Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Christmas is on the way ...

When I was in York recently to take a look around the Bar Convent which was very interesting. And seeing Margaret  Clitheroes's hand who was locked away in the Chapel there. A shrine is dedicated to her in the Shambles in York . You can read more about her in Wikipedia.
Coming out into the night air and looking across the road I saw a familiar name on a shop Plaskitt and Plaskitt - remember Peter who did the Changing Rooms programmes many moons ago.  I sometimes see Peter he never changes and time in his company is always good company. You can sometimes see him walking with his black Labrador, Bert - who he actually bought from us.
I thought you  might like to see the shop window ...Welcome to the tide of Christmas.



Monday, 23 November 2015

Sorry ....

My blogs have been few and far between this last few months. The reason was my mother had been diagnosed with cancer In September 2014 she given 5 weeks to live. She actually lived for over a year longer. Every day was special, seeing the great-grandchildren enjoy Christmas.Her birthday in March when she was 90. And celebrating 61 years of marriage to my dad in September -3 days before his 93rd birthday. He had known her since she started school 85 years before. Very rarely did she travel from the farm ,she had no desire,her life was her family. As one of the doctor who looked after her said "The staff at the surgery think she is like Grandma in the film of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. A lovely way to describe her.And that how it was until the very end. We looked after her at home with the the help of doctors and nurses attending to her daily for the last 11 days and to who we are truly grateful. She was buried in Ampleforth churchyard 35 hours after her passing and some people thought how quick. The reason so she could stay at home for her last night. 64 people turned out for the service which just showed how much she was thought of. She was sent on her way down the churchyard as the sun shone to the congregation singing "Lead me oh thou Great Redeemer" which we could hear through the open door. A large collection as to her wishes to go to Ampleforth Surgery Equipment Fund. Maybe there wasn't such a fund but she has made one now. I thought you might like to see her flowers,it was 100 ruby red roses .Very appropriate really as she was called Ruby. Since then a dear friend of mine has kindly bought us a clematis called Ruby.I am sure she would have approved.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

ANDREAS HELGSTRAND - WEG2006 Freestyle Final- what a horse

This is something completely not the sort of thing I post .Usually it is about the area or what we are doing. Maybe this is a commiseration for Jack's sister's horse the 3 day eventer ,Beltane Queen. Maisie as she is known to the family and ridden by Nichola Wilson was 2nd reserve to go to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil .Unfortunately she is out of the running as she has had an injury. Even if you are not "into Horses"I am sure you will marvel at this horse's performance and the relationship between the rider and his steed. Jack won 48 races over the sticks and at point to points but there was a lot more about getting to the winning line first. Months and years of training goes into it .With this dressage horse one cannot begin to think of how many hundreds and hundreds of hours of schooling it has taken to reach such level .

Monday, 5 October 2015

Helmsley Market Day Fridays

I have written about Helmsley Market days before. They are a big part of my life .My first memories of going weekly as a child around the age of 3 was with my Grandfather on the bus and bring wet fish home. Lots of friendly stall holders make the market at Helmsley what it is. The quality of the produce is good and from the cheese stall I can really recommend the quince jelly to serve alongside their cheeses

The Result of the World Knitted Cake Festival

It will be nearly 9 months since Christine Bentley of Castle Stores in Helmsley and I joined together to discuss how we would go about having A World Knitted Cake Festival. Many thought us crazy. "Have faith" I said .So with lots of hard, hard work from Christine and her band of happy knitters - Maud,Winnie,Magda,Gillian and me flitting in and out. The Mad Hatter from the Mad Hatter Tea Company came along with Mrs MH dressed in fine regalia.Last week saw it all happen .We raised £875 to press which will be split between The League of Friends for Malton Hospital and Sheffield Childrens Hospital. We were bowled over by the efforts of the knitters and the generosity of people from all walks of life. Entries came from all over the UK . Here you see The Official Mad Hatter with his favourite,the Battenberg cake which was designed and made by a local lady,Jenny Austin from Sproxton.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Making sure all is rosy in the garden

We have had the privilege of Mr Ronnie Rawlins and his wife Marlene spend a night with us recently. Mr Rawlins was the person who created the Ampleforth rose and as now we are the only people in the world to have a rose bed growing 25 of these beautiful primrose coloured roses. Here you see him taking a look at them. We were very impressed with how they had grown since we planted them in the depth of winter in January 2015. I think we must have better soil up here in North Yorkshire as even Mr R was delighted with how they had grown. Huddersfield I guess doesn't have such fertile soil as we have here. Our garden in south facing too. And not a bit of black spot in sight. My uncle was the rose grower in our family and now my Dad has followed on. My favourite has to be a beautiful old striped rose called Harry Wheatcroft. He has 2 Geoffrey Smiths which must be 10 foot high at least and were only planted a couple of years ago to celebrate his 90th birthday. Hidden away in his garden my Dad has the only Ryedale rose so far that I know has been released to the public kindly given by Ian Rogers ...to see how he came on with it. It came as a very tiny looking ball of roots and has had 3 flowers on this year. They were yellow too. Mr Rawlins kindly brought me, which I quickly handed over to my Dad, another rose .This remains a secret for the time being. All I can say it has been 5 years in the making. Never has one been seen like it before and may be announced at the 2 big Autumn flower shows. It was lovely to have the Rawlins stay with us and hope to see them again next year for their yearly inspection.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Lucky to be yet another finalist ...

By Laura Knowlson THE eagerly anticipated shortlist for the 2015 Press Business Awards is revealed . In the 25th anniversary year of the awards, more than 100 entries were received from businesses across North and East Yorkshire. After much deliberation following an overwhelmingly high calibre of entries, the judges have picked three finalists in each of the 14 categories. Entries have been praised for ingenuity in enterprise which will see this year’s awards recognise a variety of success stories from businesses of all sizes, across all sectors. Laura Knowlson, business editor of The Press, said: “The resilience of businesses across the region has really shone through in this year’s entries as companies and individuals prove they have gone beyond recovery and are now growing in a variety of ways. “The outstanding level of entries we have received made selecting a shortlist a very difficult task for the judges. "We had a number of very tough categories in which it was hard to pick just three finalists, especially the Large Business of the Year award, where every entry was worthy of a place on the shortlist." The shortlist Large Business of the Year: Green-tech, Portakabin, Simpson (York) Small Business of the Year: DSL Global Freight, Home Instead Senior Care, Yorvale New Business of the Year: The Yorkshire Meatball Co., Podfit, The Yorkshire Wagyu Company Best People Development Award: D E Ford Insurance Brokers, Young Discoverers, Garbutt+Elliott Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Ashley Hyde (Baba Ganoush Private Dining), Bethan Vincent (Bright Ethics), Alexandra Atkinson (Britain Does Vintage / Made Locally With Love) Retailer of the Year: Nought E Foods, PlasticBoxShop, Hunters of Helmsley Dare to Export Award: MooD International Software, Damson, London Deli Company Business Personality of the Year: Johnny Hayes (Bishopthorpe Road Traders Association), Rachel Goddard (York Professionals), Andrea Ubhi (Andrea Ubhi Cosmetic Dentistry) Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year: National Railway Museum, Carr House Farm Bed and Breakfast, Best Western Monkbar Hotel Best Business and Higher Education Link Award: 5th Wall, Apatmer Group, The New School House Gallery Famiy Business of the Year: Ged Bell Family Butchers and Pie Makers, Elcocks, Yorkshire Heart Vineyard & Brewery Corporate Investment Award: One Stop Business Finance, Finance Yorkshire, Business Enterprise Fund Best Sustainable Travel Initiative Award: Portakabin Group, TSYS International, University of York Technology Business of the Year: Damson, Bytemark Hosting, PureNet

Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Best View in Yorkshire -only 7 miles from us

Thanks for all your fantastic pictures of the best views in Yorkshire. If you missed it last night here is Nicola Rees piece from last night's Look North - featuring some of your photos.

Posted by BBC Look North (Yorkshire) on Friday, August 28, 2015

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Ampleforth Abbey and their apple orchards only 2 miles from us

NATURE’S BOUNTY: Top, Father Matthew Burns, picking the apples in the annual harvest in the orchard at Ampleforth College, Ampleforth, North Yorkshire; above, Tim Saxby, orchard manager. WORK IS under way to harvest the first apples at Ampleforth Abbey to be used in its new venture. Apples in year’s crop will go into the Ampleforth Abbey Apple juice range. It is a new product for the monks who have been producing the Ampleforth Abbey Cider for more than 10 years. It also produces Ampleforth Cider Brandy. Ampleforth Abbey, close to the village of the same name in North Yorkshire, was established in 1802 when monks returned to England, following a 200-year exile in France following the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. The orchard now has some 2,000 trees and is home to more than 40 varieties of apples including the Ribston Pippin which has its origins at Ribston Hall near Knaresborough. With the area having enjoyed good conditions for apple growing earlier in the year there have been forecasts that the orchard could produce as much as 45 tonnes of fruit this year, triple last year’s figure. Monks are aided in the harvest by staff and pupils from Ampleforth College, the prestigious school founded by the monastery which has around 600 pupils. The orchard and cider mill is open to the public at points during the year with tours led by manager Tim Saxby. Ampleforth’s is one of the most northerly commercial orchards in the UK.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Oh WOW ....

It must be 2 years since we have dined at the Hare at Scawton. I don't know why it took us so long to return as it is only 10 minutes up the road from us. Jack is quite a creature of habit so to get him to stray even 7 miles takes some doing. We were welcomed by the lovely Liz who looked after us all evening along with her equally attentive staff. Bread is my failing.Give me bread and butter and more bread and butter and I am a happy bunny. I really, really shouldn't have been tempted but it was warm and delicious and it was home-made bread. I will put some photos on for you to savour as there was so many courses I would have to write pages to tell you about it all. All I can say is I have never tasted food like it before. I have eaten most things from peacock to pigs brains but I had never eaten eel before. As a child I always imagine every Cockney speaking human lived on it. This was smoked and delicious and now I can say I have eaten eel.Thank you Paul. We loved the amusee bouche if that is how you spell it -warm olive oil with Yorkshire feta,olives and other twists and turns "to get our palates ready" for this amazing tasting menu. I think it is the best food I have ever eaten. If you don't go along with meat they cater for fish eaters and vegetarians too. Anyway enough of the reading about it .Just take a look at the photos

Friday, 10 July 2015

The First Ampleforth Rose bed is here with us

A New Rose For Ampleforth A brand new rose will raise funds for a village hall on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. The primrose yellow Ampleforth Rose, which fades to white at the petal edges, has been bred by the Amateur Rose Breeders Association, and is propagated exclusively by RV Roger nurseries of Pickering. A percentage of the sales from each bush will go towards the upkeep of Ampleforth Village Hall. The first 28 rose bushes were bought late last year by Anna Lupton, of Carr House Farm, who has planted most of them to create a rose garden in front of her award-winning bed and breakfast, just two miles from Ampleforth Abbey and College. She also donated one bush to Helmsley Walled Garden, where it can be seen in an area dedicated to the late Alison Ticehurst, who founded the garden in 1994. "My husband Jack and I bought the roses as a Christmas present to each other, and planted the rose garden. We now have the first rose bed of Ampleforth Roses flowering in Ampleforth." Mark Gerrand-Jones, of RV Roger, says: "The Ampleforth Rose is a floribunda type, bearing two or three large flowers of a 'hybrid tea' shape per stem. The flowers are primrose yellow fading to white toward the outside petals, and it repeats flowers through the season." Catriona McLees, Head of Promotion and Tourism for the North York Moors National Park, says: "The Ampleforth Rose is absolutely beautiful, and we're delighted that it's going to be raising funds for such a good cause." The next batch of roses are currently being prepared, and Yorkshire-rose-lovers can pre-order their very own Ampleforth Roses at the third Ryedale Rose Festival, to be held at RV Roger this weekend (10am to 5pm on 12 and 13 July). The highlight of the weekend will be the British Isles Rose Society Show, which will feature the country's top growers and exhibitors showing some of the finest blooms in the UK. For further information on the rose festival, please visit: ryedalerosefestival.co.uk

Friday, 26 June 2015

Finalist in 2015 White Rose Awards

We have just heard we have been chosen as finalists of the Welcome to Yorkshire prestigious White Rose Awards for 2015. It is very exciting and in my old age I went quite wobbly. I mentioned being wobbly on twitter and I think it nearly started trending. Up to now we don't know where the awards ceremony will take place or when. We will have to be patient until this is announced but know from attending past events that it will be a glitzy night. Thank you to all family,friends and customers who have supported me every step of the way to getting this far. The photo below was taken on my birthday earlier this week. With 3 special people in my life- Mum ,dad and son Nicholas .The 4th special person is behind the camera- Jack. Dinner , we have dinner at dinner time which means 12 noon for Yorkshire farmers. What better than 3 ribs of rare roast beef with my Dad's home grown potatoes and mothers homemade mint sauce. The roses are out of my Dad's garden too .

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Magna Carta Cake

This weekend great celebrations have been taking place all over the country as it marks the 800th year of the signing of the Magna Carta. HM The Queen was going to Runnymede and I was going to the tea party in Helmsley Castle with Christine and her son who had bought medieval costumes for the celebrations. It is the grand finale of the weekend where Helmsley people and their friends can picnic in the ruins of the Castle grounds. Cold weather has stopped play but guess there will be some brave enough to still go. Meanwhile we have tried the cake at home. My Dad gave it the thumbs up and Jack was tempted to have another piece. I needed to make a cake which would travel and we wouldn't have sticky fingers eating it. So all the ingredients went into the cake. It started off with a basic butter chocolate cake and then the fun began ,,==...what should I add... I tried to think of what they would have added 800 years ago I de-thawed some cherries which I had picked from one of our trees last year as there is nothing fruit wise in the garden at the moment other than rhubarb. Then I added cream and some oil seed rape combed honey that had thickened and I couldn't spin out. Vanilla and ground almonds and roll on 800 years - a bag of Maltesers. Dont ask me what quantity I put in as I never weigh things. And then cooked it slowly in the bottom of the Aga.I felt as we live in the #CapitalofCake it was only right I made a cake to celebrate and therefore I have named it my Magna Carta Cake. It actually tasted good even before it was baked

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Our new breakfast guest -

The new guest arrives most mornings between 8 and 8.40am -wonder if he smells the bacon and sausage as it cooks on the Aga and the smell escapes up with chimney . He is always in a rush. Although quite a celebrity in his own right, he seems very much opposed to having his photograph taken. As I have no "paparazzi" wide lens camera so it has taken me a few weeks to be able to get a clear photo of him. And for the non believers here are some photos to prove he exists. At first I thought I was seeing things. Jack thought he had probably rolled in some ash or it was the sunlight that was shiny through a grey coat.But no here he is larger than life and twice as beautiful -our very own wild white squirrel. Yes white - would love to say he was a red one. We would dearly love to see them back in the area. For now we will have to make do with him

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Yorkshire Dialect

This is our local dialect. I speak it and understand it, but don't worry I can speak Queen's English too . Jack speaks broader than me, but I am sure you will understand most of what he says. When Nicholas was at nursery I was called into school.His teacher was concerned that all the children in his class were copying Nicholas and saying I [Ay] instead of yes. Now I thought this was fair grand and there wonrt nowt wrang in it. My reply was I [AY], I understand and will tell him. Haven't had time to tell time yet, that was 32 years ago I had the conversation with the teacher.

York Pass- a great way to save money

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

From the Guardian

This was a nice surprise to receive this morning . An article has been written in the Guardian by Tania Pascoe,author of Wildgarden weekends.Tania selected us as one of the 12 great places to stay amongst meadows,orchards and wild flower gardens A charming farmhouse surrounded by ancient bluebell woods and orchards. Anna and Jack serve breakfasts of local produce and offer great advice on walks – many starting outside the door. Inside, four-poster beds and timber beams add to the classic, cosy farmhouse feel. Courses ranging from photography to natural plant dyes are also held at the farm. • Doubles from £90 B&B for bookings of two or more nights, 01347 868526,

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tuesday night is knitting night

How I love Tuesday evenings. Jack's tea over and off I go down to Helmsley . 7pm and Gillian,Magda and Winnie,myself included turn up at Castle Stores -The Wool Shop run by Christine and Maud. We all have our own knitting projects and mine is the easiest.The other girls are into cable and dropping,twisting and making fancy patterns. I bumble along making my fingerless gloves at the moment and oh dear the thumb part has been so hard to master. I should have got them finished but had a little detour knitting a cardigan for Olivia's first birthday. I was glad to say I got it finished with 2 hours to spare and it was a good fit. I really must get these gloves finished and then finish the cardigans for Rachael and Tom's twins who will be here before much longer. At 8o'clock we are treated to some of Maud's superb baking. All too soon the next hour flies and it is time to come home. This week we talked about who had seen the swallows and cuckoos and whether we had ever seen a baby cuckoo in a nest. I remembered I had when I was about 9 up the Thwaites in Ampleforth near a holly bush. There is something about the cuckoos call that tells you Summer is here

Monday, 4 May 2015

Molton Brown - Delicious Rhubarb & Rose, A Taste of Yorkshire WITH YOUNG TOMMY BANKS

Young Tommy Banks is based only 3 miles from us .Many of our guests go to eat at the Black Swan and have had enjoy some wonderful meals there. I always encourage guests to eat the venison as my son ,Nicholas,provides them with roe deer. As well as the venison Nicholas sells quail eggs and almostany game you would like to try. Enough was enough when Tommy had asked him to find some Gulls eggs. I think Nicholas imagined me scaling down the side of the cliffs to raid the gulls nests. Apparently there are only about 25 official egg collectors in the country and I am not one of them . I am sure a few years ago my Dad would have ben up for it. But at 92 my mum would certainly have put a big stop on it now.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Delighted

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

BIG SECRET REVEALED.......

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 www.cakecapital.com .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 .- www.maltonhospitalleagueoffriends.org.uk. 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. -www.tchc.org.uk. 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 www.worldkcf.co.uk

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.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Gala Dinner at Castle Howard

After the VisitBritain conference on Friday we were invited to a Gala dinner. This was at our grandest of grand stately homes in the county, Castle Howard. Only 10 miles from us. I have visited the house on many an occasion and really like going when it is dressed for Christmas. This time we were very honoured to go to this Gala Dinner. Simon Howard was always a generous host to the tourism sector over the years. There was a canape reception followed by walking tour through state rooms to reach the Long Hall. Jack was as much impressed by the chateaubriand as he was with the beautiful paintings and portraits that adorn the walls. You can imagine how thrilled the foreign buyers were seeing such a house in all its glory. I loved the flowers that had been arrange by Kim Queen and were very British as one would expect in red,white and blue. Rachael Underwood had been working until very late to create a super evening -see the red ,white and blue colours lit up the Castle. Along corridors in each window candles in hurriance glasses lit the way. Peter Dodd gave an opening speech. As each course of food ended we welcomed another set of buyers to the table.So throughout the evening dined with Polish,Chinese,French and Belguim. The evening was ended by a display by ribbon actresses. My evening was complete when I handed around my calendars as guests boarded buses for their departure. A Danish journalist said he was very touched that a small business like myself had thought to do this and thought it very enterprising of me. And that it was good to see both large and small businesses working side by side to create this Yorkshire brand. Gary Verity might have been missing on this occasion as he was busy lambing.I am sure he would have been pleased with how Yorkshire pulled out the stops to make this a truly memorable night for people from across the globe. Gary we presume was teaching Mrs Verity to pull out the lambs.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Il Divo - Amazing Grace

Visit Britain

On Friday I had an away day .First it was to the Visit Britain conference at Yorks racecourse where we heard the statistics from Visit Britain -trends and visitors. Here we were treated to a lovely lunch overlooking the York racecourse where I met up with Katrina Gray from the Wold Cottage and other representives from around Yorkshires businesses . The welcome was made by Sally Blacombe the CEO for Visit Britain. Following Sally's very interesting and up beat speech David Edwards the Head of Research and forecasting spoke of Globals trends,inbound UK trends along with a summary of markey conditions. I loved listening to Holger Lenz -hello Love- who is a very witty speaker who clearly love England .He is the manager for Central and Southern Europe for Visit Britain . I spoke to him after his presentation as he was then rushing back to Germany and when I handed him my card I was very touched that he had heard of me -little old me from Ampleforth.One of his collegues had stayed here last year and spoke highly of me . We then listened to Robin Johnson who for the last 3 years has been Director China for Visit Britain -he too was rushng off as he had to look after Prince William the following day in China. After this was a tea break -delicious cakes by the way -before listening to speakers Jimmy Greene,Nick Hall. Our own Welcome toYorkshire Marketing and Sales Director Peter Dodd. A discussion was then led by Michelle Brown of Visit York . Lastly it was lovely to meet Jo Leslie and see Helen Smith and Craig Nattress who do so much to bring tourists to the area locally . Lots of name dropping here but as you can read it was a very interesting day in the office.