Thursday 24 March 2016

Sunday 20 March 2016

Ampleforth Beagles Centenary Dinner

Friday night saw 160+ people, representing 11 hunt from all over the countryside, turn up in the posh togs to celebrate 100 years of the running of Ampleforth Beagles.  The evening was arranged by Kate Mould who turned the Feathers Hotel in Helmsley into a very glitzy affair. Well done to this young lady who in the coming season will be the first female to wear the green jacket  to run with the beagles.
We were sat on the ever gracious Lady Clarissa Collins table who you can see having a word with Richard Waind - a local butcher.  We had a very enjoyable evening with Jane and John Cranage, their son Tom blew us in for dinner. This is his last season with the beagles and next season he leaves to to to the Zetland and ride with the hounds. Later in the evening Tom was presented with a silver horn which he blew without taking breathe for 25 seconds.
The welcome address was made by Michael Spencer QC followed by Grace said by Fr Hugh Lewis- Vivas.
We then tucked into a roast beef dinner was down of quantities of liquid refreshment. There was the Loyal toast and a toast to the Hunt. Tom was presented with his horn and also a book from the Zetland by Ian Kibble MH followed by the Guest Speaker -Martin Vander Weyer -who is the business editor of the Spectator and lives in Helmsley.
There was dancing until dawn and carriages at 1am. We had as you can guess left well before then.  Not our usual Friday night but so pleased that we went to celebrate this milestone in the Ampleforth Beagles history as Ian Kibble said we wont be around for the next one ! I took the obligatory selfie -dont know if that was a good idea but it is one for the album.

Welcome to Carr House Farm Bed and Breakfast,Ampleforth,North Yorkshire ...

Saturday 19 March 2016

because we love Castle Howard so much.....

We are very excited as Castle Howard opens its doors again today for the 2016 season.

Last year we were featured in the Guardians top 12 places to stay for wild flower gardens,orchards and meadows.
 This year we are basing our offers on gardens too.  We are offering guests who come to stay with us for 2 nights entrance tickets to the house and gardens a saving of £7.50pp a ticket. This will mean you pay only £10 instead of £17.50pp. Any guests staying for 4 nights weekday stays or more will receive complimentary tickets as a thank you for choosing to come to stay with us and for returning guests for their loyalty.

I went along yesterday and everyone is hard at work getting ready for the 2016 opening. There were people walking in the grounds but today ,Saturday now the house is open.  The daffodils are flowering to order as carpets of yellow glow around the estate.

I also spied something with my little eye at Castle Howard yesterday beginning with O. I wonder if you can find him too


Wednesday 16 March 2016

A Royal thank you

We would like to say a huge thank you to "Team RoyalYorkHotel " for the wonderful launch night last Thursday which we were lucky enough to attend. Around 300 people gathered at the Royal York for the grandest of grand launches.  My photographs do not do the event justice, but the memories are etched in our minds forever.
 £20 million have been spent on the refurbishment ,everything is first class and that was the theme of the evening. We were issued with a book of tickets, drank Flying Scotsman cocktails out of tin mugs and wow the food and food and more food just kept arriving at the appropriate stations . Nick Evans, head chef, and his merry band of chefs created a feast fit for kings,queens and all the royals in the land. There were cocktails makers and shakers and guests who enjoyed them too .
Take away the food and the drink and the plush surroundings ..and what is left ...the Staff...
They are the most charming ,caring and genuine crew you will ever come across and anyone who crosses the threshold of the Royal York Hotel will have the same experience.
Whether it be for lunch,afternoon tea or just a drink -they make you feel special and that is what it is all about. Not all the staff are from Yorkshire but they do give you a warm Yorkshire welcome as you will see the young man from Canada serving drinks. He worked so hard, but never did that shine of a smile leave him . Next week I am taking some staff of local businesses to have a look at what they offer.I am sure it will leave a lasting impression on them too

Sunday 6 March 2016

Ladies who lunch ...

Time flies ... and I cant believe it is over 2 years now since Katrina Gray from Wold Cottage, Christine Ryder from Scaife Hall Farm and I met up. We all do bed and breakfast and I guess at a rough guess we if we joined our years of serving breakfasts up would be well on the way to our centenary . This is my 38th year. We bounce ideas off each other and catch up on all our family news as well. We previously had enjoyed many lunches at Middlethorpe Hall, but as chef Nick Evans had moved to the Refectory in the newly refurbed York Royal Station Hotel,we decided to meet up there.
York itself was relatively quiet and the park and ride served us all well coming in from different directions. Only £2.80pp return makes more sense than the parking charges in town. We could get off only a few steps from the RY. And so to lunch it was. I was going to drink my usual water until the other two were mulling over  the cocktail list .I decided I wasn't going to be the odd one out. We had a lovely lunch and all choose the warm chicken and mustard coleslaw as our many course- sorry no photo on that as we had already eaten half of it before we remembered we had forgot to take a photo - blame the cocktail.
I started with ham hock with quail egg and homemade piccalilli and toasted monkey bread. Only as I write this I wonder if it was called monkey bread as it might have had peanut in it. it was delicious no the less. Christine had the most amazing fruit cake with Ampleforth Abbey alcohol added with Yorkshire cheese and a pot of butter too.
It was really nice of Nick to come out of the very busy kitchen to take time to speak with us . It was very busy and buzzing with conferences and people enjoying the food and surroundings.
We would all certainly go back again.



There are sausages and there are sausages....
For the month of March we will be serving up some of our own homemade and you could say homegrown sausages when you have breakfast with us. They are venison and pheasant and all comments so far is that they are delicious. Son,Nicholas is a keen hunter. As well as been a full time farmer he is a qualified butcher and likes to make delicious sausages from what he has on the farm.  I wonder if lamb sausages will be his next venture.  These sausages are what you would call man sized but ladies like to tuck into them too.
So these sausages are as local as you will ever get