Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Day 5 - it's not easy being green

In Sesame Street style today's hike has been brought to you by the colour green. There were green damson trees, green fields, green juniper
and very green Kendal Mint Cake liqueur.

Cowmire Hall was our first stop where the lovely Oliver showed us around their damson orchard and told us all about their glorious historical family home & how they came to produce their delicious Damson Gin. All of the stories from all of the producers we have met are thoroughly fascinating and will be in our book.


From there it was a green and pleasant 8 mile hike around Whitbarrow Scar and up onto Scout Scar where we saw our first juniper. I met with Mike from South Lakes Ecology before we set off & he told me all I need to know about juniper & its importance in Cumbrian ecology. Many of the juniper bushes on the fells are over 200 years old and they play a vital role in supporting a huge range of indigenous flora and fauna.

Scout Scar
Juniper
Kissing gates & rucksacks don't mix!

They also play a vital role in gin production so, with that in mind, we continued down into Kendal.

Home for the night is Kendal Hostel and it seems we both had a very old fashioned idea of what to expect. The hostel is pristine clean with light and airy rooms and ours even had an en suite - a perfect family room. It's grade 2 listed building right in the heart of Kendal and the owner, Jan, knows all there is to know about things to do locally.  We were both hugely impressed - it's the absolutely perfect place to stay for those on a tight budget.


With the fabulous knowledgable Jan!
Hostel cat George
Once settled we just had time for a quick pizza at Brewery Arts Centre before heading out to meet Mike & Annie - producers of Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur and Full Moon Gin.  They were utterly delightful, and I'm not just saying that because they plied us with a range of cocktails - each more delicious than the last. (Though that obviously helped!)
Edmund Hilary

Love Potion No 2

As we staggered back through Kendal to the hostel we both reflected on how lovely, genuine and passionate all the producers we've met so far are. Driven by a love for what they do and a strong desire to support other local businesses by using local ingredients, designers etc wherever they can.

And so to bed - I just hope that after all our "research" this evening we're not too green around the gills in the morning!

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