Sunday, 27 September 2009


9am yesterday found myself and Mr HH here, at Kings Cross station, to finally enjoy Mr HH's birthday present which he received in June.

The occasion was a trip hauled by the newly built steam engine "Tornado" (the first steam engine to be built in this country for 50 years). Time to settle down at our table for breakfast. You can't beat the Pullman for travelling in style every now and then for a treat!

My favourite bit - the champagne for breakfast, always feels more decadent than having it at any other time of day somehow!

An awful lot of food, lots of reading and chatting and 4 hours later, we find ourselves in York, resplendant in radiant sunshine with the brightest of blue skies. We take our chance to admire the engine.

The driver obviously worked very hard!

We are allowed the rare privilege of going up on the footplate (inside the cab of the engine) and feel the immense heat from the fire inside the engine. We know now why it's such a dirty job!

Mr HH allows himself to dream of a life away from the boring city, where he is the driver of Tornado instead!

We set off on foot, intent on enjoying our few hours in York. We cross the river and watch the boats going to and fro.

We wander through the streets, such a lovely city with beautiful historic buildings, and admire the Minster.

We find the infamous Betty's Tea Rooms but the queue is predictably huge so we settle for a few purchases from the shop instead.

But the pull is too strong! For I know that nestled within those quaint, historic lanes is a certain emporium. I spot that distinctive blue and red sign a veritable mile away!

Oh joy. Right inside the door, the display is instantly stunning!

I do think that the merchandising in Cath K's shops is brilliant. I've visited a few now and they all have lovely but different displays. I particularly love the vintage pieces, especially the upholstered furniture, because you just don't see this sort of thing in other shops. I've long hankered after one of these haberdasher's counters...

Aaarrgghh, it's a patchwork chair!

The backs of the drawers have received a "paint job".

Hmmm, couldn't you just cosy up in that bed. I am in love with the white/flowery bouquet bedlinen. It can only be a matter of time before I succumb!

This chaise is pretty beautiful too. At the rear of this store is a little garden and they have made the most of using the windows and doors for display.

Back in the bedroom area, there's a rather eye catching dressing table and screen.

And a lovely display on the wall shelves.

Eek! I love this blanket cushion. The blanket still had its Witney label on. The chair (with cushion!) could be yours for £350. Beside it, there's another of those lovely papered chests.

I confess to parting company with Cath on the subject of paint. Whilst I love the bright painted furniture, I am not a fan of gloss paint and I much prefer eggshell. I must say, the staff in the York store were lovely. We got chatting to one assistant who told us that there is a man responsible for merchandising the shops and he, with a team of about 4 others, goes to the fairs such as Swinderby, and also in France, buying up all the vintage goodies we see in the shops. She told me that the new catalogue is coming out soon and there is a feature about him in it. I wait with baited breath..!

Tired but happy, we settled back on to the train for a sumptuous dinner. They certainly feed you well on these trips! It was dark by the time we pulled into London but we'd had a wonderful day. The staff on these trips really go out of their way to make sure every aspect of your day is perfect and the food (and drink!) was first rate. We took our trip with Steam Dreams; if you/your nearest and dearest are interested in these trips, we've now done several and they've been great, better than the Orient Express in our opinion (cheaper too). Perfect for a special occasion.

Until next time, Tornado..!

After a good night's sleep, we decided to forego the car boot in favour of a rare lie-in. I don't really do lie-ins though, so I was prowling round the kitchen at a reasonable hour. We've picked nearly all of the tomatoes and chillies now but we've had a good amount of sun recently which has helped ripen everything nicely. I spot cookies!

We bought a little treat for the Munchkin from Betty's.

I think I know which conker he will prefer...

I decided to go back to bed with my copy of BoB that arrived yesterday...

...and errm, a few of those cookies!


  1. Looks like a lovely day out. I love the CK displays, I've not visited any of the shops but did spot a duvet cover in the local dept store this weekend. Must say, I'm very tempted! Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

  2. Tornado is beautiful isn't she? She was here in Minehead for most of June. We even managed with our little camera to take some of her moving.
    Yorkshire is one place I would really love to go, I have been to the railway museum but that is all. The Cath Kidston shop looks good. I have only managed the one in Bristol! The painted drawers have given me an idea for my old fashioned chemist drawers.

  3. Your blog is awesome....I love the British-ness of it all. It reminds me of the England I visited when I did a semester abroad many years ago. I hope you don't mind, but I included your site as one of my favorites on my own little blog. Keep on writing and taking those lovely pictures. It's all a joy to read. -- Jodi from The Jolly Bee (

  4. It sounds like you had a perfect day. York is so beautiful, I used to stay with my sister there when she was at University. The Cath Kidston shop looks great, I love the red painted screen with the Boat fabric panels.
    Ann x

  5. Looks like a great day, I would love to go on a steam train trip but not really OH thing!
    York looks beautiful my parents went there in July & loved it. Well done for finding CK, it looks a great shop. I'm still hoping they come to Exeter, my dream job. I'm still waiting for my last catalogue, think I'll have to order it, maybe they've taken me off the mailing list.
    How are you getting on with the crocheted hats? I love them, so much quicker then the knitted ones. I'm hoping for a big turn out on tuesday now, I've contacted the local paper etc but my event pack still hasn't arrived. I don't need yours until 10th October so you have a while (I know you're always busy!) x

  6. Hello Hen

    What a wonderful day out! Most envious...Just the kind of trip I would really enjoy. Something else to go on my Christmas list! Mr HH must have been in his element. The perfect birthday present for him.

    The last time I went to York was about 15 years ago. I remember my stay there well, I struggled to understand the receptionist's strong Yorkshire accent, my ex husband had to translate every thing for me...Funny looking back on it but embarrassing at the time, especially as she was not amused!

    Glad you both had a good time. Really enjoyed your pictures of your day out there.
    Enjoy a relaxing Sunday.
    Isabelle x

  7. I am pleased that you had a great time on Tornado: I have been considering paying for a trip on her for my Dad's 60th as he is a steam fanatic but really he is all about GWR so we shall see!
    I love the tip about Swinderby! Stangly enough, I was thinking about popping up there next week as it is on with Newark right after! x

  8. Thanks for giving me a great idea for a Christmas pressie for hubbie, he loves steam trains.
    The Cath Kidston shop looks wonderful - so inviting could well end up spending a fair few pounds in there I have no doubt.

  9. This is a lovely post as usual Hen. Thanks for sharing you day with us. I like CK and have a few bits but I am waiting till I get a work room to let myself go wild!
    York is a beautiful place to visit.

  10. What a fab day that you had. That train is gorgeous, and Gosh, how I would love champagne for breakfast! It looked to me like a trip to heaven! CK! I agree with you on the paint front, I much prefer eggshell too! I really einjoyed reading your post, as I always do! Suzie. x

  11. What a lovely birthday present and day out! The CK shop is just stunning! And I just adore the chocolate conker. :)

  12. Hello Hen!

    What a super trip out, York is wonderful!
    We are going at the end of October for a day trip , My Sister her new chap, Jess and Olly anf moi.....I'ms so excited!

    how great that you got to travel there in such wonderful style....looks fabulous!

    CK looking lovely as ever.....I so enjoyed that you say its so prettily set out!

    Have a good week...I've just arrived back froma weekend, away, I'm shattered!

  13. OOh, my last job in the UK was in York, and I loved the rare occasions when I could have a look round the streets and the shops before grabbing a train back home! Thanks for that tour. I don't think CK was there, then - I don't remember it at all and I think I would!

    I love the first photo of that wonderfully colourful display. The news about the merchandising chap who comes over to France is intriguing. Maybe I will be able to pick up that edition of the mag when I come over to Einburgh... I got some finds he might have enjoyed today!

  14. Hi What a lovely time you had !
    I have just got back from Westpoint Creative Stitches but a huge lack of fabric stalls for some reason ? !
    Did by some fabric for a cushion for my Lloyd Loom chair , I didnt pay £350 for mine !!

    Sue x

  15. Hi Hen,

    What a wonderfully decadent day out. Two meals with only adult company and just slowly mooching your way around the beautiful York going into shops where the child accompanied fear to tread.

    I’m glad you had such a lovely day, you lucky duck :)

  16. What a wonderful trip!Mr Boo would LOVE that train journey,and I am drooling over the in York.I've just bought that flowery bed linen you loved.It's in my recent post.I almost don't want to use it though! It's the same with the T towels and dusters!


  17. What a fantastic birthday present Mr HH had! I'm very pleased you had a lovely journey!
    Mmmm...did someone choose York by chance??!! ;-)

  18. What a fun day! You have made me quite excited about my wicker chairs - I can't even remember where they all came from (some from my grandma, I know), but I do remember that I didn't pay anything for any of them! I'm with you on the drawers (I've always had a thing about drawers) - but CK's man is obviously out there snapping them all up!

    Pomona x

  19. Hi Hen, lovely post as usual, I really enjoy your blog, but just couldn't help myself when I saw the lovely 1930s Lloyd loom chair in the York CK shop. I just love Lloyd Loom, its classic, beautifully styled and always comfy. I have one in each room at home I'm so smitten by them. But.... I nearly had a heart attack at the price. I am an antique dealer with a pretty shop in the Yorks Dales and I quite often sell these chairs and they are always less than £100. I know I don't have York City Center overheads but that's a lot for the cushion, even a lovely Miss K cushion. But like you I love the shop and I hope you had a great time in our lovely county. Sorry for the downer, the price was just such a shock. Best wishes, Karen x

  20. OOO! I love going shopping with you. All that CK eye candy! You could be my personal shopper.

    Yep York is lovely. If I had to live in a city then it would have to be York, except for the part that always floods!

  21. York is my favourite place for a day out, we're only an hour awat and always have a weekend there for our anniversary. The C.K. shop has been there about a year now and its always full of customers and the staff are Lucey x

  22. A perfect present for Mr HH that assists Mrs HH in her CK addiction! Who could ask for more.

    You're so right the CK stores are wonderfully merchandised... can't wait to see the new magazine.

    We should to have this fabulous shop in our high street when I was a child, a "proper" haberdashery with those sets of draws, seeing them always reminds me of that shop!

    Victoria xx

  23. What a lovely day for both of you!! York was the perfect deatination!! I loved York before, but there was no CK shop then. Perfect reason to visit again, I think!!
    The train journey looked fantastic!! What a great treat!!!

    Sharon xx

  24. How fun! :-)
    What a great day you had.

  25. I'd better get to "Swinderby" early next week then! For anyone that may be thinking of going it is actually moving and will be much smaller. It will be at Lincoln showground from now on.
    I agree with Milkchurn Cottage - I have a lot of LLoyd Loom and have never paid more than £30 for a piece. I was outbid at auction yesterday - with 2 items going for £32 the pair!). I always go for the stuff which hasn't been repainted - it ages so beautifully without!

  26. Looks like a brilliant day!

    Lots of Love

    Kelly xxx

  27. Think that man of yours is very lucky to have you. That rail trip sounds really fabulous, too. York is a beautiful place, with lots to enjoy.

    Your post has brought back many lovely memories of traveling up there and back to London.

    Best wishes.

  28. What a wonderful day, Mr HH looks very pleased with himself on the train!

  29. What a lovely day out!!
    I have found some ck footballer fabric, so if you want some, maybe we could do a little swap?!
    xxx Steph

  30. Hi Hen, what a lovely day out it sounds fabulous, great photos. You do have lovely days out...I love reading your blog and reading about them. Lovely cookies, yum! Kathy PS. Would you like a ticket for the CL fair in November?x

  31. Mr HH must have been so pleased! What a lovely day! And York is so beautiful! My parents went there on their honeymoon years back! xxx

  32. What a great way to spend a day. Loved the rose blanket and the thought of relaxing and eating on the train.

    Fabric could be Donna's? Had it so long I can't remember really. I know if I asked her she'd be able to tell me as a great memory for fabrics past has my blonde doppleganger. Yes trivet from Quilting ... I'm slowly working my way through some of it's projects. A favourite of your's too? Some books simply hit the mark don't they.

    Lisa x

  33. What a great day out. I love a steam train and I can smell the heat and soot right now...gorgeous! Have to confess that I've gone off CK a bit but do love the display idea...don't go much on her mannequin though!!! Lucyxx

  34. I am so glad that you liked my beloved York...we are going on saturday...only an hour for us! did you get the Cath K shots poor Sal was refused and so I never dared asked...did you meet the lovely assistant with the white deco hair cut...we love her...maybe next time we will meet you for a H


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