Winter Issue 2011
www.daleslife.com | £1.95
Making Merry SARAH RAVEN’S SEASONAL SPECIALS
BRANCHING OUT Trees to transform your garden
Stunning images of the Dales
Christmas Crackers FESTIVE FOOD FROM GORDON RAMSAY
COUNTY KITCHENS (Leyburn) Ltd
Exquisite new range of handmade kitchens now in stock.
PLEASE ASK FOR OUR COMPLIMENTARY BROCHURE TELEPHONE: 01969 624274
Showroom: Belle Vue Offices, Market Place, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5AW Visit our website: www.yorkshire-kitchens.co.uk Open: Monday to Friday 9am-5.30pm and Saturday 10am-1pm
Welcome Autumn is always a beautiful season, and this year’s autumn was a particularly lovely one. All through the Dales, the colours of the trees were truly spectacular.
If you fancy adding a touch of autumn splendour to your own garden next year then turn to p.25, where you’ll find a selection of interesting and unusual trees for small spaces by our new, award-winning gardening columnist Ambra Edwards. With autumn behind us and Christmas looming, it’s time to start thinking about shopping for the festive season. This year, more than ever before, our local independent suppliers and retailers deserve our support. Yorkshire produce is second to none, and up and down the Dales you’ll find shops packed with beautiful cheeses, fine meats, delicious preserves, speciality beers and all manner of other tasty goodies. And for gorgeous gifts of the non-edible kind, the family businesses on your doorstep will beat the jam-packed chain stores hands down when it comes to range, quality and sheer individuality. So instead of following the crowds to some anonymous shopping mall, why not take a day out to enjoy our friendly local market towns and farm shops? Linger over a coffee and check out the best that Yorkshire has to offer – you’ll wonder why you ever shopped elsewhere. So here’s wishing you, our readers – and all the local businesses that make the Dales so special – all the very best for Christmas and the New Year. To advertise in Dales Life
Sue Gillman Editor
contact Sue on 01904 629295 or 07970 739119 email@example.com www.daleslife.com 3
Bespoke doors Cast iron radiators Period fireplaces Oak flooring Handmade kitchens Wood stoves
View our on-line brochure at www.periodhousestore.co.uk Unit 3-7, Simpson Building, Borough Road, Gallowfields Trading Estate, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 4SX Tel: 01748 821500
96 36 On the cover 25 Branching Out Looking for a tree to transform your garden? Ambra Edwards shares some of her favourites.
36 Christmas Crackers A luscious festive menu from Gordon Ramsay's latest recipe collection.
50 Festive Finesse Three exciting projects from Sarah Raven's Christmasthemed collection.
96 Hot Shots The stunning images of Richmond photographer Ian Short.
Features 9 Emporium Inspiring ideas for your home and garden.
14 The Nest Generation Safe nesting sites for wild birds are often in short supply. Chris Baines explains how we can help.
20 Reader Offers This month's special offers.
30 Dig It Liven up your vegetable plot with some edible flowers. Adam Appleyard picks some of the best.
58 The Discerning Diner Claudia Blake visits The CB Inn, Arkengarthdale.
64 The Twelve Days Of Christmas Rebecca Gibb lines up some of her favourite festive drinks.
71 In Season This gorgeous garlic-rich venison pie is ideal for a chilly evening.
76 Chef â€™s Table Dining in with chef Peter Neville, from The Pheasant Hotel, Harome.
84 China Syndrome Tennantsâ€™ valuer Adam Schoon gives an insight into Qing dynasty porcelain.
89 Dales Diary A guide to local events.
105 Beauty Spot Jessica Powell answers your questions about Alexandrite laser hair removal.
108 A Certain Style Yorkshire artist Nikky Corker loves to celebrate the bright side of life.
114 Bookmark Giving a book as a present? Brian Pike picks some crackers.
129 To Dine For Great places to eat in the Dales.
Editor: Sue Gillman Deputy Editor: Brian Pike Production: Claudia Blake Advertising: Sue Gillman Art Editor: Stefan Suchomski Fashion Editor: Chloe Smith Proofreader: Elaine Pollard Proprietor: Sue Gillman T: 01904 629295 M: 07970 739119 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Dales Life Holgate Villas, Suite N, 22 Holgate Road, York, North Yorkshire YO24 4AB
Contributors: Adam Appleyard Ambra Edwards Brian Pike Chloe Smith Chris Baines Claudia Blake Ian Henry Ian Short Jessica Powell Laurie Campbell Rebecca Gibb
To advertise in Dales Life contact Sue on 01904 629295 or 07970 739119 All rights reserved. Permission for reproduction must be sought from the publisher. Freelance contributions welcomed. The views and opinions expressed in Dales Life are not necessarily those of the publishers or their employees.
MILNERS of Leyburn Inspiration for your home
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Inspiring ideas for your home
1 Hanging Out Brighten up your home at Christmas with this traditional festive wreath made from pine cones and studded with holly berries. £17 from Askrigg Village Kitchen, www.askriggvillagekitchen.co.uk 01969 650076
2 Jam Session Add a dash of colour and style to your table with this vibrant cerise stoneware preserve jar by Le Creuset. £20 from Serendipity, Leyburn, 01969 622112
3 Sweet Heart Express your love and friendship by giving these gorgeous scented linen hearts, filled with lavender to ensure a long-lasting perfume. £13 from Bear Cottage Interiors, www.bearcottageinteriors.co.uk 01969 666077
4 Wool Worth it Offering tradition with a modern twist, Moon fabrics are dyed and blended here in Yorkshire. The chair fabric and blanket are both from their ‘Heritage’ collection. Bear Cottage Interiors, www.bearcottageinteriors.co.uk 01969 666077
5 Candle Power Lift your spirits with this limited-edition scented Christmas candle – its blend of cinnamon, ginger and mandarin will quickly fill the room with a sumptuous, heady fragrance. £40 from The Forge, Home Interiors, www.forgeinteriors.co.uk 01677 427383
At home with Serendipity For seriously stylish interiors
Serendipity Interiors, Norfolk House, Market Place, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5AQ. Tel: 01969 625632/622112 Fax: 01969 625513
Our beautiful new shop is now open in Bedale. We stock a gorgeous range of designer yarns, from cashmere, silks, baby alpacas, Mulberry silk, mohair to British sheep breeds. Exciting range of patterns, needles and accesssories. Babies and Toddlers clothes by Powell Craft
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Inspiring ideas for your home
1 Thirty-Something This exquisite fabric is from Sanderson’s new ‘Bloomsbury’ collection, inspired by the Bloomsbury Group of artists, poets and designers that flourished in the 1930s. Available from Milners of Leyburn, www.milnersofleyburn.co.uk 01969 622208
2 Sitting Comfortably Hand-upholstered in a fabric of your choice, this delightful chair will bring a touch of magic to any child's room. £325 from Follyfoot Upholstery, www.follyfootupholstery.co.uk 07709 797165
3 Deer Santa... Decorated with reindeer leaping in the snow, this charming china mug by Emma Bridgewater would make an ideal gift for the festive season. £17.95 from Dovetail Interiors, www.dovetailinteriors.com 01677 426464
4 Boxing Clever
Holding up to nine eggs, this lovely country-style wooden egg box with chicken-wire door can be painted in a colour of your choice. £30 from Peppercorn House, www.peppercornhouse.com 01325 401778
5 Into Continental
This elegant French-style chair is hand-painted in Farrow & Ball ‘Shaded White’ and upholstered in a cheery floral fabric by Sanderson. £310 from Peppercorn House, www.peppercornhouse.com 01325 401778
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The NEST Generation Wild birds are increasingly dependent on humans to provide them with nest sites. Professor Chris Baines explains how we can help. 14
It is easy to understand why so many of our commonest and most popular garden birds are woodland species. Robins, blackbirds, thrushes, tits â€“ along with the more spectacular woodpeckers, sparrowhawks and nuthatches â€“ are most at home in the sun-dappled shelter of broadleaved woodland glades, and a wellstocked domestic garden in a leafy residential neighbourhood provides much the same conditions. There is good cover, a network of hedges and climber-covered boundaries to link the habitats together, an abundance of natural food and the added bonus of bird baths, bird feeders and a rich variety of fruiting shrubs and seed-bearing flower borders. Woodland birds need loud and varied calls to communicate with one another in the shade and undergrowth of woodland, which explains the richness of a gardenâ€™s dawn chorus. They have evolved to be alert to hidden dangers and surprise attacks, which helps to improve their chances in the home territory of ambushing domestic cats.
Our parks and gardens are a potential paradise for songbirds, but there is one key element that is often in short supply: safe nesting sites. In natural woodland many bird species build their nests in hollow trees. Small birds occupy holes in branches, whilst larger species depend on bigger cavities in hollow trunks. Our preoccupation with tidiness and our understandable concern for health and safety tends to mean that there are very few big trees with natural holes in the average residential neighbourhood. Big trees in parks can offer more scope, but even here the tendency is to remove all evidence of decay, leaving the birds with little capacity for nest-building.
Blue Tit 15
This is where we humans come in. By providing a range of simple artificial nesting sites around our gardens we can plug the gaps in the songbird housing market. This will boost their breeding success and increase the volume of the springtime dawn chorus. Providing nesting boxes is one of the simplest ways of making a positive contribution to conservation whilst giving ourselves some personal pleasure into the bargain. At the simplest level, a few small and well-hidden shelves and ledges will encourage blackbirds and song thrushes to build their nests. Chest height seems to be about right for both of these species, and a good covering of climbing plants will help hide the nests from prying eyes. Robins and wrens tend to nest a little closer to the ground, which makes them more vulnerable to cat-attack, and they seem to favour an openfronted box with a roof. The robin box in my own garden is occupied every year, and often produces more than one family of fledglings. Hole-nesting birds tend to prefer nest sites above head height. There is a lot of competition for safe nest holes, so it pays to provide a range of boxes with a variety of different-sized holes. Coal tits, marsh tits and blue tits will squeeze into an opening the size of a 10p piece. A ÂŁ2 coin is a good guide for great tits, and as the hole size increases you can expect to attract starlings, greater spotted woodpeckers and even
tawny owls. Where the box is made of wood, most birds are quite capable of expanding the hole to fit their purposes. Woodpeckers are such effective chiselers that they sometimes hack into boxes to steal the young of other birds. Nuthatches take the opposite approach, and use wet mud to reduce the entrance hole to fit their exact body size. I prefer to mount my boxes on walls rather than trees. This makes them much more difficult for predators such as grey squirrels, stoats, cats and magpies to reach. Avoid direct sun, since warm spring temperatures can quickly kill young birds, and try to provide a reasonably open flight path for the adults to leave the nest. Offer a perch of some kind just a yard or two away, to give the parents a safe staging post for dangerspotting as they feed. This will also provide a handy perch for that magical moment when the fledglings leave the nest for the first time. There are lots of nest boxes for sale in garden centres or online, but they are also very easy to construct. Keep them as simple as possible. Avoid bright colours and fancy patterns that would advertise their presence, and make sure there is good drainage in the base. Never use toxic chemicals to treat the wood, and be sure to fix each box or shelf securely. Remember that it may need to survive strong winds or the weight of a marauding predator.
One special extra that is now within everyoneâ€™s reach is our personal Springwatch facility. Special closed circuit TV cameras are readily available and easy to fit. You will be captivated by the feathered soap opera that an online nest box brings into your living room, and even the most commonplace of garden birds will entertain and educate you endlessly.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
The intended residents of your nesting boxes will be woodland songbirds, but they can provide important shelter for other creatures too. Last spring wild bumble bees colonised one of my boxes. Small birds are known to roost in boxes on cold winter nights, and hibernating butterflies such as peacocks and small tortoiseshells find them useful. Bats will sometimes roost in them, and where there are dormice in the neighbourhood, nest boxes play a vital role in their survival. Every nesting bird will defend its own territory, but there is much stronger competition between two males of the same species than there is between different kinds of birds. Try to include as many different sizes and styles of artificial nesting hole in your garden as you can. These will appeal to a range of different species, and it is perfectly possible to have blue tits, great tits, blackbirds and robins all occupying boxes in the same small courtyard garden. With luck you will help several different species to raise the next generation of local songbirds. And when you finally run out of space, remember that nest boxes make perfect presents for friends and family. Photographs ÂŠ Ian Short
The home of inspiration At CB furnishings we have everything you need for the perfect home. Step into our store where you can explore a wide range of home, designer and contemporary furnishings, bedding, lighting and kitchenware and much more. We also offer a complementary home consultation and fitting service. Why not use our knowledge and expertise to create your dream home.
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Reader Offers WIN THIS BEAUTIFUL ORIGINAL PAINTING WORTH OVER £700.00
BY LOCAL ARTIST NIKKY CORKER Yorkshire artist Nikky Corker has kindly donated this gorgeous original artwork, entitled Miss Masham 2011, for one lucky reader to win. Nikky, whose colourful, uplifting work is featured on p.108 of the current issue of Dales Life, has a gallery in Masham where you can see all her latest paintings and prints, along with cards and a range of other goods that feature her cheery designs. For your chance to win visit www.daleslife.com. The Nikky Corker Gallery, 10a Church Street, Masham, North Yorkshire, tel. 07899 653142, www.nikkycorker.com.
WIN A STAY AT THE PHEASANT HOTEL The Pheasant Hotel at Harome is offering Dales Life readers the chance to win a very special seasonal stay. The prize includes one night’s accommodation for two at this stylish country hotel, with a bottle of champagne, handmade chocolates and fresh flowers in your room on arrival, followed by dinner in The Pheasant’s award-winning restaurant – see p.76 for some of Head Chef Peter Neville’s delicious recipes. A great place to relax, The Pheasant has its own swimming pool and is ideally situated for exploring the North York Moors. The prize must be taken before 31 March 2012. For your chance to win visit www.daleslife.com. The Pheasant Hotel, Harome, near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, tel. 01439 771241, www.thepheasanthotel.com. 20
WIN A NIGHT AT THE TRADDOCK COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL The Traddock – a delightful Dales hotel in the village of Austwick, near Settle – is generously offering one lucky reader the prize of a night’s stay with dinner, bed and breakfast for two. The hotel is surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and makes a perfect base for walking and exploring the area. The Traddock’s restaurant has been awarded two AA rosettes for its outstanding food, and the rooms are beautifully decorated in English country house style to create a comfortable, elegant and relaxing atmosphere. For your chance to win visit www.daleslife.com. The Traddock Country House Hotel & Restaurant, Austwick, near Settle, North Yorkshire, tel. 01524 251224, www.thetraddock.co.uk.
WIN A FANTASTIC HAIR MAKEOVER
AT SAKS NORTHALLERTON OR SAKS SCOTCH CORNER Don’t miss the chance to win an amazing hair makeover at the award-winning Saks Northallerton or Saks Scotch corner salon. The Saks teams have their fingers firmly on the fashion pulse, and know what’s hot when it comes to hair. They care passionately about their profession, and understand that a new haircut makes anyone feel beautiful and confident. Saks is renowned for having the best-trained hairdressers in the business, so you can be sure of an exceptional haircut, tailored to suit your face shape, style and personality. For your chance to win visit www.daleslife.com. Saks Hair Scotch Corner, tel. 01748 850101; Saks Hair & Beauty, 10 Thirsk Road, Northallerton, tel. 01609 771477.
WIN A STUNNING HAIR AND NAILS MAKEOVER
AT TAYLOR WOOD HAIRDRESSING Taylor Wood Hairdressing is established as one of Darlington’s leading salons. It offers an exceptional salon experience, with firstclass stylists and colourists on hand to give you a bespoke service. From the moment you walk through the door you will receive impeccable customer care in an exclusive environment, and you will leave with beautiful, head-turning hair that perfectly matches your own unique requirements. One lucky Dales Life reader will win a gorgeous haircut and colour, and be treated to a perfect manicure. Terms and conditions apply. For your chance to win visit www.daleslife.com. Taylor Wood Hairdressing, 15 Northumberland Street, Darlington, tel. 01325 284747.
WIN A ‘EWE-NIQUE’ HAMPER FROM THE BLACK SHEEP BREWERY The Black Sheep Brewery is delighted to offer Dales Life readers the chance to win a ‘ewe-nique’ hamper packed with their award-winning beers and fantastic local produce, including genuine Wensleydale cheese from the Wensleydale Creamery and Rosebud preserves from nearby Healey. The Black Sheep Brewery is situated in Masham, the gateway to Wensleydale, and offers brewery tours, a welcoming bar and bistro, and a shop packed with Black Sheep goodies. For your chance to win visit www.daleslife.com. The Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, North Yorkshire, tel. 01765 689227, www.blacksheepbrewery.com. 22
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Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’
Branching Out Looking for a garden tree that’s a cut above the ordinary? Ambra Edwards shares some of her personal favourites. 25
here’s nothing more important to the character of a garden than its trees. Not many people have room for forest giants, so most of us are looking for something smaller.
and for a posh gardening friend in elegant avenues on a neutral loam. It will slowly reach 8m, but looks equally good pruned into open, multi-stemmed Japanese-style forms.
Because they’ll have pride of place in a limited space, trees for a small garden need to stand up to scrutiny all year round. There’s no room for sulky divas with a long off-season; we need two, if not three, sustained seasons of interest. What’s more, we don't want Tiggerish types that will suddenly shoot skywards, or heavy canopies that will shade out everything beneath. Or, for that matter, plants that will sucker all over the garden.
A beacon in winter: Prunus serrula
Garden centres generally steer customers towards crab apples (Malus) or whitebeams (Sorbus). And rightly so, for these are easygoing trees that require no special care, tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, and offer a show in both spring and autumn. But the trouble is that gardens featuring them can seem a bit samey – like high streets that have all the same shops. Luckily it’s not hard to find beautiful small trees that are just as easy to grow but are a little bit more interesting and unusual. And from now until March is the ideal time to order them and get them into the ground. Here are some of the best of them. Unless otherwise stated, sizes given are at maturity, in 20-80 years.
Year round value: Amelanchier lamarckii If I could only have one tree in the garden, it would be this. The Snowy Mespilus is graceful in form, with white starry flowers in spring, coppery young foliage, glossy berries in late summer and fiery autumn colour. It is supposed to do best on moist, peaty soils, but it grows for me on a bone-dry bank, for my mother on heavy, waterlogged clay,
Cherry trees are gorgeous, but their season of glory is all too brief. The Tibetan cherry, however, is a subtler creature, with a modest spring display followed by red, oval fruits and attractive autumn colour. Its chief beauty, though, is its glossy mahogany bark, which gives pleasure all year round but is especially glorious against a backdrop of snow. Peeling satisfying strips off the bark is a highly therapeutic activity after a stressful day. An unfussy tree, tolerant of all soils, the lightness of its canopy makes it especially suitable for planting in the border. (Height 5m after 10 years.)
Glamorous foliage: Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ With its huge, heart-shaped, purple leaves, ‘Forest Pansy’ looks wonderfully exotic, but given full sun and decent drainage it is easy to grow on any soil, including lime-rich ones. When the leaves die back they leave an attractively sculptural, wide-spreading skeleton. Plant it out of the way of strong winds – the branches can be brittle – but try to position it where you will see the sun shining through the leaves like stained-glass windows. If you can find a warm spot for it, and that barbecue summer ever arrives, the following spring you may also enjoy a profusion of small magenta flowers. (Height 8m, spread 10m.)
Blossom and berries: Photinia villosa Introduced from South East Asia as long ago as 1865, this excellent tree deserves to be far better known. It offers all the virtues of the crab apple, but with more elegant foliage and superior disease resistance
Eucryphia x nymansensis ‘Nymansay’
Cercis canadensis â€˜Forest Pansyâ€™
(most usefully to honey fungus), and it makes a sturdy choice for cold, exposed sites. Indeed it seems that the only thing it can’t endure is a limy soil. It is a picture in autumn, with masses of tiny, shiny, vivid red fruits, like miniature rose-hips, twinkling amongst foliage of scarlet and gold. In winter it offers a pleasantly wide-spreading silhouette, followed in spring by white blossom that is as delicate as hawthorn, but without the catty smell. (Height and spread 5m.)
Gorgeous summer flowers: Eucryphia x nymansensis ‘Nymansay’ Eucryphias also prefer a neutral to acid soil, but the lovely evergreen E. x nymansensis ‘Nymansay’ will tolerate some lime if mollified with plenty of organic matter. Though probably the hardiest Eucryphia (some argue E. glutinosa is tougher), it needs a sheltered spot with a little shade when young. It is well worth the effort, though, for in late summer, when spring blossom is long forgotten and the garden is losing its oomph, it will reward you with masses of delicate, cupped white flowers. (Height 10m, spread 8m.)
Acer-like elegance: Alnus glutinosa ‘Imperialis’ This is a version of our native alder, so it will grow in the nastiest conditions, impervious to wind and snow, and it is particularly suitable for poor, boggy soils. Despite being so tough it has all the grace of an Acer, with its silvery, finely cut leaves. Quite fast-growing, it may eventually reach as high as 30 feet, but its upright habit and airy canopy mean that it won’t shade out its neighbours.
Outstanding autumn colour: Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Aurea’
generally too large for the smaller garden. This very slow-growing version (also sold as Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Variegata’ Overeynder) will eventually become a medium-sized tree – but probably not in your lifetime. Its striking golden variegation delivers a blast of autumn fire all year round. When autumn finally does come, the paler part of the leaf turns first, marbling each leaf with intricate patterns of lime, gold and shocking pink. It does best on deep, moist, fertile soils, but can manage on all bar shallow chalk. (Height 2m after 10 years.)
Dainty and delicate: Malus transitoria ‘Thornhayes Tansy’ If you absolutely must have a crab apple, try this one. Though tough as old boots, it’s a ladylike tree with a light, graceful form, delicate blossom, and a ravishing display of tiny golden fruits in autumn. But where it really scores over an everyday crab is in summer; for when its cousins aren’t anything much to look at, ‘Thornhayes Tansy’ continues to delight with its dainty, deeply dissected foliage. (Height and spread 3-4m.)
Suppliers Crocus, www.crocus.co.uk. Thornhayes Nursery, www.thornhayes-nursery.co.uk. Inspiration You can see a huge range of ornamental trees – plus, of course, beautiful borders, ornamental plantings, alpine collections and more – at the RHS gardens at Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate, www.rhs.org.uk/harlowcarr. Thanks to RHS Harlow Carr and Crocus for photographic images.
Sweet gums are unsurpassed for spectacular autumn colour but are
Next year why not liven up your vegetable plot â€“ and your dinner parties â€“ with some edible flowers? Adam Appleyard picks some of the best. 30
here’s nothing like a scattering of colourful petals on their plates to impress your dinner guests. Edible flowers may not contribute much to the calorie count, but they will definitely add a touch of sophistication – and some intriguing tastes and textures – to even the most pedestrian dishes.
It’s a shame more people don’t grow flowers to eat – or, if they do happen to have the right species in their plots, don’t use them. This coming year, why not brighten up your dinner table with one or two of the following? All are easy to cultivate, and the majority will grow readily from seed – so look out for them when you’re poring over the garden catalogues this winter.
Getting the Blues: Anchusa and Borage Borage (Borago officinalis) is a cottage garden favourite whose striking blue flowers taste of cucumber and make a great garnish for cold drinks and salads. Anchusa azurea is closely related to borage, but less widely known. It is a slender, more elegant plant than its burly country cousin, and its flowers are even more startlingly blue. Freeze individual flowers in ice cubes to make a stylish addition to a summer cocktail, or strew them artfully on a chilled dessert. Sow either species outside from early spring to midsummer, preferably in a well-drained, sunny spot. They will grow quite large, so thin seedlings 31
down to 50cm apart. As they grow taller they may need a little support and guidance to stop them flopping. Once they flower, the bees will appreciate them as much as you do. Leave some flowers on the plant to set seed and you will find that they are enthusiastic self-seeders – once you have introduced them to your garden you are unlikely to be rid of them in a hurry.
Going for Marigold The luscious yellow-orange Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is another old favourite that no garden should be without. The petals have been used in the kitchen since ancient times, and their tangy, slightly peppery taste will give zing to summer salads. Used as a substitute for saffron they will add a rich golden hue to soups, stews, sauces, soufflés, cakes and preserves. Sow marigold seeds in a sunny spot from spring through to late summer and they should germinate readily. Thin them to 30cm apart and keep them well watered and they will mature rapidly. Most of the flowers that you don’t remove for culinary purposes should be lopped off once they fade to encourage repeat blooming. Collect some seed for next year – or simply leave one or two heads on the plants – and you will have them on hand for years to come.
Nasturtium — a Peppery Punch If you want to add a generous splash of yellow or red – along with some peppery-hot, cressy notes – to a summer salad, nasturtium flowers will do the trick. The nasturtium
(Tropaeolum majus) is another greatlooking, easy-to-grow plant, and both the flowers and the round, grey-green leaves are edible. Nasturtiums will grow enthusiastically in poor, well-drained soil in a sunny spot. Plant the seeds from April to May, soaking them overnight first, and thin young plants down to 30cm apart. Don’t go mad with the watering can because nasturtiums are fairly drought-resistant and they won’t enjoy soggy ground. Depending on the weather and local conditions, they may or may not selfseed. To be on the safe side, collect some of the seeds once they have dried on the plant – or, if you want to be certain of getting a particular colour variant, buy another packet of seeds next year.
Not-so-shrinking Violets The cheery little flowers of the sweet violet (Viola odorata) make perfect garnishes for desserts and confectionery – they look particularly good atop the icing on cupcakes. If you have the time and patience you can turn them into candied violet petals, but I’m happy just using them as they come. Adding them to jellies can also produce spectacular results. Growing violets from seed is possible, but germination can be erratic. Sow your seeds in a cold frame in 33
autumn, because they need to experience a period of chilly weather before they will sprout. If this all seems a bit too challenging, violets are a doddle to propagate by dividing existing clumps in spring or autumn, so you could simply buy a couple of plants from your local nursery and use them to build up your stock. Violets like rich, well-drained soil in semi-shade. Water them generously and keep them well weeded and they’ll look after themselves very happily.
Glorious Geraniums For a delicate garnish, it’s hard to beat the rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens). Apple and rose geranium petal jelly makes a subtle, stylish treat, and you can also add the petals to ice creams and sorbets or use them to flavour sugar. Rather than struggling to grow geraniums from seed, it’s probably best just to buy a plant and propagate it from stem cuttings, which will take root readily any time during the growing season. Geraniums like plenty of sunshine and freely draining soil. Don’t fertilise them too much or they will produce 34
masses of foliage but few flowers. Prune them ruthlessly to stop them going straggly. Geraniums won’t tolerate freezing temperatures, so you will need to bring them indoors in winter in the form of recently established cuttings. Alternatively, grow them outside in pots and shift these into the greenhouse during the winter months. Note: The species mentioned above – as defined by their Latin names – have a long history of culinary use. Be careful, though, not to confuse them with other flowers with similar English names. For example, sweet violet flowers (Viola odorata) are edible, but African violets are definitely not. If in doubt check with your local nursery or seed supplier, or consult a reliable reference book. Thanks for the Viola and Pelargonium photographs to Woottens Plants, 01502 478258, www.woottensplants.co.uk. Woottens specialise in Pelargoniums (as well as Auriculas, Hemerocallis and Irises) and they have an excellent range of beautiful and attractively scented oldfashioned varieties and hybrids available to purchase by mail order.
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Christmas Crackers A luscious festive menu from Gordon Ramsayâ€™s latest recipe collection
beef wellington menu Pan-fried scallops with caper, raisin and olive vinaigrette Christmas beef Wellington Watercress purée Truﬄe mashed potatoes Pannacotta with pomegranate glaze
planning your time well in advanCe… • Order the scallops and beef fillet. the day befOre… • Prepare the beef wellington. Sear the beef and brush with mustard. while it cools, make the mushroom duxelles. leave to cool. • envelop the beef in the duxelles and Parma ham slices. wrap in the cling film and chill to set the shape for 15–20 minutes. • Make the watercress purée. Cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. • roll out the pastry and envelop the beef. wrap in cling film and refrigerate overnight. • boil the potatoes for the truﬄe mash; drain, mash and beat in the infused creamy milk and cream. Cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. • Make the pannacotta and chill to set.
abOut 15 MinuteS ahead… • Put the chocolate bar for the pannacotta in the freezer. • for the starter, fry the sliced potatoes and keep warm. Sauté the scallops and dress the salad leaves. Plate the starter. juSt befOre Serving… • rest the beef wellington while you eat the starter. • reheat the watercress purée. • reheat the mashed potatoes, adding an extra splash of milk or cream if needed. add the butter and truﬄe shavings or infused oil. • Cut the beef wellington into thick slices and serve with the watercress purée and truﬄe mash. • Pour the pomegranate glaze over each pannacotta and top with the chocolate shavings to serve.
11⁄2 hOurS ahead… • Make the pomegranate glaze, pour into a jug and leave to cool. • boil the potatoes for the starter, then peel and cut into slices. • Make the caper, raisin and olive vinaigrette. • Preheat the oven for the beef wellington. brush with egg wash, score and bake for 35 minutes.
pan-fried scallops with caper, raisin and olive vinaigrette
ServeS 4 250g medium new potatoes, scrubbed sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2–3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle 12 large king scallops, shelled and cleaned 70g mixed baby salad leaves squeeze of lemon juice
Caper, raisin and olive vinaigrette: 25g capers, rinsed and drained 25g raisins 25g green olives, pitted 100ml water 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Cook the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 12–15 minutes until just tender. drain and leave until cool enough to handle, then peel away the skins and slice into 5mm thick rounds. Set aside. 2 for the vinaigrette, put the capers, raisins, olives and water into a small pan and bring to a simmer. immediately tip into a food processor and add the vinegar, olive oil and some seasoning. whiz until smooth. 3 when ready to serve, heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the sliced potatoes with some salt and pepper for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. remove and keep warm. 4 wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper, then heat a little more oil in it until very hot. lightly season the scallops on both sides then sauté in the oil for about a minute on each side, until golden brown and slightly springy when pressed. remove from the pan to a warm plate and rest for a minute. 5 Meanwhile, toss the salad leaves with a little drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pile a little mound in the centre of each serving plate. Surround with the pan-fried scallops and arrange the potato slices around them. Spoon over a little vinaigrette and serve immediately.
is is a slightly diﬀerent version of one of my signature restaurant dishes. e vinaigrette – with green olives and a little balsamic vinegar added – is more of a thick and creamy dressing. If you have any le over, save it to serve with steamed or roast ﬁsh. Needless to say, the scallops must be very fresh.
christmas beef wellington ServeS 4-6 900g piece beef fillet of even thickness (from the centre cut) sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tbsp olive oil english mustard, to brush meat
Mushroom duxelles: 700g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and stalks removed handful of cooked chestnuts 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped 2 thyme sprigs, leaves only
To assemble: 8 slices of Parma ham 500g ready-made all-butter puﬀ pastry plain flour, to dust 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water (egg wash)
Beef Wellington is always impressive, but my updated version is a real special occasion treat. I’ve retained the luxurious character of the dish and, for a festive touch, added cooked chestnuts to the mushroom duxelles – for a delicious twist on an old classic. is has to be one of my all-time favourite main courses. 1 trim the beef of any sinew and season well with salt and pepper. heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat, add the fillet and quickly sear the outside all over for about 5 minutes until evenly browned, turning as necessary. transfer to a plate and while still hot, brush all over with mustard. Set aside to rest. 2 for the duxelles, put the mushrooms, chestnuts and garlic in a food processor with a little salt and pepper and blend to a fine paste, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. heat a dry large frying pan. Scrape the mushroom paste into the pan and add the thyme leaves. Cook over a high heat, stirring occasionally, to drive oﬀ the moisture and intensify the flavour. e duxelles must be suﬃciently dry otherwise it will make the pastry soggy; the mixture should adhere easily. Spread out on a tray to cool. 3 Place a large piece of cling film on a clean surface. lay the Parma ham slices on top, overlapping them slightly, to form a rough rectangle large enough to envelop the beef fillet, making sure there are no gaps. Season the ham with a few twists of pepper then, with a palette knife, spread the duxelles on top, leaving a 2.5cm margin along the edges.
4 lay the beef fillet along the middle of the mushroom layer. Keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edges, neatly roll the Parma ham and duxelles over the beef into a tight barrel shape. twist the ends of the cling film to secure. refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up. 5 roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, the thickness of a £1 coin and brush with some of the egg wash. unwrap the beef from the cling film and place it in the middle. leaving a large enough rectangle to wrap around the beef, trim oﬀ the excess pastry. roll the pastry around the beef to envelop it and then press the edges to seal. Pinch the pastry at the ends to seal and trim oﬀ the excess. wrap the log tightly in cling film and chill for 10 minutes, or overnight if you are preparing ahead. 6 Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. remove the cling film and brush the parcel all over with egg wash. lightly score the pastry at 1cm intervals with the back of a small knife for a decorative eﬀect, if you wish. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and bake for about 35 minutes; if the pastry appears to be browning too quickly, lower the setting slightly. leave to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes before cutting into thick slices to serve, with the accompaniments.
watercress puree ServeS 6-8 300g watercress, trimmed 150ml water 100g spinach leaves 2–3 tbsp double cream sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 wash the watercress well, then put into a large saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes. 2 rinse the spinach leaves, then add them to the watercress and stir well. Cook for a further minute, or just until the spinach leaves have wilted. drain in a colander, pressing with the back of a ladle to extract as much moisture as possible. 3 tip the watercress and spinach into a blender or food processor, add 2 tbsp cream and blend for 5–10 minutes to a very smooth purée, scraping down the sides a few times. taste for seasoning. if you prefer the purée thinner, add another 1 tbsp cream or a tiny splash of hot water and gently reheat before serving.
truffle mashed potatoes ServeS 4 1kg potatoes, such as desiree, peeled and quartered sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 200ml double cream 100ml whole milk 2 thyme sprigs 1 bay leaf 25g butter, in pieces, or a drizzle of truﬄe-infused olive oil 1 white alba truﬄe (optional)
1 add the potatoes to a pan of salted cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 15–20 minutes, until tender. 2 Meanwhile, heat the cream and milk in a small pan with the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and some seasoning. bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes. take the pan oﬀ the heat and allow the flavours to infuse for a few minutes. 3 Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and return them to the pan. Place over a low heat for 1–2 minutes to dry them out a little. Mash the potatoes smoothly, using a potato ricer or masher into a clean pan. 4 Pour the infused cream mixture through a sieve into a jug and discard the herbs. Over a very gentle heat, gradually add the cream mixture to the mashed potatoes and beat until smooth and creamy. Once it is all added, the mash should be so enough to just drop from the spoon. 5 transfer the mash to a warmed serving dish and top with slithers of butter or a drizzle of truﬄe-infused oil (if you are not using fresh truﬄe). finally, shave the white truﬄe on top, if using, and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Serve piping hot.
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pannacotta with pomegranate glaze ServeS 4 2 medium sheets leaf gelatine (11 x 7.5cm) 250ml double cream 50g caster sugar 50ml milk 15ml dark rum, or to taste
Pomegranate glaze: 20g caster sugar 275ml pomegranate juice
Chocolate shavings: block of good-quality dark chocolate, for grating
1 Soak the gelatine in a shallow dish of cold water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, put the cream, sugar, milk and rum into a saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. heat gently for 30 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat. taste for flavour, adding a little more rum if you wish. 2 Squeeze the gelatine leaves to remove excess water, then add them to the cream mixture and stir until fully dissolved. tip the mixture into a jug. 3 now pour into 4 individual glass dishes, leaving enough room for the glaze. leave to cool, then place the glasses in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours, or overnight if preparing ahead. 4 to make the pomegranate glaze, heat a dry frying pan. tip the sugar into the hot pan followed by the pomegranate juice. bring to the boil and allow to bubble for 10–15 minutes, until thickened to a sticky, syrupy glaze. Pour into a small jug and leave to cool completely. 5 Pop the chocolate in the freezer for 10–15 minutes before serving. Pour the cooled pomegranate glaze on top of the chilled pannacottas. take the chocolate from the freezer and draw a small straight-edged knife along the flat side of the bar to make curled shavings. top each pannacotta with chocolate shavings to serve.
Over Christmas, it makes sense to prepare desserts that require minimal eﬀort yet still deliver that ‘wow’ factor. Pannacotta certainly ticks all the right boxes – it’s easy to make, cheap and delectable, with a silky smooth texture that makes it one of the world’s sexiest desserts.
Recipes and photos are from Christmas with Gordon by Gordon Ramsay, published in hardback by Quadrille and available from all good booksellers, RRP £15.
The Painted Furniture Painted furniture brings a fresh new Store look to your home.
Beautiful blinds made to order for your home. Blind Spot, Orchard End, Bedale, DL8 2EZ Telephone | 01677 425757
We sell classic and contemporary designs for your bedroom, kitchen, living and dining room. We can paint your furniture and kitchen units to your taste!
New showroom at CliďŹ€ Lodge, Harmby Road, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 5NS. T: 01969 625494 / 07907 964064
LUXURY LINEN HIRE AND LAUNDRY SERVICE FOR THE YORKSHIRE DALES We are the premier rental service for luxury bed and bath linen in the Yorkshire Dales specialising in holiday cottages, guest houses, and hotels. Our laundry is based in Wensleydale from where we provide a spot on service 7 days a week. We can take responsibility for your stock levels and therefore there are no stock turnover penalties. We are proud to introduce our new cleaning company
The Clean and Spotless Co. Ltd Coach House, Swinithwaite Hall, Swinithwaite, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 4UH T: 01969 662624 F: 07092 008049 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thewhitebeddingco.com 48
NICKERY NOOK Every nook and cranny crammed with interting cards and gis. East of India Yankee Candle Hand made chocolates Bomb Cosmetics Carte Blanche Trophies and Engraving 3 MARKET COURT, BEDALE DL8 1YA 01677 425848
n p ope o h s New asham M n i Children’s outdoor equipment and clothes. Hiking and outdoor gear
Outdoor Life is based in the market town of Masham. The shop stocks a fantastic range of hiking equipment and accessories for outdoor enthusiasts. Specialising in childrens clothing and footwear all products are premium quality which ensures children will be warm, dry and comfortable, in the worst weather. Practical gadgets, maps and walking books all in stock For more information visit www.outdoorlifemasham.co.uk or contact Nicci Warne Outdoor Life, Masham T 01765 688144
Festive Finesse Bake an indulgent Christmas cake, cook a delicious glazed ham and create a gorgeous table centrepiece â€“ three exciting projects from Sarah Ravenâ€™s Christmas-themed collection.
Christmas cake Christmas cake is at its best eaten with a slice of crumbly cheese. Have it, instead of a pudding, to finish one of your Christmas meals.
For a 23cm round or 20cm square cake
Line the base of a 23cm round or 20cm square tin with greaseproof paper rubbed with a trace of sunflower oil, or a silicone mat, cut to size, and tie a double layer of brown paper, a little higher than the rim of the tin, around the outside.
100g glacé cherries 100g good-quality candied peel chopped 225g currants 225g sultanas
Wash and dry the glacé cherries and put into a large bowl with the candied peel, all the fruit, the lemon zest and juice, and brandy. Allow this to stand, turning the fruit occasionally, for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
225g stoned raisins, roughly chopped 200g dried apricots (ideally undyed), stoned and soaked Zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons brandy
Sift the flour with the salt and spices. Cream the butter and sugar until light and soft and add the beaten eggs, one at a time, stirring well between each addition. (If the mixture begins to curdle while you are adding the eggs, sprinkle in a handful of the sifted flour. Even if it does curdle, don’t panic – you’ll just have a heavier cake.)
275g plain flour Pinch of salt ½ teaspoon ground cloves ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon mixed spice ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 225g unsalted butter 225g light soft brown sugar 6 eggs, beaten
Once you have added the eggs, mix in the flour and fold in the fruit mixture, the nuts and a couple of tablespoons of milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Put the cake into the preheated oven for 1 hour; then lower the heat to 170ºC/gas mark 3½ and bake for another 2 hours, or until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool it in the tin; then turn it out and double wrap with greaseproof paper, and put it in an airtight tin until you want to decorate it. It’s fine to store the cake for up to 8 weeks, but beyond that, it will start to dry out a bit.
50g whole almonds, roughly chopped if you wish 50g hazelnuts, halved A little cold milk
Ham glazed with honey and cloves An excellent stalwart dish to have on hand over Christmas. You can have it warm when it’s first cooked and then cold for lunch for several days afterwards.
Soak the boned gammon overnight in cold water. Preheat the oven to 170˚C/gas mark 3½.
4.5kg boned gammon Bay leaves 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard 4 tablespoons demerara or soft brown sugar Cloves 200ml cider, or orange or apple juice
Drain and wrap the joint with a couple of bay leaves in a loose, sealed parcel of aluminium foil and place in a large roasting tin with a little water in the bottom. Roast for 30 minutes per 450g in the oven, removing it from the oven 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Increase the oven temperature to 200˚C/gas mark 6. Take the foil off the gammon and with a very sharp knife strip off the rind, leaving an even layer of fat on the joint. Score the fat in a criss-cross pattern. Mix together the mustard with the sugar and spread it over the fat with a palette knife. Push a clove into the middle of each diamond shape. Return the gammon to the tin, fat side uppermost. Pour over the cider or juice and put the gammon back into the oven for about 20 minutes, basting at least a couple of times, until the glaze has caramelised.
Last winter I bought a metre-tall pink jasmine, J. polyanthum, tied on to a frame of canes. Once transplanted into a nicer pot and trained on to a woven basket of silver birch rather than bamboo, it made a magnificent and long-lasting table centre right through Christmas and on into May. We had a continual succession of beautiful and fragrant flowers, filling the whole room with scent every evening. Pink jasmine, 1m tall Pot 45cm wide at top x 20cm deep with a drainage hole
You can buy jasmine all over the place at Christmas. Look out for a tall one. Get it home and remove the canes. Spread the twining stems out on to a table and gradually separate out each stem. You’ll need to be patient – it’s like unknotting hair.
Potting compost Crocks Tray full of pebbles Twine A bunch of silver birch branches, 75cm–1m long
Put crocks in the bottom of your pot and re-pot the plant in potting compost. Depending on the pot size, poke 6–8 branches of silver birch into the compost around the edge of the pot. Bend the first one over into a dome, attaching it to the one straight opposite. Twist and bind these on to each other to make a hoop, doubling back when you get near the whippy ends and so tying off and securing each branch. This sounds difficult, but is in fact very easy to do. If there are any lower branches, turn them at right angles and bind them on to the next branch around. This makes a lower level to your plant basket and strengthens the frame. Then move on to the next pairing and do the same, until the twiggy dome is complete. Stem by stem, attach the jasmine to the globe with twine. Water the globe. The jasmine will thrive if kept cool (not above 18ºC) in a bright, very well-lit room (that’s crucial – kept too hot and dark, the flowers will go brown and drop quickly). Jasmines also like high humidity, so put the pot on a tray full of pebbles in water. The water level must be kept below the top of the pebbles so that the compost doesn’t get too wet, but the extra humidity the water provides will keep the flowers fresh for longer. All photographs reproduced by kind permission of Jonathan Buckley
Sarah Raven’s ‘Complete Christmas by Sarah Raven’ and Jonathan Buckley is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing and is available from all good booksellers, RRP £25. 54
The Countryman's Inn Hunton
…a warm welcome in traditional surroundings
Set in the picturesque village of Hunton, The Countryman's is a charming traditional Inn, offering friendly and efficient service and a warm welcome. The Countryman’s prides itself on using fresh local produce, some of which is now home grown. Our seasonal and Christmas menus are now available to view online on our web site. Christmas group bookings are now being taken. We now have 4 en-suite rooms available and these make a comfortable base to enjoy the Yorkshire Dales and its many attractions. The Countryman’s Inn, Hunton, Near Bedale, North Yorkshire. DL8 1PY. T: 01677 450554 W: www.countrymansinn.co.uk
christmas but with style EXTRAORDINARILY FINE FOOD
(&1$ &,!/,* %+.) &( "+ /' 000 )# (- ,#)#)!#, "+ /' 2
FOR CHRISTMAS PARTIES THROUGHOUT DECEMBER OPEN CHRISTMAS DAY AND NEW YEARS EVE
7 Silver Street, Masham, N Yorks, HG4 4DX Telephone: 01765 689000 www.vennellsrestaurant.co.uk 56
Christmas hampers with a diFFerenCe produced in the Yorkshire dales and priced reasonably from ÂŁ35.00.
all bakery and preserves items are homemade and hand packed. an excellent Christmas gift from Guy Fairhurst Catering.Â Guy is also available for drinks parties and dinner parties and all your catering requirements, throughout the Festive season. Orders taken contact Guy Fairhurst on 01969 624668 or email@example.com
Welcome to The GreyHound Inn, Hackforth
RE-OPENING IN DECEMBER
e would like to announce the reopening of The Greyhound Inn in Hackforth.
It has undergone extensive renovations, while retaining all its charm and character. The food on offer will feature locally sourced ingredients and fresh fish. The bar will have a selection of local hand pulled ales,
continental lagers and spirits. The wine list will feature a fine selection from around the world. In addition there are four letting bedrooms. So come enjoy the fine fayre and warm friendly atmosphere, and let Mike and his staff look after you.
The GreyHound Inn, Hackforth, Bedale DL8 1PB Tel: 01748 811415 or 07989 505002
The Discerning DINER Claudia Blake visits The CB Inn, Arkengarthdale You’re unlikely to meet many other motorists on the narrow, switchback road that winds up Arkengarthdale to The CB Inn. What you will see, though – and frequently have to dawdle along behind – are plenty of hardy hill sheep. Arkengarthdale branches away from Swaledale at Reeth. It’s a wilder, bleaker valley than its sister dale, and on a stormy night it can seem like the middle of nowhere. Nowadays Arkengarthdale’s community is little more than a scattering of hamlets strung out across beautiful moorland scenery, but it was once a far busier place, the bustling centre of a thriving lead-mining industry. Charles Bathurst was the local mine owner, and it is after him that The CB Inn, just beyond Langthwaite, is named. The CB Inn has retained the cosy, woody ambience of a traditional Dales hostelry, but nudged it in the direction of contemporary taste by incorporating stripped wood furniture, cheery check curtains and – I would guess – a certain number of structural alterations. The result is a spacious bar that leads into a series of light, uncluttered dining areas.
The menu is written on a mirror above an open fire. Not terribly easy on the eye, but at least you’re nice and warm while you’re deciphering it, and there are plenty of appealing options. There’s a decent wine list – inscribed, this time, on paper – with an equally plausible selection of wines by the glass. Our starters arrived promptly, attractively presented on simple white crockery. Mine, nestled in a deep bowl, was a wild mushroom risotto. Risotto may at heart be simple peasant food, but it’s not always easy to get it right. This one, though, ticked all the boxes. The rice was suitably al dente and the mushroom flavours were good and punchy. There was plenty of Parmesan running through it, plus a dash of truffle oil and a brace of Parmesan crisps for good measure. Arguably it was a touch heavy on the salt, but it slipped down very nicely. Piers started with a trio of mackerel, whose star turn was a roundel of flaky-rich mackerel ballotine. The trio also included a light, crispy fishcake and some sleek rectangles of sharp-sweet pickled mackerel. It was a handsome plateful that combined a good range of flavours and textures, and it made a fine curtain raiser. 59
My main, Port and venison casserole, was a sensible choice for a chilly night: hearty and comforting, with a strong feeling of good old-fashioned home cooking about it. The meat was tender and gamey, and the sauce was deep and rich with an intriguing hint of warm spiciness – cinnamon, possibly. A couple of light, simple dumplings added to the homely charm. All very satisfactory. Piers’ main was rump of lamb with boulangère potatoes, parsnip purée and a quenelle of confit lamb. The lamb was cooked rare, and there was plenty of it. The confit was meatily luscious, the wad of potato was pleasantly melting, and the parsnip purée was agreeably creamy. Our mains came with a generous selection of accompanying veg – red cabbage, carrot and broccoli amongst them – all of which had an enjoyably healthy crunch. Desserts were next on the agenda. As readers may know, I’m very fond of crème brûlée, but not quite so enthusiastic about the current trend to try to improve on it by throwing in all manner of needless extras. The CB Inn’s take on the classic brûlée – crème brûlée with whisky – was something I hadn’t encountered before, so I decided, a little hesitantly, to try it. As it turned out, the combination worked surprisingly well, the whisky adding a subtle, smoky tone to the vanillastudded and silky-smooth custard.
Delightful. I could have happily polished off a second one. Piers’ choice, plum and apple crumble with custard, came from the same school of cosy home cooking as my venison casserole. With a judicious balance of fruit, and a topping given extra bite by oats and flaked almonds, this was excellent comfort food and a pleasant way to round off the meal. Altogether, for three courses each, we paid just over £53, that’s to say circa £26 per head for the food – with minerals, wine and post-dinner cuppas on top of that, of course. Service had been brisk but friendly enough, and the food was definitely a cut or two above normal pub fare. In short, then, The CB Inn is an easygoing, relaxed place with goodvalue, tasty food, thoughtfully prepared and attractively presented. It’s evidently a child-friendly venue too – there were a couple of family groups enjoying themselves when we arrived – so it would be a good option for a family function or a place to meet up with friends after a day knocking around in the Dales. Ensuite bedrooms are also available, so you wouldn’t necessarily have to negotiate that long and winding road home immediately afterwards. For further information about The CB Inn call 01748 884567 or visit www.cbinn.co.uk.
Restaurant open daily to non-residents: Lunch 12-2pm and Dinner 6.30-9pm Fixed Price Market Menu, A la Carte Menu and Tasting Menu available Morning Coffee served 10-11.30am Afternoon Tea served 3-5pm HAROME, NEAR HELMSLEY, NORTH YORKS YO62 5JE
T: 01439 771241 www.thepheasanthotel.com
Enjoy Roux Scholar Jonathan Harrisonâ€™s unique cuisine in the traditional surroundings of the Sandpiper Inn Modern British food using only the finest local ingredients, beautifully prepared and presented. Fine wines, real ales and friendly service Accommodation available
Market Place, Leyburn, North Yorkshire Tel 01969 622206 www.sandpiperinn.co.uk 61
THE BLUE LION
Te l : 0 1 9 6 9 6 2 4 2 7 3
Morning coffee, afternoon teas and food served all day. The White Swan Hotel and Restaurant. Middleham, North Yorkshire DL8 4PE www.whiteswanhotel.co.uk
CHRISTMAS AT THE WHITE BEAR MASHAM
P U B • R E S TA U R A N T • R O O M S The White Bear is a five star inn situated in the pretty market town of Masham, in the foothills of the Yorkshire Dales. A magical place at Christmas, The White Bear is the perfect venue for your festive celebrations. Relax in our beautiful rooms and dine on the finest local Yorkshire produce. Experience a real taste of the Dales.
01765 689 319 thewhitebearhotel.co.uk
Unique and atmospheric 16th Century family-run country dining pub. Fabulous food at affordable prices. Recommended by all major good food guides. 10 minutes from Ripon, Harrogate and Knaresborough. New Menu! Value-for-money Brasserie food (authentic flavours are our passion!), with exciting daily fresh fish specials, new “Comfort Zone” menu section – plus two or three course daily menu served lunch-time and early evening Open for lunch Wed – Sat 12.00 noon – 2.30 p.m. Sunday lunch 12.00 – 4.00 p.m. and dinner Wed – Sat 5.30 – 9.30 p.m.
The Malt Shovel, Brearton HG3 3BX Tel. 01423 862929 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hand-pulled real ale. Extensive wine list. Occasional Opera evenings with dinner. Jazz pianist most Sundays. Christmas menus now available.
or book through our website www.themaltshovelbrearton.co.uk
The changing of seasons in the Yorkshire Dales is the perfect time to visit Yorebridge House, nestled in the heart of Wensleydale, offering the rare combination of a luxurious boutique hotel and fine dining in an informal atmosphere with views across the Dales. Our two AA Rosette restaurant recently launched the Autumn Menu to reflect the changing seasons and to make best use of local produce. Highlights include Yoredale beef and locally shot grouse. And with the festive season just around the corner, we also have a tasty Christmas lunch menu inspired by local producers and farmers- ideal for parties or smaller gatherings in the run up to Christmas- and sumptuous festive breaks.
web: www.yorebridgehouse.co.uk email: email@example.com Yorebridge House • Bainbridge • Leyburn • Wensleydale • North Yorkshire • DL8 3EE - Tel: 01969 652 060 63
The Twelve Days of Christmas Rebecca Gibb lines up some of her favourite festive treats. The Twelve Days of Christmas have been filled with drinking, dancing and eating since the Middle Ages, but the song didn't come along until much later. It is said to have originated in western France, but regardless of its birthplace the French version is certainly far more exciting for the gourmet than ours. No turtle doves and partridges in pear trees here – instead we have delights such as three joints of beef, seven spitted rabbits and ten full casks. In that same spirit of shameless self-indulgence I offer my own twelve days’ worth of Christmas drinking.
On the first day of Christmas... Take That and Chardonnay have a lot in common: popular in the 1990s, nowhere to be seen in the 2000s, and now experiencing a mini-revival. Two decades ago Australia couldn't make enough of the stuff, but we soon grew tired of it and Chardonnay was dumped in favour of Sauvignon Blanc. Perhaps now, though, it’s time to make a New Year's resolution to bring Chardonnay back for good. With a turkey dinner, a lightly oaked Chardonnay would be best. If you’re splashing out, Bouchard Père et Fils’ Montagny 1er Cru won't disappoint (£15, Yorkshire Vintners, Lewis & Cooper). Those with Champagne tastes but a lemonade budget will enjoy Burgundian producer Louis Latour’s offering from the Ardèche region (£9 Campbells of Leyburn).
The second day The supermarket shelves are groaning with exuberant New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, but if you’re sick of their OTT style then ask for a more restrained Sauvignon from Bordeaux or the Loire Valley, such as Touraine, Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé. Seguin Père et Fils’ Pouilly Fumé is a classic example of Old World restraint (£14.35, Yorkshire Vintners). Drink it with goat’s cheese – or a Chinese takeaway, when you’re fed up with leftover turkey.
Third day Pink wine has had a new lease of life after suffering from an almighty Mateus Rosé hangover for thirty years. Even rugged gents are 65
now glugging pink and eating quiche. And while rosé has long been associated with the summer months, it is now slowly becoming a year-round drink. If you're looking for a fruity yet dry one, you can't go wrong with Henri Fabre's Côtes de Provence Rose (£7.49, Campbells of Leyburn).
Fourth day Riesling is every wine buff's favourite white, but it is still generally unpopular thanks to its association with the bad old days of Blue Nun. Good Riesling has purity, freshness, minerality and lots of other qualities that the experts rave about. Low in alcohol, the off-dry, easygoing Dr L. Riesling from the Mosel valley makes a perfect match for smoked fish (£9.49, Lewis & Cooper).
Fifth day Why do we insist on eating turkey when we could be eating something that isn’t dry and bland? My family has goose on Christmas Day, and Pinot Noir goes beautifully with it because the acidity of the wine cuts nicely through the fattiness of the meat. Decent Pinot Noir isn’t cheap, as it’s such a trial to grow and make. Burgundy is Pinot Noir’s heartland, but it can be hit and miss. New Zealand offers more bang for your buck and a more approachable style with wines like the elegant Escarpment Pinot Noir (£18.99, Martinez Wines).
Sixth day Believe it or not, Bordeaux red wines, also known as claret, aren’t much good with turkey. In fact Cabernet tannins paired with a fruity cranberry sauce are a recipe for disaster. An elaborately glazed ham doesn’t like tannins either, so grab a fruity red instead. Spanish Garnacha or Côtes du Rhône blends are soft and fruity with a hint of spice. Why not support fellow northerner Nick Thompson, who now makes wine in the southern Rhône, by buying a bottle or two of his excellently priced Domaine de L'Ameillaud (£6.08, Wrightson & Co).
Seventh day Sherry isn’t just for old fogeys – in fact sherry bars are the places to be seen in London nowadays. A cool glass of bone-dry Fino or Manzanilla sherry makes the perfect aperitif, particularly with 66
nibbles like chorizo, almonds and olives. Most retailers in our region stock Barbadillo’s range of sherries, but for a little more finesse try Hidalgo’s La Gitana Manzanilla or Lustau’s La Ina Fino (£14.99, Lewis & Cooper).
Eighth day Bubbles are an obligatory part of Christmas. If you can afford it, splash out on Pol Roger Brut NV (£33.60, Yorkshire Vintners), which is always delicate, fresh and flirty. For those watching the wallet, try French Connection Champagne NV (£15.99, Campbells of Leyburn). Drink with smoked salmon, oysters, or fish and chips when you're sick of cooking.
Ninth day Port is as important as mince pies at Christmas, so grab a bottle, buy a lump of blue Stilton or mature cheddar, and indulge yourself when no-one is watching. Or settle down with a glass and crack open those posh chocolates you’ve been given. Smith Woodhouse LBV (from £10.50, Yorkshire Vintners, Wrightson & Co, Campbells of Leyburn) is a good choice.
Tenth day If you’re pouring brandy sauce on the pud you may as well forget about wine-matching. Opt for cream, though, and you can have something nice and sweet along with it. The Australian region of Rutherglen, in the state of Victoria, is well known for its Christmas-in-abottle sweeties. For something rich, unctuous and great value for money, try Campbell’s Muscat NV (£10 per 37.5cl bottle or £120 per case, Wrightson & Co, Bon Coeur).
Eleventh day Unctuous, rich and sweet, Pedro Ximenez isn’t a session wine. The Spanish drink it over icecream, so if you’re having friends to visit and can’t be bothered to make a dessert, a splash of Williams & Humbert Pedro Ximenez 12-yearold (£12.99, Lewis & Cooper) can transform a scoop or two of vanilla. It’s also fabulous with all things orange, chocolate or blue cheese.
Doesn’t your liver deserve a break?
Your family run Fine Food and Wine Emporium
Making Christmas really special Campbells of Leyburn can offer you this festive season: • The finest local award winning meats including all your Christmas and New Year needs • A range of superb local products including fresh fruit and vegetables • A mouth watering selection of delicatessen products
• And perhaps the best range of wines and spirits in the region - in our upstairs wine department. To place an order ring 01969 624391 • Food and wine hampers where you can pick the items yourself or provide us with a value and we will pick it for you!
We have gift vouchers of £5, £10 and £20 Our traditional in house butchery and deli have been extended to offer you even more exciting products including local cheese, meats, fish, Italian pasta and French delicacies.
Plus On Fridays and Saturdays during November to Christmas many of our suppliers will be providing the opportunity to taste lots of their exciting festive products. Look in store or in the local press for details.
We are NOW taking orders for your Christmas turkey and other festive meat products - To place an order call Kevin, Gary or Alan on 01969 625600
Campbells of Leyburn
4 Commercial Square, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 5BP Tel: 01969 622169 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
making the Festive season really special - naturally
Contemporary dining in the Yorkshire Dales
Stone House Hotel
Celebrate in Style this year and book your Christmas Party at Stone House Hotel Available from 5th – 22nd December Delicious Christmas Lunch & Dinner Menus
For larger party bookings – exclusive use of hotel, complimentary disco and 50% off bed and breakfast rates! T: (01969) 667571 W: www.stonehousehotel.co.uk Sedbusk. Near Hawes. Wensleydale. North Yorks. DL8 3PT
Our Head Chef Andy Brooks uses only locally sourced ingredients for our range of menus. Our stunning restaurant set deep in the rolling countryside offers you the perfect place to relax and enjoy some of the finest food in the Yorkshire Dales. Open 7 days a week, lunch time and evening. We can offer private dining for parties and have facilities for corporate events and meetings. For our current menus and further information on Christmas and New Year events, please visit our website.
We are now taking bookings for Christmas Parties, Christmas Day & New Years Eve. Please contact us for further details.
Booking recommended For bookings and enquiries please telephone (01969) 663268 Hendersons Bar and Restaurant, Westholme Estate, Aysgarth, North Yorkshire DL8 3SP www.westholme-estate.co.uk 68
T: 01765 641324 W:THEGEORGEATWATH.CO.UK
Independent suppliers, importers and distributors of hand crafted wines and spirits.
Wine Lover Offer 2009 Château Terrefort-Lescalle – Bordeaux, France
12 bottles for £99.99 inc VAT saving over £20 on RRP
Delivered free anywhere in Yorkshire Please mention Dales Life Vintage Claret Oﬀer
Limited stocks available.
Please call us on 01765 601701 or email
To place an order
orkshire Vintners brings to you Y a beautiful Vintage Claret for Christmas. This wine is ideal for drinking now and for the next couple of years. VISIT US ON OUR OPEN DAY on Friday 16th Dec 2011, 10am8pm with wine tastings, oﬀers and gift packs!
Yorkshire Vintners, Unit 15 Sycamore Business Park, Copt Hewick, Ripon, HG4 5DF www.yorkshirevintners.co.uk.
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In Season Winter’s a good time to go for garlic, and this gorgeous, garlic-rich venison pie is ideal for a chilly evening. It’s hard to imagine savoury cooking without garlic – and now, not so very long after harvesting, it will still be at its best. Garlic keeps happily enough, but as we head towards next spring it will have an increasing tendency to sprout. Keep it somewhere cool to prevent this happening. With its heady, pungent aroma, garlic can be used to add depth and character to winter soups, sauces, casseroles and stews – or, in this case, a deliciously rich venison pie.
Venison Pie By Jane Baxter, from Everyday and Sunday Recipes from Riverford Farm For the marinade: 1 onion, finely chopped 1 celery stick, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 5 garlic cloves, chopped 375ml red wine 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon thyme leaves 2 bay leaves 3 juniper berries 6 black peppercorns For the filling: 1.25kg venison shoulder, cut into 3cm chunks 2 tablespoons plain flour, seasoned 1 tablespoon olive oil 15g unsalted butter 3 onions, finely chopped 100g smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper grated nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon ground coriander 200ml beef stock 150g prunes, chopped finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange 125g peeled, vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped (optional) For the suet crust: 350g self-raising flour, plus more to dust 175g beef suet sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Serves 6–8 Mix together the marinade ingredients. Mix with the venison, cover and marinate for 24–48 hours in the fridge. Remove the venison from the marinade and strain and reserve the marinade. Dry the meat on kitchen paper and toss in the seasoned flour. Brown in the hot oil and butter in a large pan, in batches if necessary. Remove the meat from the pan, add the onions and bacon and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the spices and cook for 1 more minute before adding the reserved marinade and beef stock. Return the venison and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan and mixing well. Add the prunes and orange zest and juice and simmer over a very low heat for 1½–2 hours, until the meat is tender. At this point, add the chestnuts (if using), check the seasoning and cool. While the venison is cooling, make the pastry. Mix the flour, suet, salt and pepper together and add enough cold water to make a soft dough. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7. Transfer the cold meat mixture to a pie dish (approx. 20cm x 20cm). Roll out the pastry and cut a 2cm strip that will sit on the rim of the pie dish. Dampen the rim of the dish and press the strip all around it. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface, wet the pastry rim and top with the pastry lid. Press around the edges and do some fancy fluting or crimping if you like. Make a small hole in the centre and bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes. You can find more garlic recipes and tips on the Riverford website, www.riverford.co.uk/homefarm.
Come soon and find out why we’re the North’s number one for foodies. We’ve some of the world’s best food, wines & hampers, delicious deli goods, as well as a gifts floor full of unusual finds. You’ll also enjoy relaxing in our tearoom, which serves local food at its very best. 92 High Street, Northallerton, DL7 8PT. 01609 772880 You can also visit us in Yarm and online at www.lewisandcooper.co.uk
Bursting with chocolate treats for Christmas!
DalesLife A TASTe OF YORkSHiRe
The Little Chocolate Shop in Leyburn is busy making scrumptious hand made chocolates. Come and visit us at our working factory where you can watch how the chocolates are made. Our shop has a super range of delicious chocolates and hand made confectionery.
Visit us at our factory The Little Chocolate Shop Ltd, Leyburn Business Park, Harmby Road, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 5QA
Tel: 01969 625288 www.thelittlechocolateshop.co.uk 74
To book space in the Spring issue contact Sue Gillman Telephone: 01904 629295 Mobile: 07970 739119 email: email@example.com www.daleslife.com
ASKRIGG VILLAGE KITCHEN Deli and Bakery
NEXT DOOR Christmas gifts, decorations and cards.
Take home individual Bistro meals, homemade Christmas Fayre and Christmas Hampers. Winter Opening Hou rs 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday. Closed Sunday. Christmas Opening Hours Closing 12pm on Christmas Eve. Reopen for business as usual on Tuesday 10th January.
Market Place, Askrigg â€˘ Please contact Jo â€˘ 01969 650076 â€˘ www.askriggvillagekitchen.co.uk
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CHEF’S TABLE Peter Neville, The Pheasant Hotel, Harome
verlooking the duckpond in the picturesque village of Harome near Helmsley, The Pheasant Hotel is ideally placed for anyone looking for a relaxing base from which to explore the wild and beautiful North York Moors National Park.
Head Chef and owner Peter Neville spent three years at Andrew and Jacqui Pern’s neighbouring Star Inn, followed by a stint at the two-Michelin-starred Hibiscus restaurant in London, before taking over at The Pheasant. Peter’s cooking style takes classical French and traditional English influences and gives them a stylish modern twist. “We concentrate on top quality local, seasonal produce, together with foraged wild foods,” he says. “I like to keep my dishes light, fresh and simple. And immaculate presentation, of course, is crucially important.” To add the finishing touches to Peter’s menu, Ripon-based wine merchants Yorkshire Vintners have selected wines that will perfectly complement his chosen dishes.
John Dory, Caramelised and Fried Salsify, Turnip and Truﬄe, Beurre Noisette Serves two 300g John Dory fillet, skinned 2 salsifes 1 medium turnip 4g black truﬄe 50g beurre noisette (To make beurre noisette, boil butter in a saucepan until the liquid evaporates and the whey turns golden brown, then pass through a sieve.) 100g fish stock 75g butter juice of half a lemon
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Peel and chop one of the salsifies into thin rounds and fry in 25g butter over a low heat until dark golden brown. Allow to cool, then purée with a little fish stock (the consistency should remain quite stiff) and pass through a fine sieve. Peel the second salsify and cut into 4 equal batons. Blanch until soft in a pan of water to which the lemon juice has been added. Peel and chop the turnip. Soften in a little butter on a low heat without colouring, until the turnip can be crushed with a fork. Warm as required. Grate half of the truffle and add to the crushed turnip together with a little butter and seasoning to taste. Keep warm. Melt the beurre noisette in a small pan with 50g of fish stock and keep warm. In a large frying pan, melt a little butter and cook the John Dory fillets and salsify batons together, cooking the fillets for approximately two minutes on each side and turning the batons until golden brown. Warm the salsify purée and place on the plate. Quenelle the turnip (i.e. shape with two large spoons to make ‘egg’ shapes) and place next to the purée. Arrange the John Dory fillets and salsify batons on the plate. Blitz the beurre noisette and fish stock with a hand blender until it forms a froth and use this to coat the top of the fish. Finish with slices of black truffle.
Lightly Smoked Lobster with Sweetcorn, Hazelnuts and Wood Sorrel Serves two 130g hazelnuts 225g chicken stock seasoning 1,600–1,800g English lobster 120g sweetcorn 30g mayonnaise chopped parsley, tarragon and chives 100g smoked butter 12 heads wood sorrel
Yorkshire Vintners recommends
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Cook the hazelnuts in the stock until soft. Drain, retaining strained stock. Put the hazelnuts into a liquidiser and blend, gradually adding the strained stock to make a smooth paste. Season, chill and put into a squeezy bottle. Remove the tail and the claws from the lobster. De-vein the tail. Blanch all parts in boiling water for 6 minutes. Chill in iced water. Peel the tail and slice lengthways into two. Crack open the claws and remove whole. Pick out the ‘arm’ meat with lobster picks. Mix the sweetcorn, mayonnaise and picked arm meat in a bowl. Season and add a pinch of chopped herbs. Warm the lobster tail and claws in the smoked butter on a very low heat. Do not allow the butter to boil. On two plates, using a cutter, make two circles of sweetcorn. Place the lobster tails on the top, with the claw leaning over the top. Put some dots of hazelnut purée around the outside. Scatter the heads of wood sorrel over the dish.
Apple Gratin, Brandy Sabayon, Stem Ginger Ice Cream Serves two For the Sabayon: 3 egg yolks 45g icing sugar 1 tsp cornflour 1 tsp liquid glucose 2 tsp brandy For the Stem Ginger Ice Cream: 125g stem ginger, coarsely chopped with the syrup from the jar 250ml milk 250ml whipping cream 4 egg yolks For the Apples: 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and scooped out into small balls with a Parisienne scoop or melon baller 200ml stock syrup 1g ascorbic acid half stick cinnamon 1 star anise To garnish: lemon thyme leaves
First make the sabayon by placing all of the sabayon ingredients into a bain marie or a bowl with a rounded bottom over a pan of boiling water. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens and the whisk leaves a â€˜ribbonâ€™ trail in the mixture. Allow to cool. For the ice cream, first place the milk and cream in a saucepan with the chopped ginger and ginger syrup. Bring to the boil, then leave to cool so that the flavour infuses the cream and milk. Once cool, liquidise then pass through a fine sieve to remove any larger pieces of ginger. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk gently. Return the sieved cream and milk to the heat, gently bringing to the boil, and pour over the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Once cool, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze and churn until the required consistency is achieved. Place the stock syrup in a pan with the ascorbic acid, cinnamon stick and star anise, and bring to the boil. The apple balls can then be dropped into the hot mixture and the pan removed from the heat. The heat of the mixture as it cools will be sufficient to cook the apple. Once cooled, the apple balls should be removed from the mixture. The gratin can be served directly from two heatproof dishes if you wish. First place the apple balls at the bottom of the dishes and warm gently under the grill. Place a large spoonful of the sabayon on top of the apples and put back under the grill until the sabayon turns golden brown. Place a scoop of ice cream alongside the sabayon and scatter the lemon thyme leaves over the top. Serve immediately.
Yorkshire Vintners recommends
Pedro Ximenez, Turkey Fla t, Barossa Valley, Australia. An am
berâ€“coloured sweet wine wit h citrus flavours and hints of coffee and car amel, this will easily stand up to the stem ging er ice cream, and it will also complement the app les. A rare grape in Australia - it is found mor e often in Spain - Pedro Ximenez also works very well poured over ice cream . 80
For further information about The Pheasant Hotel call 01439 771241 or visit www.thepheasanthotel.com. Yorkshire Vintners are at www.yorkshirevintners.co.uk.
DEANSBURY KITCHENS LTD Makers of Bespoke Kitchens & Bedrooms
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Unit 1A, Standard Court, Standard Way Industrial Estate, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 2XA Tel: 01609 775383 W: www.deansburykitchens.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Ripon Enjoy some Christmas cheer this winter. Christmas Lunches Mondays-Thursdays, 5-22 December, 12pm-1.30pm Christmas Theatre Thursday 8 & 15 December, 7.30pm Traditional Christmas Evening Saturday 10 & 17 December, 6pm-10.30pm
China Syndrome Tennants valuer Adam Schoon gives Ian Henry an insight into Qing dynasty porcelain.
n the popular imagination Chinese ceramics is inextricably entwined with the idea of the ‘priceless Ming vase’. But it was during the Qing dynasty that oriental porcelain first started appearing in the West in significant quantities, and it is Qing dynasty items that account for most of the fine Chinese porcelain coming up for auction in the UK today. Adam Schoon, ceramics expert at Tennants, introduced me to some of the beautiful Qing ceramic pieces due to come under the 84
hammer at the firm’s Leyburn auction house – along with one significant item from outside the period, of which more later. The Qing dynasty began in 1644 and lasted until 1912. The Qing emperors replaced the potentates of the Ming dynasty, which finally fell apart in 1644, following decades of civil chaos. The ancient porcelain-making city of Jingdezhen – “China’s Stoke-on-Trent”, as Adam describes it – suffered badly during these upheavals, and the quality of its output
plummeted. Fortunately for Jingdezhen, the Qing emperor Kangxi, who ruled from 1661 to 1722, resolved to restore the city’s ceramics industry to its former glory. Under his supervision Jingdezhen soon began producing exceptional porcelain again, both for domestic consumption and, increasingly, export to the West. That Jingdezhen was very much back in form by the start of the 18th century is demonstrated by the first piece Adam shows me: a ginger-jar-shaped vase dating from around 1700. To the grandees of Jacobean England – and you would have had to be extremely wealthy to own an imported piece like this – the vibrant colours and exquisite craftsmanship would have seemed almost miraculous. The vase’s exuberant imagery – delicate blooms, lush fruit, gnarled branches and exotic birds – would also have captured the European imagination. Pieces like this offered glimpses of a distant, magical land, where everything was unfamiliar. To create the vase’s unprecedented range of colours – deep pinks, subtle yellows, fresh greens, smouldering aubergine purples – required a familiarity with the properties of metallic oxides and a lengthy series of carefully regulated high-temperature firings. No potter in Europe at the time could reproduce these hues, so the Chinese had decisively cornered the market in top-end ceramics.
Even without its lid – it acquired a carved wooden replacement in the 19th century – the vase remains a valuable piece today. It is due to be sold at the Tennants Autumn Catalogue Sale in November with an auction estimate of £500 to £700. Although they were capable of producing a rainbow of exciting new colour effects, Qing potters could also make stylish use of a more restrained palette. The next piece – a graceful, panelled vase – is decorated solely in blue and white, highlighted with stipples and dashes of reddish ochre. The simple colour scheme is well chosen, allowing the viewer to focus on the masterful way the vase has been painted. The panel that immediately draws the eye depicts a serene Chinese landscape enclosed by precipitous mountains, but the many smaller panels are equally engaging. Their subjects include a jay descending a flowering branch and a charming vignette of a crab contemplating a vase of flowers. On its base the vase carries marks indicating that it was made in the reign of the Kangxi emperor, but Adam thinks it probably belongs to the reign of the Qianlong emperor (1735 to 1796). “Chinese makers often put earlier reign marks on their work, not to deceive but out of respect to the work of previous generations,” he explains. “When dating Chinese ceramics, you can’t give much credence to the marks. Usually they’re the last thing I look at.” His auction estimate is £800 to £1,200. 85
The next piece is a hefty, bottle-shaped vase. The brushwork lacks the finesse of the previous piece, but the theme is a quintessentially Chinese one: the dragon. Winding sinuously around the body of the vase, this dragon is – as is traditional in Chinese art – chasing the pearl of wisdom. He is surrounded by stylised clouds, and below him stylised waves circle the base. Despite an extensive crack this vase would still make a striking statement in any interior, and is expected to fetch £600 to £800. As we saw in the case of the vase with the earlier reign marks, Chinese ceramicists frequently referred to the past – often the distant past. Nowhere is this more evident than in the next item, a pair of elegant ‘gu’ vases decorated with subtly tinted fruit and foliage. In the 1740s, when it was made, the glazing and enamelling techniques were bang up to date, but in terms of their shape the vases are porcelain copies of the ‘gu’, a wine vessel in use around 1,600 BC.
peak of their skill can be seen in the final Qing piece we look at, a plate bearing the marks – in this instance probably accurate – of the Jiaqing emperor (1796 to 1820). With its multicoloured flowers and butterflies surrounding a red and gold dragon, it seems a little gaudy to the modern eye. Technically proficient it may be, but by the time it was produced Western porcelain makers had become equally adept, and the Jingdezhen potters were no longer ahead of the game. But the skills that created this plate (valued at £300 to £500) are still thriving in the East today – which can be something of a headache for Adam and other lovers of fine Chinese ceramics. The final item Adam shows me is a reproduction of the Qianlong era vase that hit the headlines last year when it sold for £43m after being discovered in a London house clearance.
Items like this are especially attractive to modern Chinese purchasers keen to acquire a piece of their heritage, whereas items designed specifically for the tastes of the Western export market tend to be less appealing. Adam has put an auction value of £2,000 to £3,000 on the vases, but Chinese ceramics have become increasingly difficult to value. Strong interest from overseas often means that the hammer falls for a price well over the estimate.
“It’s technically perfect,” says Adam. “Every detail – the hand-fretting, the gilding, the use of imperial yellow – is just right. In fact it’s so good that I expect it to make £500 to £800, simply on the grounds of the marvellous craftsmanship. The problem, of course, is that even experts now find it hard to distinguish between historic pieces and clever modern copies. And with fakers reportedly grinding down genuine old porcelain to incorporate into the clay used to fire reproductions, even chemical tests may one day struggle to give a definitive answer.”
As the Qing dynasty wore on, Chinese potters developed ever more vibrant colours. The
For details of forthcoming auctions at Tennants visit www.tennants.co.uk.
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DalesLife A TASTe OF YORkSHiRe
To book space in the Spring issue contact Sue Gillman Telephone: 01904 629295 Mobile: 07970 739119 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.daleslife.com
From Leeds to London for ÂŁ8,400 Our Specialists are out and about around the County this month For further information or to make an appointment for a free verbal auction valuation please contact 0113 234 5755 email@example.com Sir Terry Frost R.A. Watercolour abstract consigned locally and sold in London for ÂŁ8,400 International Auctioneers and Valuers bonhams.com/leeds 87
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Christmas at Wensleydale! Come and visit our fantastic new Visitor Centre With Christmas not far away it’s time to order your favourites from the Wensleydale Creamery and Visitor Centre. Our brand new specialist cheese shop gives you the opportunity to sample all of our cheeses before you buy, plus you can try our Calvert’s Restaurant or the ‘1897’ Coffee Shop.
Order Online You can now order our popular cheeses including our Real Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries, Jervaulx Blue and our classic waxed cheese truckles plus many more from our online shop at www.wensleydale.co.uk
Christmas Shopping Nights On Tuesday 29th November and Wednesday 7th December between 5pm-9pm you can get all your Wensleydale presents and see our fantastic range of desirable gifts. Acclaimed chef Sarah Muir from the Arches Cookery School will host seasonal cookery demonstrations at 6.45pm, 7.30pm and 8.15pm. Why not make a night of it and enjoy some tasty home-made dishes in our Calvert’s Restaurant!
Don’t miss out on everything Wensleydale...visit us today. Open 7 days 10am - 4pm. Winter opening times may vary. FREE Parking. Coach parties and groups welcome*. We do not make cheese every day, so please phone to check before departure.
Wensleydale Creamery & Visitor Centre, Gayle Lane, Hawes, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire DL8 3RN. firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01969 667664. *By prior arrangement
Excludes alcohol and promotional items.
diary Compiled by Elaine Pollard
Harewood Pavilion Leeds Telephone 01797 252030 email@example.com www.harewoodfair.com
Luxury Antiques and Fine Art Fair Friday 27 – Sunday 29 January 2012 Tickets £5 This spectacular new event features around 30 exhibitors who will be displaying town and country furniture, contemporary and antique paintings, sculpture, rugs, silver, glass, antique and designer jewellery, and objets d’art. The fair is being held in association with RollsRoyce Motor Cars Manchester and will raise money for two charities – St George’s Crypt in Leeds and Huntington’s Disease Association.
Bacchante et l'Amour signed gilded bronze by Jean Leon Gerome, c1897
Santa at Swinton
Wednesday 21 December. £5 per child, including Christmas gift. Proceeds in aid of Acorns Pre-School, Masham
Telephone 01765 680900 www.swintonpark.com
Christmas Lunch 5 – 23 December. £25 per guest (Sunday lunches excluded). Join us for a three-course festive lunch in Samuel’s restaurant or in one of our private dining rooms (depending on group size). The lunch includes coffee and petits fours.
One of our favourite events in the year – a festive trail in the grounds and Santa’s Grotto, with refreshments and craft-making.
Party Nights £36.50 per guest (including dinner and dancing until 1am). Our party nights this year are on 15, 16, 20, 21 & 23 December, and are available to group bookings of four or more guests. 89
Festive Events at Swinton Park
Party Pick Me Up
28th November - 8th January* Recharge your batteries in our spa with a luxury day package that includes a Detoxifying Marine Mud Wrap and Lymphatic Full Body Massage, an hour in the spa, lunch, wholesome smoothies and a [comfort zone] goody bag. £125 per person.
28th November - 8th January* Let our red carpet spa party treatment restore your sparkle with a Glorious Skin Facial, Jessica GELeration manicure and a Touch of Colour make up using our wonderful Daniel Sandler products. £100 per person. *Christmas and New Year excluded
Wednesday 21st December 11.00am – 3.00pm One of our favourite events in the year, run by Acorn’s Pre-School in Masham – a festive trail in the grounds and Santa’s Grotto, with refreshments and craft making. £5 per child, including Christmas gift. (Proceeds in aid of Acorns Pre-School, Masham).
Christmas Lunch 5th – 23rd December Three course lunch in the best of tradition. £25 per person (includes coffee & petit fours – Sunday Lunch excluded).
Festive Afternoon Tea 5th – 23rd December Treat family and friends to an afternoon celebration. £18 per person (£10 children 12yrs and under).
Party Nights 15/16/20/21/23 December Dinner, dancing and all the trimmings for a night to remember. £36.50 per guest and include dinner with coffee and petit fours and dancing until 1:00am. Special accommodation rate of £99/room B&B on 23rd December.
Swinton Park, Masham, Ripon HG4 4JH www.swintonpark.com 01765 680900
Glisten, Glitter and Glow – Snowflakes
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Near Ripon
Make your own Christmas decorations for the trees or to take home. Drop-in self-led activities in Swanley Grange.
Telephone 01765 608888, 643197/8 www.fountainsabbey.org.uk
Christmas Music and Lights Saturdays & Sundays, 26 November – 18 December, 3.30 - 5pm. Normal admission applies Christmas is coming! Get into the festive spirit with a visit to this magical winter wonderland. Enjoy seasonal music in the floodlit abbey ruins and see the trees twinkling with light.
Various dates in December, 11am – 3pm. Normal admission applies
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Thursday 8 December, 7.30pm. £12 per person. Booking essential. Festive theatre for all to enjoy – a great start to the season for the whole family. Pre-theatre suppers available.
Carols by Candlelight Sunday 11 December, 3pm. Normal admission applies Enjoy a traditional carol service in the abbey with candles for children.
Fountains Abbey 91
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Bedale Winter Festival Telephone Winter Festival & Ice Skating: 01677 427627 BBQ Bash: 01677 427557
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust at the Spirit of Christmas Exhibition Wetherby Racecourse Telephone 01524 251004 www.ydmt.org Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 November, 10am – 4pm. Free entry, parking £6 per car. Visit the YDMT stall for Christmas gifts, calendars and cards with a conscience. There will also be plenty of other stalls selling gifts, decorations and novelties, so come along and get into the spirit of Christmas! This fabulous photo by Steve Finch is the January image from YDMT’s Slimline 2012 calendar, which will be available to buy at the Spirit of Christmas event.
Friday 3 December, 10am – 5pm. Christmaslight switch on at 5.30pm. Ice skating: £5 for half an hour or £7 on the day. Book your time-slot now. Evening BBQ Bash: £20 (over 16s only). Bedale is all set to host the most exciting festive treat of the year. In addition to the independent boutiques and restaurants on the high street, Bedale Hall will be full of fabulous food, drink and gift stalls, making Christmas-present shopping a pleasure. A fun-packed day for families is on offer with story-time trails around Bedale Park, a visit to Santa’s grotto for the little ones, free face-painting, Christmas-story readings in the library and – the icing on the Christmas cake – a skating rink outside Bedale Hall. Then, why not top it all off with the festive BBQ Bash in Bedale Hall? With bar and disco, rodeo bull and ice-skating, don your winter boots and sparkly tops and kick the party season off in style!
Image© Steve Finch
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Enjoy A Festive Christmas Of Yesteryear
Open Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th December 2011 Over 100 traditional market stalls • New for 2011 Market Street of festive food and drink stalls • New for 2011 Christmas craft marquee • Fantastic range of traditional Victorian Christmas entertainment • Enchanting Father Christmas procession with real live reindeer • Father Christmas and sleigh • Children’s Christmas Tree Festival • Great range of festive group packages available
The festival is open daily from 10am – 5pm.* *Extended to 7pm Thursday 1st December only.
Free admission. The country shopping village offers a range of retail shops, restaurants and ample free coach parking.
Telephone: Kayleigh on (01765) 635321 for our Dickensian Festival Brochure or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lightwater Country Shopping Village, North Stainley, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3HT. So easy to find, just off the A6108, North of Ripon. Telephone: 01765 635321
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A unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created in a four-acre walled garden in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
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Call 015242 51004 or visit www.ydmt.org @VYRZOPYL+HSLZ4PSSLUUP\T;Y\Z[^VYR [VZ\WWVY[[OLLU]PYVUTLU[WLVWSL HUKLJVUVT`PU[OL@VYRZOPYL+HSLZ *OHYP[`5V
Come and meet Father Christmas 4th, 11th and 18th December from 10am until dusk Open Sundays until Christmas Monday - Saturday 12 noon until 6pm Sundays and bank holidays 10am - 6pm Holiday accommodation now available. Please telephone 01969 640638 for further details. www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk
Admission is by pre-booked tickets only To reserve your ticket please telephone 01969 640638 / 01969 640687 We look forward to seeing you 95
Hot Shots The stunning images of Richmond photographer Ian Short
here are some photographers who specialise in wildlife studies, and others who concentrate on landscape. Ian Short is a rare example of a photographer who excels at both. With their rich colours and simple but precisely balanced compositions, his images have an impact, immediacy and charm that comes from decades of dedication to his craft. Ian has been obsessed with photography since he was a teenager, and he has been a professional lensman for more than a decade. His past experience as a geography teacher in County Durham also stands him in good stead. “Sometimes pictures are fortuitous,” he says, “but usually I set out with a fairly good idea of
what kind of image I would like to get. In early spring, for example, I know that a cold weather front will bring a big sky, dramatic clouds and bright, sharp light – and I know which locations will show up to best advantage in those conditions. So a working knowledge of meteorology and geology can come in very handy.” From his home in Richmond, Ian is well placed to capture the stark beauty of Swaledale. His cleverly composed photographs of Richmond Castle and of the nearby 18th-century Culloden Tower were taken just a few hundred yards from his front door during last year’s punishing winter. His striking image of sheep in a snowy landscape, with its luscious splash of bright sunlight and pink-tinted cloudscape, was taken on the old road that winds over the bleak, bare hills between Richmond and Marske – and so was his
delicately minimalist study of skeletal trees on a wintry slope. “Bad weather is an excellent time to be out and about taking photos,” he says. As well as working in the Dales, Ian also takes regular photographic trips to Speyside and the North West of Scotland. It was during one of these forays that he captured the remarkable image of the red squirrel reproduced in this article. “A friend of mine who lives on an estate in the Cairngorms has been attracting squirrels to various parts of the forest for years,” he explains. “If you go out at certain times of day and sit very quietly then quite often the squirrels will come, sometimes three or four at once.” The result of Ian’s patience is a whole series of intimate studies of these endearing – and threatened – little
woodland creatures, many of which Ian has donated to conservation charities like the Red Squirrel Survival Trust and Red Alert North England for use as greetings cards and in promotional literature.
starting to pair off and are feeling especially combative, you’ll find that they won’t fly off as quickly as they might normally do. I wound down my car window and propped my telephoto lens on the sill to take this shot.”
Ian’s portrait of the grouse was taken closer to home, on the high moors between Langthwaite, in Arkengarthdale, and Low Row, in Swaledale. “If you drive this road very slowly at certain times of year, in particular when the grouse are
Other pictures, like the marvellous image of the robin on a snow-dusted wire fence, are the result of quick reactions rather than forward planning. “The photograph was taken, appropriately enough, on Christmas Day,” says Ian.
“I went outside to fetch some logs and the robin just popped up. I dashed inside to get my camera, and luckily the robin was still there by the time I got back.”
imaging skills. Ian, always generous with his knowledge and experience, also gives talks to a wide variety of organisations, both locally and further afield.
Photographers who are keen to develop their camera skills will be interested to hear that Ian offers photography workshops, usually on a one-to-one basis. He guides participants on a sixhour photography trip into Swaledale, and this excursion is followed up with a second six-hour session on digital
And for those whose interest in photography is confined to enjoying the results, prints of Ian’s work – signed and custom-printed to archive quality – are available to buy. But beware: each image is strictly limited to an edition of 25, so you’ll need to act fast if you want to secure your favourite!
To see more of Ianâ€™s photographs visit www.ianshortphotography.co.uk, alternatively, call Ian direct on 01748 821128.
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BEAUTY SPOT Jessica Powell from A VITA answers your questions about Alexandrite laser hair removal Unwanted hair can be a problem for all of us, men and women alike, but it’s a subject that most people are embarrassed to talk about. Over the years there have been any number of different treatments on the market, many of them painful and very few of them offering a permanent solution. Now there’s a new option, Alexandrite laser hair-removal, and it claims to be the best so far. What’s the difference between Alexandrite laser hair removal and other laser hair removal treatments? The Alexandrite laser is the most effective laser on the market. It is far more effective than the IPL system that many other salons use, and which is much weaker. Our Alexandrite laser treatments are faster and have substantially better results. Although they may initially be more expensive than IPL, they can end up being more economical in the long run. Do you need special training to operate the Alexandrite laser? Yes. The Alexandrite laser is a Class 4 medical laser and can only be operated by a specially trained and qualified nurse. Here at A VITA that’s our Co-Director Karen Peel. So what’s the science behind it? Energy from the laser is absorbed by melanin, the pigment that gives colour to human hair. The laser heats up the hair, and this heat is conducted down the hair shaft to the hair follicle. This destroys the follicle and prevents that individual hair from growing back. Is it suitable for everyone? Because the laser targets the dark pigment within the hair, laser treatment isn’t suitable for removing white, grey, blonde and red hair – in other words, the thicker and darker the hair that needs to be removed the better! Prior 105
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to starting treatment there will be a consultation session during which we check on your medical history, and we will try out the Alexandrite laser on a small test area to ensure that you don’t have any adverse reactions. Can the Alexandrite laser be used to remove facial hair? Absolutely. In fact it can be used anywhere on the body. And because it works particularly well on thicker hair, areas like the underarms are ideal for treatment. Is it just for women?
No, not at all – in fact it is becoming increasingly popular with men. And men often respond especially well to treatment, because their hair tends to be tougher and thicker.
Do I need to make any special preparations?
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It is best not to wax or pluck or shave your hair immediately before treatment. Also, because the heat of the laser is absorbed easily by dark colours, you shouldn’t have any kind of tan. So winter is an ideal time to get started, once your summer holiday tan has faded away.
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You will feel a sudden sensation on your skin like being twanged lightly with a rubber band, but it shouldn’t be particularly uncomfortable – definitely nothing like electrolysis, which can be very painful. During the treatment the machine blows cold air onto your skin to ensure that it doesn’t get overheated. After the session the treated area may temporarily look a little red, but otherwise there aren’t usually any side effects.
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How long does it take? An individual treatment session can be a surprisingly speedy process – half an hour or less. Of course most patients will require a series of treatments rather than just the one session, and we generally recommend a course of six treatments with four- to six-week intervals between each one. Following a complete course of treatments, patients may require a further session once or twice a year to remove any new hair growth. For further information about Alexandrite laser hair removal contact A VITA Medi Spa, 22 High Street, Yarm, tel. 01642 782221, www.avitayarm.co.uk. 106
How much does it cost? A course of six Alexandrite laser treatments for the upper lip costs £299. A course of six treatments for the underarms costs £375, and for the lower legs £899. During November and December, by the way, we’re offering a discount of 15% on all our hair removal packages. So now’s the ideal time to try it out!
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Professional fitting service Wedding collections Luxury sleepwear Designer swimwear, stockings and tights Mastectomy lingerie and swimwear
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Yorkshire artist Nikky Corker loves to celebrate the bright side of life 108
ome high-minded folk insist that art ought to be deadly serious, but painter Nikky Corker begs to differ. Her colourful canvases are full of fun – cheery evocations of local life and landscape that ignore art school conventions in favour of painting straight from the heart. “I was trained in all the traditional methods, and sometimes I used to want to tell people that actually I can draw ‘properly’ if I need to. But nowadays I no longer feel the need to prove myself. What I am trying to achieve through my work – to make people smile, to uplift them – is more important to me than demonstrating that I’m a good draughtsman.” “Because I’m a very positive person I can always pick up on what is amusing in a situation. I can see the funny side, even when things are serious. And one of the things I enjoy most about painting is watching people smile when they look at my work.”
Nikky was born in Cheltenham, spent her schooldays in Darlington, and returned to Cheltenham to study art. Several years ago, following a successful career teaching art and design, she decided to become a professional painter. She currently lives in Wetherby, and has a tiny gallery in Masham – The Nikky Corker Gallery – packed with her work. Nikky’s love of art dates back to childhood. “Because I suffered from dyslexia, I only excelled at creative, practical activities. I used to be constantly making things out of cardboard – whole zoos, for example, with dozens of animals and their cages. Even today I still love cardboard boxes!” Nikky’s first real breakthrough came when she hooked up with Glebe Cottage Studio, an award-winning ecofriendly publishing company in Cornwall that helped her to launch her images on greetings cards and calendars. You can now find Nikky’s work on everything from coasters to tea 109
towels, and she also sells an extensive range of open-edition and limitededition giclée prints alongside her acrylic-on-canvas original paintings. Much of Nikky’s work is inspired by the characters and scenery of the Yorkshire Dales and the North East coast, especially Whitby. “I like to tell stories in my pictures, often in the small details,” she says, “but I don’t necessarily have to use human characters to convey this or that emotion. A sheep or a cottage can express it just as well. It’s all a question of the ‘body language’. For example, in my painting Miss Masham 2011 there’s a chap awarding a sheep a red rosette, but then there’s another sheep looking disgruntled and glum, and evidently thinking ‘It should have been me!’ – which was, originally, the working title of the picture.” “I’ve always liked being an entertainer, and I’m very upbeat when I’m with people, but I also like to get lost in a world of my own. I need that element of 110
balance, so I will often go out for a walk by myself to enjoy the peace and add to the library of snapshots in my head that I use as a source for my pictures. I have to have music playing while I work: 1970s pop, classical, it doesn’t matter what. Does it influence the kind of work I do? Yes, maybe it does. When I’m listening to quieter, more reflective music then perhaps I’m more likely to produce quiet, reflective pictures, such as the more peaceful paintings in my ‘Moods’ range.” “Apart, of course, from the admin side of things – anything to do with words and numbers on paper is always a bit of a challenge – I love everything about my life as a painter. And if my work can also make a difference to somebody else’s life by brightening up their day then it’s even more worthwhile!” For more information about Nikky Corker and her work visit www.nikkycorker.com. The Nikky Corker Gallery is at 10a Church Street, Masham; call 07899 653142 to confirm opening times.
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Bookmark GIVING A BOOK AS A PRESENT, OR JUST LOOKING FOR SOME HOLIDAY READING? BRIAN PIKE PICKS SOME CRACKERS.
CRAFTING WITH CAT HAIR
‘bonkers but brilliant!’
by Kaori Tsutaya Quirk Books, paperback, £10.99
Falling squarely into the ‘bonkers but brilliant’ category, this is a book that cat owners, especially those with craft-mad teens in the household, will wonder how they ever managed without. Admittedly the range of items that you can create with your moggy’s cast-off coat is fairly limited – if you’re planning to replace the sofa covers that Tiddles has shredded then you’ll be better off at the draper’s. But what cat-hair products lack in range, they make up for in charm. One of the dinkiest is the finger-puppet shown on the cover, but there are also appliqué-decorated badges, purses, tote-bags, pincushions, trinket boxes, book covers, scarves and such. Given the Japanese passion for both cats and cutesy crafting, it comes as no surprise that the author hails from the Land of the Rising Yen – but there’s no reason why her pleasantly eccentric hobby shouldn’t catch on internationally. According to the chart on p.65, your cat is due to start shedding like crazy in early spring, so now is an ideal time to acquire this delightful little project book.
WHY ME? THE VERY IMPORTANT EMAILS OF BOB SERVANT by Neil Forsyth Birlinn, paperback, £6.99
Delete This At Your Peril was one of the funniest books I read last year, and this sequel comes close to matching it. Neil Forsyth, writing in the guise of former Dundee cheeseburger magnate Bob Servant, takes it upon himself to reply to another set of spam emails offering romance and unmissable business opportunities – and to see just how far he can push the spammers before they twig that he’s wasting their time. The answer is, in many cases, a hilariously long way. Before they know it, Bob has various dupes busy listing the names of hundreds of crew members on the imaginary tanker due to carry an imaginary shipment of oil to Scotland, advising on how to set up a church in a disused public convenience, and doctoring photographs to prove that they don’t have beards. Bob’s previous set of adventures made it onto the radio, but the radio shows were a little disappointing – for one thing they edited out most of Bob’s more colourful language – but the whole crazy project works beautifully on the printed page.
CHRIST TO COKE: HOW IMAGE BECOMES ICON by Martin Kemp OUP, hardback, £25
‘Icon’ is an overused term, but there’s no disputing the iconic status of the eleven images, items and ideas that art historian Martin Kemp discusses in this engaging, meticulously researched book. His aim is to discover what, if anything, his chosen icons have in common, and along the way he touches on any number of intriguing questions. Why is Christ, who in early pictures was shown as clean-shaven, now universally depicted with a beard and moustache? How did the Mona Lisa, the portrait of an otherwise unknown wife of a Tuscan merchant, become the most famous painting in the world? Who really designed the Stars and Stripes? Why are Coke and Pepsi drinkers so loyal to their chosen beverage, despite the fact that many of them can’t tell the difference in blind tastings? In the end, Kemp’s conclusion turns out to be something of a letdown. Fortunately, though, his journey towards it is a fascinating one, and this is a book that offers plenty of food for thought for anyone interested in art or the history of ideas. 115
SEEING TREES by Nancy Ross Hugo & Robert Llewellyn Timber Press, hardback, 18.99
Seeing trees is something that most of us do every day. The question is: how closely do we really look? In all probability, not very. Which is a pity, because – as this splendid book demonstrates – there’s a vast amount of detail and sheer beauty to be appreciated when you take the time to get up close. Robert Llewellyn’s elegant, startlingly precise photographs are indisputable proof of this. The four consecutive pages of maple leaves – no text, just 36 lusciously tinted leaves – make you want to rush out to the nearest woodland and start riffling through the discarded foliage. His studies of bark, leaf buds, flowers and fruit, along with the thoughtful, passionate text, made me vow never to pass a gingko or a walnut tree again without pausing to marvel. This book was originally published in the USA, so most of the species it focuses on are ones you’re unlikely to encounter outside a garden, park or arboretum. No matter, because the images and text are still equally inspiring, and the message – that trees deserve so much more than a casual glance – remains equally valid.
THE LOST ART OF WALKING by Geoff Nicholson Harbour Books, paperback, £8
Strange, isn’t it, that ‘pedestrian’, as well as its straightforward meaning of ‘someone who walks’, is so often used as a synonym for dull and unenterprising? Because in fact walking is probably the best – and, in many cases, the most adventurous – way to get to grips with a place. Some of the finest parts of this enjoyably meandering book tell of the author’s own exploratory wanderings: in London, with its multiple layers of history; in fast-moving, edgy, threatening New York; in sprawling Los Angeles, where walking for its own sake is still regarded as a dangerous eccentricity. Interleaved with these personal mini-travelogues are more general musings on everything from walking on water to walking on the moon, from walking as depicted on film and in songs to walking as art, walking the catwalk, walking as therapy and walking round the world. Considering the amount of ground it covers, an index would have been helpful, but that’s my only complaint. By turns funny, informative and insightful, this is the perfect book to dip into when you put your feet up after a day’s strolling. 116
THE ELEMENTS: A VISUAL EXPLORATION by Theodore Gray Black Dog & Leventhal, hardback, £19.95
Now this one is a stunner. It’s a collection of luscious photographs of virtually every element in the periodic table, along with further pictures showing some of the ways each element is – or once was – used. From iodine chewing gum to radium boot polish, from Silly Putty (it needs boron) to non-stick pans (dependent on fluorine), this is kaleidoscopic entertainment for the eyes, each image standing out starkly against a jet-black background. It’s also a striking reminder of just how many different chemical substances and processes we depend on in the modern world. The author is an obsessive hoarder of items relating to the elements, and most of the objects shown are from his own 2,300-strong collection. The pictures, rather than the text, are the main focus, but Gray writes with enthusiasm and a generous helping of humour, even managing to find interesting things to say about obscure elements like protactinium, californium and fermium. An easygoing and addictive browse, this book would make an excellent gift for anyone with even a passing interest in science.
VANISHED KINGDOMS: THE HISTORY OF HALF-FORGOTTEN EUROPE by Norman Davies Allen Lane, hardback, £30
If you’re looking for a good, meaty read for the holiday period, and you fancy sauntering down some of the less-travelled byways of the past, this could be the book for you. Histories of countries that still exist are ten a penny, but Norman Davies has taken a different tack, turning the spotlight onto onetime kingdoms, duchies, empires and republics that have disappeared from our maps. Places like the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which in the 15th century was the largest state in Europe, or the Empire of Aragon, which once dominated the Mediterranean from Eastern Spain to Southern Italy. And then there’s the Dark Age kingdom of Alt Clud, whose kings ruled the Strathclyde region until the arrival of the Vikings turned their world upside down. These are gripping stories, rich in fascinating details – and modern resonances. Davies concludes with the downfall of Soviet Russia, and leaves the reader in reflective mood. No state, it seems, can last forever. Will our own country one day end up as little more than a footnote to someone else’s history? 117
THE MAGIC OF REALITY by Richard Dawkins Bantam Press, hardback, £20
When a big-hitting scientist decides to write for the younger reader, the results can prove daddishly embarrassing. Fortunately Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist, has done a very decent job, giving simple, lucid explanations of a variety of scientific phenomena – including earthquakes, rainbows, the seasons, the atom and human evolution – that both kids and adults can learn from. The project is helped along its way by Dave McKean’s lively and endearingly grotesque illustrations. If the book has a fault, it is that Dawkins spends a bit too much time putting the boot into myth, magic and superstition. Obviously if you want your offspring to grow up into sensible, level-headed adults then this is no bad thing, and his accounts of why so many people believe in ghosts and alien abductions are enjoyable and worthwhile. Sometimes, though, it feels too much like shooting fish in a barrel, and arguably the time Dawkins spends banging on about the shortcomings of Bantu creation myths and the like might have been better spent investigating one or two more of the world’s wonders.
CONTAINER GARDENING by Kathy Brown The Crowood Press, paperback, £9.99
Sometimes when you’ve got a specific gardening project in mind it’s best to search out a book dedicated to that particular subject rather than try to extract the information from a more general guide. Whether you’ve got a tiny back yard or a huge estate, judiciously planted containers can transform your space – and now, curled up by the fireside, is just the time to start planning how. This cheerful, no-nonsense little book is full of ideas and inspiration to help you do it. It is packed with colourful photographs and clear, logical advice that will benefit both novices and experienced gardeners alike. Grasses and sedges, bedding plants, shrubs, climbers and bulbs are all covered, plus – because container gardening can be practical as well as ornamental – fruit, vegetables and herbs. Add to that a calendar of season-by-season jobs and a list of suppliers, and you’ve got all the information you need to transform your patio into a miniature Eden. My favourite idea in the book? A quirky little ‘micro garden’ made from tiny succulents planted in eggshells.
For your legal ease For help and legal advice call Bedale 01677 422422 Ripon 01765 601717 Thirsk 01845 522324 www.eccles-heddon.co.uk
Family Law (Divorce, Family & Children) Property Law (Residential & Commercial) Business Advice Employment Law Wills, Probate and Family Trusts Estate Planning
FAMILY LAW CLINIC We run a family law clinic once a week at our Bedale and Ripon offices. Please telephone Jane Midgley at Bedale or Liz Kidd or Sandra Windross at Ripon to book a FREE 30-minute consultation.
Lasting Powers of Attorney Advising the Elderly Farming & Agriculture Dispute Resolution
SOLAR PV PANELS • Reduce your Electricity bill • Reduce your Carbon footprint • Your home could generate up to £1800 per year TAX FREE • Increase the value of your home • Excellent feed in tariff at 43p • No planning permission required in most cases
DalesLife A TASTe OF YORkSHiRe
We are looking for distribution agents Positions available throughout Yorkshire. Excellent rates paid
For further information please contact
DDR Solar Ltd Telephone 01969 622260 Mobile 07708 023716 www.ddrsolar.co.uk
Telephone: 01904 629295 Mobile: 07970 739119 email: email@example.com www.daleslife.com
Rated a Excellen s t by CQC
A famil y business that cares Residential & Day Care Home for Elderly People The Millings, 5 North End, Bedale, North Yorks DL8 1AF. Tel: 01677 423635 www.residential-homes.net Winner of the ICG 2008 Great North Care Awards Best Care Employer 120
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A.J.Hicks Domestic Plumbing Services For all your domestic plumbing needs Fast, friendly, reliable service. 24hr service NO CALL OUT CHARGE Are you having difficulty finding a plumber? Are they always too busy to deal with the little jobs? Bathrooms fitted Tiling work Call Andy Hicks Tel: 01677 450309 Mob: 07845 936064 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
No job too small!!! Kingfisher Forest and Moorland Services Quality seasoned hardwood logs for sale. All aspects of treework undertaken.
Contact: John Drummond Tel: 01969 625821 Mobile: 07810 098827 Near Leyburn, Wensleydale 122
The Wensleydale House Doctor Home Improvement Specialist • Interior & Exterior Painting • Interior Decorating • Tiling • Plumbing • Plastering • Flooring (including laminate) • Kitchens and bathrooms fitted
No job too small BOOKINGS NOW BEING TAKEN FOR ALL YOUR DECORATING NEEDS
Tel: 01677 450810 Hunton, Bedale, North Yorkshire www.wensleydalehousedoctor.co.uk
B E S P O K E J O I N E RY
Designers, Manufacturers and Installers of Quality Traditional & Contemporary Architectural Joinery
For a free brochure and quotation call us on Harrogate: 01423 524470 Leyburn: 01969 623020 Moor Park, Moor Road, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5LA e: email@example.com w: www.bikerbespokejoinery.co.uk
Paul Rutter BSc(Hons) MC Optom
Optometrist and contact lens practitioner
We offer quality eyecare for all the family Relaxed and friendly atmosphere NHS and private patients welcome Full range of contact lenses available Extensive range of frames Home visits available Personal service Digital retinal photography now available
7 Southend, Bedale Telephone 01677 424142
PREMIERE CARE (NE) LTD Awarded a 3 star rating = excellent by the Care Quality Commission in 2009
Premiere Care will enable you to live at home with the help of an experienced carer. We provide a flexible service to suit your individual needs. For detailed information please contact Ursula Bussey. Thornborough Hall, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5AB Telephone: 01969 622499 Mobile: 07802 712366 124
Hillcrest Care Home
Dedicated to quality care • Handpicked staff • New management • New experienced owners • Totally refurbished • Value for money • Home cooked quality meals
At Hillcrest we believe in giving all our residents the quality, care and respect that they deserve. We deliver this with our team of dedicated staff that all have empathy and passion for the care they give. Hillcrest has undergone a major refurbishment by the new owners, giving the home a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The only way to really appreciate the high level of care offered at Hillcrest is to arrange a visit for yourself.
Call Hillcrest’s manager Nicola Cooper to arrange a visit at a time to suit you on 01748 834444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hillcrest, Byng Road, Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, DL9 4DW
The Old Bakery, Mercury Road, Gallowfields Trading Estate, Richmond Warehouse/Industrial unit Self contained warehouse with office space • 8,783 sq ft incorporating 2,199 sq ft of office space • Thriving trading estate location • Close proximity to the A1 and A66 • Large staff parking area • 3 Roller doors for vehicular access Guide Price £20,000pa Bedale - 01677 425301
& Co. E67 1886
“For Sales In The Dales”
6$/(6/(77,1*6&200(5&,$/ L$1' & P523(57< S3(&,$/,6763(5621$/ & P52)(66,21$/ S(59,&( Residential Buying, Selling & Letting. Commercial Sales & Leases. Holiday Property. Overseas Property. Business Transfers. Acquisitions. Valuations. Surveys. Mortgage Advice. Inheritance Planning. Property & Antique Auctions. Removals, Collections & Deliveries. 01729 825311 Bentham 015242 63739 Settle +DZHV London 02072 980305 Leyburn 01969 622936 )D[ 0845 2802213
C H A RT E R E D S U RV E YO R S • E S TAT E AG E N T S • P RO P E RT Y AU C T I O N E E R S • VA L U E R S • L A N D AG E N T S
The Lodge Thornton Steward, Ripon
Magnificent Four Bedroom Country House. Charming One Bedroom Cottage. Delightful Mature Gardens with Tree Lined Drive. All Beautifully set in a compact ring fence extending to 6.15 Acres approx. Best & Final Offers Are Invited By 12 Noon on 5th December 2011.
Delightful Stone Built House with 1 Acre Paddock. Two/Three Bedroom Accommodation. Beautiful South Facing Garden. Spectacular View Over Surrounding Countryside. Desirable Village Location.
Offers In Excess Of £850,000
Offers In Excess Of £325,000
Peter Hill & Nelly Bowes Cottage Hutton Rudby
Croft House | Newbiggin In Bishopdale, Leyburn
Littleburn | Thoralby, Leyburn
Substantial Attractive Detached House With Four Bedrooms. Spacious First Class Accommodation. Delightful Mature Gardens And Integral Garage. Stunning Village Location With Panoramic Views.
Magnificent Country House In Need Of Some Refurbishment. Situated In 7 Acres Gardens and Grounds. Stunning Rural Location.
£330,000 - £350,000
If you are thinking of selling your property please contact Tim Gower MRICS for a FREE Market Appraisal
Bedale 01677 425950
Leyburn 01969 622800
When a relationship breaks down, it can be a confusing and emotional time. It touches every area of your life â€“ your family, children, finances, home and business. At Kirbys, we have a specialist team of family lawyers who can advise and assist you.
Family and Matrimonial
You will find a professional yet sensitive approach, offering you practical legal advice to help you make the best decisions for you and your family. All our family solicitors are members of Resolution, a national association of family lawyers which promotes dealing with matters in a nonconfrontational manner. As collaborative lawyers we offer an alternative approach to resolving family disputes. We can give you advice on all aspects of divorce and dissolution proceedings, including the division of the family assets. We will help you to agree matters with your ex-partner through discussion and negotiation. In some cases the court process is a useful format in which to negotiate an agreement and we will support and represent you in court proceedings if appropriate. We recognise that no two cases are alike and we will respond to your own particular situation. 4PMJDJUPST
For more information please call 01423 542000 or email email@example.com 32 Victoria Avenue Harrogate HG1 5PR
Great places to eat and stay in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. THE GEORGE AT WATH
THE QUEEN’S HEAD
Just over three miles from the city of Ripon, you will find The George at Wath, a traditional country inn serving a mouth-watering menu using locally sourced, fresh, seasonal produce. We also offer an excellent choice of fine wines, many by the glass and a selection of local cask ales. Luxury en-suite accommodation, private dining, beer garden and function room available. tel: 01765 641324 www.thegeorgeatwath.co.uk
The Queen's Head is a charming, characteristic country inn dating from the 1700s, set in the attractive village of Finghall. near Leyburn. It offers comfortable modern accommodation and a traditional, cosy bar. Manager and head chef Ian Vipond has devised a fresh, new menu for the restaurant, based around tasty local and seasonal produce. Traditional bar snacks are also available. With original oak beams and a dining room that looks out over the woods, The Queen’s Head combines great food with a genuinely warm welcome. tel: 01677 450259 www.queensfinghall.co.uk.
VENNELL’S RESTAURANT Now in its fifth year, Jon Vennell's cooking continues to impress with many major accolades and awards under his belt. Jon's wife, Laura, is front of house and has a relaxed, friendly approach which is probably why customers keep coming back to sample the seasonally changing menu. Even Claudia Blake gave a flawless review. Vennell's holds many events throughout the year. See the website for further details. tel: 01765 689000 www.vennellsrestaurant.co.uk THE SANDPIPER INN Enjoy Jonathan Harrison’s unique cuisine in the traditional surroundings of the Sandpiper Inn, Leyburn. Modern British food prepared using only the finest ingredients. Fine wines, real ales and friendly service. Accommodation is available. tel: 01969 622206 www.sandpiperinn.co.uk
STONE HOUSE HOTEL Stone House Hotel is an elegant, country residence dating from 1908. It is just a short drive from the bustling market town of Hawes. With its cosy bar, library-cum-billiard room and panelled Oak Room, Stone House makes a great place to relax. Enjoy delicious, locally sourced traditional food from breakfast through to dinner, and choose from an extensive list of fine wines. There are three spacious and romantic four-poster suites, and five ground-floor conservatory bedrooms that open directly onto the lawns, popular with dog owners and guests who aren’t keen on stairs. tel: 01969 667571 www.stonehousehotel.co.uk 129
THE MALT SHOVEL
HENDERSONS BAR & RESTAURANT
The Malt Shovel in Brearton, ten minutes north of Harrogate, is a lovely old country pub with a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Jὕrg and Jane Bleiker, founders of Bleiker’s Smokehouse and formerly of the Old Deanery in Ripon, specialise in fresh fish and home-smoked foods. The Malt Shovel holds occasional Opera with Dinner Evenings, and there will be a Christmas Opera with Dinner on Monday 19th December. With a comprehensive list of interesting wines and well-cared-for hand-pulled ales, The Malt Shovel is definitely worth a visit. tel: 01423 862929 www.themaltshovelbrearton.co.uk
Set in the idyllic riverside surroundings of Westholme Estate in Bishopdale near Aysgarth, Hendersons is a bright, stylish, relaxed bar and bistro-style restaurant with a contemporary feel. Using local and home-grown produce, talented head chef Andy Brooks creates Modern British cuisine, drawing on his wealth of experience from restaurants throughout London and the Midlands. Westholme Estate, Aysgarth. tel: 01969 663268 SWINTON PARK HOTEL An elegant, 30 bedroom luxury castle hotel. With four Red Stars (Inspector’s Choice) and three Rosettes awarded by the AA for excellent facilities, this is one of the most highly rated hotels in Yorkshire. Award-winning cuisine is served in the sumptuously furnished dining room, using seasonal produce sourced from the hotel’s fouracre walled garden and surrounding estate. tel: 01765 680900 www.swintonpark.com YOREBRIDGE HOUSE Just outside the unspoilt village of Bainbridge in Upper Wensleydale, AA five-star hotel Yorebridge House offers sumptuous rooms and a relaxing atmosphere in an attractive riverside setting. The stylish 2 AA Rosette bar and restaurant feature an exciting Modern British menu created by Head Chef Aaron Craig and his team, using the very best of local fresh produce. tel: 01969 652060 www.yorebridgehouse.co.uk THE BLUE LION Regarded as one of the North’s leading country inns. The ‘candlelit restaurant’ provides a stunning setting in which to enjoy a gourmet meal. All food is freshly prepared using a variety of Yorkshire produce. There is an extensive wine list to choose from. The bar, with its open fire and flagstone floor, offers a tantalising range of bar meals, as well as a fine selection of traditional hand-pulled beers. tel: 01969 624273 www.thebluelion.co.uk THE WHITE SWAN Overlooking Middleham’s picturesque market square and boasting lovely rural views, the White Swan is now a premier town-house hotel with superb facilities. Originally a coaching inn retaining many original features, the hotel has been extended and refurbished offering 17 excellent bedrooms. The brasserie offers a range of mouth-watering meals, all freshly prepared. tel: 01969 622093 www.whiteswanhotel.co.uk
THE WHITE BEAR The White Bear is situated in the beautiful market town of Masham. A team of talented chefs use locally sourced ingredients to create delicious, seasonal dishes. Enjoy your meal in the charming dining room or the traditional bar; open fires create a cosy atmosphere throughout. An extensive wine list complements the menu. Accommodation is available in fourteen individually designed rooms all en suite. tel: 01765 689319 www.thewhitebearhotel.co.uk THE COUNTRYMAN’S INN A traditional country pub, with four wellequipped, comfortable en-suite bedrooms. You are assured of a warm welcome, with good beer, good food and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The restaurant offers a wide selection of locally sourced and freshly prepared food to suit all tastes and budgets. The bar offers a selection of four caskconditioned ales, three of which are brewed within 10 miles of the pub. tel. 01677 450554 www.countrymansinn.co.uk THE BLACK SHEEP BREWERY The Black Sheep Brewery Visitor Centre – situated in Masham, is the ideal place for a great day or evening out. You can take a tour of the Brewery, have a meal in the Bistro, and taste their award-winning beers at the ‘Baa…r’. You can also buy lots of goodies from the wellstocked Sheepy Shop. It offers a ‘ewe-nique’ venue for corporate entertaining, product launches, parties and weddings. tel: 01765 680101 www.blacksheepbrewery.com 130
Love Quality Love Dave Hudspeth Carpets
Beacon Garage Catterick Road CATTERICK GARRISON DL9 4RZ
Unit 7, Badger Court Harmby Road LEYBURN DL8 5BF
Unit 3, Standard Court Standard Way Ind. Est. NORTHALLERTON DL6 2XA
01609 780003 131