Sunday 29 October 2023

Byland Abbey Memories

A day of apprecation of my surroundings and the memories, we made when I rode out with Jack many moons ago. Jacks Dad ,Charlie, was riding out then too .He was 76 when he hung his stirrups up. Is it the time of year as the clocks go back,the nights pull in and the sights of atmospheric sights like this of Byland Abbey I took yesterday, makes me refelect on life as it was nearly 50 years ago .The views are the same ,the seasons unfurl abeit sometimes they just dont quite fit the pattern they did back then. We have some amazing sights at the moment of the leaves changing colour. The patchwork of fields turning brown as the farmers work well into the night, trying to beat the weather and get their winter crops in. Some are sprouting green as you see the straight drill marks that have planted seeds for next years harvest. As the daylight hours shorten, there is more chance of seeing the Northern Lights. And of course you can breakfast by the fire when you come to stay with us. Oh so beautiful , Majestically stood alone in the mist. The monks have departed and so have their flock, Apart from the pheasants and occasion woodcock. At night ,an owl will weave the ground Looking for a mouse, he looks keenly down. Sheltered from the wind and the troubles of the world Byland is there, for all to be found. Until then I enjoy the peace of the land. I am proud to recall the days of the past of those powerful horses trotting by so fast. There was Volters and Tilston and big Gypsy Dan Astride one of those magnificent beasts So privileged to be one of the string A memory for all who then climbed the Bank, to gallop on Wass Moor knee high in ling.

Thursday 5 October 2023

Walking, sightseeing and going to a cafe are ....

· The Top activities for visitors of the North York Moors area. If this appeals to you going on a gentle walk, sightseeing / pottering and going to a cafĂ© / tea room - Come and stay with us. Not to mention Dark Skies venues of which we are lucky to live in the very midst of one .We do see the most amazing skies full of stars and wonderful formations. We have seen falling stars and as youngsters always wanted to pick one up and put it in our pockets as the song goes - but havent achieved this yet. A record from the 40-50s Perry Como sang and is still remembered today. We can direct you the the foodie places we think are the best.... We can tell you the best places to go to eat, pick up a sandwich or slice of cake to eat on your day out. There is plenty of tea/coffee and milk here. Just bring you own flask and we will fill it for you . You can walk from the doorstep and leave your car while you tak a stroll to Byland Abbey 20 minutes away And if we have some homemade soup on the go we are happy to share some to go in a flask too . One of our favourite easy,flat stroll round a picture perfect village is only 10 minute drive away. Where there are thatched cottages, a duck pond and old mill. Pass cottages with names like Primrose Cottage, Mill Cottage and Orchard House A pretty village church with its lofty steeple but even better the day you do this there is no need to think of a picnic. The Star At Harome does the most amazing food ,having just been awarded 3 rosettes by the AA. Even though the foie gras is what Jack would be drawn too topped with black pudding, a very reasonably priced Market Menu 3 courses for £30. Did you know there is a child's menu too - A child's menu at a Michelin starred inn that was news to me . Add a loaf of bread and rest assured you dont need anything else but maybe a slice of cake later in the day but if you look in "your tin" when you get make to your room there will be some sweet treats for you in there. If you have already "done" your Holidays for this year .Why not plan ahead from 2024 . Gift vouchers can be bought from us for you to give for family and friends who like to get away and have a treat. If you pop into the Star Andrew Pern has brought a second book out which also will make a great gift or a keepsake for your stay in the area. It is named "Loose Birds and Game" contains 65 recipes divided into 13 chapters, large-format fold-out pages introducing each topic. There is everything here from dishes that you’ll cook to win round the in-laws, to rustic pies that you’ll want to keep for yourself. Game has never been more affordable.

Sunday 24 September 2023

Do you like a good read .. this is one you shouldnt miss

but there is three you can treat yourself too. Country life at its best and the country people Adrian has met in his life. My father was thrilled when Adrian Dangar gifted him the first book he had written True to the Line. Father was even more thrilled as Adrian mentioned our family in his memoirs. Just as they were -cobwebs and all. We are lucky to have another book written by Adrian who was a personal friend of Tristan Voorspuy having first met in Devon 30 years ago and sadly died far too young . Ones life cut tragically short on his own beloved Kenyan nature reserve in March 2017 when he was shot and killed by armed herders invading the land. -Adrian's new book is named "In the Field", is a collection of field sports adventures spanning four decades and is beautifully illustrated by the sporting and wildlife artist Rodger McPhail. If you would like a copy, please PM Adrian or visit An idea present and with Christmas coming up -.... and maybe you will treat that someone special to all three. For anyone who wishes to buy a book Adrian will be at the World Jam Festival in Helmsley at the Feathers next Sunday. He gave his time to be one of the judges and certainly know a lot about cooking. Although i have to say I have educated him on the finer art of making marrow rum after he sampled a bottle from 1985 I had made. The garden at his home is stocked with everything a man would want on his plate. I came away with armfuls of vegetables as well as a bunch of dahlias. His sweet peas were doing well too We are privilged to call Adrian a friend and although his friendship was initally formed with my father well over 30 years ago, we continue that friendship today . One of understanding the countryside, food ,drink and good company . Adrian has 4 Gloucester Old Spots -rare breed pigs in his orchard .They make delicious sausages. He was very generous to my father and often brought him a salmon or trout he had caught on his jaunts to Scotland. You could wish for a better after dinner speaker or guest round your dinner table. To read Adrians books is also an education to those who do not understand the country life and a delight to those who do

Thursday 20 July 2023

The secret to mindful travel A trip to our woods

Planted by George Lupton - my Dad and his two brothers when I was a little girl. I think 1961 before I started school. I used to amuse myself laid on old army coats with my sheepdog friend trying to read her stories. I had a crayoning book and Floss would emerge at the end of the day with her white forehead a different colour but she didnt seem to mind. It was quite boring when you are a child as the men had to plant all the little trees by hand. We used to have a pack up- lowance [snack] and our dinner and go off for the day. There were red squirrels about in those days. There are a few hardwoods which the tree company gave to me to plant too. Occasionly it rained so there was an old Oak tree whcih was hollow so I used to sit in that and watch the raindrops falling. Life was so simple in those days. We didnt have words such as chill,stress and anxiety issues ,which are all too often mentioned today. Maybe it is time to pack your bags and head out into our woods and enjoy sitting or lying and just taking in what is around you. I could nearly bet that you would be so relax you could feel your eyelids closing and the next thing you know it is time for your supper. Besides this wood which is getting felled which by the way is called the Garden of Eden. We have other lovely woodland spaces for you to enjoy. All you will hear is the song of birds and if you are near the stream ,the trickle of water. With a fridge in your room you too can make a pack up and have your meal under the trees. We dont have sheepdogs at home but you are welcome to take one of our Cuckavalda Gundogs with you for company. And lastly we still have the "bait bags" and thermos my dad and uncles used all those years ago .So to add to the nostalgia you are welcome to use those too. In Japan it is a big thing to relax under trees it is called shinrin-yoku. In England it now has a psh name - Forest bathing ... when I was little it was playing in the woods -what all country children did and our grandchildren still do today. The term emerged in Japan in the 1980s as a physiological and psychological exercise called shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”). The purpose was twofold: to offer an eco-antidote to tech-boom burnout and to inspire residents to reconnect with and protect the country’s forests.

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Life at Carr House in Summer

We are now well into Summer and life here goes on with fruit picking in the garden, cutting lawns and looking after some Labrador puppies which we born last Sunday. More and more guests are enjoying the benefits, we can now offer with part self catering in rooms . With a fridge,microwave and toaster available you can make snacks and small meals if you do not wish to venture out in the evenings. Even just chill out around here in the woods and fields,by a stream.You dont even have to go that far, enjoy sitting in the garden listening to the birds,reading a book Enjoying that bottle of wine you treated yourself to. We are happy to help should you wish for a food delivery to arrive in time so you can make your own supper,snacks and small meals. There is a barbecue too for those more adventurous souls if you choose. A cooked breakfast, all comes in with the price so no need to worry about that. The Star in Harome has reopened its doors after that terrible fire and once again serving delicious meals . Michelin starred with a very reasonable market menu 3 course meal for £30 which I had for my birthday and very good it was too ,as well as their a la carte menu. Across the field from us is Wass Farm and you can buy delicious charcuterie. . Jack is busy with his dogs and Minty who a lot of you have meet or seen on facebook is his shadow. There is a saying if only the dog could talk … She makes friends with anyone who will give her the time of day and enjoys all the attention. We are busy working and in the early stages of bringing a walled garden on the farm back to its former glory.There were poplars tree which were hollow in the middle so had to come down which was a shame but necessary. Surprisingly they are putting up green shoots from the bottom again. By our Christmas newsletter hopefully will be able to tell you more exciting things and who we are working with and what we can offer in 2024. Wass Grange and its walled garden overlooks Byland Abbey. You can tread the route that the monks walked many centuries before. Grange is the word for a granary and this historically is an outlaying farm belonging to a monastery or feudal Lord. A large country house and when I googled a bit more the motto of the Grange Movement-USA- from the 1800s was “We have always welcomed and invited people of all races,creeds,religions and nationalities ". My grandmother did this in the 1920s and 30s and here we are 100 years on doing the same. We have a good relationship with Castle Howard as we continue to work together with local businesses. For guests staying with us we are able to offer a reduction in entrance costs. To get you in the Christmas spirit they will be open from mid November with their spectacular Christmas event. Also as we would really love you to experience a gastronomical experience at Andrew Pern’s The Star at Harome, we offer complimentary travel to get you there - Arrangements can be made with a local taxi firm for your return journey.

Friday 30 June 2023

Roses - We have a rose garden

How did that song go ....I didn't promise you a rose garden ... but then Oscar Wilde came up with Be happy, cried the Nightingale, be happy; you shall have your red rose. I will build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with my own heart's-blood. You will always find interesting quotes and sayings about roses. When Jack came here I was surprised how much he liked roses and he planted quite a lot in fact they extended well into the woodland behind the house. I think they are the quintessential flower of an English country garden. We are very lucky to have lots here and also across in the farm garden. I have a very light pink one which is over 80 years old ,I would be very disappointed if it didnt survive. I am sure Monty Don would be pleased with my show of roses this year. Now I havent got a clue what most of them are called, but does it matter not really. I think the "Peace" rose would be the one I would always be able to identify. I started writing this blog before watching tonights programme and lo and behold a section of the programme was about roses. It is the Rose Festival at Rogers Roses in Pickering next weekend which we have supported for many years and donated a salver for the best smelling rose. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area. My Dad always liked a rose that had a scent and why not.His favourite colour was an orange one. I have a row which my dad bought me probably 40 years ago they were old then and what someone had grown and tried to make a business out of extracting the oil to make soap which sold in Harrods for a crazy amount of money. Rose petals I put in jam, make rose water for the finally washing rinse and have made potions up as face cream -not that it has done much good. Maybe I need to apply it every night not just every day for a week, then forget for a couple of months. Nothing looks nicer than a bowl of roses in a silver rose bowl as a centre piece on a table . Easy to take cuttings and grow on and there is no point in spending mega money on buying plants just find a friend with some one who has different to yours and swap them. I think gardening is about sharing it makes it fun and competive too. We have some very nice ones which we bought for a couple of pounds and some bought for special anniversary which cost a whole lot more .Give them a year or two and you couldnt tell which you had spent the most money one. As I plan the garden at the farm ,roses will play a major part of it. Roseson trellises, alongside Lupins, Delphiniums and Hollyhocks in borders . With thyme and lavender lines walkways and I seem to grow lady's mantle like weeds, so will incorporate them too . I have apricot and peach trees already waiting to be planted against the garden wall. The ground has to be cleared fist and the wood sawn up . We had a bit of a set back today as there were 2 wasp nests and a hornets too to sort before we could go any further. My Dad liked nothing better in his vegetable garden to get the first tomoato,potato or even sweet pea. I have lost that now, but I have joined the Helmsley gardening club and some months we visit other people's gardens. Last week we went up to one near Hawnby. The lady there had a sloping garden. Many plants she had split and increase the size of her garden which had only cost her time and patience.We just need to learn, when to do it for them to grow on . Roses, Brenda White who used to lived at Water Gates Farm, would say you had to take cutting on the 15th Ocotber. Probably this date came from being mid October is a good time to take cuttings. Superstition would draw me to take cuttings on a waxing moon rather than a waning on. So here are a few of our roses to show you. And some I picked to take to the church yard for Fathers Day.

Monday 26 June 2023

I know a place which you will never forget -trust me -

I know a place which you will never forget -trust me - when I attend marketing meetings, we are told only to tell customers so much. Tempt them to come and then tell them the rest. This is good advice most of the time. On this occasion it would be completely unfair not to tell locals and other people who have never had the experience where it is . Okay you may read this and stay well yes we take Anna's advice and we will stay there too. In normal circunstances I would be a bit miffed, but if you do all I can say is if you do enjoy it . The people who own it and those who work there are so kind to me. If I cant repay the favourite now and again it all gets a bit one sided. I will tell you at the end, if you havent already guessed where it is. I have been going here for over 50 years now and seen landlords come and go. - clue no 1. The present owner has just celebrate 27 years of running this fine place. Fine indeed it holds a Michellin star. Situated just outside Helmsley on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. It is essentially an Inn with Rooms serving ‘modern Yorkshire’ food made primarily from locally-sourced seasonal ingredients, such as local game, North Sea fish and fresh herbs from its own kitchen garden. Wines and beers are carefully selected to compliment the dining menu, whilst service is knowledgeable, but friendly. Add to this the atmosphere of an Inn with hospitality steeped into its very timbers for a proper treat. So then it is to decide what to have. The other lunch time I had the market menu and Jack opted for dishes from the menu. I was in such a laid back mood I didnt want to go through the menu thinking oh yes I would like that, oh no I think this sounds amazing, but oh wow this is just up my street .I left it for the chef to decide the menu of the day for me. Then Jack had forgotten his specs so I had to go and choose for him. He was very pleased with what he ate, so I think I made the right choice. After we ordered it wasnt long before some warm spelt bread came with baked salted breadsticks which must have been 2 foot long. Accompanied with olive oil,balsamic and whipped Triple Cheese with herbs. Give me bread and I am happy. My starter was East Coast Mackeral -that was so fresh it just melted in my mouth .It was served with Elderflower, Pickled Gooseberries and cucumber and pineapple sorbet. Typing this reminds me, I wonder what my gooseberries are doing. I will have to take a look. Gooseberries were once a forerunner of rhubarb They seem to have be lost in the rhubarb fenzey which when I was young it was just boring old rhubarb. As children we used to watch with intent as they rose up through the straw in the old chimney pots my Grandad sat over them to encourage them to grow longer stalks. Then my friend Derrick and I used to have rhubarb fight using them as if they were swords ... weird children that we were back in those days. And sometime I used to walk about with a large rhubarb leaf on my head as if it was a hat fit for Ascot. The drawback was they did wilt pretty quickly. Sorry I have diversed from our food. Jack, I felt would like the Signature Dish established in 1996 of which clue 2 is a book title - "Black Pudding and Foie Gras . I actually am the lucky owner of one of these books as I understand they are now out of print. The Chef wrote another book which you can buy is called Loose Birds and Game. A multi-award-winning Game cookbook which includes stunning flavour combinations and recipes for Poultry, Game and Fish served at the Michelin-starred inn is certainly worth buying. Jacks' starter was Grilled Black Pudding and pan fried Foie Gras with Pickering Watercress ,Apple and Vanilla Chutney and a Scrumpy Reduction. For my main course it was a Yorkshire chicken skewer with a mango ,chilli and coriander salsa I am not really a fan of corinder as I always think it taste a bit like soap but it wasnt "soapy" at all. Who ever had put this together made it look so pretty it was certainly a work of art - food porn .... or did I mean Pern food clue 3 Jacks' main was something very special Skrei Cod ,now this is not any old piece of Cod -this is fished from the deepest waters above Norway. I just had to try it to say I had had Skrei - how glad I did -it was amazing. It was served with Whitby crab ,Earth baked Jersey Royals,White Asparagus,Coastal Herb pickings and a Black Truffle sauce. When I saw the word Whitby I thought back to when I was in my 20s when come clue 4the landlord used to say "Whitby ,My Beloved Whitby" - he was a great friend of ours, who is no longer on this Earth's plain but is remembered with great affection .Dummer {Ian] Otterburn was captain of the local cricket team then and used to wind the poor fellow up by calling him the Red Mullet I will contiue with the rest of our meal another night as I am sure we are all full up now. Or you are so hungry you are going to raid your fridge until you can travel to where we were. And did you guess where we were .... There is only a couple of stars that shine brightly on Earth. This one is in the North Yorkshire countryside and it is The Star at Harome as it is only a 15 minute drive.. For anyone staying with us and wanting to go to dine at the Star, we are happy to drive you there. .