Tuesday 23 March 2010

Farmstayuk meeting at Cundall Lodge Farm

Another meeting -today it was a smaller event than the Y10 I went to yesterday but was held with no less enthusiasm. It was held at Caroline Barkers beautiful home at Cundall Lodge Farm. We were grateful to David Shields who came along. We went to Raines a small cafe in the old post office in Helperby. The food was delicious and was very reasonable in price and generous in portions. Served on Emma Bridgewater pottery by caring waitress here you see Graham busy preparing one of our sandwiches. They do not have website yet but I understand it is something that is going to happen. Maybe they have there priorities right and spend their time wisely by making the delicious chocolate macaroons you can see in the front of the photo which most of us indulged in.A haven of home made cakes and bread using lots of local produce and not to be missed. Whoops,I forgot it was Lent

Monday 22 March 2010

Y10,Gary Verity and Rhubarb is the word in Harrogate today

Off I went to Harrogate this morning to join the other 1499 people who had gone to the conference for Welcome to Yorkshire--the name now given to the Yorkshire Tourist Board as I stand on my soap box wanting the name to come back .Well most people worldwide would associate the Tourist board as the official site for the region but maybe I should move with the times .
It was very well put together,Gary Verity and his team have come up with some brilliant marketing ideas for 2010. Andrew Pern and another lady did a cook off but in my mind there was no doubt who was the winner . Rosie Winterton did the tasting saying they were both winners. But I waved my green card for yet another star performance by the genius Pern. Rhubarb was his theme- starting with mackerel and rhubarb,then duck and rhubarb and a Yorkshire mess of cream, meringue and yes you have guessed right RHUBARB topped with a sugar woven star. But that was not all -rhubarb snapps -if I heard it right was present too.
I love the idea of getting Yorkshire known at the RHS Chelsea with the rhubarb and custard garden. Lets hope it is a gold for us all. Watch the http://www.yorkshire.com. website for all up to date details .

Sunday 21 March 2010

Sunshine, Baby Lambs and the first day of Spring

What wonderful weather we are having to welcome the first day of Spring. Nicholas got around 20 lambs yesterday and was kept very busy. The birds are singing early on a morning and towards night we see them have a cold water bath in the stream behind the house. Preening and sprucing themselves up. Spring is in the air. The daffodils are in bud-lets hope they hang on until Easter to give a good display for my visitors. The primroses are out in the hedgerows already and I went to see if there was any wild violets in a secret place as there isn't many to find now a days but they haven't come through yet.Jack was busy gardening last week and hopefully everything is starting to dry out a bit. I see a hyacinth has come through but the birds are taking delight in pulling it apart I blamed Jacks dogs for knocking it over but it is the little tits that are to blame . I wish I could get a photo -they are quiet destructive little birds. If they ever get into a bedroom they have a field day with the wallpaper.

Thursday 18 March 2010

Training courses and llamas on the farm

I have been fortunate enough to go on courses run by Gary Lowthian,Susie Brindley and today a full day in Scarborough with Michael Astrop- yes he is the one who got thrown out of Betty's a few weeks ago -but don't tell everyone.
I have spoken to Susie over the years when she worked for the Yorkshire Tourist Board but nice to meet her and appreciated her enthusiasm and humour and loved her shoes.If they had been red shoes you could have imagined Dorothy wanting a pair to dance down the Yellow Brick Road in. Susie runs www.willowbusinesssupport.co.uk so if you need any help this is who you need to speak to. Her website will explain more All are very good at their jobs and I hope everyone came away as motivated as I did.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Chocolate for Mothers Day and Easter Eggs

This is Chocolart in Pickering a little shop crammed with goodies-mainly chocolate ones. Ian is very creative and is always coming up with new chocolate ideas to tempt you . Weightwatchers will love this shop as it will keep them in business until the year dot. Here you see Dawn Bentley who is is very patient and so helpful with some of the chocolate on offer.Next door there is Cafe Cocoa which is part of this chocolate experience and serve wonderful hot meals as well as cakes and drink -chocolate of course. My friend Caroline will be happy in here as they have gluten free cakes too. The interior is not what you would expect and a pleasant change from what we have come to think of a cafe. You will have to do and see for yourself . One clue Miss Marples would be quite at home here.

Chocolate for Mothers Day and Easter Eggs

On Tuesday I went to pick up Easter eggs from Chocolart at Pickering. Here you see Dawn Bentley who works in the shop and is always very patient and helpful.I have been going here for years and Ian is very creative and comes up with lots of different things.He made us our wedding cake that was decorated with chocolate dogs It is only a tiny shop on Smiddy Hill but it is crammed full of goodies.
Next door Ian has opened up Cafe Cocoa which has delicious cakes -chocolate of course and some are gluten free which is ideal for my friend Caroline. They do hot lunchtime snacks too which I will leave to sample another day.The interior of the cafe is rather different and a nice change from what you would expect but I am sure Miss Marples would enjoy it here.You must make time and go to indulge and see for yourself.

Saturday 6 March 2010

Get your oranges here...from K E Blands...

They stand on Helmsley market every Friday come rain or shine and have a wonderful array of fruit and veg.As you will have read I won a silver at the World Marmalade competition.If you want to have a go at making some for yourself this is where I get my Seville oranges from. K E Bland comes from Ripon www.kebland.co.uk so if you cant get to Helmsley you will find all their details here.It is now getting to the end of the season and as you will see Mr Bland is busy filling up his boxes as they are selling quickly.

Butterfingers.co.uk with the ultimate Perigold truffle ...

I had seen these previously in Lewis&Coopers. Rolls of delicious butter with added extras .When I was at the market in Helmsley yesterday I found them again in Perns. When I went in there was quite a crowd gathered around tasting and Kairen Dods was doing a brisk trade.She is very generous with her tastings and encourages people to try them all.My favourite was the seriously smoked salmon with chives butter roll. For treat or even to give as a present is as ultimate as a butter log can get is to get the fresh wild Perigord rolled truffle one. Kairen has a great web site that will tell you lots more about it and where you can buy it www.butter-fingers.org.uk. Here you see Kairen filling her stocks up. It looks to me you will have to be quick to find it as it is selling like hot butter.

Monday 1 March 2010

Beadlam Farm Shop and Tea Rooms

A networking meeting was held at Mark and Jenny Rooke's Beadlam Grange tonight for the North Yorkshire Moors and Coast Partnership. It was nice to meet Kim Broderick from Yorkshire.com and thanks also to David Shields and Sarah Barrowby for organising the event and giving up their evening. Mark told us with the help of some wonderful photos how they had made a redundant building into an award winning project.They have a thriving business with a fresh meat counter mainly from the own farm animals and shop selling all sorts of goodies.Upstairs there is a really home made and baked tea shop. Sunday lunches are are 2 sittings and they often do around 100 roast dinners so if you are thinking of going it may be advisable to book.They have won lots of awards since they started and you can see why they are passionate about what they do and fly the flag high for Yorkshire produce, Jenny put on a wonderful spread of food and sent us all home with plates laden down with food.Jack is enjoying his supper as I type.