Thursday 25 November 2021

The Grande Dame of Dining - The Star at Harome

It is 12 hours since I heard the shocking news that has rocked the area. I have thought about "her" all day and still cant believe it. I woke to news that the Star at Harome was on fire and the devastating damage which had been done to this C13th building. The Star is like an old friend having been welcomed through the doors for over half a century.Yes I have been 14 when I first went in. Into a place like no other. Pimms served in pint pots, huge stiltons filled with port and fox masks hanging from the beams dressed up like people with neck ruffs and horn rimmed spectacles sat on the end of their snouts. In those days it was owned by Dick and Jenny Dresser who won the very first awards for this fine eatery, not much bigger than Guillivers House. A few years later I used to go up the stairs to the flat where the Dressers lived and do Granny D's and Jennys hair and a quick snip round Dick. Another era and it was the wild time,our hosts were Tim Gascoigne Mullet and Tony Bowron who had a beautiful St Bernard dog called Solomon. Drinking Pimms into the early hours made by Ernest "Polly" Pearson. and still the red croquet placemats graced the dining tables. Enter the girlfriend of another, who had been in the advert, the girl floating down the river eating a chocolate Flake.... if only the walls could talk. We have celebrated births and marriages and a few too many wakes here. Christening parties and divorces. Had Christmas parties, 18th,21st 30th and 40th birthday parties and so on - there is nowhere better. When we went on holidays we would always eat at The Star the night before keep us going for the journey ahea,d on wondering what the food might be like. Memories of long ago Friday nights that were domino nights for Wilson Barker and his cronies who sat on the table near the bar and were served ham sandwiches. The Sinnington Hunt meeting outside, the end of season shooting parties. Whether you were dressed in your finery or in your work clothes, the welcome over the years has always been the same ,the warmth the walls hold, the atmosphere that has been created with love over the centuries. Photos didnt matter like they do today you went out to enjoy yourselves not to show the wide world what you were doing Even on the night of the present owner ,Andrew Pern, turned 40 to enjoy a slice of a chef'hat shaped birthday cake. The time when Jack thought he had found a truffle and it turned out to be a morel. The Star is the heart of the village. And for the villagers and locals around, holds a star in most peoples hearts. A place where the local poacher would rub shoulder with a Lord or Duchess. I talk of the Star in the past tense, but these are memories. I am sure Andrew Pern, his wife Fran, his family,friends and staff will not let The Star slip into the past tense, but will do everything they can to make the Star shine again. She has not held the crown for all this time to fade away now. Time will bring her back to shine again and be the diamond she has always been. And we have a 70th and a 100th birthday birthday for 2022 to celebrate. I have a little piece of the Star that was given to me by Dick and Jenny for my 21st birthday. I dont know what the damage is yet,but when the time comes when the Old Lady open her arms again I will take it along and if it is needed it will stay there. T

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Enjoy coffee like it should be when you stay with us .

There are some amazing yet very expenisve coffee machines on the market but if I need something to wake me up if we have to have an early start and it was before 5am this morning. I rely on my moka pot.Just enough for one as Jack likes tea in the morning and I usually drink cold water. I always have done, although a lot of people thought it was a sales pitch when we used to sell our spring water back in the late 1980s. We still drink Spring water. The moka pot is a marvellous little machine and they come now in all colours. In 2019 Bialetti celebrated 100 years of making these fantastic little pots Nobody is more familiar than Bialetti with the importance of the coffee ritual in Italian families: local traditions and techniques make the experience of tasting coffee in a particular city unique and unmistakable. This has resulted in the I Caffè d’Italia capsules, an authentic sensory journey through the excellence of Italian-style espresso, highlighting the differences in habits and taste from north to south, passing through Turin, Venice, Milan, Rome and Naples. The aluminium, fully recyclable capsules contain 7 grams of coffee, as recommended for authentic Italian espresso, and are produced in Italy, at the Coccaglio plant. Later thsi morming I am setting off to Northallerton to get a new glasas fitted to the log burner door when came to a sad end yesterday and I will pop into Lewis and Coopers to buy some coffee .I like beans rather than ground. I just grind what I need, when I need it in the liquidiser. I know it isnt really made for something as hard as coffee beans and coughs and splutters a bit but it doesnt take long to grind them up. A very simple contraption which I left the lid off this morning so you can see it been made .Sorry I havent learnt yet how to send you the lovely smell via the web. If you turn the volume up you will hear it bubbling away

Monday 8 November 2021

A list of thank yous for the NHS and everyone who have been in touch

Last Tuesday saw me in York Hospital for some major surgery. A week on and there are so many people to thank. From Dr Jacobs from Ampleforth Surgery who got the ball rolling again after a few months of waiting. Malton Hospital comes into the thank you list too. There will be lots of other people along the way who made this operation possible and assisted in my care so thank you also . It started with Agatha from Poland taking my bloods. The lady who liases with the timetables I think she was called Anthea for M/s Yasin the consultant from India. For the staff on G1 and the recovery room, and the Polish porter who took me to Ward 11. There was Niamh from Ireland, who is in her second year of training. The smiling young man who helped get my lovely white stockings on. The anaesthetist whose name I have forgotten, but got me from one side to the other, I am most grateful. The lady who talked me through having a misplaced canuler and then I had to be have another one put in. She did her best to take my mind off the pain and talked about her dogs.She had first class skills. The lad who held his nerve to have to put the second canuler in. I did ask if this was the first time he had done it but no one replied. I suppose they have to learn on someone...shame it was me. Nice to have Carol in the next cubicle for company before and after our operations and hope she gets to meet her new grandson,`Porter, soon. Weird name but she was thrilled. On Ward 11 was staff nurse Rachael who treated me to a tuna sandwich and she told us what she had done before she came to work. Basically a full day work at home before she had come to work. Hadnt been able to take a holiday due to her dedication to nursing.And another nurse from Ireland who carried my bags down to the enterance. Remembering the young lady from Selby opposite who was going to be staying in 5 days. It always shows there is someone in a worse state then you. She was so upbeat and hope all goes well for her. Finally and not least thank to Jack for taking me in when it was foggy and coming to pick me up again even though he doesnt like driving in traffic .A combination of fog and traffic is a nightmare to him.It made for a very long day for him espically when he rang me at least 4 times and I hadnt answered as I hadnt come round. He said he had felt ill all day. His daily duty now is sticking needles in me for a week but I told the nurse that he has needled thousands of sheep in his life he could do it as I dont think I could have done it myself. Only one day was truly painful as he forgot to put any specs on .... As I slowly get back to doing a bit Jack is still chaffeuring me about.Hopefully in a few weeks I will be back to doing my jobs round the house. Lastly everyone who has been in touch to ask how I am .Offering to bring in food parcels and do shopping,offer lifts and to lend a hand.At the moment I am just enjoying the rest.

Thursday 4 November 2021