sifted flour to make a mixture that looks like fine crumbs. I used gloves to do this to stop my fur getting messy.

I added the sultanas and sugar, then beat an egg ready to go into the mixture.

The egg was added to the mixture along with the milk (I used oat milk). I kept a little bit of eggy milk to use later (to brush over the scones before cooking)

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Christchurch Harbour Hotel winter mini-break

We managed to tag along with the humans on a winter mini-break to Mudeford at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel.

The bed was very comfy with plenty of room for two small bears.

The room was listed as having a partial view of the harbour.   We found that the flat bottomed cushions made excellent seats to sit on and look out!

The bench in the hotel garden was also a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the winter sun on the fur.

There is a wonderful view from the hotel quayside.  The atmosphere was very peaceful as we watched the ducks swimming on the calm water.

The hotel has a spa, but being filled with acrylic fibre we don’t like to get wet as it makes us all heavy and soggy. Saunas make us rather too hot. However, we make excellent models for robes and slippers.

A relative of Henry was having a rest in the corridor. Nuvac has a happy face like me.

We were jolly pleased to find a swing in the hotel grounds, though it was a tad big for us.

Venturing a bit further afield we wandered to Mudeford Quay and climbed up onto the piles of rope for a photo.  In the main season ferries go from Mudeford Quay to Mudeford Sand banks which are just a short distance away across the water.  We would have to find another way to get there!

On the beach we found a log to rest against while enjoying more winter sun.

In the distance across the water we could see The Isle of Wight and the Needles. We have been to Isle of Wight a few times, and visited the Needles on one visit. See our blog about the Needles here: https://horacethealresfordbear.com/2017/04/27/the-needles-new-battery-old-battery/

The food at The Harbour Hotel is very good with a great selection available at breakfast. We had already eaten croissants, granola and fruit salad before starting on our cooked breakfasts. I liked the tiny saucepan the baked beans were served in.

On our last day the humans decided to drive around to Hengistbury Head so that we could walk to the Mudeford Sandbanks and see the beach huts.

Nye nearly disappeared in the long grass – can you see him?

We tried to decide which beach hut we liked best.

But we actually liked all of them.

We also quite liked this little boat!

We really enjoyed our couple of days in and around Mudeford. Before leaving the hotel we posed for one last photograph on the quayside.

Horace the Alresford Bear 20/1/2023

The Christmas Trees of Attingham  (all decorated with themes of trades)

The trees were very interesting to look at, the staff at Attingham had been very creative with the various themes.  I really like the clock maker’s tree.

For more information about Attingham see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/shropshire-staffordshire/attingham-park

Horace the Alresford Bear 30/12/22

Barrington Court Christmas Lights Trail

It is good to do something festive on Christmas Eve. The humans were in Somerset so they took us to Barrington Court to see the lights trail there.

After spending a few minutes posing for photographs on the reindeers we continued on up the path.

Once inside the barn there were lots of Christmas trees covered in twinkling lights. It all looked very festive.

We rested for a while in a little tree shelter.

The candles looked very realistic – they were fake candles powered by batteries, much safer than real candles as there is no danger of them causing a fire

We posed for a photo with some candles.

We climbed up into one of the trees for another photo…

All the climbing made our legs tired so we had a little rest before leaving the barn.

The lights trail is open until January 1st 2023, on days when Barrington Court is open. It is only short but lovely for small bears with little legs and we think small humans would like it too.

The last time I was at Barrington Court was during spring 2020. See https://horacethealresfordbear.com/2020/06/19/barrington-court/

Horace the Alresford Bear 24/12/22

Overnight in a Premier Inn in Yeovil

The humans were going to a Dance at Westlands in Yeovil so booked into a Premier Inn for the night. They took us along too!

The humans ate some Christmas chocolates that were in the room but left us the biscuits…

We needed a bit more than biscuits though so decided to go and eat in the restaurant after spending a while looking at the menu.

‘Pub food’ is served in Premier Inns. We rather enjoyed the chips, we don’t get them at home…

My desert was made from ice cream, chocolate flake and chocolate buttons, and I rather enjoyed that too.

Nye opted for some caramel apple pie with ice cream.

Eating so much food made us quite tired, so we soon fell asleep. The beds were very comfortable.

For breakfast we just had a couple of croissants each as our tummies were still full up from the evening meal.

We went back to the Inn (which is next door to the restaurant), packed up our things and were ready for another adventure.

The Inn we stayed at was at Yeovil Airfield. We thought it was a good place for a stop over.

Horace the Alresford Bear 24/12/22

Chilly Dyrham Park

Cold weather has arrived, the humans decided to go for a wintery walk at Dyrham Park. There was a giant wreath in front of the house which made me look rather small.

I wandered off for a walk around the gardens. It is good to keep moving when the weather is chilly, it helps to keep bears and humans warm.

The gardeners were ‘resting’ the grass next to the waterfall and pond, so I couldn’t get close to the edge. They do this as during busy times the grass gets worn away by the many humans walking all over it.

The gardeners were very busy in the formal gardens and had lots of pots placed ready for planting.

They had plans to tell them exactly where to put the pots. I don’t know what was in the pots, we will have to visit again in spring to find out!

Wheelbarrows always look better with small bears inside…

At the Old Lodge there was a Christmas tree surrounded by very large presents. The boxes were big enough to contain big teddy bears.

Two rather splendid tractors were in the children’s play area. Fortunately there were no children around so I was able to try them both out…

I liked the red one best.

I had a potter about in the mud kitchen, which made me start thinking about real food.

The humans bought me a very tasty cheese and onion pasty in the tea room which warmed me up and filled up my tummy nicely. Yum yum yum.

I visit Dyrham quite often as it is near Bristol where I live and have blogged about it several times. If you wish to see my other blogs just type ‘Dyrham’ into the search box.

Horace the Alresford Bear 7/12/2022

Afternoon tea and ‘taking the waters’ at Bath Pump Room

I managed to tag along with the humans on a special visit to Bath for afternoon tea at The Pump Room.

The Pump Room is very grand with a chandelier and a big piano at one end, where musicians were playing music.

There is a splendid view of The Roman Baths from the Pump Room windows. I visited the baths a few years ago. (See https://horacethealresfordbear.com/2018/03/07/the-roman-baths-in-bath/)

After being seated a waitress brought three plates full of treats for me to share with just one human. Yum yum yum.

After eating as much as my tummy could manage I went over to the fountain where warm spa waters emerge from the ground.

Small cone shaped cups were available for visitors to sip some of the spa water. Back in the late 17th century aristocrats came here to ‘take the waters’ as they believed that the mineral rich spring water could cure illnesses. I had a sip, it just tasted like warm water!

Before leaving the Waitress kindly put all the leftover cakes in a box for me to take home and share with my friends.

I am a very lucky Bear.

Horace the Alresford Bear 1/11/2023

Clifton Observatory

I only live a couple of miles from the Clifton Observatory, but I have never been inside. The humans aren’t keen to visit places when they are busy, but on a Thursday in October it wasn’t busy, so in we went.

On arrival we were quite hungry, so headed for the 360 Cafe to get a bit to eat.

The cafe has outdoor seating on the top with amazing views of Bristol and The Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Wallace dressed as Isambard Kingdom Brunel also lives up there.

I enjoyed a focaccia toastie with a splendid view.

After eating we went to get tickets to see the camera obscura and the giant’s cave.

I had to climb up lots and lots of steps right to the top of the tower to the camera obscura.

I carefully read the instructions for using the camera.

Then went into the room and closed the door.

The humans opened the door to take this photo of me, and the image on the big circle of stone disappeared as it does need to be dark.

With the door firmly shut I pushed the lever around which moves the mirrors right at the top which reflect the images of outside onto the circle.

I could see the Suspension Bridge and cars and people going across it. The camera obscura has been there since 1828, a very long time.

After spending quite a while with the camera it was time to venture down through the rocks of the Avon Gorge to The Giant’s Cave. Legend has it that local giant Goram lived in the cave.

There were lots and lots of steep steps that went down through the rock.

At the bottom there is a balcony in the side of The Avon Gorge. It is made of a steel grille, and it is possible to look down through it. I was a bit worried that my paws might fall through, or that 8 humans might suddenly join me.

I teetered as far as I could without standing on the grid and had a look at the view of the Suspension Bridge and the River Avon below.

There is net all over the balcony to stop birds nesting in the cave. My human took this photo of me and then I was keen to get back to the cave!

If you live in Bristol or are visiting The Observatory is definitely worth a visit, but the cave isn’t for the faint hearted. You also need to be reasonably fit as there are many steep steps, I should have counted them but I was busy holding on to the railings!

For more information see: https://cliftonobservatory.com/

Horace the Alresford Bear 14/10/2022

Adventure in the sunny South of France

My humans had a wedding to attend in Provence in France and decided to take me along. For the first part of the journey, on a coach which left rather early in the morning (3am) I did pillow duties.

The coach eventually arrived at Gatwick Airport; we were flying to Marseille. The humans thought it would be quick to fly there, but unfortunately it ended up taking a very long time. I enjoyed a tasty croissant and a hot chocolate while waiting to be called to the departure gate.

I got through passport control and to the gate where humans and bears wait to get on aeroplanes. Unfortunately, it ended up being quite a long wait. The first aeroplane had a mechanical issue and we all had to move to another gate.

After boarding the aeroplane it was announced that the humans who control the air traffic in France had gone on strike. I had to sit in my seat for 5 hours before the aeroplane finally took off. It wasn’t too bad for me as I am small, but the humans found it rather uncomfortable.

I spent quite a while tucked in the backpack after we landed at Marseille. My human was very tired and had forgotten to take photos of me. After more travelling in a car we eventually arrived at the hotel in Chateauneuf le Rouge, and at about 1am I climbed into bed happy to have finally arrived but very tired. There were no problems in getting to sleep!

I slept for so long I missed the hotel breakfast, but the kind humans brought me breakfast in bed.

It didn’t take me long to get into holiday mode.

The humans were keen to explore Aix en Provence, where they would later be attending a family wedding. I went along with them as I do enjoy exploring new places. Here I am by the fountains,

A famous painter called Cezanne lived in Aix en Provence, his statue is in the square. I wondered whether he ever painted small bears.

France is a good place for food. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch sat outside in the sunshine.

I also very much enjoyed my breakfast the morning after. The problem with buffets is knowing when to stop eating!

The hotel was just up the road from the small town of Chateauneuf de Rouge. I went for a stroll around while the humans attended the wedding at Aix en Provence. I didn’t go to the wedding as my human didn’t have a suitable bag to hide me in!

I spent a while in the library, where I realised I do need to improve my French,

In the woods there was an exercise trail, which was a tad challenging for a small bear and kept me busy for a while,

While out exploring I made friends with a giant grass hopper.

The day after the wedding the celebrations all the guests were invited to a brunch. I was delighted to be taken along.

The cake was probably the best cake I have ever tasted. Tarte Tropezienne; yum yum yum.

We left Chateauneuf de Rouge and set off towards the coast, eventually arriving at a campsite near Frejus, Plage d’Argens. The humans had rented a mobile home.

The campsite was next to a nature reserve and very near the beach, as we found out on a short walk before supper.

The humans cooked a yummy meal in the mobile home which we ate outside on the deck,

The next day I joined the humans on a long walk around the nature reserve, Les Etangs De Villepey. We found some flamingos which we spent a while watching from the hide.

My legs got quite tired with all the walking, so the day after I spent warming my fur by the pool and keeping an eye on the humans.

In the South of France prickly pear cacti thrive. I have heard that the pears are edible, but they looked a bit too prickly to me.

Following a short drive along the coast, past St Raphael, we found an island with a giant chess piece castle on the top. It is called Il d’Or.

It was very hot so I climbed into the pine trees to find some shade.

I very much enjoyed the tarte pomme that was part of my picnic.

One of the things I enjoy about France is the bread, and on campsites they bake it fresh every day.

Another fun day out was to St Tropez. In the high season it is a very busy resort, but in October when we visited it had quite a peaceful atmosphere. I enjoyed looked at all the big boats in the harbour and watching some of the yachts sail out to sea.

I found a pattiserie selling lots of different versions of the Tarte Tropezienne. The recipe on display looked quite complicated so I don’t think I will be able to make one.

On our last day in the South of France I had fun exploring a castle on the beach.

On the way back to Marseille airport I offered to drive a while for the humans, but they were concerned that I might not have great visibility due to my small stature.

The aeroplane going home was on time, and also was flying to Bristol where I live which was very good news.

Even better was that I got a whole seat to myself!

I had a lovely time in the South of France, the temperature was just right for small bears in October, and I won’t forget the Tarte Tropezienne!

Horace the Alresford Bear 13/10/22