Month: November 2014

Friday Photo

My ‘Friday Photo’ is Runswick Bay. This is my best kept secret – I only discovered this gem on the North Yorkshire coast this year, and looking forward to going back soon. With its sweeping, sheltered bay and charming red roofed cottages, Runswick Bay is one of the Yorkshire coast’s prettiest destinations. The sandy beach, which once provided anchorage for brightly coloured fishing boats, is now a family favourite for rock pooling, fossil hunting and coastal walks, where you can admire the breathtaking sea views.

Natural Home Scents

The temperatures are going to drop this week, so it’s time to get cosy at home! Here’s a great way to make your whole house smell amazing. First combine ingredients, like citrus and basil (fresh and clean)… All you have to do is cover the ingredients with water and simmer on the stove—and voila! Your entire home will smell incredible. Great way to spend a cold day indoors. Or vanilla and cinnamon?? An idea for a festive Christmas atmosphere – I use an orange with cloves studded in it. Like this the whole house smells amazing and festive. I keep it on a plate by a window. It’s partly why I love to bake so much in the cooler months. Fresh baked bread is the best smell but I made a shortcrust pastry quiche today – smoked ham, ricotta cheese and spinach. That smells wonderful too, just in time for Sunday tea!

A British Shorthair Cat

Sunshine is my new best friend, with green eyes and blue golden shaded in colour, and a British Shorthair cat. Here are some interesting facts about this delightful breed. The British Shorthair cat is medium to large in size, well balanced and powerful, showing good depth of body, a full broad chest, strong short legs, rounded paws, tail thick at the base with a rounded tip. The head is round with good width between small ears, round cheeks, firm chin, large round, well opened eyes and a short broad nose. The coat is short and dense. British Shorthairs are placid, non-demanding, tolerant, docile and respectful. They are not vocal cats and in fact are very quiet and can cope with being alone without fretting. They are not inclined to wander, love children and get along with dogs extremely well. British Shorthairs are the ideal choice as a house cat. The average life span of these cats is 15-18 years, although many live past that age. They can be bred in over 30 different colours. Despite …

D’Oyly’s Tea Room – A Countryside Treat

This tea room, on a family run farm, is in a superb location, situated in the picturesque village of Bolton Percy, close to both Tadcaster and York. You actually walk into the old farm house built in 1832 and the current tea room would have been the front room, now cosy, and with a warm welcome from Vicky. Why D’Oyly’s?? Well….Vicky told me ‘D’Oyly’s is named after our Grandmother, it is her middle name and years ago, we joked how much fun it would be to open a tearoom and call it doilies, or D’Oyly’s, after Granny. Twenty years later, we did just that!’ All the food is homemade and traditionally baked in the farmhouse kitchen Aga. A ‘special’ small soup (parsnip) and sandwiches (Brie and grape) was a comforting winter lunch. Along with a pot of tea served in vintage china. On the sideboard next to our table was a tempting plate of mince pies, and they tasted as good as they looked. In the hall is a gift shop of selected local crafts …

The Carding Shed – The Perfect Pit Stop

The Carding Shed sits in the village of Hepworth, close to Holmfirth. (For the unfamiliar, this is also where Last of the Summer Wine was set). It is reached just off the main road, well away from any noise, at Dobroyd Mills. Dobroyd Mills, which dominates the village, was once a major contributor to the West Yorkshire textile industry, producing fine worsted cloth for export. The Carding Shed housed the machines used for carding, a process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes wool fibres prepared for the spinning of cloth. On arrival it looks like any other building/warehouse, but on closer inspection there are slight differences. Just at the side of the main door are two rather large sets of traffic lights. And what sits beyond is vintage car after car, now home to IK Classics Garage Services. Some are in immaculate condition, others in the middle of renovation, and many being safely stored for their owners. Back indoors there is the delightful ‘Oil Can Café’, serving delicious homemade cakes, sandwiches and tasty looking pie and …

Book Club

Reading is a solitary activity but when a book has moved or stimulated you it’s natural to want to discuss it with someone else. A book club gives you that opportunity. Also, a group encourages you to think a bit more about the books you read – why you like some, hate others. New to my village I was thrilled to join the Book Club at my local pub, The Queen o’ t’ owd Thatch. We meet on a monthly basis and occupy a cosy corner in the pub. Meeting monthly gives everyone a chance to get hold of the book selected. Interestingly a mix of readers use iPad, Kindle and the good old ‘hard copy’. We take turns in picking a book which gives us the opportunity to read a wide range of authors and be introduced to some new ones. The person who has nominated this month’s book might then introduce it by saying why she chose it. We talk about our reaction to the book we have just read – did we …

Rowsha Lebanese Restaurant

After several years of passing by and intending to visit, we finally enjoyed a relaxed family meal at Rowsha, a small Lebanese eatery in Walkley, an up and coming suburb of Sheffield. This small takeaway/restaurant currently seats about 20, but is expanding into the property next door. Our welcome was warm and friendly and the waitress was very patient while we poured over the menu. While waiting for our food we counted about 15 electric lanterns hanging from the ceiling or attached to the walls. These lit up the red and white walls which had lots of mirrors as well as the lanterns. Lebanese cuisine temptingly offers a Mediterranean experience of taste and aroma. Fresh vegetables and ingredients; tabouleh, fattoush with olive oil, hoummous with tahini, aubergine paste, green beans, okra with tomato and garlic sauce, kidney beans, falafel and foul medamas … the menu goes on and on. The highlights for us were Tzatziki, and Hoummous served in colourful pottery bowls, with baskets of warm Khobz, a Lebanese flat bread. I had Moussaka served with …