Year: 2017

It’s Leopard Season

There’s something about leopard print. Every autumn I fall in love with it again. Is it the earthy colours? The sense of fun? Whatever it is, I’m hooked. And despite its ubiquity, its popularity began with one designer and his muse, more specifically, Christian Dior and Mitzah Bricard. Bricard was fascinated by leopard print, and as a result, during the 1950s, Dior created a range of his accessories featuring the design, elevating leopard to be the must-have print of the moment. A little hint of leopard print is a fun and stylish way to update your wardrobe. This autumn I’ve chosen a scarf – the perfect purchase for the in-between autumn weather. This soft, slightly abstract scarf by New Look is £12.99 and I love the flattering, peachy tones. It really transforms a simple outfit. Here are some other leopard print delights I’ve spotted lately… How about this clutch bag, also from New Look, great for a special occasion? I bought it earlier this summer for a friend and now it’s in their sale, so hurry …

Apple Treats

Question of the month: do you prefer a sweet apple or a sharp, sour apple? It all depends on mood and individual taste I know. And then there are apples whose very name puts you off eating them. I don’t quite fancy the Dog’s Snout variety (an old Yorkshire cooker) or the Bloody Ploughman or tucking into a Sheepnose, Ballyfatten, Hangdown, Redstreak, Manks Codlin or Maiden’s Blush. And least said about Slack Ma Girdle (an old variety of cider apple) the better. Then there are those strange apples that are named after people: Cardinal Von Galen, Ben Davis, Charles Ross, although, strangely, Granny Smith sounds fine. But the things you can make with apples – even the mushy textured ones – are quite remarkable. In Yorkshire there are various producers working wonders with various forbidden fruit varieties, creating a range of products including wine, cider, vinegar and chutney. Here are a few of my favourites: Yorkshire Apple Wine A 14.2% wine from Luddenden Valley Wines in West Yorkshire. They hand mill and press a blend …

September is rushing by

Who else feels like September has just rushed by in the blink of an eye? The sun hasn’t always shone this month, but that didn’t stop us all having fun. I made my own sunshine and enjoyed the last days of summer. Here are my favourites so far…… St Malo, oysters, French markets, spending time with friends, French doors and windows #JustOnePerfectThing My local cultural outing this month was with our book club/food club to Queens Mill in Castleford, the home of Allinsons flour mill. It is being lovingly restored keeping that Yorkshire heritage alive. Who remembers the slogan ‘Bread Wi n’owt taken out’? We enjoyed a fab Yorkshire supper in the Queens Mill Tea Room. I’ll be posting a review quite soon. Now it’s time for me to settle down for autumn, read, sew the quilt for my grandsons first birthday, put my garden to bed for the winter, walk on sunny days, go visit some of Yorkshire’s National Trust properties and plan my next trip or two! And you? SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

In a nutshell: August

August, well it just sort of went! It went in having my little house painted internally at the beginning of August and the finale was having new flooring laid in my hall and lounge at the end of the month. And as we know, that doesn’t just happen by itself. All that prepping and cleaning up!! So many choices, so many decisions. Making decisions for yourself is the hardest, right?! I struggle to take photos of my little house in its entirety. Because of that, I’m not always the best interiors blogger. However, I do love my home and I like to share what I’ve been up to and what’s on my interiors radar. It’s my little bit of imperfect perfection. The fun bits have been gradually filling my newly painted hall with new pictures, and reframing my old favourites. I’m lucky to have an artistic daughter, and my home is filled with her work. The middle of August brought us a family staycation, back to the area where I grew up, Cartmel. It is …

New York: Foodie Tour

You’re in New York for the first time ever. You’ve got 4 hours and an appetite for everything. Where do you start? Fortunately, I’d planned a tour with Geovanni, a guide from Tours by Locals. Food tours are one of my favourite tourist activities while travelling and Geovanni came recommended as a foodie and architect, so fitted my requirements well and truly. He met my globe-trotting friend and I at Brooklyn dock where we had just arrived early that June morning after crossing the Atlantic on QM2. Geovanni came with a car and driver, unfortunately not his usual tour guide duo, so it made for an interesting ride for him navigating one way streets and the onward drive out to JFK. But my requirements were met, to sample typical NY food away from the tourist routes, a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and whatever else we could get to see in four hours. The first food stop after leaving the Brooklyn cruise terminal was the area known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), …

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 …