We have just enjoyed a weekend away in Northumberland staying at The Old School House, Tilmouth, Cornhill-on-Tweed. We arrived late afternoon after a long journey to Northumberland and were greeted by Judith who showed us to the beautiful ‘Tillmouth Suite’.

Complete with its own private stairs and bathroom, the Suite is tastefully furnished to a high standard with king-size bed, goose-down quilt, beautifully soft bed linen, fluffy towels and comfortable chairs.

It is equipped with hospitality tray and home baking, fridge, TV/DVD/radio/CD and a mini library. We were then told to pop downstairs for a lovely home made cream tea.

The friends we went with had been before so our days were planned ahead and extremely busy. We visited Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle, and also Bamburgh Castle. We had more tea and cakes in the Bamburgh Castle Tea Shop and had a ride on the Heatherslaw Light Railway.

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We drove through spectacular scenery and followed the never ending stunning sand beaches to Seahouses. We even popped into Scotland to a pretty village with cobbled streets called Kelco.

The accommodation and hospitality was first class and we will definitely be back again to enjoy some more. There was even a chocolate mint waiting for you on your return from dinner each evening.



My hubby wanted a fruit cake, I wanted a chocolate cake. I looked in the cupboard and did not have enough fruit for a fruit cake so decided on a compromise and bake a chocolate fruit cake instead. It turned out rather nice so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.


175g Softened Butter or Margarine
175g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs (yolks mixed until yellow and whites whisked until light and fluffy)
140g Self Raising Flour (sieved)
85g Dried Mixed Fruit
½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Vanilla Essence
100ml Milk
4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder (sieved)
50g Chocolate chips
Grate Chocolate to decorate (optional)

Heat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180C/ 350F
Line or grease a loaf cake tin
Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy
Add flour, fruit, baking powder, vanilla essence, milk and sieved cocoa – mix for one minute
Fold in the egg whites and chocolate chips
Bake in the middle of the oven for 55-60 mins or until skewer comes clean
Rest for 5 minutes before taking out of baking tin
Grate some chocolate over the top (optional)


It slips down rather nicely with a cup of tea 🙂