Thursday, 25 November 2021

The Grande Dame of Dining - The Star at Harome

It is 12 hours since I heard the shocking news that has rocked the area. I have thought about "her" all day and still cant believe it. I woke to news that the Star at Harome was on fire and the devastating damage which had been done to this C13th building. The Star is like an old friend having been welcomed through the doors for over half a century.Yes I have been 14 when I first went in. Into a place like no other. Pimms served in pint pots, huge stiltons filled with port and fox masks hanging from the beams dressed up like people with neck ruffs and horn rimmed spectacles sat on the end of their snouts. In those days it was owned by Dick and Jenny Dresser who won the very first awards for this fine eatery, not much bigger than Guillivers House. A few years later I used to go up the stairs to the flat where the Dressers lived and do Granny D's and Jennys hair and a quick snip round Dick. Another era and it was the wild time,our hosts were Tim Gascoigne Mullet and Tony Bowron who had a beautiful St Bernard dog called Solomon. Drinking Pimms into the early hours made by Ernest "Polly" Pearson. and still the red croquet placemats graced the dining tables. Enter the girlfriend of another, who had been in the advert, the girl floating down the river eating a chocolate Flake.... if only the walls could talk. We have celebrated births and marriages and a few too many wakes here. Christening parties and divorces. Had Christmas parties, 18th,21st 30th and 40th birthday parties and so on - there is nowhere better. When we went on holidays we would always eat at The Star the night before keep us going for the journey ahea,d on wondering what the food might be like. Memories of long ago Friday nights that were domino nights for Wilson Barker and his cronies who sat on the table near the bar and were served ham sandwiches. The Sinnington Hunt meeting outside, the end of season shooting parties. Whether you were dressed in your finery or in your work clothes, the welcome over the years has always been the same ,the warmth the walls hold, the atmosphere that has been created with love over the centuries. Photos didnt matter like they do today you went out to enjoy yourselves not to show the wide world what you were doing Even on the night of the present owner ,Andrew Pern, turned 40 to enjoy a slice of a chef'hat shaped birthday cake. The time when Jack thought he had found a truffle and it turned out to be a morel. The Star is the heart of the village. And for the villagers and locals around, holds a star in most peoples hearts. A place where the local poacher would rub shoulder with a Lord or Duchess. I talk of the Star in the past tense, but these are memories. I am sure Andrew Pern, his wife Fran, his family,friends and staff will not let The Star slip into the past tense, but will do everything they can to make the Star shine again. She has not held the crown for all this time to fade away now. Time will bring her back to shine again and be the diamond she has always been. And we have a 70th and a 100th birthday birthday for 2022 to celebrate. I have a little piece of the Star that was given to me by Dick and Jenny for my 21st birthday. I dont know what the damage is yet,but when the time comes when the Old Lady open her arms again I will take it along and if it is needed it will stay there. T

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Enjoy coffee like it should be when you stay with us .

There are some amazing yet very expenisve coffee machines on the market but if I need something to wake me up if we have to have an early start and it was before 5am this morning. I rely on my moka pot.Just enough for one as Jack likes tea in the morning and I usually drink cold water. I always have done, although a lot of people thought it was a sales pitch when we used to sell our spring water back in the late 1980s. We still drink Spring water. The moka pot is a marvellous little machine and they come now in all colours. In 2019 Bialetti celebrated 100 years of making these fantastic little pots Nobody is more familiar than Bialetti with the importance of the coffee ritual in Italian families: local traditions and techniques make the experience of tasting coffee in a particular city unique and unmistakable. This has resulted in the I Caffè d’Italia capsules, an authentic sensory journey through the excellence of Italian-style espresso, highlighting the differences in habits and taste from north to south, passing through Turin, Venice, Milan, Rome and Naples. The aluminium, fully recyclable capsules contain 7 grams of coffee, as recommended for authentic Italian espresso, and are produced in Italy, at the Coccaglio plant. Later thsi morming I am setting off to Northallerton to get a new glasas fitted to the log burner door when came to a sad end yesterday and I will pop into Lewis and Coopers to buy some coffee .I like beans rather than ground. I just grind what I need, when I need it in the liquidiser. I know it isnt really made for something as hard as coffee beans and coughs and splutters a bit but it doesnt take long to grind them up. A very simple contraption which I left the lid off this morning so you can see it been made .Sorry I havent learnt yet how to send you the lovely smell via the web. If you turn the volume up you will hear it bubbling away

Monday, 8 November 2021

A list of thank yous for the NHS and everyone who have been in touch

Last Tuesday saw me in York Hospital for some major surgery. A week on and there are so many people to thank. From Dr Jacobs from Ampleforth Surgery who got the ball rolling again after a few months of waiting. Malton Hospital comes into the thank you list too. There will be lots of other people along the way who made this operation possible and assisted in my care so thank you also . It started with Agatha from Poland taking my bloods. The lady who liases with the timetables I think she was called Anthea for M/s Yasin the consultant from India. For the staff on G1 and the recovery room, and the Polish porter who took me to Ward 11. There was Niamh from Ireland, who is in her second year of training. The smiling young man who helped get my lovely white stockings on. The anaesthetist whose name I have forgotten, but got me from one side to the other, I am most grateful. The lady who talked me through having a misplaced canuler and then I had to be have another one put in. She did her best to take my mind off the pain and talked about her dogs.She had first class skills. The lad who held his nerve to have to put the second canuler in. I did ask if this was the first time he had done it but no one replied. I suppose they have to learn on someone...shame it was me. Nice to have Carol in the next cubicle for company before and after our operations and hope she gets to meet her new grandson,`Porter, soon. Weird name but she was thrilled. On Ward 11 was staff nurse Rachael who treated me to a tuna sandwich and she told us what she had done before she came to work. Basically a full day work at home before she had come to work. Hadnt been able to take a holiday due to her dedication to nursing.And another nurse from Ireland who carried my bags down to the enterance. Remembering the young lady from Selby opposite who was going to be staying in 5 days. It always shows there is someone in a worse state then you. She was so upbeat and hope all goes well for her. Finally and not least thank to Jack for taking me in when it was foggy and coming to pick me up again even though he doesnt like driving in traffic .A combination of fog and traffic is a nightmare to him.It made for a very long day for him espically when he rang me at least 4 times and I hadnt answered as I hadnt come round. He said he had felt ill all day. His daily duty now is sticking needles in me for a week but I told the nurse that he has needled thousands of sheep in his life he could do it as I dont think I could have done it myself. Only one day was truly painful as he forgot to put any specs on .... As I slowly get back to doing a bit Jack is still chaffeuring me about.Hopefully in a few weeks I will be back to doing my jobs round the house. Lastly everyone who has been in touch to ask how I am .Offering to bring in food parcels and do shopping,offer lifts and to lend a hand.At the moment I am just enjoying the rest.

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Saturday, 16 October 2021

The White Horse of Kilburn

Our local landmark, The Whire Horse of Kilburn. our very local area's landmark . When you think of Disneyworld and the Princesses Castle, here you think of the White Horse. .When Jack sees this he sighs relief as he knows he is nearly home. Carved into the hillside above KIlburn it is only 3 miles from us and you can park your car at the bottom and walk up the steps at the rear end and then walk along the top of the glider field and back down through the forestry .If you are feeling energetic you can walk from here or take a longer path and walk on to Sutton Bank and down to Lake Gormire White horse The White Horse was designed and financed by Thomas Taylor, a Victorian businessman, and was cut in 1857. A native of Kilburn, he worked for a London merchant. He had seen the famous chalk hill figures of southern England and wanted to create something similar for his home village. The village schoolmaster, John Hodgson, and helpers did the work. He marked out the figure of a horse on a hillside high above the village. A team of thirty-one volunteers did the actual cutting. When the shape of the Horse was complete, they deposited 6 tons of lime on the naturally greyish rock beneath to whiten it. The White Horse is 314ft long and 228ft high and about 20 people could stand on the grass island, which forms the eye, though walking on the horse is now strongly discouraged. Unlike the horses in the South of England which are cut into chalk and are therefore naturally white and virtually self-preserving, the Kilburn white horse is cut into limestone, which is the wrong colour and needs artificial whitening. This was first done using gallons of whitewash, but now chalk chippings from the Yorkshire Wolds are used. Its conspicuousness hasn't always been considered a benefit; during World War II the Horse had to be covered over to stop it becoming a target for German bombers!

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Felt like Dick Whittington ...part 1

A week ago as I walked down our drive to catch a lift with a friend to the station, I couldnt help but feel like Dick Whittington. Duchess the cat set off to follow me until I shooed her back. It was just a quick 36 hours in London but very much action packed. I had out in an entry in the Boutique Hoteliers awards to which Kuba who works at the Feathers in Helmsley had got through to the finals. I try to travel light,carrying only a shoulder bag. As I marched down the road enjoying the morning sunshine made me think of Whittington. I love going to London. We travellled intercity like the men do and duly arrived just before noon. I was in a party of 8 so we split up. Mary,Kuba and myself jumped in a taxi and set off to a dear friend who has an Italian deli/bistro in Fitzrovia. Experiencing Italian hospitality first hand is something to be tresured. The French "La vie est belle,"is nothing compared to the Italian "Goditi la vita" We have know Giovanni or Italian John as we affectionately call him for around quarter of a century and over the years enjoyed his generous hospitality. He equally enjoys coming up to North Yorkshire. We may not see him from one year to the next 5 but he is a true friend as we pick up as if it was yesterday. The last time I had seen Simone was when he was 4 at this baby brother's christening. Simone is now 24 and works along side his Papa in the business..We had the most amazing 4 hours with him, eating the best food,some drinking the fine Italian wine and meeting "new" friends who all seemed to have been to Helmsley. What a wonderful atmosphere H T Harris generates.It is a busy,busy place as the area has a lot of offices and so the people who frequent H T Harris, work in the area calling in most days for their breakfast or lunch. There is a coffee club were the most interesting people congregate and visiting celebraties to the nearby BBC just "drop" in. A place to see and be seen. Seemed rude to ask to have a selfie taken with them when they were just enjoy the time out. A bit like when I once met Tracey Emin at a funeral tea - it just didnt seem right. It is hard to describe the experience I can say is if you are going to London to make a detour. Enjoy hot dishes of truffled pastas or if you prefer a pannini with enough stuffing to fill a giant.Or just sit enjoy a coffee on the street and watch the world go by. As the afternoon wore on I felt I needed to have a look around the streets close by. I passed this truly amazing dress shop. Saw the Langham Hotel, the Tree House with this huge "bird" outside. Took a selfie outside the BBC and the church nearby has a striking steeple. The streets were relatively quiet, but very near to Regents Street. So if you ever in the area of Great Titchfield Street stock up with Italian goodies. Just remember to take a large shopping bag as you will be spolit for choice and they have some ideal Christmas presents for your foodie friends too.

Monday, 11 October 2021

The grand man of 99 - Father

He is George to most, Granddad to others and Mr Lupton when he gets his "Sunday best" name. To me, he is my Dad who I have been known to call him Georgie Porgie. On September 25th 2021 was his 99th birthday entering his 100th year.. We had a few days of getting out and about. He had just been over into the Dales to buy 100 plus sheep and then on the Wednesday we were off to Filey for a 99 icecream - well you just have to do it. Often he has been too busy in the garden to go to the seaside but with glorious weather and chnace of a spin out in Jacks vehicle we sent off in style. Those disability badges are good things as we parked up on the sea front to enjoy the icecream and look out to sea.then I popped in to the seafood cabin on the Cobble landing to get a sandwich to take home- 2 prawns and 2 crab for his tea. We called in to see his old friend,Frank Turner, who is a butcher in Rillington as he wanted some pickled tongues to cook. Frank was out and there were no tongues in the shop so slight disppointment. All in all he had a good day. Friday brought two friends from the village who brought him some biscuits. One day in the week he had been with Robin to pick some field peas and then shelled them for his dinner. I had gone to the house and he wasnt in and thought he must be down the garden. next thing he zooms into the yard on th emule. Another day someone arrived with homemade pickle. He got 20 cards and was busy be ringing everyone up to say his thank yous. He couldnt believe it when a surprise package arrived from Betty's and all he kept saying was what have I done to deserve this. His request for his Sunday dinner was to have some beef from one of the heifers that Nicholas had taken to have cut up to be then sold in the Wass Farm Shop. It was very good and like any true Yorkshire man on his plate was Yorkshire puddings too.