Month: January 2017

The Hare Inn, Scawton

I was wondering where to meet up with friends twixt Christmas and New Year. I suggested The Hare Inn, a 13th Century Inn in the picturesque village of Scawton, just down a country lane not far from the top of Sutton Bank and near to Helmsley in North Yorkshire. I had wanted to visit for some time as award winning chef Paul Jackson recently won “Restaurant of the Year” for the second year running by Welcome to Yorkshire in their prestigious White Rose Awards. I was lucky enough to get a reservation for lunch, and expectations were high. On entering this quaint pub, we were greeted by friendly staff who showed us to a cosy lounge, drinks delivered and a tasting menu to be amazed by, before being shown to a table overlooking the countryside. I have to admit that tummies were not prepared for a tasting menu at lunchtime. But chef Paul and his wife Liz made a brave decision for a remote country pub to dump the a la carte for a no-choice …

Winter Garden

Do you even have a ‘winter garden’ as such? I find that the garden becomes a bit of a dumping ground between November and February. But sometimes the light catches the bark of a silver birch, or the frost outlines dying seed heads. It is so poignantly beautiful that I realise how much winter has to offer gardens. Gardens used to be able to snooze through winter, but today’s glass kitchen extensions, massive glass sliding doors and huge picture windows mean a garden is on show all year round. The snowdrops are beginning to emerge from the ground, scented shrubs are beginning to flourish and Hellebores begin to show their faces in the shadiest patches of the garden. For me, January is a time to dream about the gardening season ahead and get my hands dirty too! It’s also nice to get out on the sunny days, visit friends and family and pop along to see what’s happening at RHS Garden Harlow Carr for even more garden ideas.  So, one ‘dream’ plan is to grow …

A Box Full of Yorkshire

From the excitement of opening the box when its delivered through to the time saving ease that the contents can give: letterbox deliveries and subscription boxes can have many benefits but with so many on the market, which ones are actually worth spending your money? As you know I am fast becoming a letterbox junky. With boxes to make your snacking healthier, your beauty regime more vegan friendly, your meal times easier, baking cakes and bread, learning new crafts…. I’ve tried a few and here are a couple of reviews which fed my addiction. Craftiosity Moira Fuller created Craftiosity after leaving a very stressful career and who also loved the respite of sitting down with something to make, and the magic that descends as you forget the day and focus on making. She started Craftiosity because she wanted to make it easier to tap into your creativity, to try new things, to learn in your own time, and to make something you really want to have or use. So every month she will send you a completely …

Great Food Club has arrived in Yorkshire

So you have all been wondering what I do to fill my retirement ……. I am busier than ever…and Great Food Club is just a part! We all love good food right? And we all love a discount. Great Food Club has recently arrived in Yorkshire and it combines those two wondrous things. Great Food Club celebrates the best food and drink independents and guides you to them. We passionately believe these businesses make our villages, towns and cities better places to live in. It started in 2010 in the Midlands and over the last year, with the help of a team of regional editors like myself, it’s slowly spreading across the UK. I can’t think of a place more perfectly suited to Great Food Club. Yorkshire is such a foodie county, from Dales to Moors, York to Bradford, with a strong respect for local indie producers, bars, cafes, burger joints, delis… you name it. We don’t like chains right? So, who’s in the club so far I hear you ask? To name a few…Skosh, …

Thinking about:schedules and small steps

New Year’s Resolutions continue to be a popular cultural pastime. Perhaps a bit bleary and bloated after the holidays it’s natural to think, “I’ve got to make some serious lifestyle changes!” We’re bombarded with ads and articles all with the requisite Before and Afters. “It’s a new year, time for a fresh start…” While there’s a certain appeal and glamour in the idea that we can completely start again on January 1, I think a lot of major adjustment efforts are doomed to fail because the rest of our life tends to go on just as before, with the same schedules, obligations and demands. We don’t live, eat or make decisions in a vacuum. When it comes to health and lifestyle changes, I’ve found that the most effective are small, incremental adjustments that can be organically incorporated into my daily routine, and then become part of that routine. Building healthy and nurturing habits rather than making drastic changes based on aversion or deprivation is what’s been working for me long-term. Looking Back, Looking Ahead… I think few …