Year: 2017

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 …

Tea at the Palace: Blenheim

A few weeks ago I went with my family to visit Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, and was treated to Afternoon Tea in The Orangery. There was a lot of walking involved so the treat was well worth waiting for after the walk in the grounds before tea! This grandiose palace has the distinction of being the only historic house in Britain to be named a World Heritage Site. The tickets we purchased allowed us to upgrade to an Annual Pass at no charge, excellent value if you live within an hour or so of Blenheim Palace. The birthplace of Winston Churchill, this palace is well worth a visit to discover the history behind the Dukes of Marlborough and Churchill himself. The paintings and wall murals in the state rooms are magnificent, as are the furnishings. The formal gardens are beautiful with several water features and fountains with lots of statues. I loved the display of wigs!! The gardens, grounds and lake were designed by Capability Brown and the waterfall at the end of the lake …

YO Bakehouse: Tea and Cake in Malton

I must let you into a secret. It’s about cake and tea, or cake and coffee! Where they meet hand in hand – that’s YO Bakehouse, a new artisan bakery and coffee house just off the market square in picturesque Malton. The town of Malton is well known for being the foodie capital of Yorkshire and includes some of the most unique food and drink producers in the area. In August 2016 Chris and David opened their first (and definitely not last) coffee shop on Market Street, just off the attractive Market Square in Malton. I have previously met these talented guys at some of Yorkshires best-known food and drink events. At YO Bakehouse they aim to create a relaxing experience filled with fabulous cakes, brownies and more. Their chosen coffee is roasted in Malton by ‘Roost’ and delicious loose tea is supplied by ‘Easy Teasy‘ of Newcastle upon Tyne and ‘Forleaves’ of Malton. The face to face welcome and cosy interior is memorable, and certainly a place to linger. They have on offer light lunches …

Three Things I’m Loving This Week

My new book…. I have my ‘book club’ book on the go but couldn’t resist getting hold of this book as I’m being a bit of a nature lover just now, ‘Wonderland – A Year of Britain’s Wildlife Day by Day’. Just love the book cover, so pretty. It’s by two guides to natures wonderland, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss and takes you through the year, day by day, sharing the unexpected delights that we can experience in our skies, beaches, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. I’m getting into a routine of having a cuppa in bed in the morning and reading the entry of the day. Today, 27 April, Stephen Moss wrote about ‘Sea’ Swallows flying up the Bristol Channel as global voyagers. A real swallow that just happens to be flying across the sea! These short paragraphs are just long enough to give me more daily insight into Britain’s wildlife. And now back to the book club read, ‘Inferno’ by Dan Brown!! Boroughbridge….. A lovely North Yorkshire town I’ve discovered this week. …

Quiet weekend:gardening

With the daffodils dying back and my trees bursting with blossom, clematis cascading, and the tulips almost there, Spring is definitely in full bloom. I’ve been spending more time outside pottering this weekend. I know I have a small courtyard garden but it comes with a bit of maintenance and revamping now and again. I’ve been seeking inspiration recently as the summer season approaches so I’ve started to follow more green-fingered Instagram accounts, particularly as I’d like to fill my raised beds with some new planting schemes over the next few years. I’ve had a quiet weekend at home with some outdoor time as well as getting to grips with Instagram! One peek at these accounts will hopefully make you want to dust off your trowel and get your wellies on. Founded by the former Head Gardener at Sarah Raven’s Sussex farm, Perch Hill, the Botanika Floral feed oozes all the florals you want to find in your cutting garden. The epic sea of tulips was snapped by floral stylist Charlie McCormick in the garden of The Land Gardeners. Goals …

Tours in a Dish: York

It won’t have escaped your notice, but there’s quite a bit of food and drink activity going on in Yorkshire. So much, in fact, that it can make me feel quite dizzy. From Michelin-starred to fabulous street food, from beer, wine and gin to excellent cheeses, meats and the best rhubarb, seafood and curries anywhere in the country, all produced and packaged in Yorkshire. And then there is afternoon tea, and that includes my passion for tea, cakes and enjoying the whole ritual with friends and family. Having migrated back to York, I jumped at the opportunity of combining an afternoon tea tour of York with a bit of tea tasting and walking. I joined an Afternoon Tea Tour organised by Tours in a Dish, a new company in York, created by Camille Boulais-Pretty, a French-Canadian archaeologist. Camille combines her extensive historical knowledge of tea together with York’s cultural history into a walking tour in the city centre visiting several of the city’s buildings each with its own historical past. The tour started with an …

Weekend Away:Alnwick

A few weekends ago I spent a long weekend in Alnwick and the Northumbrian coast with my partner in crime. Despite the chilly weather we had a smashing time having some much needed R&R. Stay We based ourselves in the market town of Alnwick, dominated by the famous Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Garden all within a few miles of gorgeous sandy beaches and more castles. Just around the corner from Barter Books, that very famous second hand bookshop home of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, we stayed in a delightful and sympathetically renovated holiday cottage kindly loaned to us by friends who were overseas on holiday. Set just off the High Street, with free parking, this was a perfect base offering all home comforts and more besides. For those not so lucky to have such friends Coquet Cottages have luxury holiday cottages in Northumberland. Eat It’s a few years since I’ve been to Northumberland but I have fond memories of visits and a couple of the old favourites did not disappoint. My friends …

Book Club: Dinner Club

A new dinner club has evolved from my local book club. We have been meeting recently, keeping off the topic of our latest book club read, and getting to know some independent places to eat that are local to us, in our special corner of Yorkshire, that has borders on both North and West counties. So that gives us scope for many dinner experiences and we welcome friends and partners too on these foodie nights. So here are a couple of our recommendations, one in West Yorkshire, just off the M62, and the second in a suburb of Leeds just to the south of the city. Aldo’s Pizzeria in Cleckheaton It’s well over thirty years since Aldo’s pitched up on Dewsbury Road in Cleckheaton. At the time – 1983 – it must have been quite a risk. So being the first Italian restaurant in a town not thought at the time to be wildly cosmopolitan (its part of the Heavy Woollen District of Yorkshire) must have been doubly nerve wracking. However, 34 years down the …