Give us a Giggle winner

The weather may have let us down recently but here’s something to cheer you up! This is Zack, the well-deserved winner of our recent Give us a Giggle video competition.

If you want to updates on the latest competitions, offers and news from cottages4you then make sure you like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or add us on Google+.

Now, over to Zack…

Did you hear the one about the…?

To celebrate Manchester Comedy Festival — and put a smile on everyone’s face now the nights are drawing in — we asked our friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their funniest jokes.

Here are the results…

  • What cheese can you disguise a horse with? Mascarpone
  • What do you call a Frenchman wearing Sandals? Philiipe Flop
  • My husband left me for my obsession with touching pasta. I’m feeling canneloni right now….
  • I went on a once in a lifetime holiday last year…Phew, never again!
  • What do you call a man with a shovel on his head? DOUG
  • what do you a man with out a shovel on his head DOUGLASS
  • what do you call a man with a seagull on his head? CLIFF
  • What do you call a Gorilla with a machine gun? … Sir.
  • Did you hear Greece has stopped production of tatsziki and taramasalata? They fear a double dip recession !
  • 2 parrots sitting on a perch, one smells fish.
  • Some guy just poured a pint of milk over me…how dairy
  • What time does Sean Connery get to Wimbledon…? Tennish
  • There’s been an explosion in a pie factory…Approx 3.142 dead
  • A cop pulls over a car and finds boot full of penguins. “Take them straight to the zoo” says the cop. Next day the same: cop pulls the same car over for speeding and finds a boot full of penguins wearing sunglasses. The cop says … “I thought I told you took take these to the zoo?” The man says “I did, they loved it so I’m taking them to the seaside today!” Ba-dum-tssssh.

Can you do better? Post your best joke in the comment section below!

A guide to 2011’s best film locations

Fancy a cinematic tour of the UK? We’re looking at seven upcoming cinema releases and sharing their UK filming locations. So if you fancy donning your superhero costume and paying a visit to the X-Men mansion, or taking your broomstick to Shell Cottage from the new Harry Potter film, all you need to do is click on the tickets below.     

A poetic tour of the UK

To celebrate World Poetry Day, we’re going to look at some of the UK’s finest poets and the beautiful locations that inspired them.

Tennyson – The Isle of Wight

Alfred Tennyson often wrote of the natural world. In fact, the longest serving Poet Laureate’s most famous quote describes nature as being “red in tooth and claw.” A visit to the poet’s home on the Isle of Wight, however,  reveals a more beautiful side to nature.

It’s easy to see how Tennyson could find so much inspiration in the local geography. There are the sandy cliffs of Alum Bay; the iconic Needles that rise dramatically out of the sea and Tennyson Down, a grassy ridge with spectacular views of Freshwater Bay.

Wordsworth – The Lake District

William Wordsworth was equally inspired by his natural surroundings. In this case it was the evocative landscapes of the Lake District that allowed his equally vivid poetry to flow. And while the Lakes itself is a fitting testament to Wordsworth, there are plenty of places to pay homage to Tennyson’s predecessor as poet laureate.

Dove Cottage in Grasmere is widely considered to be the place where Wordsworth produced his most inspired work. Pay a visit today and you can not only take a tour of the house, but also visit a museum which houses a variety of artefacts linked to the poet.

Robert Burns – Scotland

Burns’ poetry was influenced by – and subsequently influenced – a whole nation. Now internationally celebrated, the ‘Scottish Bard’ is a cultural icon whose life is well worth exploring. Of course it helps that an exploration takes in some of Scotland’s most beautiful locations.

Burns Night is probably one of the best times to visit Scotland if you’re looking for a true measure of the poet’s legacy. The Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh, however, is perhaps better suited for a more personal exploration. There you’ll see a collection of Burns artefacts, including his writing chair.

Lewis Carroll – Oxfordshire

Though better known for Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll was also a renowned poet, specialising in such whimsical ‘nonsense poems’ as Jabberwocky and The Hunting of the Snark. And even though these works have little obvious bearing on reality, the writer’s home of Oxford provided a huge inspiration.

An Oxford boat ride down the Thames allows you to recreate the journey Carroll took when creating Wonderland. Similarly, Christ Church College in Oxford played an equally large part in the author’s life, with many of the subjects he captured in his works still there to see. So if you fancy hunting the snark yourself, you know where to begin!

Do you have your own favourite UK poet? Leave a comment below! If you’d like to continue your tour of the UK’s literary locations then check out our Magical Literary Tour on www.cottages4you.co.uk.

Banana and lemon tea loaf recipe

Kath P sent us this delicious recipe for banana and lemon tea loaf, which we thought we’d share with you on the blog.

You’re probably all fed up with pancakes today, so this should make a welcome change!

Got a delicious recipe to share? Send us an email with ‘Recipe’ as the subject and we’ll put it on the blog!

Ingredients:

115g (4oz) sunflower margarine

115g (4oz) light soft brown sugar

2 medium eggs

225g (8oz) self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 medium bananas

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

175g (6oz) sultanas

Cooking instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.

2. Put margarine, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Beat together using an electric mixer until thoroughly mixed.

3. Peel and mash bananas. Add to cake mixture with lemon zest and beat until well mixed. Stir in sultanas, mixing well.

4. Spoon mixture into tin and level the surface. Bake in oven for 1-11/4 hours, until risen, golden brown and just firm to the touch. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool.