Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Razzle and Dazzle of The White Rose Awards 2017

The White Rose Awards 2017 was this year held at the Leeds Arena. We were lucky to hitch a lift with fellow finalists The White Swan of Ampleforth ,who were up for the Best Pub Award.  We were finalists for the Best Bed and Breakfast Award. We were chauffeur driven by Dave, who works for Robert Fawcett who owns Studford Lodges along with the White Swan . Last time we went we nearly took the top off Jack's pickup when coming out of the multi storey car park -so no such worries this year.

Always with glamour and show stoppers ,we were welcomed by some very colourful and very very  tall ladies.

Everyone looked like bobby dazzlers and Robert's wife Sophie looked very stunning and glamourous.

We had cocktails thanks to Slingsby Gin and the event got underway to the swirl of Bagpipes and a marching Pipe Band, all dressed in their kilts . There is something about this music that immediately makes you want to get up and disgrace yourself trying to dance a Highland jig. Just to let you know I didn't.

The meal started with smoked salmon , which was delicious from Bleikers. Unfortunately the food went down hill from there. But the company was good and the wine flowed and all was good with the world.

It was nice to see such a lot of people we knew, as we were sat in an ideal place to see people coming and going.And the lighting was far better this year.

We did not win, but  very happy to be a finalist and even prouder when 'we" flashed up on the scene. The photo I had chosen was that of one of the grandchildren walking across the garden in front of the house.

We finally got home at 1.45am and Jack had to be up by 4.30am as he had to get ready with his dogs to go picking up on a shoot. I surfaced a lot,lot later.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Adam Jackson - what can I say ...

I have always been a fan of Adam Jackson since he first won a Michelin Star ,when he worked at the Black Swan in Oldstead .

There are not many chefs around who are as friendly and approachable as Adam. He is one of the 'Good Guys'. He works 6 days a week ,is totally in love with the world and despite the knock backs he has faced along the way, is still creating plates of moreish-ness that would send the most critical of critics drooling into their food.

This was the ideal place to take a wine connoisseur, who had just returned from France and rubs shoulders with the likes of Heston Blumenthal. I want a place to impress and I know I made the right choice.

The Park Restaurant is tucked away down a leafy street near St Peter's School in York. Just off Bootham, but within a stones throw of the hub of the City. Add the beauty of free and safe parking .
We were looked after by the lovely Mary -who was so proud of her job and took great pride in explaining not only 8 courses of delicious eye catching, mouth watering ---drool even more, food but of the wine flight too. A grand Yorkshire lass who is a credit to her boss, Adam Jackson. I have a feeling they work together which is are these days as chefs who hold the golden ladle often get above their station.

I can only show you the menu ,take photographs of the food ,rave about the flavours the little hidden hits of wagyu beef fat , the perfectly paired Jerusalem Artichoke with the Chardonnay - Adam and Mary had got this all so right. The intensity of the blackberries ...it was truly scrumptious. ...
And how I love bread, you all know how much I love bread -give me my Daily bread and butter and I am happy .This bread was not just for mere mortals it was fit for a King - and the 14 ingredient butter it just an explosion that you could just class as an early Christmas present to your taste buds. Tonka bean dessert... - I must go back to telling you about the Bass - perfectly cooked, perfectly dressed, a sauce I could swim in.  Sorry no photo of the fish I had nearly demolished before I thought to take a photo -that is how good it was.Carried away by the whole excitement of perfectly cooked ,enhanced with the accomplishments to bring it all alive.
The hours and hours Adam must spend prepping the food, making the sauce, the veloutes ,the eye catching bits and bobs. You can only thank the Heavens for stars - Adam , Little Mary and the beautiful experience they create.

Why tell me why, Mr Michelin Star, have you not found Adam Jackson and his Park Restaurant and blesses him with the stars he deserved.

Friday, 13 October 2017

On our doorstep -the Black Swan at Oldstead

Brilliant - amazing news, can't believe it has happened so near to us. The Black Swan in Oldstead is only 3 miles from us here at Carr House Farm. So what the Banks family must be making of it all I can't start to imagine.
I have known the Banks lads since they were young as their mum was in the same farm bed and breakfast group that I was in many years ago. They went to the White Swan in Ampleforth to earn pocket money when they were at school and lived on a farm but one, next to Jacks family farm home. Then their parents bought a pub ...and the rest is history. There has been TV for Tommy, retaining a Michelin star and now the biggest explosion ever.

No the gas cooker hasn't blown up - something far more exciting than that ... Trip Advisor has named the Black Swan in Oldstead as the Best Restaurant in the WORLD. Everyone in the area are so pleased for the family.
It will be interesting to see how this all evolves . We hope Tommy will not be wooed away to the bright lights of London too often.  It is a family business and they look to growing their own produce or indeed source from local suppliers to supply meat, game and cheese.
The lamb which has become so famous comes from Cams Head Farm which joins on to Oldstead Grange . It features on the cover of Tommy's Book which comes out next year.
When my son was bathing his little girls last night a phone message from Tommy - he would be wanting more venison- they must be getting busy ! I wonder how long it will be before my back garden beauties will be ending up on the plates in the Best Restaurant in the World .

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The NEW Hotel Inspectors....

Dont need hotel inspectors when you have 3 glorious grandchildren.
For 90 minutes they made sure everything was up to scratch. Blinds went up and down at rapid speeds,curtains were pulled back and forth. Lights were switched on and off. Beds were not too hard -the jumping technique was used . Beds were crawled under - no dust there. Pillows didn't lose their feathers in pillow fights Every cupboard and drawer was opened. The teapot was tested with cold tea and sugar sachets then were poured in to cups and served to onlookers. The toilet rolls ran smoothly, the soap smell fine, the hand cream was even better. There was enough room in the showers to dance. Mirrors worked well as they admired themselves.
They charge a mini chocolate roll per inspection for Grannies and recommended that this should be a fortnightly event .
Can thoroughly recommend.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Market trader for the day...

Not that I shouted "Roll up ,Roll up".... there was no need  as I stood there with my stall at the first Ampleforth Village Market.

I now have such a lot of respect for these market traders who do it day in and day out. This was a one and only for me . I came up with the idea of having a village market at the White Swan in Ampleforth. After they had won Yorkshire's Favourite Pub out of 700 entries as a friendly family pub I needed to come up with an idea to help other small businesses in Ryedale. I am on the board for the North York Moors Leader project and so very in tune to how a little bit of help is worth a lot of sympathy syndrome . The White Swan was the ideal venue....with a large car park and enthusiastic owners.

The markets are to be held monthly on the last Saturday in the month. The Christmas one being scheduled for the 23rd December.

Annabelle Robinson is taking over the day to day running of the market. Annabelle has had a lot previous first hand experience, coming well recommended. To be honest I just dont have the time .
Annabelle's parents were involved with setting up local farmers markets within the county.  Annabelle became involved and worked alongside her from parents. She therefore had first hand knowledge of the pitfalls and obstacles that can come with running a market. There is a Facebook page, twitter account ,lots of posters to put up, accounts to keep. Also behind the scene things to organise. Insurance policies to check along traders licences too.
I had 4 hours sleep the night before and I am now getting too old to survive on this .

The weather was perfect and I was on site by 7am to set up. I then dashed back to cook breakfasts for my guests .By the time I got back at 9.30am it was a hive of activity ready for the 10am start.

It was supported well and nice to see a lot of locals,

around who stopped for a chat. Many thanked me for coming up with the idea. A great way to spend a Saturday morning. Thanks  to Josh Finn who came along with his guitar and "busked" for us.

There were so many lovely stalls ,stallholders and tempting things to buy. We have a waiting list of stallholders wanting to come next month -30th September.

Thank you to everyone who made this event go so well. I hope it will continue to grow and flourish.