Sunday 27 December 2009

Kauto Star--what a star..

What a race, what a horse as we watched Kauto Star on top form winning the King George Cup again.Kauto certainly put on a star performance coming home nearly a fence in front. Also a star was Bess, one of our Labradors produced her first litter of puppies late last night .She had 5 girls and 3 boys.The maternal grandfather is FTCH TASCO MONK of MANSENGREEN.and the pups sire is FTCH and runner up in the IGL 2008 and TOP dog in Scotland FTCH LEADBURN VICEROY. I spoke to Catherine Steel-wife of Billy Steel snr this morning to tell them the good news. Catherine said they had over a foot of snow where they live up in Lanarkshire in Scotland. The icicles dropped off the eaves today so I guess it is not as cold here now but does that mean we will be getting some more snow as it usually warms up a bit before it snows. We had a very enjoyable meal as guests of Geoff and Ann Thornton at the White Swan in Ampleforth yesterday after they had been shooting at Newburgh Priory.The starter was a trio of terrines followed by excellent roast beef. That is the privilege of dining with the butcher.There is beef and beef and Geoff certainly knows what cattle to buy as he would have supplied Robert with the meat to cook for our meal.It proves a point you should always support your local butcher. It was nice to see their daughter,Emma,up from London and John was there too.
As Bess had been such a clever girl producing such puppies they are all little fatties and apart from the colour are like peas in a pod.She got all the pickings from the goose so for once there will be no stock.

Friday 25 December 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Merry Christmas.
We started Christmas early having goose and all the trimmings for supper last night as I knew we would have a busy day in front of us.I sneaked down to the kennels last night to leave Jacks presents from the dogs then woke him up just gone midnight to give him his. I was up at 5am with Jack as I wanted to see if Santa Claus had been.It is only 11am and we have already been to Jacks mothers to take her to his sisters and then back to the farm to see my mum and dad. Rubi-Sue and her mummy and daddy were already there and Ellor ,Nick's Labrador was joining in the festivities with tinsel round her neck. Then we will be seeing Little Jack and Owen. They are 2 and 3 years old so will be more excited than Rubi although she was taking it all in and liked to see things spinning round.Before it gets dark it will be time to feed the dogs and take them out.After that we will sit down for another Christmas dinner and finally settle down in front of a lovely fire. We have already heard from friends around the globe what a marvellous thing the internet is.Hope you are having as wonderful a Christmas Day as we are. For Christmas one of my presents, which was wrapped up very well,was some Pringle socks from Jack which was what I wanted but in one pair was stuffed a diamond ring. I know I am very lucky to have Jack and the ring..... but not forgetting how lucky it is to have all my family and friends that make it as special as it is..

Monday 21 December 2009

Elaine Lemm....

Christmas is a time when you hear from old friends and people who have crossed your path along the way. I read an article in the Yorkshire Post last week written by Elaine Lemm who although I keep seeing glossy publications photos of her havent heard or seen her since her days when she had a bistro in Helmsley. The article she had written gave me the insentive to contact here. It was lovely to hear her news -her main job is with the New York Times' Co writing and editing the site about British food. Isnt it good to hear how the British food flag is been flown in earnest across the Atlantic.
Another email today from Rosemary Robinson who owns Just Puds. I have known both Rosemary and her mum for more than quarter of a century and was recently at Bowes Museum to a early Christmas lunch and took this photo of Val and Graheme.They have just had a big farm fire so our thoughts are with them all at Ainderby Myers as we know what they will be going through after ourselves experiencing a farm fire first hand 2 years ago what damage and trauma that they bring- to young Thomas who lost his rare breeds sow and piglets. Val is an inspiration to us all and however the going is she always has a lovely smile

Snow and still very cold but the celebrations have started.

It has been unbelievably cold. Jack has been a saint bringing logs and coal in and he is also better at lighting a fire than I am .The Christmas celebrations have started early we were at Simon Swiers' 50th birthday party on Saturday night braving mega inches of snow to get there. It was 4 wheel drive all the way. It was a 60s fancy dress . I went as a school girl- well I was in the 60s and Jack well decided to keep his shooting coat on and went as Captain Wombwell.As if many people would remember what he wore in those days but it must have been something Jack had remembered him wearing 50 years ago or maybe he was just dead lazy and wanted to keep warm,he did wear a flowery tie though. Yesterday was the Sunday supper clubs' Christmas meal at Wass. Then a mad dash home to watch something on the box-I must be getting old. Tonight is Mark Faulconers party at Coxwold pub. I will first go to drop some Christmas presents off as time is ticking faster by the day.It has been so cold that the diesel in the farms pickup froze and so has the pipes that take the water from the bath. I didnt get time for a sit down but as you can see it wouldnt have been too warm a seat if I had.

Saturday 19 December 2009

So snowy in North Yorkshire....

Fortunately we have Jacks Nissan Nirvara to get us from A to B as the snow is pretty deep and there are still a hundred and one jobs to do before Christmas Day. I was hoping to go over to Castle Howard to see the house decorated for Christmas but I have stayed at home and started on things here. I have been out in the woods today getting ivy and cones,holly and fir to decorate the house. It is the smell I love most when it all comes indoor.The cake is made and the ground almonds and icing are on the side ready to put on. No doubt it will be a snow scene yet again. The presents are all laid out on a bedroom floor waiting to be wrapped. Did I tell you I had a marvellous buy at Laura Ashleys last week -for £1.50p I got some very smart black and gold wall paper which will be used as wrapping paper and there is yards of it.I did make sure it was not prepasted though.

Sunday 13 December 2009

Rubi and Hotel Chocolat and Christmas shopping,,,

Last week little Rubi-Sue ,her mummy and daddy and I meet up to do a bit of Christmas shopping in York. At 3 months she has a good eye for the shops and likes to look up at all the lights,decorations and general rushing about of people. She was very patient as we shopped. Hotel Chocolat is just the most amazing chocolat shop I have ever being in.Even Jack who reckons he does not do chocolate ate a bar leaving me a mere morsel .Good job I had a couple of spare bars hidden away. I got some chocolat ginger for my mum and I am sure I will be in there again before Christmas . When I got home I looked on their website which was of great interest -the story of how they acquired a cocoa farm in St Lucia called Rabat Plantation. It brought lovely memories back of when we stayed at Fond Doux Cocoa Plantation when we got married. L'Occitane was another shop I just had to go in . They have aromas that are nearly good enough to eat and their Christmas packages are so beautifully wrapped. Then it was time for Rubi-Sue to go to the hospital for a scan.It makes you realise that the best present you can have in life is your health as money cant buy this. We hope that she is going to get good test results that is our wish for Christmas .Also her little cousin ,Oliver,also has some kideny problems and at 5 months old has had quite a rough ride so lets hope they both have a healthier New Year,

Friday 4 December 2009

Wass Village Hall opening ......

I was out on the town ...well village to be more precise last Saturday and did not get back until late. The culprit for keeping me out was my Dad-87 and still going strong..We had an invite to attend the 'bun fight' in Wass Village Hall and what a good time we had.Not so much bun but turkey,quiches and rich chocolate desserts kindly donated. He had been there 81 years ago when the last one had been opened and so he was the star of the show. All the village has rallied to help in their own way to get the village hall rebuilt but special thanks goes to Roger Statham ...for the way he managed with the paperwork and to Phil Nicholls who made sure the building was made to first class specifications.I am sure anyone inspecting the build will soon be on the phone to Phil wanting their building work done.
Now we need to let people know this village hall is here to be used.I am very impressed with its very plush black and chrome chairs .It has a licence so ideal for parties and celebrations I have booked the hall for the 22 June 2010 which is the first free date Caroline Gregson from Cheshire who will be holding a day course on a 3D willow sculptures.Her work is magnificant and you can view this on day cost £60pp and places are already limited.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Thanks to Shane of

A big thank you to Shane of who has had so much patience with me designing my new website.I am really pleased with the results and hope it will be easier for you to read all about us. There are lots of new photographs and the lay out is very clean cut. Don't miss the new shopping page. For living out in the sticks as a lot of people think we have some wonderful shops on our doorstep -plus a few more strides. So if you still have Christmas gifts to buy and cant decide these may give you some inspiration.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Trip to Marrakesh

Just been away for a few days to Marrakesh and it was delightful. I and my faithful black Jaegar jeans have now been to all 5 continents. It is the most wonderful place to go to see the sights ,shop and enjoy the warm weather within 3 hours flight time from England. We were very lucky to have chosen Ron Ciccone's Riad Hayati. With around 400 places to stay I think fate was on my side choosing this place. It was a marvellous experience and would recommend the Riad -from the accommodation to the food to the friendliness there was nothing to fault. We were within minutes of the hustle and bustle of the Djemaa el Fna and the famous Souks but returned to enjoy the roof top garden and views to the Atlas Mountains.We also had breakfast up here and watched the birds flying round and round in the sky getting ready to migrate.In fact there was quite a lots of little singing birds around. The flowers were beautiful and of course there was an abundance of roses which filled the air with a scented aroma. The spices and incense adding to the mystic and reality that it was a very different and pleasant land.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

The Sinnington Hunt came to catch a fox but it got away..

The Sinnington Hunt met at Wass today and it wasnt long before there was about 30 on horse back with 6 in pinks making a colourful sight riding through the fields They behaved well as sometime I think they are their own worst enemy as when some of those riders get up on their high horses they think they are better than everyone else. Today they were a well mannered crowd and didnt do too much damage riding over the fields even though the rain had made it very wet underfoot.They disturbed a fox very quickly and it was full tally -ho. The fox of course got away as I feel they usually do.We just hope that it will not be coming to get our poultry tonight.

My Uncle - Frederick Lupton

Fred as we all knew him was born on St Valentines Day 1917 and died peacefully on October 17th 2009
He was my uncle,great uncle to Nicholas and great great uncle to little Rubi-Sue. Thanks to
Peter Rymer who spoke at his funeral telling people about his life and what he had done over the years. Everyone who came in contact will remember him as a hard working farmer-A Yorkshireman through and through who had the most amazing memory-right to the very end. He lived all his life at Wass Grange -he once went out of Yorkshire to buy a Clydesdale filly but was back home again before the day was out. A character, the old resident of Wass, a fine horseman, expert moler, a keen shoot. There wasnt much that went on locally that he didnt know about. He stopped driving his tractor when he was 89,but was still doing the bookkeeping this year at the age of 92 and kept us all on our toes .In September when my Dad was off to Scotland to buy sheep it was Fred reminding him to take the cheque book and you dont forget the holding number. A legend and will be sadly missed.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Debut photos of Rubi

Here you will see photos of Rubi with her eyes open . She could not wait for a photo shoot with David Bailey so I managed to take this for you to see her with her eyes open- there are lots with them shut. For anyone who dabbles on the stockmarket I would think you should consider buying Benetton shares. For after nearly 30 years I am starting to make trips into the Benetton shop. They seem just as good as they were when I used to buy clothes from them for Nicholas years ago.In fact I still have a few that were too nice to part with as they wash brilliantly and never seem to date.

Sunday 11 October 2009

Debut photo of little Rubi

Well I may not be in David Bailey's league of photography. Rubi couldnt keep waiting with her eyes open for him to arrive .So I took this photo for you all to see with her eyes open. Needless to say there was a lot more with her eyes shut

Keiko Igata and the Japanese Guests

It was nice to meet up with Keiko Igata again last week when she visited with 27 Japanese guests.They arrived here at 8.45pm after a day of sightseeing in Yorkshire. It was rather late to call it afternoon tea. They all seemed to enjoy the experience of taking tea and cakes and took hundreds of photographs.It is not every day that the villagers of Wass open their doors to provide these japanese travellers with bed and breakfast before they headed off to London the following morning .I guess there will be a few stories to tell not only from the East but also from the West - I dont who were the more curious.


Here is a photo that I took of Rubi when she came to see us last week .Not that I am much of a David Bailey and many of the photos had her with her eyes shut.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Cowboys and Indians...

A little late but we must thank Rob Easton-gamekeeper for the Newburgh Estate for the invite to his 30th birthday party. With Cowboys and Indians been the theme it was so nice to see to have made such an effort to get dressed up for the occasion. The food was wonderful with sides of roast beef which Rob had cooked in a hog roaster with a bit of help from Helen Wilson. Far better than any hog roast so here starts a new trend.There was a bucking bull which Jack lasted 5 seconds . His second attempt was better at 22 seconds. Not bad for an old stager!!. I gracefully declined -I was actually more bothered with lots of people watching I wouldnt not be able to get on to it or fall off straight away.The weather was perfect and a good time was had by all. Thanks Rob and Jenny for a splendid night. We should have taken photos before we went out not when we got home....

RUBI arrives in September and .....

Nicholas' wife Claire gave birth to a baby daughter on 11 09 2009 at 00.56am bouncing into the world weighing 7lb 5ozs. She is the 6th generation born into the Lupton family since they moved to Wass Grange over a 100 years ago.

On October 1st we had another arrival this time from Co Armagh,N Ireland. Out of the famous Keith Mathews Kennels- a beautiful, happy yellow labrador dog pup -He comes with the pedigree name of Copperbirch Winnebego -his pet name is yet to be decided. His sire is FTCH Greenbriar Viper of Drakeshead who was 3rd in the IGL in 2006. His dam is FTCH Ernvale Maud who was IKC's Labrador Ret'er of 2008.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

What I did on the 09 09 09- Harvested to eat later......

Today the weather has been perfect and my day has been very productive too. I went to pick some brambles to make some bramble gin and found some mushrooms. Then I went to my Dads and raided his garden.Raspberries are my favourite fruit and they didnt get as far as getting home. I ate them off the cane and was surprised at how many there was for the time of year. Into the greenhouse for tomatoes and there are stacks of them so will have to go back with a bucket and put the little ones in the freezer -they make wonderful tomato soup to which I add vodka. I saw there was a lot of cauliflowers and as I carried my tomatoes and cauli I passed by the runner beans so it was like a juggling act picking and holding on to them. My dad had already picked his onions and shallots so a handful of each . The shallots I will pickle for him and the rest I am making into piccalilli page 254 in The Princess and The Pheasant book by Elizabeth Luard. I like her recipes and use her book often.

Sunday 6 September 2009

Stanbrook Abbey welcomed locals......

On Saturday afternoon The Community of Stanbrook Abbey opened their doors to locals and friends in the area. Kate and I had just been to Helmsley and done a spot of shopping -Jacks gaiters were still not in stock. Barbours are the best lasting gaiters you can get and they are like gold dust at the moment.D.V Townsend have some on order so Jack will just have to be patient. We nipped down to the newly reopened Pheasant for lunch. The Perns have transformed the place - the decor I loved and now we were going to sample the food...
By the time we got to Stanbrook Abbey the place was teaming with people.We were warmly welcomed. It was nice to look round as my great uncle had farmed here generations before.The views are mind blowing as the Abbey in perched up on the skyline and each cell has a verhanda so each can enjoy the view. Full marks to the architect.Now I have been up it will be easier for me to tell the guests which door to go in if they wish to worship there.
Then it was over to the Riskers to celebrate Colleens birthday. Kate was up from London and helping with the cooking. On a spit was a pig from the Ginger Pig Company.It was a great evening.
A Champagne invitation this afternoon at the Wombwell Arms to celebrate their first year but sometimes I do have to work so got down late but the company was just as good as it always is. Eunice is doing a champion job after completely taking over in the kitchen. I can see there will be some great South Africian dishes flowing out of there big time.
Guests from Italy and France are here tonight bringing their children to start the new term at Ampleforth College- must go to lay the tables now for breakfast as morning always comes too soon for me,

Monday 31 August 2009

Biffs' Birthday Bash- Another legendary Thompson party.

Elizabeth Thompson,youngest of JVT and Barbara's brood better known to most of us as Biff- celebrated her 21st birthday last Friday night. We were privileged to be guests and a good time was had by all. Her older brother Robert who runs the White Swan in Ampleforth served the most wonderful food- 6 hot savoury dishes with rice, followed by "to die for" brownies and a chocolate birthday cake big enough to feed an army. It was nice to catch up with friends,one of which has a home on the Florida Keys. I am waiting for the post to come with the details if I can get Jack away after the shooting season ends. She said life is as laid back on the Keys as Jack is so he will love it. Meanwhile in November Jessica and I are off to Marrakesh for 3 days -I am really looking forward to haggling in the souks and we are travelling out very light but no doubt will be weighed down coming back . There is only a certain amount you can carry in pockets and on ones self.Does this crazy Yorkshire woman always wear 10 scarfs in different colours round her neck at any one time.

Monday 17 August 2009

What lovely local food .....

Jack took a fresh crew on Thursday and Quozzi, as usual she has boundless energy,had a wonderful day on the moor. She takes after her mother ,Molly ,who is such a marvellous hunter and just cant wait to go again.What characters they are.
On Friday I went to Helmsley market calling in at the new fish and chip restaurant and take away as we had heard some very good reports on it. It is called Makins and owned by an extremely friendly Yorkshire lady called Jane Makins who I had a long chat with. Apparently she is a friend of Jacks cousin, Wilma - small world. They were very very good and we will certainly be getting some in the future, a big asset to Helmsley and another place for my guests to go. In the evening Jessica and I went for a drink to the Star and ended up eating there. Well how can we resist the food is divine-It was Andrew Perns 40th birthday so we made room for some very chocolatey birthday cake too. He is a wizard of a chef and lets hope he is still producing meals like what we had in another 40 years time. Most week we get 2 ribs of beef from Perns shop in Helmsley - you just cant beat it and their tomato sausages are on the top of my list too. Saturday night we ate at the White Swan by this time I was still part full from the night before so had a lovely lobster starter while Jack tucked into the duck it is so big if I have it I bring half of it home for the next day!. Sunday well, Sunday is always Yorkshire pudding and home reared roast beef at the farm .My dads potatoes,carrots and lettuce out of the garden and home made mint sauce.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

The Glorious Twelfth...on Dallowgill Moor

The Glorious Twelfth has arrived.
Earlier for some than others. Jack was up at just turned 4.30am to get his dogs sorted before going to Dallowgill Grouse Moor for the first day of the shooting season. An early start for me too around 6.30am and for those of you who know me early mornings and I dont mix. I thought everything was sorted but it is always like the first day back to school... cant find anything. Tassels for socks. flasks without tops, enough refreshments for Jack as well as the dogs then we left the Mars bars on the table. Walkie talkies charged up. Then ready to go... Jack took 6 dogs with him to pick up the grouse and now are all safely home feed and watered ,him included and no doubt all will soon be asleep. Tomorrow.Jack will take different dogs with him. Quozzi will have her first day on the moor. Lets hope the day is as good for them all tomorrow.I would have loved to have gone to but when I have guests in it is too early a start and tomorrow I have to go to the dentist.There is no guessing where I would be.It would not be sat in a dentist chair but high up on the Yorkshire Moors tramping through the heather with Jack and his beloved dogs.

Sunday 9 August 2009

All in a week......

We have had a busy week with guests coming from across the globe. Thanks to the weak pound we welcomed Italians, Dutch. French and visitors from Belguim. A birthday guest and a couple celebrating their Ruby wedding anniversary. It has kept me on my toes. Some guests who stayed last weekend have added me the Trip Advisor site. It was kind and I hope this is what all guest feels but what happens when the cat drops a mouse outside their door as a thank you for them petting her what sort of a review I will get then.
Its has been the Pickering Steam Rally this weekend and the Sky Charter Uk Ltd from Kent based their helicopter here. On Saturday morning they kindly took Jack. daughter Fiona and partner Tony and myself up for a spin round...All I need now is to win the lottery. It is lovely day here so Jack has refilled the hot tub today after I got a hose pipe from Homeworkers in Helmsley . They are down Borogate and if Les and his knowledgeable staff can't fix you up with what you need on the DIY side you may as well put your feet up. My sampler I am told of the Kate Greenaway alphabet is been much admired. It is been displayed in an exhibition of Victorian children books and illustrations at Castle Howard.
We have yet to eat at the Abbey Inn since it was taken over but will get there soon as I hope. Jacks mum had been there for lunch last week and said it was wonderful .Just rememebr it is shut all day Tuesday.

Sunday 26 July 2009

Spoilt for choice...The Hare Inn and others......

Jack went to the Game Fair at Belvoir Castle yesterday with Mark Faulkner who owns Brafferton Game Farm and run the shoot at Newburgh Priory. I stopped at home and feed the puppies. It had been a busy week with the tourist board inspector awarding us 4 stars for hospitality,food and cleanliness. So I thought I deserved a treat.I couldnt wait for Jack to get back so I thought I would bite the bullet and eat by myself . We are spoilt for choice of good places nearby to eat and with lots of places changing hands and newly opening.
I went to my favourite place the Hare at Scawton where I enjoyed a crab risotto with tomato bread,followed by a halibut and crab sausage which was equally delicious. I have to say I felt most comfortable and thoroughly enjoyed myself as the staff are so friendly and accommodating and the whole experience left me feeling totally refreshed. I totally recommend the Hare not only to anyone who is eating alone but for anyone wanting a relaxing experience with first class food and service in unpretentious surroundings.
The Abbey Inn at Byland has just been taken over by Melanie and TJ Drew who were formerly at the Appletree at Marton. We can look forward to having yet another super place on our doorstep to eat. They are open every day except Tuesdays. There is a very trendy fish and chip shop/restaurant in Helmsley called Makins which I hear does a whole range of fish and have excellent fishcakes. The Perns-of the Star at Harome fame- are having tremendous success in running the Pheasant in Harome. Finally in Easingwold next to Thorntons the butchers an Italian has open and comes well recommended, as is Coxwold with a very exciting menu that changes throughout the day.

Thursday 25 June 2009

THE FUSE...who played.....and stayed.....

Recently THE FUSE were playing in North Yorkshire and stayed with us. A pop rock fusion band- what great guys these were. When you hear of groups who trash rooms,are very demanding and cause chaos. I imagined them dancing on my dining room table but I can say they were so polite and very charming. If I had a daughter I would have been very happy had she brought any one of these lads home. How civilized it was to listen to the talented Alex Newberry's voice belting out in the middle of the North Yorkshire countryside rather than have to trail all the way down to listen to them on the London circuit. Backed by the equally talented Jake Blair,Simon Bowsker,Mike Varnavia and Kiki Dugdale, you see the group relaxing in our Yorkshire sunshine as they are preparing to go on tour around Europe before heading off to Los Angeles to to cut their new album. THE FUSE are the recently reformed group from the original LATO. Their website is and will perform a headline gig at MONTO WATER RATS THEATRE in London on the 25th July

Wednesday 24 June 2009

The FUSE...

Jack says there is no need to go anywhere else we live in the best part ...We get people from all over the world and some are more famous than others. The other weekend a pop rock fusion band called THE FUSE stayed with us. I must say what delightful young men they were too.You hear of bands trashing bedrooms,been rude,so demanding and other horror stories.These are the sort of guys if I had adaughter I would have been happy for her to have brought home. These guys were just here to play at a gig and chill out in the sunshine the morning after.They have a brand new website after regrouping from LATO to their new name of THE FUSE.....and their music isnt bad either.It was so civilized to listen to Alex Newberry's voice belted out over the North Yorkshire countryside instead of the usual London circuit backed by the equally talented Jake Blair,Simon Bowker,Mike Varnavia and Kiki Dugdale. They are now preapring to tour through Europe before crossing the Atlantic to cut a new album in Los Angeles.

June-My Birthday Month

Another year older yesterday and hopefully a little wiser. To celebrate my birthday we went up to The Hare at Scawton and had a delicous meal- well worth a trip. Their number is 01845 597769.We sadly missed meeting Jan Smith ,a very friendly landlady who is also a very busy one. Next time it will be the double baked cheese souffle that Jessica always raves about.
I have always wanted a platinum ring and Jack came up trumps as usual with the help of Martin of Pattisons Jewellers in Thirsk, who had been keeping his eye out for me a special one for a long time.It is about 100 years old and has 12 sides to it -one for each month of the year. This shop may be small, but its reputation is big and if Martin hasnt got it in, he will either make it for you or find something you will treasure for ever.
My Dad gave me sweetpeas out of his garden and a pale pink rose off a bush which has been at the farm as long as the family over 100 years.One year I may be successful at trying to root it. This is always one of my best birthday memories.
I must tell you about a wonderful paint company I have found called The Little Greene Paint Co which produces paint and wall paper. Since 1773 the Little Greene Dye Works have been making paints and dyes and now offer 128 different colours to choose from and the most fabulous rolls of paper. I am just waiting for some guests to vacate a bedroom as I have a pot of paint called Gauze ready to transform a pine chest of drawers...You may be interested to visit their website www.the hardest bit is there are so many lovely shades to choose from. They even do limewashes and distempers.Their telephone number is 0161 the guests have now gone and I have painted the chest which you can see in the photo

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Hovingham Hall......

One of North Yorkshire's special gems will be open to the public for the month of June. It is not so well known, but is very well presented and brings a lot of enjoyment to those who know where to find it in the middle of the North Yorkshire countryside on the malton to Helmsley road, about 10 miles north of York . Formerly the home of the Duchess of Kent and now of her nephew, William, lovely wife Marie and young family.I like to spend time walking round their garden as there are always tips of how a garden should look. I remember a few years ago after a pleasant afternoon there rushing to get the lawn mower out and try to make the same pattern on the our lawn as they had achieved.Needless to say it was not quite as gracious, I am still trying.....

Friday 29 May 2009

Ryedale Grand Prix-British Cycling Premier Calendar Road Series, June 7th 2009

The Ryedale Grand Prix 2009 will be held on June 7th which is just on our doorstep at Duncombe Park with its HQ at St Albans Centre,Ampleforth Abbey,Ampleforth.The Grand Prix will use the now tradition course with Hovingham forming the hub for two rolling circuits which is 181kms in total.This race is now in the Premiem Calendar status. The event has been held annually since the death of Olympic Cyclist, Peter Longbottom whose home was in the area.This is wonderful countryside not only for the competitors but also the spectators to enjoy as well . Lets hope for perfect weather conditions and not too many punctures.The event has been generously sponsered by Greencrete and Halfords

Thursday 21 May 2009

Japanese writer,Keiko Igata, awards us a 5 star rating....

It is not everyday we get the postman bringing us mail from Japan.In an earlier blog you will read Keiko Igata, a well respected writer in Japan stayed with us last Dec. In the envelope was the mr partner magazine "for real life" where Keiko has dedicated a page to us with 6 colour photos,having awarded us a 5 star rating. Unfortunately we do not understand what she has written so if anyone can help us out we would be very grateful.I have now been asked to accommodate 3 Japanese journalists who will be doing a feature on the area in June and no doubt we will be posing for a few more photographs.

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Aviva Pearson has been appointed.....

I have just had an email through from Joan Lovejoy, who deserves a medal for keeping us all up to date with all the local news for the tourism in our area. Aviva Pearson has just been appointed the new chief executive for the Yorkshire partnership and hopefully she will help to boost the economy for not only the Moors and Coast Tourism area of which we are in, but the other areas of North Yorkshire she is in dealing with too. I look forward to meeting Aviva and listening to how she is going to play her hand.

Sunday 10 May 2009

Labrador Pups having their first French lesson

The photo shown the pups having their first French lesson. Recently les enfants de Chezelles who were staying with us from Monte Carlo and the pups loved the children as much as the children loved the pups. Tinas pups are now going to their new homes and we are keeping 2 but we still have a black dog puppy for sale . They are more or less house trained and down to 3 feeds of food a days . Talk about waggy tails they are such happy little dogs. Mine is called Tara.

Thursday 7 May 2009

Meeting with Gary Verity

Yesterday I attended a meeting at the Arts Centre in Thirsk where I met Gary Verity for the first time .He is the head man[chief executive] for the Yorkshire Tourist Board .He is very approachable and is prepared to hear everyone's point of view. He has a major task in trying to keep us all happy, but he isnt short of ideas and lets hope they all work. With farming in his blood I am sure he will not be shy of hard work.I hope he will take on my choice for James Martin to be the face for Yorkshire.I was at the NYRM in York about a month ago at a do organised by Business Link and James Martin was the guest speaker. What a lovely guy ,I could have listened to him all night.I even woke Jack up when I got home to relay the tale of the pigs....Afterwards there he was signing autographs,shaking people's hands and having his photograph taken all the way through his meal and never complained once.We observed this as we were on the next table and talk about doing that extra mile .....He was pleasant,charming and totally unaffected by his stardom- a true credit to Yorkshire and to his mother ,who he spoke so affectionately of.Also while I am singing James' praises I am helping to raise funds for the Wass Village Hall rebuild and it was decided to approach James,along with a few famous faces of the area for a recipe for the book we are producing. Not only did he send more than one recipe but he sent one of his own cook book which he has signed and which I am sure will create more funds for the pot. Well done James,you have my vote for Yorkshire.

Jack's Birthday

Thank you for everyone who came on Sunday to celebrate Jack's Heinz birthday[57th]. The weather was perfect and we were all able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. It started off with nibbles and drinks for 20 but it somehow snowballed and ended up with around 60 for lunch. It was so nice to see old friends from racing, David Kinsella with his family,David and Pam Shields, for who Jack had ridden their famous horse Tilston so many times also Geoff and Ann Thornton who owned Carfield. David was quite impressed by the stool I had painted by Nichola Graham from Tockwith that he would sit on it -next best thing to been sat on Tilston he said. Sorry that Pat and Robin Tate and Karen and Nigel Tutty were not with us, along with others but some are still in the saddle and it was the point to point at Pendle Forest. At 2am on Sunday when I still had to dip strawberries in chocolate I vowed never again....but I guess I will soon be planning the next get-together.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Advice from Shaa Wasmund at York and more

Today, thanks to Business Link I went along to hear Shaa Wasmund speak at York racecourse about social networking and its benefits. So there are now words like Facebook,,Linkedin and digg all to explore. How Shaa manages to "twitter" or is it "tweet" when doing her supermarket shopping beats me.
Tomorrow I will get back to painting of the sun house. With the beautiful hot weather we have had over the last couple of days it is quite a nice job to do.It is quite a sun trap here. I understand the forecast is good for next week too.
I have been appointed the weekly correspondent for Wass for the Darlington and Stockton Times newspaper. The villagers are all pulling together to raise funds for the rebuild of the village hall. Any one with any suggestions or donations please let us know .
Tinas' pups are doing fine it is a pleasure to watch them as they all play and explore together.

Sunday 22 March 2009

The first day of Spring and what better way....

to welcome Spring in nature calendar than to have new life.- Tina our fox red labrador gave birth to 8 perfectly formed healthy puppies. We have lambs being born. My dad went out and found some wild violets for my mum. Primroses are everywhere and the wild garlic is greening up under the trees in the woods.The birds are singing and pairing up. A pair of partridges are running up and down the drive looking for the perfect place to make their nest. There is buds on the trees.Jack mowed the lawn yesterday for the first time ....summer is on the way.There is a lot going on in the countryside at the moment.

Sunday 15 March 2009

Jack -one of the 50 friendly faces of North Yorkshire

It has just been confirmed that my husband, Jack, is one of the 50 friendly faces of North Yorkshire.This is a campaign run by the North Yorkshire Moors and Coast Tourisn Partnership.The initiative spotlights the people who best reflect and represent the welcoming nature of the Yorkshire Moors and Coast area.
They were asked to share their favourite place which brings a smile to their faces. Jack said "The triangle taking in the Abbeys of Ampleforth,Byland and the new Stanbrook at the top of Wass Bank.Every morning I walk out of the door I couldnt imagine living anywhere else but under the backdrop of these ancient woods with beautiful views in the peace and quiet. To round the day off what better way than to mix with friends down at the local village pub just a mile away."-

Friday 6 March 2009

More than just Bed and Breakfast

This is Bed and Breakfast with a new twist.
Sometimes you may not wish to eat out all the time, just want to have a snack and relax ,bring in a light meal and warm it up .So we have come up with an idea- in our sun room we have just bought a larder fridge and a microwave for you to take advantage of. There will be a selection of crockery and cutlery in your room for your use during your stay .There is also a picnic hamper if you wish to take meals out with you. A stainless steel barbecue is out on the terrace with table and chairs All this is free, all we ask you to do is to leave everything which is at your disposal as it was when you arrived...... more later as we are busy doing the finishing touches today .

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Spring is on the way-4 nights for the price of 3.-£90pp

We have got our first new born lambs ,the birds are singing and the days are lenghtening. \take an early break to see the first signs of Spring,as nature unfolds from its winter sleep. We are offering 4 nights for the price of 3.Only £90pp sharing a double /twin ensuite room which also includes a real Yorkshire homecooked breakfast .

Saturday 31 January 2009

We have been recommended......

This morning we received a letter from the Times newspaper telling us that our establishment is recommended in the first edition of THE TIMES BEST OF THE BEST COUNTY GUIDES.What a good start to 2009 for us.
We would like to thank THE TIMES for including us and for letting more people know about us.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Stanbrook Abbey

The new Stanbrook Abbey is been built just over a mile from here.We understand that it will be finished by March 2009 . This is very interesting for us as my great-uncle farmed there many years ago when it was called Crieff Farm.We have already had guests stay with us who are involved and have an interest in the Abbey and hope in the future to welcome many more.
A peaceful retreat from the stress of modern life.
We welcome our guests to walk through our fields and the woodland to get from here to the Abbey.You may like to go alone listening to the birdsong and catch the occasional glimpse of a deer on the way or take one of our dogs with you on your walk.Looking down to see wood smoke curling from the chimmeys in the village of Wass below.A field further along you will see the spectacular ruins of Byland Abbey.

Saturday 17 January 2009

The Laceys,Wass and Yorkshire Sounds.

Over the New Year I meet up with the Laceys from Wass.They told me of all the exciting things they are involved in. We discussed it not over the kitchen table but in their delightful Kota-the orginal ones where used by the Lappish farmers for shelter for their reindeer.Tony and Linda have theirs in the garden overlooking the stream but minus the reindeer.It is very warm and welcoming if not magical.Around the Kota, Linda has made clay holders,little houses to put candles in all beautifully decorated.Maybe if you are lucky you could persuade her to sell you one. They have websites you may be interested in having a look at do have some of their CDs of Sounds around Byland -guests who are staying with us may like to buy a copy to take home.
Also which tells you about our village and what is going on. A lot happens here for such a small village . Tony with his violin-making and Linda with her story telling - She acts as promoter for the Traditional Arts Team .Linda has been busy making another CD for you-Stories with a touch of Magic-.
Also Exmoor ponies are here in Wass for the winter -a rare delight to see.

Friday 2 January 2009

Keiko Igata

Keiko Igata is a well-known writer in Japan, and we had the pleasure of her staying with us just before Christmas with her photographer,Seiichi Taguchi.After sampling my home-made cakes, we are to be featured in her new book which comes out in May. Apparently Keiko has written books over the years for the publishing company Mr Partner -for real life. and has stayed at over 100 places.Her comment in our visitors book was very complimentary -British no 1 farmhouse and great people! *****[cakes,bed].We are looking forward to seeing the book as there was lots of photographs taken even if we cant read the script.The book will also take in Wensleydale Cheese,the Settle to Carlisle Railway ,and Haworth -home of the Brontes and also the Yorkshire coast.