Hello friends. It’s been a very busy week – I feel as though I haven’t stopped talking – presentations, long shared car journeys, meetings and dinners. It will all start again on Monday (yes I’m working on Monday again – the 3 day week isn’t happening)!  I need to retreat into some peace and quiet to recharge my batteries for a bit. So – not as many words as usual today – I know you’ll understand. Instead I’m treating you to some pictures of this fabulous part of the world that is just starting to be touched by Autumn colours. Last Friday you may remember, was Mr MC’s birthday. He’s reached the grand old age of 45 which the boys have declared the official start of middle age so we celebrated in a very restrained way by going out for lunch in the sunshine.

As you know, my favourite part of the Lake District is the Western peninsula. It’s a few miles away from the tourist honeytraps of Windermere and Ambleside and far less visited. Nestling in the heart of the hills is the Lyth Valley which is famous for its damsons so as you can imagine, in spring and autumn it comes into its own. All of the pubs serve damson gin and my favourite place is The Mason’s Arms on Strawberry Bank. There is very little else for miles around as you can see.


Tweed jacket Ines de la Fressange @ Uniqlo; Jigsaw Dark denim shirt (similar here); Next relaxed skinny jeans (custom dyed); Navy suede Whistles court shoes; Whistles Fleet tote

For me this is a quintessentially English pub. It hasn’t been overdone like the more famous Drunken Duck which is set up for weekenders in pseudo Lakes style.

Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank

This is off the beaten track, a place for locals and walkers and the few who are in the know (and now readers of Midlifechic)


Touches of Autumn…


…quiet places to sit, I love the fact that everything is slightly shabby …

Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank

…they are well set up for our changeable Lakes weather…

Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank

…because you need to sit outside for a while and enjoy the changing views…


…inside it is cosy…

Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank

…there are rooms upstairs and I would love to spend a weekend here, there would be nothing to do other than relax…

Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank

…you can buy a stick for your walk…

Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank

Here’s the birthday boy indulging himself…

Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank

…whilst I had a very restrained fig and goats cheese salad…

Mason's Arms, Strawberry Bank

After we’d eaten we moved on to Cartmel, a market town nearby which is famous for its priory…


…and its sticky toffee pudding…


… and famous chef Simon Rogan who has 3 eating places here, L’Enclume which has 2 Michelin stars, Rogan’s and The Pig & Whistle – he also runs the restaurant at Claridges in London.


It’s such a pretty place – another great spot for a weekend away.


Saturday saw an early start to watch the youngest play a ferocious game of rugby against another grammar school..you’ll be pleased to know they slaughtered the oppo!

Nikki Garnett

The first outing for my Hush Nina cardigan. I can’t tell you how much I love it. Navy Ines de la Fressange @ Uniqlo jumper; Accessorise blanket scarf from last year but similar here; Next relaxed skinny jeans; Clarks biker style boots; bucket bag bought in Turkey.

Another very dressed down outing for the Hush cardigan, messing around with my boys by the sea… They’ve posed in this picture frame since they were little – I love the fact that they still do it.

Outfits for days of autumn sunshine

As do I – and I never know why they so enjoy making me wobble and fall off!


We’re getting used to our new shaped family. The eldest is settling well into uni by the way – he certainly did Freshers Week justice and is now getting on with his lectures although in his last call was thinking of swapping his Accounting module for Feminist Studies which was an interesting conversation – all of those ‘girl power’ chats we’ve had over the years have obviously hit home! I’m not sure how well it would fit with his rugby playing persona and suspect he’ll settle for something else but I’m pleased he thought about it.

Outfits for days of autumn sunshine

Hush Nina cardigan, White Company long sleeved t-shirt, Jigsaw Hampton boyfriend jeans, Whistles tote, Zara ballet flats, Claudia Bradby necklace.

Mal and Nikki Garnett

It’s been so busy that I haven’t taken many photos of the week which I’m annoyed about. The trouble is that it’s only just getting light when I leave and it’s nearly dark when I get home. Anyway this is what I wore for a meeting with a big supermarket group. I’ve loved my black jumpsuit so much that as soon as I saw they’d brought it out in a different colour, I ordered it. If you want one be quick, the black one was only in stock for a few days before selling out and this is showing low stock in most sizes now. I have no relationship with Hush but I really think they’ve nailed it this season.

Hush jumpsuit review

Hush Jumpsuit; Whistles double faced blazer – out of stock everywhere except here; Whistles Cornel pump

And finally this is what I’m wearing today. I’ve been wanting a gingham shirt for a while and I liked the slightly washed effect of this one when I saw it in Marylebone but it was just far too expensive. Other people must have felt the same because it’s now reduced by 40% and worth the price.


Boden jumper; White Company shirt; Next relaxed skinny jeans; Boden leopard loafers; Whistles tote.

So my plans for the weekend are based around having fun with my boys. Mr MC has gone off to Newcastle to meet up with his old rugby team mates – they’re watching both of the world cup matches at the St James’s Park stadium and they will no doubt be downing countless pints of Guinness. He’ll have a fab time and he’ll be regretting it all when he comes home on Sunday! In the meantime I’ve stacked the fridge with all of the boys’ favourite food and we’re going out for a pizza tomorrow night followed by a trip to the cinema to see Pan – I think I’m the most excited, I might be very gauche and wear my Hush Neverland scarf! There are lots of offers and mid-season sales starting – here’s a round up of my favourites:

  • 20% off the complete Baukjen collection here with code AFAUT20
  • Boden sale increased, now up to 50% off
  • Finery has launched an outlet here
  • Mango has up to 30% off here but only until Sunday 11th October
  • White Company mid-season sale here
  • Whistles sale here

Now I’m off to empty my head by watching something mindless on TV with the youngest. Have a brilliant weekend everyone, I’ll aim to be back with more energy next Friday! xx

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post and I have no relationship with the Mason’s Arms. All clothing was bought by me apart from the Claudia Bradby necklace which was gifted.