All posts filed under: Food & Tea

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 …

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 …

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 …

Boeuf Bourguignon: Slow cooker style

It’s officially Spring! And it still feels like winter and I like having that ‘hunker down’ feeling. Yes! I go on about it a lot, but winter really is my favourite time of the year. I tend to invest more of my time in cooking than I do during the summer months. I love to rediscover old favourites, and I’m not just talking my own favourites either, but the ones my mum used to cook. Add to that stews are always high on my list of comfort foods when it is still cold and dark outside and you begin to get the idea. Combining an old favourite with the comfort factor can only mean one thing for me: boeuf bourguignon. Basically, it’s a slow cooked beef and red wine stew full of flavours that bring back childhood memories. I’ve come late to slow cooking and recently introduced to it by my now grown up children. You don’t even need to spend hours in the kitchen! Take a relatively short time to prepare it all and then just let …

The Temperance Spirit Company

It’s permanently dry January for me, but I am always on the lookout for a sophisticated adult styled alternative when attending a social gathering. Sugary drinks just don’t cut the mustard and there are only so many glasses of fresh orange you can stomach. Research has suggested that there’s a thirst for products that protect against pounding heads next morning, and also keeping an eye on what you drink can have a positive effect on your overall health and well-being. But fear not, help is at hand in the form of the Temperance Spirit Company from Skipton and their Teetotal G’n’T which claims to be as close as you can get to the taste of a real gin and tonic, but without the gin. The Temperance Spirit Company was formed in 2015 by three businessman Brendan Duckworth, Ian Jowett and Ian Ackroyd. It was former research chemist and doctor of chemistry Ian Jowett who was tasked with first developing the recipe for Teetotal G’n’T using only all natural, high quality ingredients and he spent many …

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 …

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, …

Millers Fish and Chips

I do like to be beside the sea and have my ration of fish and chips, but my destiny seems to be to visit only fish restaurants as far from the sea as it’s possible to be. Be that as it may, you won’t find me complaining. Drumroll, please: the finalists in this year’s National Fish & Chip awards have been announced, revealing the top 10 fish and chip restaurants in the country. Miller’s Fish and Chips in Haxby, North Yorkshire are the best in the North East. The restaurant will now be going head to head in January to compete for the coveted title of Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award 2017. I had a lunch outing recently to Haxby, a delightful village suburb four miles north of York, all part of my relaxing into retirement. Millers, run by Nick, and his dad David has been serving up tasty suppers for 51 years from The Village, Haxby. So off I went to try the Senior Special. The business has recently undergone a …

SNAP! Recipe Box

I’m turning into a bit of a ‘box’ junkie – if it can be delivered in a box to my door, or fit through the letter box, it ticks my box with fascination! And being a foodie, I’ll introduce you to one of my latest… SNAP! recipe box If it can be grown, reared, caught or made in Yorkshire, it’s in SNAP recipe box. And boxes can be delivered monthly all over the country. SNAP was created by two brothers, passionate Yorkshiremen and foodies at heart. They have been out and about in the diverse countryside of God’s Own County discovering and getting to know the incredible food producers who supply them with the top-notch quality local produce you’ll find in their Yorkshire recipe box. My box arrived packed full of fresh Yorkshire vegetables and meat, and all dry ingredients needed for three recipes, this box is not only convenient but also cuts down on waste. It allows you to try ingredients you might not otherwise have tried, in small quantities without having to invest in a whole …