Thursday, 23 April 2015

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Delighted ,well more than delighted that we have been chosen by VisitYork Travel Awards as a finalist. It was such a surprise as there are some wonderful bed and breakfast businesses here in Yorkshire .So to be picked as a finalist was unbelievable. Little old me having cooked breakfasts for 37 years. I had got an email to say "Congratulations! I am delighted to advise you that your entry for Carr House Farm, has been successful and been shortlisted for the Bed and Breakfast of the Year Award. Having received a record number of entries, the judging panel were impressed by the quality of entry so to reach this stage, with such strong competition, this really is a significant achievement." I rushed down to Jack who was feeding his dogs. I was shouting as I went and I think he thought I had chopped my finger off. I rang my Dad and told him to tell my mother. He immediately went on to tell me, something he thought was more important news, all about some Shorthorn cattle he was thinking of buying . I suppose I can forgiven him as he is 92. And to be fair, what he told me about the cattle went completely over my head. Jack should take a lot of the credit for this though. He supports me throughout. He does the garden and feed the wild birds religiously through Winter to Spring.Guests are amazed at the variety of wildbirds they see and some say they have never seen a woodpecker before. There is one who is very considerate and usually comes for his breakfast when guests are having theirs and he can be well seen from the dining room window. All the hedges and lawns have had their first cutting of the season. This year he has extended the garden by another acre or so ,planting fruit trees,magnolia and lilac trees and flowering bushes galore. This will be lovely to look at and also be a special place for the bees not far from their hive. He is always at hand to show guests his dogs and to sort them out with a suitable one to take on a walk.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Just to remind you Spring is with us .

For the last couple of weeks I have been looking out of the kitchen window at tea time . At this time of year we see deers in the orchard at the back of the house. We have seen up to 5 at once before but last night there was 7 . They were too quick for me as I sneaked around the end of the house to take a better photo and just got two. Below is a little video of what you are likely to see in Spring when you are here. The fields are filling up with lambs. The birds are really doing their courting songs,as soon as you walk out of the door you can hear them. The wild garlic is well up now so anyone wanting to take a bag full home are quite welcome .They are now a favourite of young chefs in the area.

Friday, 20 March 2015


At 10.30am GMT on Friday 20th March 2015 we can finally reveal what is happening around the North York Moors ....... this news is hot off the press so I hope it reaches you all very quickly... Susan Briggs has come up with another great idea . First it was yellow sheep in the Dales, then we had pink sheep here in the Moors. Now there is a website you may like to take a look at .AND we are part of this .After you have read it through you will see that cakes and buns are been served all over the area. Melton Mowbray have the pies. Newmarket has sausages and we have cakes and baking Some people have a particular cake they serve up. Others like me serve up what came out of the Aga a few hours before. This varies on the time I have and as my icing skills are very moderate please dont expect sculptured iced creations here. Each to their own. Now when the idea of cakes came up I immediately piped up "Well we could have fish cakes too" .. I will leave that to the fishermans wives and those who live on the coast. If you read a previous blog of mine you will read about Castle Stores opposite the church in Helmsley. Two things are happening in the Ampleforth/Helmsley radius as businesses are joining together. FIRSTLY- anyone who stays as a guest with us are invited along to Maud and Christine's on a Tuesday night. I will drive so you can sit back and relax and on lighter nights enjoy the view and maybe see a deer or two on the way as we cross over Wass Moor on our way to Helmsley. You will then experience 2 happy hours making buns or even setting off to make a cake. There is only one thing, these are not edible but dont worry we are treated to tea and cakes half way through. You can either KNIT a bun or CROCHET a cake -. Below you will see some examples of what you can make. SECONDLY - As Tour de Yorkshire announced recently having the Sheffield Childrens Hospital as it's official charity we wanted to raise their coffers too .Only one of 4 hospitals in the country to have specialist care for children. I have passed the idea to their fundraising staff and we are being well supported with our second idea. We are hoping to make this an annual event. We are going to hold a WORLD KNITTED CAKE FESTIVAL. It is in its very early stages. Just send your knitted bun to CASTLE STORES WOOL SHOP, HELMSLEY ,YORK along with £3 entry money . On the 25th September 2015 the winners will be announced. All buns will be donated and later sold in the shop. So for every bun that you knit you will raising funds for 2 Yorkshire charities . We are delighted that we are going to be helping our local hospital at Malton .- From birth to death you couldnt wish for a friendly better place to get treated. Over the last year Christine has been treated there and her mum too .Anna's grandchildren have been there and her dad. So this hospital is very close to our hearts. towards the Sheffield Children's Hospital. They are currently looking to raise money to enable them to buy a fully digital intraoperative 3T MRI scanner. Currently ,this specialist piece of medical equipment cannot be found anywhere else in the UK and is only available in three countries worldwide. The first prize will be an afternoon tea for two at the famous Ampleforth Abbey Tea Rooms followed by an evening's knitting experience with Maud and Christine.Trust me this is something special. Also included -a night stay with us at Carr House Farm. A prize for the best dressed Alice In Wonderland character - take a family visit to the International Centre for the Birds of Prey in the magnificent grounds of Duncombe Park. So please spread the word and get your knitting needles out . There will also be a prize for the best dressed "Alice in Wonderland" character. The official Mad Hatter will be announcing the prize winners . The website to read more about the KNITTED CAKE FESTIVAL is

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Mother's Day Ideas

Mother's day is on Sunday. Flowers,breakfast in bed ,lunches out and nights away. I have found some really useful presents today and keepsakes too. Now knitting and sewing is very much back in vogue with the word old fashioned has been renamed vintage. Thanks to Cath Kidston and Kristy Allport who are now "the in" household names. All the items below can be bought in Helmsley at Castle Stores -opposite the church for those not familiar with Maud and Christine's shop. There are knitting bags in trendy prints ,a rather plush work basket with a padded velevet top. What caught my eye first were two things . One- a very useful present of sewing kit with everything you need at only £10 and the material that covers the box reminds me so much Liberty. In the same material is a clutch purse containing a crochet set and this is a really bargain at £8.50. I would love to have the sewing kit as it stacks away as a lovely box with a lid you could put anywhere.