It took me several months of random conversations before I realised that the area in between Manchester and Sheffield in the north of England, is actually called the Peak district instead of the Peat district.
The thing is, Peat I associate with this damp and muddy country.
Peaks, not so much.
Sheeps also yes.
In any case, Sameer likes climbing things.
*This photo has been doctored to make the hill look about 45 degrees steeper than it actually was.
So, once upon a warm and woolly weekend in July, we went to Manchester, and headed out on a hike up the district’s Peaks.
We took a uber to Castletown (I know!), and spent a small amount of time wandering around before we headed upwards.
I would like to take a moment to mention that at some point very early on the walk, we saw some tourists stash their huge trolly suitcases behind a small stone wall, as it apparently had suddenly occured to them that in fact suitcases were not the best luggage for hiking.
I have to admit that I did not enjoy the first bit of the hike. We mostly walked through fields, and it was very humid, as well as very stinky (sheepy), and I was struggling with breathing due to a recent cold, which in turn made me panic about my ability to walk once we actually started heading upwards.
But actually, things got a bit nicer once we got out of the valley.
Was I still incredibly slow going up the hills?
Was I mercilessly bullied by a sheep who baa’d at me, and then ran past me up that hill in what can only be called a mocking way?
Did my so-called-supportive Boyfriend who had already passed me take the side of the sheep and claim that he was actually making noises of encouragement?
But I guess the important thing is really that, ultimately, all three of us made it up the hill.
And then the sheep pointed at me, laughed, and ran away.
^ various faces showing my lack of excitement about hills.
There was a bit more climbing….
And ultimately some views…
Plus posing on some peaks:
After walking a bit more, we came across some rocky sculptures.
And so obviously, did some more posing.
And then, came my favourite part.
Time to go down the hills.
Once we ‘finished’ our hike, we had a little sit and a cake, and then realised that actually getting home was going to involve at least another 50 minutes of walking, plus a fairly long wait at the local train station.
^I’m not really convinced that this poster has good advice.
Still, we made it back, and for dinner, to reward ourselves for the very hard hiking/ light stroll-with-a-side-of-sheep-shaming, we went to Where the Light Gets In, a restaurant focused on seasonal non-waste foodstuffs.
This focus on sustainability is the main reason why the first course of our degustation was called ‘last year’s pickle’ (celtuce).
The whole situation slightly concerned Sameer.
Next up was ‘the whole of the carrot’.
Carrot with carrot parts with carrot.
This did not leave Sameer feeling more confident that he was going to leave the place feeling well fed.
Plate three was a delicious but tiny asparagus tart (it had a person’s name associated with it, because I think she grew the asparagus).
And after that came a tiny lobster crumped, which was absolutely scrumptious. I could have eaten eight more.
Course Five saw Sameer try his first ever oyster…
…he did not super love it.
There was a bread course, of course….
Then came a tiny potato with risotto, accompanied by rare leek (there were only a couple of the these dishes this season, because the leek crop was low), and some lobster tail (amazing!!)
The pig course came in various forms, including a pig-fat bread with pig-juice dipping sauce (more delicious than it sounds)….
And soon it was time for dessert; which included one of the most unique foods I’ve ever had- an icy sheep milk ‘parfait’, and a very forgettable trifle thing.
The next morning we didn’t do much of anything. We woke up, had some food, drank some coffee, and headed out. Back home, and then (for one of us) straight out to the US.