After our long walk the day before we decided to do a little gentle sight-seeing on our fourth day, revisiting a couple of favourite places and then going on to somewhere new. Our first port of call was the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire which is very attractive but always very crowded. We surprised ourselves by finding somewhere to park quite quickly and walked to the Bakewell Pudding Shop.
Bakewell is the only market town in the whole of the Peak District National Park. As with many places in the Peak District, mineral springs are found there and it nearly became a spa town. The name ‘Bakewell’ comes from ‘Badeca’s Well’ and is nothing to do with baking. A Bath House was built by the Duke of Rutland in 1697 and it still has the 16′ x 33′ bath in the cellar. The reason it wasn’t a success as a spa was the temperature of the water which is only 11 degrees Centigrade/52 degrees Fahrenheit – a little chilly! This is less than half the temperature of the Buxton waters.
R and I wanted to buy a pudding as we love them and hadn’t had one for a couple of years. We also purchased some bread and a teacloth with the recipe of the pudding printed on it and then went through to their coffee shop and had a pleasant drink while sitting in a sheltered courtyard.
Rather an unprepossessing looking pudding but really very tasty. It can be eaten hot or cold and with or without cream or custard. It is made with puff pastry, then a layer of jam (usually raspberry) and then covered with a mixture made of ground almonds, sugar, butter, eggs and almond essence. This is then baked until the mixture sets. This confection was made by mistake. During the 19th century a cook at the Rutland Arms was baking a jam tart but somehow misunderstood the recipe and the result was this pudding. It was an instant success, though I don’t know how anyone let alone a cook can make a mistake when making a jam tart!
We then walked a little through the town and ended up at our favourite place – the riverside. There is a wide promenade next to the River Wye and benches to sit on at intervals. There is a very attractive bridge over the river which flows at a good pace.
The river is full of trout and has a couple of little weirs. There are lots of water-birds to admire and also lots of Black-headed Seagulls too.
I was fascinated by the behaviour of both the moorhen and the coot. These birds are not often seen together although very closely related. I find their chicks indistinguishable and am not sure if these chicks belonged to the coot or moorhen. Coots have a pure white forehead and bill and are usually found on open water like lakes and moorhens with red bills that have a yellow tip are found on streams and ponds. Both birds obviously felt threatened by each other and though it isn’t clear in the photo above the coot had lowered its head and had fluffed up all its feathers until it looked enormous. It was moving very slowly too.
After sitting by the river for a while, R and I decided we would go on to Haddon Hall which is just a few miles from Bakewell. I will talk about that in my next post.