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Planning the perfect weekend away is harder than you think. The careful of balance of location vs. driving distance; activity vs. tranquillity.

After much searching we chose a beautiful looking B&B in the quiet town of Howarth in the heart of Bronte Country. Ashmount Country House promised ‘luxury accommodation set amongst some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK.’

The hour long drive from Manchester took closer to two in Friday night rush-hour traffic, but we still arrived at the reasonable hour of 7pm. Greeted with a super-friendly welcome we were shown to our stunning room, Suite Dreams 21, situated across the road from the main house.

Elegant and well finished, the room really did feel luxurious, and the window-side cast iron bath and four-poster bed gave that ‘wow’ factor.

Back in the main house there’s a stunning Drawing Room to relax and enjoy the Honesty Bar. A word of warning here… It’s only the following day when you check the book do you realise just how honest you can be!

Breakfast was a hearty affair with a wide selection of hot and cold food available. Service was efficient and friendly, even first thing in the morning. The restaurant at Ashmount is also worth a mention. The food served in the evening was fantastic, and the intimate dining space really added to the homely atmosphere.

In terms of location Ashmount is perfect. Just a minute walk to the centre of Howarth, and from there it’s only a few paces in any direction before you’re in the heart of the moors. We chose a walk to the famous Bronte Waterfall, which, despite a minor hailstorm, was most refreshing…. even after a night in the Honesty Bar!

There’s not much else to do in Howarth apart from visit the Bronte museum (which we didn’t) or pop into a few tourist shops (which we did.) But if you’re looking for a relaxing break, Ashmount is a great choice – beautiful location, fantastic accommodation and a quick, easy drive from central Manchester. Highly recommended.



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Brandy & Coke love the theatre, so when Priscilla hit the road to tour around the UK (particularly with Jason Donovan back in the role of Tik/Mitzi) a Friday night out was planned.

Setting aside the hellish experience of visiting Manchester’s crumbling Opera House – where we are fairly certain that the wine is bottled from the puddles of water to be found on the floor in the decay-ridden toilets – the show is impressive.   The costume changes are numerous and every one more extravagant than the last; there are some outstanding performances and, all in all, it’s a good tribute to the iconic film that Brandy & Coke have sung-along to on the sofa so many times.

Jason Donovan got the biggest cheers from the crowd and was a good sport when it came to the endless run of Kylie-gags that were added ‘especially for…’ him!  From time to time there were some dodgy Australian accents going on which made Brandy & Coke think that Ayr’s Rock was somewhere in upstate New York, but the classic Bernadette lines like ‘that’s the only bang you’re ever gonna get, sweetheart’, ‘Oh Felicia, where f**k are we?’ and ‘Just what we need  – a c*ck in a frock on a rock!’ saved the day.

Well worth seeing , though don’t expect the classic 70s track ‘Never been to me’ as it didn’t make it into the musical – shame.


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