Month: November 2015

Annual Visit to Emma Bridgewater

I’ve been collecting mugs and plates from the designer Emma Bridgewater for quite a few years. Once a year, about this time we have what is now our mother/daughter visit to the pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. Emma adorns the iconic pottery with designs inspired by her love of sponge techniques, is married to co-owner and artist Matthew Rice, a lover of wildlife and architecture. Their pottery is made from cream-coloured earthenware – a traditional Staffordshire product which they make in their own factory in Stoke-on-Trent, the home of British pottery. Most of the production work is still done by hand, and all the pieces are individually hand-decorated, so every one is very slightly different – and their sponge ware is always signed by the person who painted it. There is an area in one of the old factory buildings, set up with mugs, paints, sponges and brushes to make your own Emma mugs to remember your visit by. After painting the mugs, the factory fire them and then post to you. Emma mugs, glasses and teapots …

Afternoon Tea at Wood Hall

There can be few better ways to spend a Monday afternoon in Yorkshire than sharing afternoon tea with lovely friends at Wood Hall, near Wetherby. As we turned onto the long drive, we could just glimpse the golden stone of Wood Hall in the distance. All that separates you is acre upon acre of rolling Yorkshire countryside. Originally built as a country escape for the Vavasour family, Wood Hall Hotel and Spa remains a place where today’s pressures seem an age away. Ever since the house was completed in 1750, it has been a place of peace and relaxation. Even today, the house stands next door to a Carmelite monastery, home to a silent order of nuns. From the moment we arrived, the house felt like ours to enjoy. We stepped into the Drawing Room, felt like kicking off our shoes and curling up with a book (We did meet each other at our village book club!). But we were here to celebrate a birthday and have the signature champagne afternoon tea. It was served …

November in the Garden

As the days get shorter and colder, my life has moved indoors and away from the garden. We have had a mild autumn up to now, but the past few days has seen plenty of rain to fill up that water butt. In My Garden In Your Garden If you haven’t already managed it, now’s the time for a general garden tidy up before the winter months. It’s also a great time to start thinking about colour and flowers to see you through the winter and spring. Hellebores can be planted in to the ground or pots for early winter flowering and are perfect in shadier spots. Get your spring bulbs in the ground. Go for a good mix of daffs and narcissi in different colours and sizes. Layer them up to create a beautiful effect when they flower. Again great in any beds or shady spaces. This is your last chance to deadhead and prune back so check all your flowers and plants and give them a bit of TLC. Prune any roses or …

October Food Round Up

Every month at Grey Goose Ltd is a busy one, and the very last week of October was no exception. This was one long seven day foodie experience shared with the dearest of friends. And in the middle of the week was the delight of an unexpected stay at the Nuffield hospital, a not too good an excuse to sample their food. The week started with a weekend sampling some long awaited delights of York. Firstly, a visit to The Star Inn The City which opened in 2013 on the bank of the River Ouse. They serve simple Yorkshire cooking with a taste of the countryside, and once again I was wowed by the masterpiece created by Andrew Pern. Dinner was superb and I will tell you more about the food and the friendly hospitality soon. Another spot on my much wanted to try places was afternoon tea at the Grand hotel. This sophisticated Edwardian hotel is set in the former headquarters of the North Eastern Railway, and was built in 1906 opposite the city …