A Refreshing smoothie for the new year and the castle of Lindisfarne

Pear & green apple winter smoothie

Lindisfarne castle @eugeniamakrogianneli

This is a quick post to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I hope 2020 found you in wonderful company and that you shared some great food with your loved ones. I indulged myself with a little road trip here in the UK. The route took me up north and I visited the castle of Lindisfarne, just off Northumberland coast. There is also a delicious and very refreshing winter smoothie with pear, green apple and orange juice that I enjoyed whilst editing the pictures.

Head straight to the recipe.

A short history of Lindisfarne

Holy island of Lindisfarne is just off of the Northumberland coast and it is linked to the mainland by a causeway and the tides flood in and out twice a day. It is a bit hidden away, just a few miles from the border of Scotland. As you drive into the island, the landscape captivates you. The sands are bare only for a few hours and are visible in the receding tide which makes it an ideal habitat for winged wildlife. There are swans and a great variety of other birds feasting on the treasures hiding under the wet sand.

Lindisfarne castle has an interesting history, as well as a majestic landscape. It has been home to a Priory which had some good times and some very dark times. Viking raids as well as Henry VIII saw that the priory was abandoned but had dully fortified the islet.

St Aidan founded the priory in 635. The prosperous monastery became a favourite spot of Viking attacks which forced the monks to evacuate in the 8th century and did not return for 400 years. Lindisfarne was an active religious site from the 12th century until the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry the VIII in 1537. It seems that all activity ceased by the early 18th century.  Nowadays only the church operates whilst the rest of the priory buildings are in ruins and still quite a magnificent site to walk around.

The fortification which is now Lindisfarne castle was built in the 16th century, after the priory had been suppressed. Located at the border of England with Scotland and boosting a natural harbour, the site was used as a base for Tudor navy and the abandoned priory buildings served as storerooms by the army during the Wars of Scottish Independence. Gradually the castle was fortified but it didn’t see much action during any of the wars that followed.

In 1901 Edward Hudson, owner of Country Life Magazine, acquired it and set out to renovate it as a holiday home. The small size of the fort made it ideal for a conversion to residential quarters. The architect Edwin Lutyens transformed the structure of the old fort into an Edwardian mansion. The castle has nine bedrooms, exquisite dining rooms in a very human scale and its details from wooden beams to brick floors are a marvel to look at. But I will not let out more, I strongly recommend going to see it for yourselves.

Nowadays it is a different type of Viking that still appreciates the importance of the island and castle grounds. They are winged and choose to overwinter instead of its native Norway, the brent goose. Of course, they are not the only ones: in autumn and winter you will find it is a paradise for bird watching as the area is teeming with merlins, teals and pintails. It is not a National Nature Reserve for no reason after all.

Lindisfarne castle

How to get to Lindisfarne Island?

I highly recommend a visit to anyone who wishes to see British countryside. Beware of the tides as the island is connected to the mainland by a causeway and gets cut off twice a day.

The island has a thriving community with many hotels, shops and a harbor. It is accessible by car but you can walk the pilgrim path through the sands which makes for a great walk and it is still marked by the same old posts.

For more historic facts, please check English Heritage, the National Trust that manages the site as well a very informative website on castles and battles have a wealth of information on the history of Lindisfarne castle.

All this walking could not go without a refreshing drink to boost oneself. Here is to refreshing winter smoothies worth sharing:

  • 3 pears
  • 2 small green apples
  • 100 ml orange juice (1 large juicing orange)
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
  1. Clean and chop your fruit.
  2. Place in a blender and Give them a good whizz
  3. You can serve as it is or with a few chia seeds.
  4. I normally make this with ripe fruit that are very sweet and juicy. If you want to add some sweetness, pour in a teaspoon of honey.

Pear and green apple smoothie

Jazz loved it! For more of his adventures check out no-mad.life

Have a healthy, prosperous and delicious 2020! May you all travel and fill this year with wonderful memories.

From London with love,


Historic UK
Castles, Forts, Battles
English Heritage
Undiscovered Scotland

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