Friday 25 November 2011

A woman's prerogative...

I was out to a charity event on Wednesday night with my friend Colleen Risker who has stables at Rushton near Scarborough. Along with her husband have a 9 hole golf course near their home at Sawdon.We were going to have a bite to eat at the Downe Arms,we choose a dish that had cheese in it.When they told us they didn't have any cheese we decided we would change our eating venue. We made our way to the Anvil at Sawdon. I hadn't been here for quite a few years and wow what a change. Still a lovely feel to the place but the place had been smartened up a notch or two . The anvil and forge still remain you can see them behind cheese donuts.Yes cheese donuts. We had 3 starters and shared them instead of having a main course.It was excellent and the slowly roasted belly pork was out of this world.I wish all my plate had been this scrummy pork.It just melted in your mouth.It must have been marinated in something first -cider perhaps. So if you get there before me don't eat all the pork,please leave some for me .

National Railway Museum,York and Vikki Harris

Not only is the National Railway Museum the engine shed to lots of trains they also have conference facilities there.Welcome to Yorkshire held its AGM there on Monday. First we had time to catch up with other members and take a look at the trains. It was lovely and warm in this huge building. It is free to enter and makes for an ideal place to go if the weather is not so kind. It has good parking facilities and certainly worth a visit. Their catering is very good and I certainly enjoyed my lunch. After lunch some of us were lucky enough to get on one of the training courses in the afternoon. An interesting mix with a lady from the Wilf Ward Trust who had self catering from disabled in Filey to a lady gardener from the RHS Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate. Harlow Carr is a place I have to admit I have never been. It sounded so intersting and will have to go on my do list for 2012. The session was lead by Vikki Harris from Welcome to Yorkshire who explained what is up and coming for the coming year.Stats,graphs and the like -but very interesting all the same.Vikki was very patient with us all as things kept getting slightly detoured. I am sure we will benefit if we take on board what she told us. So its full steam ahead.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Flavour of Herriot Country Awards

First it was the AGM at Slaley Hall at the beginning of the week.On Thursday I was in my "better clothes" avec mon Vivienne Westwood earrings as I was attending the Flavours of Herriot Country awards. Jack and his Cuckavalda Gundogs were sponsoring while I got the job of presenting the award for the Best Specialist Shop.Ian Ashton had organised the event. The main sponsors was Welcome to Yorkshire and Gary Verity as usual delivered an excellent speech.Jules Bellerby from BBC Radio York then took to the stage.Annie Stirk did the first presentation with grace making it look so easy.Then fourth down the line it was my turn .Grace is not something that I am linked with.I was so worried that I would go flying headfirst of the stage. All too quickly I was there, terrified, up on the stage trying to look as if I knew what I was doing.The lights were so bright I was squinting like a ferret out of a hole. And the winner was .....Campbell's of Leyburn. I am dreading the photos being in the papers as I know I will get a lot of friendly flack from locals.Both Mr and Mrs Campbell were there to receive the trophy - a wonderful glass state of the art piece in a lavish box.Between my knees knocking and Doug Campbell's hands shaking we managed to keep it in the box and all got down from the stage without any mishaps.Well done to all those who won and for flying the flag for Yorkshire.
Then came a speech from James Herriot's son-Jim Wight. Both he and Rosie Paige, his sister, were there. Jim talked about how much his father related Yorkshire and food together and went on to talk about Snaff Peckitt. Snaff was a relation of Jacks-his dad's cousin. Like all Peckitts he was a character. Snaff did very well in the war years when he sold his pigs on the black market. So fat was the bacon James Herriot could only swallow it with vast amount of piccalilli on.Where have I heard that before. Heard it- I know because I was brought up with tat bacon That is not a spelling mistake it was fat but as a little girl I couldn't say fat and said tat.My Dad stills ask me do I want "tat" as I like to eat the top off the meat.Though we don't have meat like it used to be I also try to buy it with a good layer of fat on as it cooks better and certainly tastes better for having it. And so the yarns go on.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Slaley Hall and the FarmStayUK conference

On Monday my friend, Louise kindly drove me up to Slaley Hall as I didn't want to be late for the FarmStayUK conference and AGM the following day.I hadn't been for years so decided I had better get up to speed with what was going on. We had a very comfortable room at Slaley.Everything was spot on other than at 1.30- 2am I was woken up by slamming doors,people shouting and giggling coming from other Farm Stay members and their husbands who had been attending a Gala evening. I thought they would have known better than to make a noise at that time of night. I was very tempted to give them an early morning call when I woke up as my body clock is set for just before 5am. The breakfast was excellent. The pool and jacuzzi were as hot as bath water and were ideal for this water hippo.
The meeting was well attend with members coming from Northern Ireland ,Scotland,England and Wales. Our guest speaker was Mr Ken Robinson C.B.E. who understands the need for technology and was up to date with the tourism industry as a whole.Lets hope all notes are taken on board and put into force.
Louise had enjoyed a few hours shopping in Corbridge,then we had a safe journey home
I came home for a rest and went to bed very early.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Richmond,The Georgian Theatre and...

I attended a Welcome to Yorkshire meeting today. I had half an hour to kill before it started, so had a quick look around the town. Richmond has a cobbled market square area and in the middle is the Green Howard's Museum. I sensed a great peaceful as I wandered about.You must visit it to appreciate it as it was hard to explain.No road rage or aggregation Everyone was very friendly and helpful.Wearing their poppies as Remembrance Day is nearly here.Catterick Garrison is just down the road from here. Civilians and military living side by side. Military who are so very very young as they walked down the street on their breaks in uniform doing their shopping.Here it seems understood that life is too short for quarrels and disagreements.Richmond Castle stood in the background watching over the town,bold even as now it is a ruin.
Time to go to the meeting in the Georgian Theatre. A credit to all those who have brought it back to life and a mention of Lady Crathorne who had such drive and interest in this place. David Shields took to the stage and we can report back to headquarters he did a marvellous presentation. The only disappointment he was in every day clothes we did at least expect to be dressed ready for the pantomime.