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Town of Kendal
Relive the pleasures of chocolate!
In the district of Cumbria is the charming little town of Kendal. Since my name is also Kendall I made sure it was a stop on my trek through England. Cumbria is also known as the Lake District which is known as the home to many English writers, mainly Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Kendal possesses all the charms of small towns: cobbletsone streets, welcoming townspeople, and little shops on the main street. My favorite was the 1657 Chocolate shop. It actually has been open since 1657! They have an entire list of different hot chocolates named for different historical figures. There's even one called King's Delight, which is named for Nell Gwynne, a mistress of King Charles II, who was an orange seller! So the King's Delight hot chocolate had a lovely hint of tangerine! Yum! (King Charles II was the English king who lost his head due to the Civil War which was won by the Roundheads under Charles Cromwell.) The 1657 Chocolate House was originally a bakery, but later became a chocolatery house. The waitresses still dress in traditional dress of the 1650s. Though I should warn everyone the building has not changed much so due to the lack of stature in the 1650s the ceilings are quite low. I'm five feet tall and even I had to duck!
1657 Chocolate House
Kendal and it's Mint Cakes
Kendal is the main seat of Kendal and the South Lakes in the shire of Cumbria. Though it is not in the Lake District it is referred to as the 'gateway to the Lake District.' Kendal, often referred to as Auld Grey Town. The town is most well known for their Kendal mint cake. First discovered in 1869 by Joseph Wiper, the Kendal mint cake is a sugar bar that mainly climbers, mountaineers,and outdoorsmen use for it's high energy content. The main ingredients are sugar, glucose, water, and peppermint oil. You can typically find three types of mint cake, whiter sugar, brown sugar, or covered in chocolate. Today there are three companies in Kendal still producing mint cakes, Romney's, Wilson's and Quiggin's.
Some interesting facts about Kendal Mint Cakes
1) Sir Edmund Hillary carried Kendal mint cakes on his successful trek to Mount Everest
2)On the Trans-Atlantic expedition of 1914-1917 all men carried mint cake in their supplies
3)Kendal mint cake is a standard part of a 24-hour ration pack for the Irish Defense sources
So to finish on what a charming town, Kendal is worth the visit to Cumbria. Next on the list should be the Lake District which is known as a quiet retreat from the world for writers and others looking to enjoy nature in the north. Be on the look out for that hub coming soon!