As recommended by a friend – What a lovely idea it was today, to drive up to the North Yorkshire Moors, and to discover for the first time, tucked into a valley, Ampleforth Abbey!!
Ampleforth Abbey is a Benedictine community nestled in a peaceful valley, not far from Sutton Bank, and Byland Abbey (also my top places in North Yorkshire). During a browse around the new Visitor Centre, I discovered that the Abbey was founded in 1802, and the site now includes the monastery, a college where the monks teach, 2000 acres of land which includes an orchard from which they produce a variety of foods and drinks. And of course the Abbey church which has daily Mass and the Divine Office chanted throughout the day.
Naturally the other reason to visit was The Tea Room, furnished with the famous ‘Mousey Thompson’ tables and chairs, situated off the Main Hall in the central building.
While the Monks are not charged with the task of running the teashop – that’s left to the lay community – they do get involved in the production of the cakes and other goodies on sale.
How about this slice of apple cake?
The apples come from the Ampleforth orchard, and I am told there’s a dash of Ampleforth cider in there too.
I must visit again in the summer and have afternoon tea in the courtyard, and see how many ‘mice’ I can spot around the Abbey!!