Year: 2017

Yorkshire Dama Cheese

Yorkshire Dama Cheese is the story of inspirational bravery by a woman who refused to let her circumstances define or constrain her. It is about finding a new place to call home and new experiences leading to the creation of a British, multi-award-winning cheese and dairy company. Razan Alsous, the founder of Yorkshire Dama Cheese, came to the UK due to the war in Syria in 2012. Losing almost everything, settling into a new life in Yorkshire was challenging. Razan rightly perceived Yorkshire as a region rich in high quality food produce and ingredients and was frustrated not to find available the great tasting squeaky cheese she used to eat in Syria each morning. She saw an opportunity to create the same cheese from fresh, high quality Yorkshire cows’ milk! The first product was Yorkshire Halum, a cheese made from 100% Yorkshire milk with a firm but squeaky texture, similar to traditional halloumi cheese. Razan has gone on to expand the product range to include more Yorkshire Squeaky cheese varieties including chilli rosemary and mint. Just now I’m loving her new product, Labneh, a healthy replacement for cream cheese. Razan …

Delicious Japanese Fusion at Bistro Guy

It has taken a while to work out exactly why we enjoyed Bistro Guy quite as much as we did. It wasn’t down to just one single factor; it was a combination of great elements that show this restaurant is getting things just about right. It was also a lovely opportunity to have a relaxing night out with a dear friend. In short, Bistro Guy is exactly what a neighbourhood restaurant should be, offering great tasting food, unpretentious service, nice surroundings and excellent value. During the day (9am-5pm) the place is busy serving breakfasts, brunches, sandwiches, teas and coffee. Wednesday night has a special feature, serving log fire pizza and cocktails in the garden. It’s a delight to sit under an awning, catching the last of the sunshine in the garden that backs on to York’s city walls. In the evening, three nights a week (from 6.30pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday), Guy Whapples and his team offer a tightly edited menu that focuses on seasonal produce from Yorkshire, small plates of food with a Japanese …

In a nutshell: July

Life can’t always be perfect, but we can still look for something small that makes us happy. It may only be a fleeting moment, but it’s precious. #JustOnePerfectThing So, how was July for you? It was a very busy month for Grey Goose – crammed full of being a Granny Goose, gardens, lunches with friends, a local music Proms, a weekend in Alnwick and other delights. It’s fair to say that the weather has been a little disappointing in the UK – especially after that glorious heatwave in June. It was certainly more puddles than picnics. But despite the downpours, there is still beauty and perfection by the barrow load. Which is the whole point of my new #JustOnePerfectThing. I’ve come late to Instagram, and after wondering what all the excitement was about, I’m fast becoming addicted to the camera on my phone and the skills of talented photographers out there. I love the pinky-purple hue of all these photos – lavender was clearly the colour for July on Instagram. Top row: @hellomistermagpie / @sky.larking Bottom row:  @topknotsanddaisies /@edinburghgardendiary I can’t wait to …

Little House Redecoration

The redecoration of my little house was never going to be a quick process, who ever said retirement was boring, it’s a case of doing as much as I can, when, and if I can. A new build house has the benefits of being low maintenance for at least ten years, but four years in, the ‘almond white’ walls are needing a refresh with paint! My bedroom had a refresh a couple of years ago, and I’m liking Dulux ‘chiffon white’ with a flat matt finish. A small house needs light and white to create a sense of space to make it appear bigger than it really is. I’m keeping my blue and white theme with a touch of grey maintaining a Scandi feel…. I do so like cool and calm and neutral. In my lounge I’m keeping my sofa bed for welcome visitors and l will bring in some new pictures for the walls.   I have found a Swedish company – Desenio, whose products are so reasonably priced to start with, means you …

Bedern Hall: Your Local Lunch Club

York does well for Halls. Between the Merchant Adventurers, Merchant Taylors, Jacobs Well, Folk Hall and the Guildhall there are a number of grand buildings ripe to host all manner of events. Arguably a touch less well publicised is Bedern Hall, just off Goodramgate, that has slipped under the radar in building itself up as a dining venue. Now, Your Local Lunch Club at Bedern Hall offers a monthly lunch club serving local produce at a fair price. I have to confess it hadn’t really registered with me until I was asked to go along and take a look. It is a great hidden gem of a venue to have lunch with friends, take business colleagues, or fit into a shopping trip when in town. I went along to lunch recently as a guest of The Local Lunch Club. Looking round the venue was a nice chance to discover one of York’s hidden gems. Perhaps a touch more modest than the larger halls in York, Bedern – its building started from 1370 until  1399 to complete, is packed full of character and …

Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing

Having had to cancel this trip last year due to being ill, I had feelings of both great excitement and trepidation when sailing out of Southampton on the Queen Mary 2 in June. I had been really looked forward to 8 nights at sea, and I had long dreamed of sailing into New York…but I’m saving that post for another day. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean aboard the iconic Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is a truly unique travel experience. Important to note, the Queen Mary 2 is a true ocean liner, not a typical cruise ship. Built with a double hull and four stabilizers, the bow was designed to slice through the seas like a hot knife through butter so like its historic predecessors, can comfortable and safely traverse the rugged North Atlantic year-round. Actually, for anyone who has ever enjoyed sea days aboard a cruise ship, that experience should be at the top of a “to-do” travel list. The QM2, which carries more than 2,000 guests, is 17 decks high – approximately the equivalent of …

In a nutshell: June was travel

Yes, I’ve been travelling the last few weeks, and I’m beginning to get a little bit confident in believing that my travel mojo is back! When your confidence gets squashed after several years of being ill, you tread a very cautious line in believing that life can return to anything like normal again, and adapt is what I am learning to do. So……where have I been?? I’m going to do full posts on my trip later, but it falls into three adventures, so watch out for my posts in the coming days. A voyage (not a cruise) across the North Atlantic on board Cunard Queen Mary 2 (known as QM2), including the dramatic rescue of a lone sailor, followed by a day stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And then the ultimate – a biggie ticked off my retirement bucket list – to sail into New York at dawn!! A whistle stop foodie tour of New York in four hours. And discovering the lifestyle in a lovely part of New England, with a little food and …

East Yorkshire: Beverley and Food Treasures

Chances are that unless you’ve either been before or are from Yorkshire, you probably haven’t heard of the town of Beverley, in East Yorkshire. Beverley is known for a few things: its market that takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, its 13th Century Minster, pretty Gothic streets and its racecourse. It’s also known for its historic centre – there’s been a settlement here in the East Riding of Yorkshire since the 7th century! The town was originally founded around 700 AD by Saint John of Beverley, was under Viking rule for a while, and at one point was a major wool-trading port in the UK. Today, tourism makes up a large part of the town’s economy. And a recent visit made me understand why as I went in search of foodie places!! A chance to taste just a little bit of France was my first stop when I discovered Tc Patisserie, in a little side street called Lairgate. It is run by Thierry who trained as a patisserie chef in one of the classic French cooking …

In a nutshell: May

I can’t believe we are nearly into June. There have been cool days and oh so hot days, but May is my fav month full of freshness and green, and optimism. May was a jammed packed month of diary entries, but I managed some quality time being Granny Goose and quite a lot of foodie outings. Wellbeing: My bad back continues, but thanks to Matt the physio, its improving…slowly!! It’s an age thing! Three top tips from a cardiologist: Eat real food, Keep moving, Reduce stress and learn to relax – as does being in a close nurturing relationship, benefits the ageing process!! Hmm, a few things to work on there next month. My Garden: Blooming and gets greener by the day. I’m having battles with slugs and greenfly. I believe the greenfly are loving showers of diluted washing up liquid. It’s a pleasure in life to watch May produce a show of alliums and the first roses. Eating Out in Yorkshire: Tried and tested The Olive Branch in Selby – good quality Med food. Sunday …

Its Chelsea Week

So it’s the end of May already and before you know it we’ll be luxuriating in fresh new Summer growth so today’s post is all about my garden as I’m preparing for Chelsea. General Maintenance General maintenance is as good a place to start if any. Assuming like myself that you’re not starting a garden from scratch, you’ll want to make sure that you get kitted up for the season ahead. If there are three gardening tools I can’t live without then they have to be a hand trowel, a small fork and some garden gloves. Both the hand trowel and fork are incredibly useful when it comes to planting, weeding and moving soil. I’m also a sucker for traditionalism and like the wooden handle for aesthetic reasons. And whilst I don’t mind getting my hands dirty I find keeping a pair of gardening gloves to hand incredibly useful when it comes to pruning plants that are especially prickly – I’m looking at you roses! I now have a patio that almost sparkles after it recently had its annual clean with a …