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Christmas 2008

DalesLife CHRISTMAS 2008

CELEBRATE Yorkshire’s favourite free magazine


Deck the Halls


INDULGENT RECIPES from Michel Roux DalesLife


by Sarah Raven

The difference is in the making


PLEASE ASK FOR OUR COMPLIMENTARY BROCHURE, TELEPHONE: 01969 624274 Showroom: Belle Vue Offices, Market Place, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5AW Visit our website: Open: Monday to Friday 9am-5.30pm and Saturday 10am-1pm


THE EDITOR’S LETTER I love Christmas. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t intend to let all the current doom and gloom about the economy spoil it. What I would like to say, though, is that when times are challenging it is our local businesses that need and deserve our support. Pretty much everything you could need for the festive season can be found right here in the Dales, so why drive miles to some soulless out-of-town shopping centre?


The key to successful Christmas shopping is to plan ahead and avoid the mad panic in mid-December. Need some inspiration? Turn to our Christmas Emporium feature on p.74 for a round-up of great gift ideas and fine foods from local independent suppliers.

For more ideas for presents, take a look at our specially-extended ‘Bookmark’ feature on p.108. Here Brian Pike reports on a wide-ranging selection of recently published books. Some would make ideal gifts — others you’ll want to curl up with yourself ! To help you with the season’s entertaining, we have some hearty Scandinavian recipes on p.36, plus some indulgent desserts from top chef Michel Roux on p.44. To accompany these recipes, Christine Austin’s recommendations for festive drinking can be found on p.26. And you don’t necessarily have to pay a small fortune for a decent wine either — as you can see on p.81, where Ian Henry browses a selection of Aldi’s award-winning bottles. Finally, as the weather turns cold, let’s not forget our native birds. Nowadays, with their traditional countryside haunts rapidly vanishing, they are increasingly reliant on our back gardens. On p.8 Chris Baines takes a look at what you can do to help them survive and thrive. So here’s wishing Dales Life readers a wonderful Christmas, and all the very best for 2009. See you next year!

Sue Gillman

S U B S C R I B E TO DA L E S L I F E N O W - 0 1 6 7 7 4 2 5 2 1 7 3

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Offering a full interior design service and fabulous fabrics including Zoffany, Colefax & Fowler, Manuel Canovas, Mulberry and Jane Churchill Now available at THE WRIGHT DESIGN, 2 SILVER STREET, MASHAM, HG4 4DX, TELEPHONE: 01765 688180 OPEN TUESDAY


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Contents Christmas 2008

Regulars 8

BIRD WATCH How can we keep the feathered friends that visit our garden well fed? Chris Baines reports



Claudia Blake visits Yorebridge House, Bainbridge

26 ON THE GRAPEVINE Christine Austin's recommendations for festive drinking

36 SCANDINAVIAN STYLE Winter recipes with a Nordic twist by Trina Hahnemann

44 PERFECT PASTRIES Indulgent dessert recipes from Michel Roux

86 BREAKAWAY Christine Austin enjoys a family holiday in Croatia



Brian Pike takes a critical look at what's hot off the presses

115 COUNTRY DIARY Compiled by Marie Brant



Contents Features 56 TREE STORY Rose Hammick and Charlotte Packer on how to choose and decorate your Christmas tree



Brighten up your Christmas with some stunning flower arrangements. Sarah Raven shows you how

74 CHRISTMAS EMPORIUM Great gift ideas from some of our region's independent retailers

81 BOTTLES ON A BUDGET Ian Henry samples wines from Aldi

96 SKIN DEEP Sue Gillman takes a look at the latest body products

102 BRIEF ENCOUNTERS This season's exquisite lingerie collections


128 TO DINE FOR Great places to eat and stay in the Yorkshire Dales

Proprietor: Sue Gillman Tel: 01677 425217/425251 Mobile: 07970 739119 Email: Suite 2, Market Chambers, 14 Market Place, Bedale DL8 1EQ

To advertise in Dales Life contact Sue on 01677 425217/425251 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.


Editor: Sue Gillman PA to Editor: Marie Brant Deputy Editor: Brian Pike Production: Claudia Blake Advertising: Sue Gillman Art Director: Stef Suchomski Photography Director: Richard Jemison Photo Editor: Kirsty Kennedy Fashion Editor: Chloe Smith

Contributors: Chris Baines Christine Austin Brian Pike Ian Henry Claudia Blake

THE FRENCH HOUSE Antiquités Françaises

FRENCH ANTIQUES AND TEXTILES Wide range of beautiful eighteenth and nineteenth century gilt mirrors. Fantastic selection of period lighting. Antique French furniture sourced in France: beds, sofas, chairs, farmhouse tables. Opening times: 9.30am to 5.30pm Mon to Sat 74 Micklegate, York YO1 6LF, Tel: 01904 624465 41-43 Parsons Green Lane, London SW6 4HH, Tel: 020 7371 7573 Website:

Bird Watch How can we keep the feathered friends that visit our gardens well fed?

Š Laurie Campbell

Chris Baines reports.


There are more than a million acres of domestic gardens in the UK. Despite the mixed blessing of several million cats, the widespread use of chemicals, and a national tendency to be too tidy, these gardens are still the nation’s most extensive wildlife habitat resource.

Blackbird 9


n a mature residential neighbourhood, with its street trees, public parks and churchyards, each garden must seem like a wonderful woodland glade to the local wildlife. It should come as no surprise to find that almost all our favourite garden birds are actually forest species, and they have found an ideal woodland substitute in the leafy surroundings of our own domestic gardens. The natural shelter and the variety of different garden habitats underpin the ecological success of suburbia. Add to the equation lawns for worms and leather-jackets, ponds for drinking and bathing, and hedges and shrubberies to provide plenty of natural nesting sites and you have something close to birdlife heaven. But the icing on the cake comes with the great British tradition of offering extra food.

For generations we have thrown our scraps out into the back garden. I have fond childhood memories of Dad valiantly sawing coconuts in half, and Mum threading monkey nuts onto lengths of cotton to attract the more acrobatic small birds. This worked well enough until recent years, when two factors changed. Firstly the postwar rise of the grey squirrel destroyed any prospect of a string of peanuts surviving, so all kinds of robust feeding devices have been developed. The nation now spends millions on squirrel-proof feeders, in the vain hope of keeping one step ahead of these inquisitive and inventive creatures. The second change is that the bird food business has become much more sophisticated. A great deal of scientific research has identified the subtle preferences of different garden birds. For example, whilst pet shops have always sold sunflower seeds for parrots and other hard-billed cage birds, careful observation has shown that when sparrows and greenfinches are presented with a mixture of different kinds of sunflower seeds, they consistently select the black seeds and discard the striped ones. It seems the black seeds have thinner skins and a much higher fat content, so the clever birds achieve a far greater energy reward for their effort. Nowadays those same sunflower seeds are also available ready-skinned or finely chopped, and this has made them palatable for an even wider range of birds with softer beaks.




Š Laurie Campbell

Although many of our garden birds are seed eaters, some — such as wrens, robins and the various summer-visiting warblers — are not. They depend on insects and other much softer foods. Here again the bird food industry has responded with fat balls and fat bars, some of which even incorporate dried insects or dried fruit. Some bird species, most notably the various tits, are natural acrobats and able to feed whilst hanging upside down on swinging feeders. Others need the stability of a bird table or a patch of open ground. At this time of the year I try to attract the migrant redwings and fieldfares to my garden, and although they love to strip my Pyracantha of its berries, they are also very fond of the rotten pears and apples scattered on the ground. The impact of all this increased sophistication in bird feeding has been tremendous. Twenty years ago the number of different bird species that regularly fed in gardens was in the low twenties. The most recent surveys show that this number has now risen to more than eighty, and the number is still rising. Amongst the new birds are several species that used to be restricted to the open farming countryside. Perhaps the most spectacular of these success stories is the goldfinch. This colourful, musical bird is a seed eater, and in the wild it thrives where thistles and teasels are found in abundance. Such weeds have become relatively rare in the intensively farmed countryside but, as anyone who has splashed out on Niger seed will know, the fabulous gold, black and scarlet goldfinches find these thistle seed substitutes irresistible, and now seem to have adopted gardens as their habitat of choice. Attracting birds in concentrated numbers does bring some extra risks. The smaller birds become a relatively easy target for larger predators, so it is wise to position your feeders beyond the leaping distance of the local cats, but close enough to trees, shrubs or climbers for your feathered friends to fly for cover when alarm calls announce the arrival of a sparrowhawk.


The Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on the last weekend in January every year. To add your own garden birds to the national database, register at



Š Laurie Campbell

There is also an increased risk of birds spreading disease when large numbers of them share feeders. Hygiene is important, and it makes good sense to move the feeding station every few weeks if you can. Provide a shallow dish of fresh, clean drinking water alongside the food, and even the most urban of inner city backyards and balconies will spring into life. Autographed copies of Chris Baines’ bestselling classic How to Make a Wildlife Garden are available for £19.99 including p&p. Send a cheque payable to Chris Baines to PO Box 35, Wolverhampton, WV1 4XJ.

Sparrow and Greenfinch 14

If you have the space to offer trees, shrubs and habitat that is free from pesticides and rich in insect life, so much the better. Then your garden will add to the mosaic of habitats that makes towns and villages so important for enjoying and conserving wildlife in the UK. Life

An exquisite collection of lingerie and nightwear now available

Buy online from Free postage and packing 11 High Street, Leyburn Tel: 01969 622102

S i m on s t on e H a l l perfect for any occasion!

Simonstone Hall,Simonstone,Hawes DL8 3LY Tel:01969 667255

We have a formal restaurant,or a brasserie style menu in the Orangery/Bar.Looking for somewhere to host a family party? Come and have a look at our beautiful period private dining room where you can choose whatever style of menu would suit your occasion! Come and try our very popular Sunday Carvery with a two course lunch for £10.50 choosing from a selection of starters or desserts with 3 traditional roasts,a fish or vegetarian option – whilst enjoying some stunning views of the dales! Weddings and functions are our speciality and our very experienced team will ensure you have the day of your dreams whether its a small intimate gathering or a grand gala event! We are open to non-residents for Christmas Day lunch - please contact us for details of menus and prices

Christmas at The Black Swan Hotel MIDDLEHAM We are now taking bookings for Christmas and the New Year in the Cygnet Restaurant. Christmas Eve Dinner 3 course £30.00 Christmas Day Lunch 4 course £45.00 Boxing Day Lunch 3 course £19.95 New Year’s Eve Dinner including a glass of Champagne & party poppers £40 Why not have your office/friends Christmas Party here at The Black Swan. We can cater for parties from 2 people up to 40 people. Monday to Friday evenings in December 1st – 18th. Please book early for Christmas and New Year’s Eve Dinner as we have a limited availability. Call Sally, Ian or Kevin to book your party. Don’t forget our Special deals!! Early bird menu 6pm to 7pm 2 course £10.95. The Black Swan Hotel Market Place, Middleham, North Yorkshire DL8 4NP Tel: 01969 622221 Email: 16

During November, bring along your copy of the Dales Life magazine, to receive a complimentary bottle of wine with every three course meal for two. Advanced bookings are advised.

Join us for the festive season in our superb restaurant

Delicious home-cooked food Christmas bookings now being taken

Individually designed spacious rooms in contemporary English style

Taste... Stylish dining, private parties, some of the finest food, service and hospitality around.

Newly awarded AA rosette for food Fully licenced Dinner 7.00pm-9.30pm Lunch 12.00pm-2.30pm Teas, coffees - all day Stay... Eight en-suite guest rooms, individually furnished, comfortable and well equipped.

59-61 FRENCHGATE . RICHMOND. DL10 7AE T+44(0)1748 822087 • F +44(0)1748 823596 •

The Warmest of Yorkshire welcomes





Yorebridge House is a smart new boutique hotel set in an imposing Victorian building, a stone’s throw from the River Ure just outside Bainbridge, up at the top of Wensleydale.


had a good feeling about the place as soon as I walked in. In terms of décor, Yorebridge House is a place that manages to be chic, contemporary and uncluttered without being clinical. With its honey-toned wooden floor, muted green paintwork and comfy leather furniture, the bar made a cosy place to browse the menus. There was a smart sound system too — Bang & Olufsen, no less. A nice change from the distressingly tinny speakers that some restaurateurs seem to favour.

The dining room is in a newly-built extension with large windows on two sides and a panoramic view of activities in the kitchen on a third. It is divided up into sections by bamboo screens, giving everyone — even diners in the middle of the room — a hint of privacy. On our arrival we had received a warm welcome from a smart, black-clad barman-cum-waiter — a smiling, knowledgeable and gently humorous fellow who plied us with complimentary bouchées and some fine home-made bread rolls pending the arrival of our starters. And who, most importantly, furnished us with a very decent bottle of spicy New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignon from the engaging and wide-ranging wine list.

Our starters, like the rest of the meal, were beautifully presented on bold, funky white crockery. Mine was a poached duck egg on asparagus with Béarnaise sauce. The asparagus was crisp but well cooked. The duck egg was poached with splitsecond precision, and its yolk mingled delightfully with the rich, buttery sauce. Comfort food of the highest order, this. Piers had a warm salad of smoked duck, foie gras and Calvados apple. The foie gras had a fabulous nutty-toasty exterior, presumably from a quick turn in the frying pan, and the smoked duck was succulent and deeply flavoured. Both were set off beautifully by the crisp, perfumed apple and the sweet, brandy-fuelled sauce. Bravo! For my main I opted for seared trout, which came atop a melting mélange of potato and spinach set in a little pond of chive beurre blanc. Once again, everything was judiciously cooked and seasoned, and it looked a picture. There were also three dark blobs of liquidised caviar, which contributed a whiff of the sea — although liquidising caviar, half of whose appeal surely lies in its texture, seems to me to be mildly perverse.


Piers had chosen a trio of lamb, consisting of a herb-crusted rack, a confit of shoulder and a lamb, garlic and rosemary sausage. The confit was soft, dark and beguiling, and the sausage was light, sprightly and aromatic — I should like to know where these people get hold of them, I can tell you. The rack of lamb was the one slightly disappointing element, being a touch too chewy for my liking. Terrific Dauphinoise potato, mind you, and some tasty Madeira jus. For dessert we went for a tiramisu and a strawberry crème brûlée. Both were pleasant enough — we certainly didn’t leave a scrap of either behind — but to my mind they didn’t quite scale the heights of the starters and the mains. The tiramisu felt a touch short on coffee-and-alcohol ‘oomph’. As for the brûlée, the topping and custard were fine, but I thought that the layer of strawberry compote at the bottom of the ramekin — which was, in itself, a

perfectly good compote — had such an intense, positive flavour that it pretty much drowned out the subtleties of the custard. In all we had spent around £59 on food, that’s to say getting on for £30 each for three courses. On top of that, of course, came minerals, coffees and a very acceptable bottle of red, taking the overall total to a few pennies over £94. Not bargain-basement eating, but definitely value for money, we both agreed. Stylish contemporary food in equally stylish and contemporary surroundings, cooked with flair and attention to detail, and served with panache. Yorebridge House is the kind of place that makes you feel you’re being well looked after — a good choice for a romantic night out or that special family celebration. For further information about Yorebridge House call 01969 652060 or visit



A new dining experience. Breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch or dinner, Perk Up offers you the finest, freshest and most innovative culinary experience. We serve a variety of the finest local produce, including a dazzling array of local fish and shellfish.

“conscientiously-prepared, elegant, tasty food in bright, congenial surroundings… a hearty welcome and friendly, efficient, unpretentious service” Claudia Blake, Dales Life

43 Market Place South, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 1BZ 01765 698888


Countryman’s Inn H






Whatever the season you are assured of a warm welcome at The Countryman’s Inn at Hunton, near Bedale! Good beer, good food, good company! Restaurant open lunch and evenings A la carte menu available Special early dinner menu Wednesday - Friday We are an AA 3 star inn and hold an AA diners award Lunch 12 - 2.30pm Wednesday - Sunday Dinner 6pm-9pm Wednesday - Sunday

Christmas Fayre Menu available from 26 November to 11 January. £19.95 for 2 courses and £24.95 for 3 courses Bookings advisableWednesday andThursday but essential Friday and Saturday to avoid disappointment For reservations tel: 01677 450554 The Countryman’s Inn, Hunton, Near Bedale,NorthYorkshire, DL8 1PY

Enjoy Roux Scholar Jonathan Harrison'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 22







Te l : 0 1 9 6 9 6 2 4 2 7 3

Christmas 2008 All your party needs catered for Lunch or Dinner from £20 per person

Winter MidWeek offer Credit crunchingly good offer from January 20th to April 30th 2009 Choose from the normal restaurant menu, Tuesday,Wednesday andThursday 3 Courses £17.50 per person including vat 7 Silver Street, Masham, HG4 4DX 01765 689000 WWW.VENNELLSRESTAURANT.CO.UK


Seasons Greetings To all our customers past, present and future.

Thornton Watlass Ripon HG4 4AH, Between Bedale & Masham Tel: 01677 422461

Christmas and New Year bookings now being taken! All parties catered for, large or small.

WELCOME TO PENLEY’S COFFEE SHOP & BISTRO FULLY LICENSED Now serving dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings All food freshly prepared by award winning chef, Matthew Colley, using the finest Yorkshire produce Christmas and New Year’s Eve bookings now being taken Market Place, Leyburn, North Yorkshire Tel: 01969 623909


On the

Grapevine Christine Austin’s recommendations for festive drinking


With the economy in meltdown, and portents of doom on every news broadcast,it’s tempting to turn down the heating,tighten our belts and prepare for an austere Christmas. But where’s the fun in that?


till, with a full house for a week or more — and plenty of parties planned — I shall have to keep an eye on the budget to make sure that the drinks can flow without breaking the bank.

I cannot survive Christmas without a few bottles of bubbly, but fortunately it is still possible to pop corks without spending a king’s ransom. Marks & Spencer’s own-label Oudinot Brut is one of the best value Champagnes around, with rounded toasty flavours and a refreshing zip of acidity on the finish. It normally retails at around £20, but in the last few years the price has dropped substantially just before Christmas, so keep your eyes peeled. A notch up in quality, also at Marks & Spencer, is Ayala Brut. It comes from the grand old establishment of Ayala, recently taken over by Bollinger. With extensive vineyards of its own, and Bollinger’s expertise, this brand is really starting to show its mettle, with long, complex notes and a resounding finish. Normally £25 or so, this also tends to drop in price as December approaches. This year there are bound to be cut-price champagnes stacked up in the doorways of supermarkets. Normally unknown brands, these can be a huge disappointment and a waste of money. Instead of buying these, head off to Asda, whose own-label Brut Champagne has quality way beyond its £12.98 price point.


For large gatherings where fizz is required, try Prosecco Raboso Rosé from Italy. It is available at Majestic at around £9, but it comes down to around £6 on their multibuy deals. With soft generous fruit and a hint of pink, it will get any party going with a swing. Clean, refreshing, dry whites and soft, fruity reds are the stuff of choice for informal gatherings, and Sainsbury’s has a range of wines that limbo under the £4 mark but nonetheless have plenty of flavour. I shall have a six-pack of Muscadet la Regate 2007 (around £3.50 per bottle) for its crisp, clean fruit and slightly smoky style, and a few bottles of Sainsbury’s Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne (around £3.70) for its citrus-fresh flavours backed by enough weight to take guests through to the first course of supper. If you’re looking for goodvalue reds, try Sainsbury’s Sicilian Red (around £3) for soft, juicy, red-berried fruit, and Sainsbury’s Côtes du Rhône (around £3.10) for warm damson fruit with a touch of spice. But not all entertaining has to be done on a budget, and Harrogate Fine Wine (01423 522270) hit the headlines this year when it was named as the best wine shop in the country for South African wines. Amongst their exceptional range, search out Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2007 (around £9) for its clean, honeysuckle notes and ripe melon finish, and Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (around £11) for its bright herbaceous flavours. Harrogate Fine Wine also stocks the great flavours of the Brampton range of wines, which come from the historic Rustenburg property. My favourite is the spice-dusted, plummy fruit of Brampton Shiraz Viognier 2005 (around £9), which is great with a



Sunday roast. The lively, peppery-edged Mourvèdre Grenache blend is more suitable for tomato-based supper dishes, and at around £8 gives guests a true taste of the sunshine of South Africa. To go with the main event on Christmas Day I shall probably decide on some of the classic wines from France. I love the positive fruit and vibrant flavours of the New World, but there is something special about the gentle elegance that comes from Bordeaux. Over the years I have assembled a few old bottles of claret, and one or two of these will get the dust blown off them in celebration of having the extended family around the same table. But if your cellar has run dry, why not ring Jamie Goodhart of Bon Coeur Wines in Masham (01765 688200). He has a fine selection of clarets – in particular the 2004 vintage — which are just starting to open up


now. Try Le Cloitre from up-market Margaux property Prieuré-Lichine at just £12.99. This has tremendous poise and finesse, and the extra bottles in the case will happily keep for the next few Christmases to come. Waitrose also has a selection of good clarets, in particular Moulin d’Angludet 2005 (around £19) and Chateau Pey la Tour (£9.29). If you can’t get to a Waitrose store, ring their mail order line on 0800 188881 or check their website, Port doesn’t have to be left until the end of the day — in fact a good quality port is an excellent restorative mid-morning after walking the dogs. I like a sip of Warre’s Warrior port (around £10, widely available) for its dense, rich warming flavours. For evenings, though, I switch to the nutty elegance and complexity of Taylor’s ten-year-old Tawny (Majestic, around £19). Life

Get a Taste of Christmas at Campbell’s of Leyburn We are bringing together some excellent products from many of our major suppliers on Thursday, 4th December to give you the opportunity to sample their tastiest festive foods and wines. Come along to view and taste them in-store between 4pm and 9pm to get an early taste of Christmas! While you are in store, you should also visit our superb, re-styled traditional butchery department to arrange your festive meats and check out the mouthwatering range of savouries, bread and pies available from our ‘deli’. And, as always, we will be offering a wide, ‘best value’ choice of :• Fresh Fruit and Veg • Confectionery • Dry goods

• Grocery items • Beers and spirits • Cards and lots, lots more

PLUS we will be holding a raffle for anyone who calls into the store between the times shown where we will have a host of prizes including a £75 voucher to spend in the store.

For all your festive needs,

Campbell’s is the only shop to visit – naturally Campbells of Leyburn, 4 Commercial Square, Leyburn DL8 5BP Tel/Fax: 01969 622169 Email:

Farm Shop • Country Café Delicatessen Retail Area • Children's Play Area Lakeside Farm Shop and Country Café is a wonderful place to visit. Lakeside is “much more than just a farm shop”. The café, butchery and delicatessen are all well stocked focussing on quality, fresh local produce. The café is relaxing and spacious overlooking the brilliant children's playpark and beautiful countryside beyond. All the food is freshly prepared in the country kitchen. Above the farm shop and café is the Gift area full of beautiful gifts, many of which are handcrafted by local businesses. CHRISTMAS ORDERS NOW BEING TAKEN FOR CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS AND CAKES, TURKEYS, GEESE, PORK PIES, AND SAUSAGES. CHRISTMAS LUNCH BOOKINGS - PLEASE PHONE/EMAIL OR VISIT THE FARM SHOP FOR THE CHRISTMAS MENU. VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR DETAILS OF FORTHCOMING EVENTS. THE LAKESIDE CHRISTMAS FAYRE WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY 29TH AND SUNDAY 30TH NOVEMBER 10AM - 4PM

SPECIAL OFFER TO DALES LIFE READERS • 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

Receive 4 main meals for the price of 3 when you mention Dales Life (lowest value main meal free. offer applicable Tue-Sat only. Valid until end of Feb 2009)

• 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 01969 625288 32

North Farm, Ellerton, Scorton Richmond, DL10 6AP Tel: 01748 818382

The Swaledale Cheese Company Yorkshire's finest artisan cheese maker

A family run business who pride themselves on producing fine quality cheese using traditional methods Winners of The Great Taste Awards 2008 for The Best Speciality from Yorkshire and Humber for their Swaledale Goats Milk Cheese All products are available to buy online at Tel: 01748 824932 Email:




LIZ FAIRBURN Day and residential courses Dinner Parties

1 November and 13 December T : 01765 680900 MASHAM, RIPON, hg4 4jh WWW.SWINTONPARK.COM



For all you need this festive season‌ Meat & trimmings Food & gift hampers Wines & spirits Christmas trees Christmas cabin

Christmas vouchers now available direct from the web site We welcome beginners to experienced, corporate days, Small parties and one to one tuition Open over Christmas – by appointment only Carter Ings Farm, Fearby, Masham Tel: 01765 689232 Mobile: 07977 700017 / 07889 034560 e-mail:

DalesLife The leading free magazine for North Yorkshire

You’re reading this and so is everyone else in the Dales Our targeted distribution gives Dales Life blanket coverage of the Dales that no other publication can match.

A unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created in a four-acre walled garden in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

Opening times for 2008 Open everyday from 20th March - 31st October then 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.


7th, 14th and 21st December from 10am until dusk

If you’re a business, you’ll find it pays to advertise with us The next issue of Dales Life is already in production. If you would like to advertise, call us now.

01677 425217/425251 For further information please contact Sue Gillman Telephone 01677 425217 / 425251 Email


Admission is by pre-booked tickets only To reserve your ticket please telephone 01969 640638 / 01969 640687 We look forward to seeing you 35

Scandinavian Style Winter recipes with a Nordic twist from Trina Hahnemann


Pheasant can be tender and delicious, especially if you cook it with perfection and love. On Saturday nights in the autumn I like to cook pheasant, barded with good quality organic bacon and stuffed with bread and herbs, for close friends and family. When dinner is ready and the guests have arrived, I fetch some of my best red wine from the cellar and enjoy the pleasures of living in a part of the world where there are four very different seasons.

Braised stuffed pheasant with Savoy cabbage, gravy and potatoes (serves 4) 2 pheasants 12 bacon rashers 300ml red wine 2 shallots, sliced 1 carrot, sliced 10 thyme sprigs 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns 50ml port wine 300ml water 200ml double cream STUFFING

2 slices bread, chopped 50g flat-leafed parsley 20 juniper berries, crushed VEGETABLES

800g fingerling potatoes salt and pepper 20-25g butter 200g hazelnuts, chopped 1 small Savoy cabbage, shredded

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 200ºC (Gas 6). To make the stuffing, mix the bread and parsley with the juniper berries. Use this mixture to stuff the cavity of the pheasants.

around the birds, pour over the red wine and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180ºC (Gas 4), add the shallots, carrot, thyme, peppercorns, port wine and water. Tightly cover the tray with a sheet of foil and continue roasting for 35 minutes.


REMOVE THE PHEASANTS FROM THE OVEN again, discard the foil and stir in the cream. Return the pheasants to the oven for a final 20 minutes roasting.

MEANWHILE, BOIL THE POTATOES in a large pan of salted water until tender, then drain. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel them. Keep warm until serving.

and sauté the chopped hazelnuts for a couple of minutes. Add the cabbage and 50ml water and fry for a few minutes more. MELT THE BUTTER IN A FRYING PAN

and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the chunky vegetable sauce with the pheasant, cabbage and potatoes.



Pork loin or ‘pork roast’ is one of the most popular cuts of meat in Scandinavia, though this traditional cut is not as well known as it once was in Britain. Serve it with the crisp pork rind on top. The Waldorf salad is sweet and crisp and goes well with pork.

Pork with rosemary, thyme and garlic (serves 6) 1 organic lemon 3 rosemary sprigs 5 thyme sprigs 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped salt and pepper 2.5kg pork loin

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 200ºC (Gas 6). Grate the zest from the lemon, then cut the lemon in half and slice it finely. In a mixing bowl, combine the zest, lemon slices, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper.

from the top of the roast, making sure that the fat stays underneath the rind. Score a diamond pattern on the top surface of the pork, then rub in the herb-lemon mixture. Put the piece of rind and fat back on top. Tie all the way along the joint with a long piece of kitchen string, then place it in a roasting tin and roast for 1 hour 40 minutes.


from the oven and leave to rest for about 15 minutes so that the juices can settle throughout the meat, then remove the string and carve it into slices, making sure there is a piece of the crisp pork rind with every portion.


Waldorf salad (serves 6) 200g green grapes, halved and de-seeded 100g walnuts, broken into bits 2 apples, cored and cubed 100ml double cream



in a mixing bowl and stir.

whip the cream until it forms soft peaks then fold it into the salad. Serve as soon as possible.



You could eat this ham on Christmas Eve, or for Christmas lunch, when it would be part of a large buffet with herrings, salads and potatoes. The ham could also serve as a roast with different salads, bread and cheese.

Swedish Christmas Ham (serves 15 as part of a buffet) 3kg ham, either on the bone or boned and rolled 4 litres of water GLAZE

2 egg yolks 50g breadcrumbs 150g wholegrain mustard 100g dark brown sugar pepper


cover with cold water and leave

to soak for 12 hours. PREHEAT THE OVEN to 130ºC (Gas 1⁄2). Put the ham in a large roasting tray, add the water and slowly roast in the oven for about 3 hours and 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted in the ham reads 75ºC.

Remove the ham from the oven and leave it to cool slightly. Raise the oven temperature to 220ºC (Gas 7).


and score a diamond pattern in the top layer of fat. Brush the glaze over the ham and return it to the oven. Roast for 10 minutes or until the ham is golden brown. Leave to cool before serving.


These recipes have been taken from The Scandinavian Cookbook by Trina Hahnemann, published in hardback by Quadrille at £20 and available from or through any good bookshop.




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pastries Indulgent dessert recipes from Michel Roux


chocolate and raspberry tart serves 8

250g pâte sucrée (see page 50) 250g raspberries 20g mint leaves, finely snipped

chocolate ganache 250ml whipping cream 200g good-quality dark chocolate, 60-70% cocoa solids (preferably Valrhona), finely chopped 25g liquid glucose 50g butter, cut into small pieces

Roll out the pastry to a round, 2mm thick, and use to line a lightly greased 20cm diameter (2.5cm deep) flan ring. Chill for at least 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/Gas 5. Prick the base of the pastry case. Bake the case blind for 20 minutes. Lower the oven setting to 180ºC/Gas 4 and bake the pastry case for another 5 minutes. Place on a wire rack, lift off the ring and leave the tart case until cold. Set aside 24 of the best raspberries. Halve the rest, delicately mix with the snipped mint and spread evenly in the pastry case. For the chocolate ganache, bring the cream to the boil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Take off the heat, add the chocolate and glucose, and mix with a whisk to a very smooth cream. Still whisking, incorporate the butter, a piece at a time. Pour the ganache over the halved raspberries to fill the pastry case. Set aside until cold, then chill the tart for at least 2 hours before serving. Use a sharp knife dipped in very hot water and wiped dry to cut each slice. Place the tart slices on individual plates with the reserved raspberries. Serve cold, but not straight from the fridge.



lemon tart serves 8

280g pâté sucrée (see page50) eggwash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk) 5 unwaxed lemons, washed 9 eggs 375g caster sugar 300ml double cream, lightly whipped 30g icing sugar, to glaze

This classic tart tastes even better if you make it in advance. I like to caramelise the surface using a cook’s blowtorch, but you can simply dust it with icing sugar if you prefer.

Roll out the pastry to a round, 3mm thick, and use to line a lightly greased 20cm diameter (4cm deep) flan ring. Chill for at least 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Prick the pastry base lightly. Bake the pastry case blind for 20 minutes. Then continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. Lower the oven setting to 170ºC/Gas 3. Let the pastry case cool slightly, then brush the inside with the eggwash and return to the oven for 5 minutes. For the filling, finely grate the zest from the lemons and set aside, then squeeze the juice and strain through a chinois to eliminate the pulp and pips. Combine the eggs and sugar together in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until thoroughly amalgamated. Pour on the lemon juice and add the zest, stirring as you go. Finally, delicately fold in the whipped cream; do not overwork the mixture. Cover and chill for about 30 minutes. To cook the lemon tart, heat the oven to 150ºC/Gas 2. Lightly beat the cold lemon cream with a spatula, pour into the pastry case and bake immediately for 1 hour 20 minutes. Leave to cool and firm up for a while before removing the ring (but do so while the tart is still slightly warm). Set aside until cold. (You can prepare the tart up to 24 hours ahead.) Just before serving, dust the surface with half of the icing sugar and caramelise it with a cook’s blowtorch. Repeat with the remaining icing sugar and serve immediately. Cut the tart carefully using a sharp knife, as the caramelised surface is very delicate.



filo apple strudel serves 6

1 sheet of filo pastry 100g raisins 4 apples (preferably Braeburn or Cox’s) juice of 1 lemon 60g caster sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 30g icing sugar whipped cream, to serve (optional)

For the filling, blanch the raisins in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and refresh in cold water, then drain well. Peel, halve and core the apples, then cut each half into 2mm thick slices. Place in a bowl with the lemon juice, caster sugar, cinnamon and blanched raisins. Mix gently, cover with cling film and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180ÂşC/Gas 4. Lay the filo on a tea towel with one of the short edges facing you. Spread the filling evenly over the whole surface. Starting from the edge closest to you and using the tea towel to help, roll the filo into a sausage shape, enclosing the filling and applying light pressure as you go. Carefully lift the rolled apple strudel onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until golden and crisp. Using a large palette knife, slide the warm strudel onto a wire rack. Dust the strudel liberally with icing sugar and place on a serving platter. At the table, use a very sharp serrated knife to cut it slightly on the bias into 2.5cm thick slices. Serve with whipped cream if you wish.


pâte sucrée makes about 520g

250g plain flour 100g butter, cubed and slightly softened 100g icing sugar, sifted pinch of salt 2 eggs, at room temperature

Put the flour in a mound on a work surface (ideally marble) and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt, and mix these ingredients together with your fingertips. Gradually draw the flour into the centre and mix with your fingertips until the dough becomes slightly grainy. Again make a well and add the eggs. Work them into the flour mixture, using your fingertips, until the dough begins to hold together. When the dough is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hand until smooth. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film, and rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours before using. When the dough is rested and you are ready to use it, unwrap and roll out on a lightly-floured, clean surface to a 2-3mm thickness.

These recipes have been taken from Pastry by Michel Roux, photography by Martin Brigdale, published in hardback by Quadrille at £14.99 and available from or through any good bookshop. 50



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tree story Rose Hammick and Charlotte Packer on how to choose and decorate your Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is the absolute epitome of Christmas for many families, and a celebration without one would be inconceivable. Christmas lunch may vary, and sadly the stocking eventually stops arriving, but there will always be a Christmas tree. And decorating it is the highlight of the preparations. Surprisingly, the tree as a symbol of Christmas is a fairly recent development. For many centuries, trees played no part in our Christmas celebrations at all. The custom of bringing fir trees into the house at Christmas is thought to have originated in Northern Europe, probably in Germany. The tradition travelled to America along with German settlers, and first arrived in England with Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, although it was actually Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s German husband, who popularised the custom. Since its arrival, the tree has remained central to the Christmas festival, as important to those for whom Christmas is a religious and spiritual celebration as it is for those who enjoy it on a purely secular level. Either way, it’s not until the tree arrives in our homes that Christmas really begins.


Trends in trees may come and go, and the real versus fake debate will rumble on, but many people agree that nothing beats a big, freshly-cut Christmas tree. It is a magical thing, and its distinctive resiny smell alone gives the house a Christmassy air in an instant. From the beginning of December, stalls selling Christmas trees spring up on street corners everywhere Christmas is celebrated. But, if you have one nearby, try contacting your local forestry services instead, and find out when their trees go on sale.You will no doubt get a better tree at a better price, and some forestry services will even allow you to choose your tree and then cut it for you.This is also the best way to find specific varieties, such as the elegant open-branched Grand Fir or the bushier Nordic Spruce.



Despite their beauty, many people find the prospect of dealing with a real tree (and all those needles) something of a chore. Luckily, the days when artificial trees were regarded as unacceptably tacky are far behind us. Not only are there many incredibly realistic artificial trees available nowadays, there are also lots of delicious scented oils that you can use to make up for the artificial tree’s telltale lack of smell. The completely unashamed fake white tree – once upon a time the ultimate display of bad taste – is also enjoying a renaissance, becoming a bold statement of cool chic or irony, depending on how kitsch or restrained the decorations may be. And, finally, there are now lots of wonderful alternative trees, ranging from sculptural twists of curly hazel twigs to ‘trees’ made from slices of flat-pack Plexiglass or wall-mounted fibre optic strands. Dressing the tree should be exciting, but before getting started it’s worth thinking about the overall effect you are hoping to achieve.Your choice of tree – real or fake, traditional or modern – will be based on the style of your home and the way in which you and your family celebrate Christmas. For some families, decorating the Christmas tree is nothing short of a ritual – the box containing decorations that are used year after year is ceremoniously brought down from the attic, and everyone adorns the tree while sipping the first mulled wine of the season. For others, each year’s



tree provides an excuse to splash out on new decorations and go for a totally fresh look. Instead of the box in the attic, it’s a case of delving into shopping bags filled with exciting goodies you’ve just hauled home from some fancy stores. Either way, getting the decorations right is absolutely key. Even a majestic seven-foot Nordic Spruce will look disappointing when festooned in cheap tinsel and hung with dingy decorations that have seen better days. Conversely, a large display of hazel twigs may sound minimal (or even bleak) to some, but when decked out with a selection of carefully chosen baubles and other decorations, it can look sensational.

This article has been taken from Christmas Inspirations by Rose Hammick and Charlotte Packer, published in softback by Ryland Peters & Small and available from all good bookshops. The accompanying photographs, taken by Jo Tyler, are also from the book, and are the copyright of Ryland Peters & Small.



Christmas and New Years Eve at Yorebridge House 6 gdVg^c\ ad\ ÄgZ! il^c`a^c\ XVcYaZ a^\]ih! ]dbZbVYZ bjaaZY l^cZ VcY V b^cXZ e^Z dg ild h]djaY WZ Zcdj\] id \Zi ZkZgndcZ ^c i]Z 8]g^hibVh he^g^i#

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Highly Decorated Brighten up your Christmas with some stunning flower arrangements. Sarah Raven shows you how. Nero ring This is a brilliant arrangement for a party. It makes a fairly small number of flowers go a long way and look spectacular, but is very easy. Use a standard oasis ring (usually 30cm, but this will depend on the size of your vase, which will need to be a bit narrower) and cover it with flowers. Then, rather than leaving it sitting flat on the table, lift up the flower-studded ring and rest it on the shoulders of the vase. 30cm oasis ring vase, 35cm tall x 20cm wide at the top, with shoulders or a decent lip decorations to go inside the vase (optional) primary foliage: 25 branches of Drymis filler foliage: 25 branches of Pittosporum upper storey: 25 branches of rosemary ‘Miss Jessopp’s Upright’ main flower: 15 stems of Nerine bowdenii smaller flower: 25 stems of Anemone coronaria ‘Slyphide’ contrast flower: 15 stems of orange chillies candle in a contrasting colour, 10cm tall, wide enough to fit tightly in the neck of the vase waterproof glue tack (Florafix) Soak the oasis ring in water for 5 minutes, leaving it floating to absorb the water naturally. Do this rather than pushing it into the water yourself, which will create air pockets in the oasis, and flowers in those will die. 66

If you’re using a clear glass vase, you can fill it with whatever you fancy to add extra colour – Christmas decorations, walnuts, cranberries, Spartan apples, pine cones, lemons or limes (cut in half), kumquats or Quality Street chocolates in their multi-coloured wrappers. The lemons and limes will have the shortest life and look okay only for a couple of days, but the rest will last really well. With the citrus, pack them in from the bottom up, putting one whole fruit in the centre and then jamming in halves all the way around the edge; put in another whole lemon or lime in the middle and then another layer of halves around its edge, and so on until you reach the neck of the vase. The acid-green vase I’ve used opposite is opaque, so I have left it empty: its brilliant colour is enough to balance the flowers. If you are using a light vase, fill it with water so that the arrangement doesn’t topple over. Cover the oasis ring with the foliage and flowers in the numbers given. Start with the foliage, making sure that you leave no green plastic or oasis visible, even when you lift the ring onto the vase. Then add the flowers. Put the ring onto the shoulders of the vase, where it should sit perfectly. Add the candle, securing it in the neck of the vase with glue tack to stop it wobbling about. To keep the flowers fresh, remove the oasis ring of flowers at night and store them somewhere cool. To rehydrate, float the whole ring in water for 10 minutes every couple of days. This arrangement will look good for 4 or 5 days.


Amaryllis with silver birch My very favourite arrangement for Christmas is a vase full of Amaryllis. This makes an impressive entrance arrangement for a party and lasts over Christmas and right through to the New Year without any fuss. You can force Amaryllis, growing it in a pot, but it’s even more luxurious to have them as a great velvet swathe in a vase. The white varieties like ‘Ludwig Dazzler’ and ‘Mont Blanc’ look lovely in the winter, but particularly at Christmas go for deep, rich crimson ones, such as ‘Royal Velvet’ or ‘Bacchanal’. Amaryllis – in whichever colour – are magnificent but expensive, so condition them well. 7 Amaryllis, e.g. ‘Royal Velvet’ or ‘Bacchanal’ 7 bamboo canes 7 red postman’s rubber bands 1 large-necked vase 15cm wide at the top x 35cm tall 20 branches of pussy willow or 10 branches of silver birch selection of fairy lights, coloured balls, baubles and candles, to decorate When I make a large arrangement, I usually put my foliage in place first – for structure – before I add the flowers, but Amaryllis arrangements are an exception. Amaryllis stems damage easily, and if you add them into an already full vase their soft


fleshy ends split as you push them in around other stems. It’s best to put the Amaryllis in at the beginning and then add the foliage carefully around them. So start with your Amaryllis, using a minimum of five stems or, in a really small vase, three. If I want my arrangement on a large table with lots of space around, I use seven. Whatever the number, it should be odd, not even: you don’t want to create straight lines in your arrangement, and that’s what you’ll get with small even numbers. Push a bamboo cane up the hollow stem of each Amaryllis to give it support. Then twist a rubber band round the very bottom of each stem to stop the ends curling. Place the stems in the vase in a relatively balanced but not perfectly symmetrical way. Once the Amaryllis are all in, add the branches to form a halo just above the flowers. I often use lovely early pussy willow, if I can find it, but silver birch twigs work well too. Either helps to support the heavy stems and fills out the vase, without adding much to the cost. Deep red Amaryllis on their own can look a bit sombre, so add some brightness to your vase at Christmas with fairy lights and lots of coloured balls and baubles. Pick up on the red of the Amaryllis with matching or contrastingly coloured candles on the table below.


Fruit-studded wreath If you don’t have enough foraged items available to fill a wreath, your next stop is the greengrocer or supermarket. Buy small, bright red Spartan or crab apples, chillies or mini peppers, cranberries and limes. All are easy to wire, last well and will look good on your door. If you can, share a box of chillies or limes from a vegetable wholesaler with a friend. You’ll pay much less than in the supermarket, and may even get them delivered to your door. I add colour to the wreath in terms of ‘zones’. Here I have used limes, chillies, cranberries and crab apples as a colourful group for zone 1 with a few sprigs of eucalyptus, Garrya elliptica catkins and green hydrangea heads for the calmer zone 2. This wreath looks good on a shiny, smart painted door. Rehydrate the moss if it dries out by floating the wreath in a sink of water for half an hour every week or so. It will last at least a month, kept cool, hanging outside. double-ring wire frame with bridges between the rings (available in many sizes from florists and good garden centres) – I use a 35cm one

The second step is to cover the moss with silver birch twigs, some sprigs of rosemary – rich, darkgreen and scented – or even bracken for a pretty, autumnal feel. You need only a few twigs or fronds to add to the moss base. They help create a more generous look and strengthen the frame. Push the stem ends in hard so that they jam into the moss and then, every so often, bind them in a curve onto the base with wire. To wire your limes, poke a 30cm length of wire about a third of the way up and through the fruit. Taking care not to rip the lime’s skin, bend both ends down and twist them together to make a false stem. To wire the chillies, push a 30cm-long wire through the middle of a clump of three or five and then back through again in a loop. If the fruit is smaller still, like crab apples or cranberries, thread them like beads on a chain. Leave plenty of bare wire at either end so that you can poke these into the base and secure them well onto the frame.

florists’ wire

Add the zone 1 fruit first, poking the wires into the frame and bending them round to attach the fruit securely. Remember that the wreath will be hanging, so the heavy fruit in particular must be firmly attached. Then add your zone 2 ingredients.

silver birch twigs, sprigs of rosemary or bracken

Keep going until your whole wreath base is covered. Back your wreath with black plastic, if you wish.

6-7 handfuls of moss

3-4 strong and dramatic ingredients for zone 1 (see above) a lighter mix of ingredients for zone 2 (see above) The first step is to pad out the frame. For this, the best material is moss. (You can buy this or forage your own.) Lay an even and generous layer over the frame, putting the same amount all round. I use 6-7 handfuls. Wire this padding onto the frame with florists’ wire, binding it tightly. Aim for the padding to be about 7.5cm across. Add a loop of wire with which to hang up the finished wreath.

These festive ideas have been taken from Sarah Raven’s Complete Christmas published by Bloomsbury Publishing in hardback at £25 and available from all good bookshops.






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The ‘Sheepy Shop’ at Masham’s Black Sheep Brewery stocks a range of gifts ideal for anyone with a taste for the company’s fine ales. The ales in question (which include Black Sheep, Holy Grail and Riggwelter) feature prominently in the brewery’s various festive hampers. Also included are products that have been flavoured with them, such as Black Sheep Ale Chutney, Riggwelter Mustard and Riggwelter Pickle — along with one or two that aren’t, such as Wensleydale cheeses and Black Sheep’s own ‘Mouton Noir’ house wine. Also available is a seemingly endless range of products emblazoned with Black Sheep imagery and logos, including T-shirts, baseball caps, glasses, mugs, tankards and the like. Black Sheep Brewery, 01765 689227, 74

The Swaledale Cheese Company in Richmond produces a range of delicious cheeses, made using traditional methods and recipes that have been handed down through the generations. And they’re clearly getting it right, because this year they were awarded three gold medals and two bronze medals at the World Cheese Awards in Dublin! Their products include a variety of cows’ milk cheeses (Swaledale, Organic Swaledale and Bedale), smoked cheeses (Richmond Smoked), a blue cheese (Swaledale Blue), a ewes’ milk cheese, and smoked and unsmoked goats’ milk cheeses. As we went to press, the Swaledale Cheese Company was planning a range of exciting Christmas hampers which will combine their tasty cheeses with a selection of locally-sourced fine foodstuffs. For further information, give them a call or visit their website. The Swaledale Cheese Company, 01748 824932,

This year why not shop locally for those special seasonal somethings? Here’s a round-up of great gift ideas from some of our region’s independent retailers. From their shop in Silver Street, Masham, Corks and Cases specialises in supplying traditionally-made fine wines from small independent growers around the world. This Christmas you can choose from their range of readymade hampers — including the ‘Masham’, which consists of a pair of Australian wines, chutneys from Rosebud Preserves, a Botham’s fruit cake and a Wensleydale cheese — or have a hamper made up to your own specifications. Corks and Cases deliver locally free of charge, or you can collect your beautifully-packaged hamper yourself. One of the shop’s most popular festive wines is a hard-to-find d’Arenberg vintage fortified Shiraz (“raspberry jam in a glass” is one enthusiastic description) that makes an excellent alternative to port. You can buy it either alone (for £17.99) or in an attractive wooden presentation box. Corks and Cases, 01765 688810,


Leyburn’s Vflora is a mail order business specialising in garden paraphernalia and garden-inspired gifts — everything from alfresco sculptures to designer wellies, pots, planters and tools. For the outdoor type who has everything, what about a life-size porcelain Bramley apple paperweight with sculpted metal stalk and leaf? Or, on a more practical note, maybe a gift box from the Kitchen Garden range, whose products include naturally antibacterial soap, moisturising hand cream and relaxing bath foam? Or then again maybe a set of festive fine bone china mugs — they’re available in sets of four, or as a set of two complete with a pack of delicious organic drinking chocolate. In the Vflora brochure you’ll also find handmade Christmas tree decorations, Christmas wreath and candle sets, and masses more besides. Vflora, 0844 5610733, Thorpe Farm Centre, 9 miles west of Scotch Corner on the A66, has a farm shop, deli and butchers stocked with pretty much everything you might need to cover your Christmas catering needs, plus Christmas trees and decorations too. In addition they have a wide range of hampers, cleverly themed to appeal to different palates. There’s the Afternoon Tea hamper, for example, along with the Gentleman’s Hamper, the Ladies’ Selection, the Poacher’s Party and the Ploughman’s Hamper, to name but a few — and if all else fails you can mix and match to create your own. They also have (via their website only) some terrific adventure toys, including classic pedal cars, pedal tractors, pedal trains, go-karts, scooters and trampolines. Thorpe Farm Centre, 01833 627242, 76

The Wright Design — at 2 Silver Street, Masham — now has a brand new upstairs showroom where you can relax with a cup of coffee and mull over their huge range of luscious fabrics, which include Zoffany, Watts of Westminster, Mulberry, Colefax & Fowler and Hare Silks. Owners Pamela and Christopher Wright offer a full interior design service, but their showroom is also a treasure trove for anyone in search of that special Christmas gift. You’ll find beautiful silk cushions, gorgeous cashmere and mink scarves and exciting and exclusive jewellery by Karrie Thomas. Everywhere you look there are appealing and stylish objects, ranging from hatboxes to silver wine goblets, from lamps to bed linen, and from butter dishes to Buddhas — all just waiting to be beautifully gift-wrapped. The Wright Design, 01765 688180

The Lakeside Farm Shop and Country Café at Ellerton, near Scorton, carries an exciting range of hampers, mini-hampers and gift-sets — or you can buy one of their baskets and put together your own selection from the many regional delicacies that Lakeside has on its shelves. There are traditional and locally sourced products aplenty, including teas, fruitcakes, spices for mulled wine, Loopy Lisa’s fudge, White Rose preserves and Daleside Brewery beers. Among the more unusual offerings are wine-infused chocolates and a range of flavoured vodkas (elderflower, horseradish and cucumber). In addition to the deli and farm shop, Lakeside also has an extensive gift area where you can buy bags, jewellery, candles and clothes – it’s well worth the trip. Lakeside Farm Shop, 01748 818382,


Looking for something stylish and out-of-the-ordinary? House Indigo, in Darlington’s Grange Road, is just the place to help you out. New for the autumn/winter season you’ll find a truly irresistible selection of scrumptious bags, scarves, jewellery and cashmere cardies. Their luxurious homewares include luscious blankets, throws and cushions from Designers Guild, appealing scarves and cashmere socks from Johnstons, lavender-filled hearts and doorstops from DWCD, and scented candles from Melt. You’ll also find wash bags, silk eye masks and mini handbag mirrors in pretty silk pouches from Coco Ribbon, jewellery from Pilgrim, cheese knives and boards and other exquisitely crafted tableware from Culinary Concepts — plus children’s clothes, toys and handmade Christmas decorations. Even man’s best friend is catered for with doggy treats from the Canine Cookie Company. House Indigo, 01325 381806,


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The perfect Christmas gift Subscribe to


DalesLife CHRISTMAS 2008


Deck the Halls



by Sarah Raven

The magazine for those who appreciate the Dales For further information please contact Sue Gillman Telephone 01677 425217 email

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Bottles on a Budget

f you’re drinking on a tight budget then you have to resign yourself to quaffing wines that are, at best, pretty uninspiring. Or do you? Well, it turns out that if you’re prepared to look carefully, you can find great bargains where you least expect them. Aldi might not be most wine connoisseurs’ first port of call, but the discount supermarket chain is rapidly establishing a reputation for selling good wine at remarkably reasonable prices. And they have shelves full of award-winning bottles to prove it. I checked out six of them, each under a fiver — and I have to admit that I was impressed. First, the reds. Bushland Premium Australian Shiraz 2006 (£4.99) comes in a smart bottle with gold detailing. Haul out the cork and you’ll find a robust but mellow and well-integrated wine with a pleasantly substantial feel to it — just the thing for wintry nights, in fact. Sniff it, and peppery aromas

are what hit you first. These carry right on through to the finish, joined by plenty of rich damson jam flavours and gentle tannins. There are also beguiling undertones of dark chocolate and liquorice, and even a distant hint of vanilla. This is a many-layered wine with a festive feel that could easily hold its own against most foods, and which would slip down very nicely with a good roast and all the trimmings. And it is unarguably excellent value for money. You can pay twice as much and get far less. Next up was a Rioja, Ramon Lopez Murillo Reserva 2003 (£4.99). It comes in a bottle jollied up with gold wire netting — a slightly pointless refinement, to my mind. If the Bushland Shiraz was one for savouring, this is one for quaffing — something refreshing that you can knock back over lunch with friends. Deep blue-red, it has ripe blackberry flavours, and a definite oaky astringency thanks to ©


Ian Henry samples half a dozen wines from Aldi... and gets some very pleasant surprises


the 12 months it spends in oak barrels during the maturation process. Maybe it lacked the depth and subtlety of the Bushland Shiraz, but for a mere fiver you can hardly complain. The third in my trio of reds was Cantina Di Merlara Valpolicella Ripasso 2006 (£4.99). This is a wine that has been made from a blend of three different grape varieties from the Valpolicella region, and enriched by the ‘ripasso’ method, which entails spending a short time absorbing flavours from the lees of Amarone, the classic Valpolicella wine. It had good, bright fruity flavours that ranged from loganberry through to cherry, balanced with a decent dose of tannins. More complex than the Rioja, this was a smooth, mellow wine that would slip down very nicely with a meaty lasagna — or even just a hunk of bread and cheese. And so to the whites. First up was Le Dolomie Pinot Grigio Trentino (£4.99). I can’t say I’m particularly keen on Pinot Grigio, but this one was certainly subtler and more characterful than some I have tasted. It is a pale, soft, unassertive wine, with delicate peachy tropical fruit tones. Thanks to its crisp acidity it would make a refreshing accompaniment to salads or seafoods, but I doubt if I would sit down and savour a glass of it on its own.

Lastly, two Chardonnays. The first of the pair was Bushland Reserve Chardonnay 2007 (£4.49). Aldi’s Bushland Shiraz had already proved a hit, and so did this. A rich gold-green colour, this is a typical bold and swaggering New World Chardonnay with lashings of peachy-passionfruity flavours, a sweet start and a lingering dry, oaky finish. It’s not a shy wine, and you could probably knock it back with pretty much anything. Unsurprisingly, this turned out to be one of the Aldi wines that has had awards heaped upon it. Like the Bushland Shiraz, you certainly get a lot for your money. You might be able to find better Chardonnay, but you’re unlikely to find better value. Finally it was back to Europe for Aldi’s Mâcon Villages Chardonnay 2007 (£4.99). For those who object to the brash style of New World Chardonnays, this makes a pleasant contrast. It has a nice honeyed fruit aroma, and tastes smooth and well-integrated when it hits the mouth. There’s a nice dry finish too — smoky, rather than oaky. It would be a good choice to glug down with salmon or one of the meatier fish. Like its Australian cousin, it is well worth its money. Just how Aldi’s buyers manage to get it on the shelves for a fiver is a mystery — but I for one am certainly not complaining. Aldi has branches in Richmond Road, Catterick and Yarm Road, Darlington. You can explore Life their wines online at



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Croatian coastline 86

Breakaway Christine Austin enjoys a family holiday in Croatia


Hilltop Village of Oprtalj


here was a knock at the door. In walked a smiling, white-aproned chef, laden with boxes, bags, and a serious set of knives.

warm, fresh-baked bread, cheese, slices of the melt-in-the mouth local prosciutto known as pršut, and a glass of local white wine.

Shooing me out of the kitchen, Dionisio — the irrepressibly cheerful chef — announced that dinner would be ready in two hours, and that I might as well sit by the pool until the aperitifs were ready.

This was day one of our family holiday in Croatia, a part of the world that none of us had visited before. And as we settled ourselves into our restored farmhouse in the hills of Istria we started to appreciate why this corner of the Mediterranean is one of Europe’s best kept secrets.

Sure enough, just as I reached the second chapter of my holiday reading book, Dionisio’s assistant Ivi came out with a selection of delicious nibbles: 88

Istria is a small, heart-shaped region just over the

Hiring a villa is a great way to holiday as a family, but for me the worst part is arriving at a sparsely furnished house and discovering that the nearest supermarket shut half an hour ago. That is why I was so happy that Dionisio had arrived with dinner. The demands of a scattered family meant that we had had an early start from home, although flights from northern airports into Trieste, Venice, Treviso or even direct into Pula at the southern tip of Istria would have been possible. Picking up a car at Trieste was easy, and driving across the borders through Slovenia and into Croatia presented no problems, despite various warnings about border controls. And forget the idea of a standard sparsely furnished holiday home. Our villa was head-and-shoulders above any other I have rented. With masses of good crockery and cutlery — plus a dishwasher, a washing machine and excellent bathrooms — this was clearly going to be a relaxing holiday for me as well as for everyone else. The private pool was a welcome diversion, as was the barbecue area set up in a covered dining area in the garden. And that is where Ivi set the table and, on the dot of 7.30pm, Dionisio started to bring out the food. First there was more fresh bread and local olive oil, and then it was as if a fishing boat had moored at the end of the garden. Wave after wave of freshly cooked fish appeared — scallops tossed in olive oil, langoustines and crisp-skinned roasted fish and a big crunchy salad — until we thought we could eat no more. Until the dessert arrived, that is.

border from Slovenia and a mere 10 miles from the Italian border. It has been at the crossroads of Europe for so long that it has acquired a distinct character of its own, suffused with influences from Italy, Hungary, ancient Venice and Byzantium. The war that ripped apart this part of the world over a decade ago barely touched Istria. While other parts of Croatia have been wonderfully restored to their former glory, Istria is more or less as it was — full of rich history, wonderful food and a distinct sense of times gone by.

What was most surprising was that by the time we had finished our wine Dionisio was packing up and the kitchen was spotlessly clean and tidy. We had specifically asked for the fish menu, but Dionisio can cook a complete range of dishes. Next day we set off to explore the Istrian peninsula, much of which looks like the hills of Tuscany topped by medieval villages clinging to the rocks. The main difference between Istria and Tuscany is that many of these villages were abandoned around 50 years ago. Now new residents are moving in. Artists have taken over the town of Grožnjan, making it the perfect place to buy ceramics, paintings and hand-painted silk scarves. Down the road in Oprtalj the restoration 89

teams are working hard to rebuild houses, transforming tumbledown cottages into desirable homes. Some are being snapped up by newcomers to the region, but others are being reclaimed by the descendants of the original residents who are returning to their roots. This is truly a place that is moving on from its history. 90

Just like Tuscany, this is a region where you can find truffles. In autumn you can go truffle hunting in the company of someone who knows where they grow, and has a dog who can locate them precisely. There are no guarantees that you will find any truffles, but in the nearby villages you can definitely enjoy them. We stopped at a tiny rustic

restaurant in Oprtalj where half the dishes came smothered in local truffles at a fraction of the price they would cost in Italy. Istria is a land of history, from the Romans who built the great amphitheatre in Pula, which hosts concerts throughout the summer, to the Venetians who created the magnificent castle in Svetvincenat, ˘

also used extensively for concerts. But whilst exploring the land is always enjoyable, exploring the sea is even better. With a fantastic coastline, and Venice just a short distance away, you can hire a luxury cruiser to take you out to deserted beaches, around the islands or over to Venice to see the full magnificence of this jewel of the Adriatic. 91

We decided to cruise around the coastline, stopping to take a dip in the crystal-clear sea and calling in at an island restaurant where, once again sea-fresh fish was on the menu. One particular advantage of Croatia at present is that it has not yet joined the EU, although it is preparing its economy for entry. With glorious sunshine but no Euro, Croatia is — for now at least — one of the bargains of the Mediterranean.

We stayed at Villa Anthony, available from Villas Forum, They have a selection of top-class villas — many of them restored farmhouses or stone-built cottages, and all with pools — situated in quiet spots away from the main tourist areas. They can arrange for a chef to cook for you, a boat to take you around the coast, snorkelling, scuba diving and horse riding. Istria is also well stocked with campsites and small hotels. Life

Soak up the Mediterranean sunshine outside the Eurozone in Croatia


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Thank you to everyone who has supported us in 2008

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Skin Deep

Sue Gillman takes a look at the latest body products


Comfort Zone Tranquillity Cream £60.95 Indulging extra-nourishing aromatic body cream, tones the skin and restores a sense of well-being. Available from Swinton Spa, Swinton Park, Masham. Tel: 01765 689000 REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra Nourishing Body Oil £32 The healing and soothing properties of Rose Otto oil nourishes and restores softness and elasticity to the skin. Available from Yes To Carrots Deliciously Rich Body Butter £6.99 A blend of organic carrot juice, pumpkin, sweet potato and dead sea minerals nourishes and moisturises the skin. Available from Debenhams and selected Boots stores nationwide

Lily Lolo ‘Stardust’ Shimmer £12 A pretty, mineral-based finishing powder that acts as a light reflector resulting in natural looking, fresh radiant skin. Fantastic on the décolleté or dusted onto legs to add sheen. Available from

Comfort Zone Fruity Peel Body Scrub £26.50 A rejuvenating gel with exceptional exfoliating and smoothing effects, brightening the skin with a blend of jojoba spheres and fruit extracts. Available from Swinton Spa, Swinton Park, Masham. Tel: 01765 689000

Space NK Spa Seaweed Body Polish £25 This gentle exfoliating body cleanser with seawater and seaweed from Brittany leaves your skin smooth, invigorated and radiant. Available from


Agent Provocateur Crème de la Crème £42.00 This thick sumptuous cream contains real gold particles. Shea butter, Lotus milk extracts and jojoba rice leaves the skin beautifully fragranced with a subtle golden sheen. Tel: 0845 6883343 for stockists

Agent Provocateur Silk Stockings £38.00 This lustrous finishing balm glides over the skin leaving it smooth and silky. A luxurious blend of proteins from pure silk enriched with real gold particles enhances the legs - just like a pair of beautiful silk stockings. Tel: 0845 6883343 for stockists

REN Ginger-Revivo Tonic Two Sugar Body Scrub £22.50 A combination of Muscovado and Demerara cane sugar exfoliates and enhances skin renewal. Available from

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Brian Pike takes a critical look at what’s hot off the presses

Gary Rhodes • 365 After his brief stint in Strictly Come Dancing, Chef Rhodes is — I trust — back in the kitchen, where he belongs. Forget the cha-cha-cha, Gary, what we really want to see is a lot more cookbooks like this one. And why? Well for a start, it’s eminently practical. No impossible-to-find exotic ingredients, no obscure bits of kitchen hardware to buy and no impossibly refined culinary techniques to master. Just a big wad of tastysounding recipes that are well within the capabilities of ordinary mortals. The only thing that’s a bit questionable is the “one year... one simple recipe for every day” theme. With a mantra like that printed on the cover you would expect a set of recipes organised season-by-season, whereas in fact the book is arranged according to type of meal: breakfast, high tea, children’s teatime, Sunday lunch, special occasions and so forth. But hey, forget the title. What you get is plenty of sensible but stylish recipes that are clearly explained, attractively set out, and beautifully illustrated. So many cookery books sit on the shelves gathering dust, but this is one you’ll actually use. Michael Joseph, hardback, £25

Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? • ed. Mick O’Hare Another selection of questions and answers from New Scientist magazine’s ‘Last Word’ column (the series of compilations began a year or two back with Does Anything Eat Wasps?). It’s hard to explain why these cheery little paperbacks make such compelling reading. Compelling they are, though. The topics tackled in the current volume include why pears are pear-shaped, why wrapping a non-functioning swipe-card in a plastic bag can make it work again, and whether or not it really does you any harm to go swimming immediately after eating. Disappointingly, it turns out that we can’t solve the energy crisis by connecting hamsters’ wheels to electric generators. On the positive side, though, it is possible to take the sting out of a horse-fly bite with a mug of tea. Win some, lose some... Profile, softback, £7.99


Gardeners’ World Top Tips • Louise Hampden There are plenty of excellent gardening manuals out there, but they don’t necessarily make easy bedtime reading. They are usually large and unwieldy, for one thing. And then there’s the fact that they’re often organised in a worthy-but-dull A-to-Z kind of fashion. Fortunately Louise Hampden’s bedside-friendly miscellany solves the problem admirably, skipping along merrily from one random topic to the next. There are nuggets of practical advice on choosing, raising, tending, harvesting and propagating various types of flowers, fruit and veg, and these are mixed in with brief excursions into the history, science and mythology of some of our favourite garden plants. I doubt that you will find any information here that you couldn’t eventually track down elsewhere, but even experienced gardeners will probably find a fair bit to interest and inspire them in this nicelymade compendium. BBC Books, hardback, £9.99

A Taste of My Life • Raymond Blanc On the cover of this autobiography, Gallic super-chef Raymond Blanc is pictured in a relaxed pose, hands in pockets and beaming serenely. And indeed this book is a very informal, easy-going affair. It traces Raymond’s life from his humble beginnings in post-war rural France, pausing from time to time to set out recipes that occupy a special place in his affections. It’s an extremely entertaining account, whose many highlights include the young chef’s first meal in a Wimpy (he asked for the wine list), his accident-prone trips to London to deliver baguettes, and his eye-opening visit to Japan. Collaborator James Steen has put together a text that manages to capture something of Raymond’s speaking style (“My God, what an experience!”) without actually resorting to dropping haitches at the beginnings of words. As well as the story of his life, Raymond chats amiably about a diverse range of culinary issues — amongst them the perils of ‘molecular gastronomy’, the ethics of foie gras, black pepper versus white pepper, and how to make a perfect soufflé. A must for any lover of fine food. Bantam Press, hardback, £20 109

Lyttelton’s Britain • Iain Pattinson For the benefit of those who recall with fondness the late Humphrey Lyttelton’s tongue-in-cheek introductions to I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue — those opening monologues where he gave a potted history of whatever town or city the show happened to be recording in — this little book gathers them together into a kind of comic gazetteer of the British Isles. The scripts, which were written by Iain Pattinson and delivered by ‘Chairman Humph’ in his inimitable deadpan style, are definitive examples of dry, gentle English wit. For example: “Norwich City Football Club are nicknamed ‘the Canaries’ because of the team’s long association with the popular Spanish holiday resort. This is why their supporters so regularly respond to referees’ decisions with shouts of ‘Balearics’.” A great stocking-filler for devotees of classic BBC Radio comedy. Preface, hardback, £14.99

Bad Science • Ben Goldacre Bandwagons... why do we insist on leaping onto them? And health bandwagons in particular? If you’ve ever been tempted to jump (and, to be honest, who hasn’t?) then you owe it to yourself to invest in a copy of this ripping little book. Everyone from celebrity alternative therapists to big drug companies seem to be using questionable scientific claims to get rich on the back of our fears and insecurities, and Goldacre — an NHS doctor who writes a weekly column for the Guardian — isn’t afraid to name names and expose underhand methods. Health scaremongers, dubious nutritional claims and supposed ‘miracle cures’ all get a thorough going over. And just in case it all makes you a teeny bit shamefaced about having been taken in, he even includes a chapter entitled ‘Why Clever People Believe Stupid Things’ to make you feel less of a noddlehead. Sterling stuff, and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in health and well-being. And just in case you were wondering, it’s quite funny in places too. If only all journalists were this level-headed, and wrote this well. Fourth Estate, softback, £12.99


ABC3D • Marion Bataille The idea couldn’t be simpler — a pop-up book featuring the 26 letters of the alphabet — but it’s the clever way in which it has been done that makes this stylish, compact book such great fun. The bold, minimalist colour scheme of just black, white and red focuses attention on the letters themselves, and the way they spring into life. Most are three-dimensional, and many of them flip, rotate or transform unexpectedly from one character into another. Mind you, just how long this book will survive in enthusiastic young hands is another question, so my advice is to have a good play with it yourself before handing it over to the kids. Or buy two copies. Bloomsbury, hardback, £9.99

Have You Seen? • David Thomson A page-long write-up on each of 1,000 films by one of the world’s most respected film reviewers, this enormous breezeblock of a book will keep most cinema enthusiasts occupied for the foreseeable future. The films it covers range from ancient (1895) to modern (2007), from SF horror (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) to animated humour (The Cat Concerto, featuring Tom and Jerry), and from world-famous (Star Wars) to — by most people’s standards — willfully obscure (Ozu’s Floating Weeds). Unlike the authors of more pedestrian film guides, Thomson isn’t especially interested in peddling facts and figures, and nor does he keep to the same format from one review to the next. Sometimes he writes as if you’ve probably seen the film in question, at other times as if you haven’t. In some instances he sketches an outline of the plot, in others he homes in on a specific scene, actor or feature of the production. But where his talent lies is in summing up in a few razor-sharp words precisely what makes a particular piece of moviemaking worthwhile — or not, as the case may be. It’s clever, literate and witty, and Thomson has no inhibitions about kicking the stuffing out of established classics. Whether you agree with him or not, it’s hard to avoid getting sucked in. Browse with an open mind and you’ll find yourself watching all sorts of terrific films that you might otherwise have ignored. Yale University Press, hardback, £18


Amazon • Bruce Parry If you watched the TV series, this plentifully illustrated book is a convenient way to relive some of its highlights. If you didn’t, you might find it just a trifle sketchy. A journey down the length of the world’s biggest river is an extraordinary adventure by any standards, and makes for a potentially fascinating piece of travel writing. What’s more there are complex and important issues to be explored, including the cocaine trade and — even more crucial for our future — the wholesale destruction of huge swathes of tropical rainforest. Bruce’s heart is obviously in the right place, but for me his daily diary entries (opening with “I’m in the departure lounge at Heathrow airport”) didn’t quite add up to either a stonking travel yarn or a no-holds-barred piece of investigative reporting. That said, it’s interesting and occasionally thoughtprovoking, and a pleasant enough way to while away a couple of hours on Boxing Day afternoon. Michael Joseph, hardback, £20

Nudge • Richard H Thaler & Cass R Sunstein Choices, choices. When it comes to trading off shortterm gain (the sheer joy of scoffing that extra helping of dessert) against long-term disadvantages (winding up as a fat slob with furry arteries), we humans just ain’t too bright. But what if we could redesign our environment to gently ‘nudge’ us in the direction of making more sensible decisions? That’s the topic of this eye-opening book by American academics Thaler and Sunstein. Be warned, though, this isn’t the usual dumbed-down pop-psychology, and you’ll need to take on board a couple of knobbly terms like ‘choice architecture’ and ‘libertarian paternalism’. But no pain, no gain. Knuckle down to it and Nudge makes a gripping, often very amusing, read — and one that will change the way you think about the world. I certainly learned a lot, not least why there are pictures of a fly (the buzzing type, not the zipper type) on the urinals in the gents’ toilets at Schiphol airport. Until I read Nudge I had assumed it was just Dutch sanitaryware manufacturers having a laugh, but it turns out there was a hidden agenda... Yale University Press, hardback, £18


pure beauty Nails, Tanning & Skincare Centre

From early November Pure Beauty will be moving to 42 Market Place, Bedale (next to the Kings Head)

Nail extensions Manicures Pedicures Eye lash perming Dermalogica facials Dermalogica body treatments Massage Waxing Hot wax specialists Makeup Makeup lessons Spray tan Packages and gift vouchers

Carissa and her staff would like to wish all their clients a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 42 Market Place, Bedale Tel: 01677 424380

Thirsk Racecourse

2009 Fixtures April 17th Friday

April 18th Saturday May 2nd Saturday

Country Racing at its Best

May 9th Saturday (eve)

The perfect Christmas Present from £5 and upwards!

June 1st Monday (eve)

Gift Vouchers available from £5

May 16th Saturday

Annual Single Membership £140, Associate Membership £225 June 16th Tuesday (Ladies Day) Guest Membership £250, Junior Membership £65 June 30th Tuesday (eve)

July 24th Friday

July 31st Friday

August 1st Saturday

August 10th Monday (eve)

August 28th Friday (Family Day)

September 5th Saturday

For further information contact Thirsk Racecourse Ltd Tel: 01845 522276 or visit painting by Ruth Buchanan

Caroline Shotton autumn collection

2 Pint 4

Moo and a Calf

Moo Too

Meet the Famooly

Wensleydale Galleries Art & Framing Studio Unit 1 • Herriot Court • Leyburn Business Park • Harmby Road • Leyburn • DL8 5QA T: 01969 623488 • E: • W: 114

Country Diary compiled by Marie Brant

Tennants Auction Centre, Leyburn Tel: 01969 623780

Antique & Fine Art Sales

Saturday 25 October Antiques & Home Furnishings Sale 9.30am

Bonhams Market Chambers, 14 Market Place, Bedale For catalogues, appointments and enquiries, please telephone 01677 424114 Email Wednesday 19 November Automobilia, Motorcycles and Motor Cars, Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate

Tuesday 11 November Antiques & Home Furnishings Sale 9.30am Friday 21 & Saturday 22 November Autumn Catalogue Sale 10.00am

Tuesday 25 November The Yorkshire Sale, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate Wednesday 3 December Fine Jewellery, New Bond Street Wednesday 21 January 2009 The Gentleman’s Library Sale, New Bond Street Wednesday 28 January 2009 Stamps and Covers of the World, Knightsbridge Tuesday 10 February 2009 The Dog Sale, New York

Owen Bowen R.O.I., P.R.Cam.A. (1873-1967) "In Wharfedale, Yorkshire" Oil on canvas, 51 by 61cm £500 - 800

Friday 28 November Antiques & Home Furnishings Sale 9.30am Friday 5 December Sporting & Militaria Sale 10.30am Saturday 6 December Antique & Home Furnishings Sale 9.30am Wednesday 10 December Winter Book Sale 12 noon Saturday 13 December Antique & Home Furnishings Sale 9.30am

Events Events at Perk Up, Market Place South, Ripon Tel: 01765 698888 Percival Leonard Rosseau (American, 1859-1937 )Irish Setters pointing, signed and dated 'Rosseau 1918' (lower left) oil on canvas 20 1/4 x 28 1/4in (51.4 x 71.7cm) $20,000-30,000. To be included in The Dog Sale, 10th February 2009, New York.

Wednesday 18 February 2009 The South African Sale, New Bond Street

Sunday 2 November until end of December Champagne Sunday brunch served 11am-3pm Three courses plus a glass of champagne £16.50. Tuesday 25 November To celebrate our 5th anniversary we are hosting a glittering party, by invite only. There will be an auction and all proceeds will go to Martin House Hospice. 115

Country Diary Thursday 27 November In conjunction with Playford Ros wine merchants enjoy a 5 course tasting menu with wine included. Booking essential. New Year’s Eve five course dinner with complimentary champagne on arrival Enjoy spectacular fireworks display from the comfort of your seat whilst enjoying superb food and drink. £60 per person. Booking essential. Events at Lakeside Farmshop & Country Café, North Farm, Ellerton, Scorton, nr Richmond Tel: 01748 818382 Friday 7 November Children’s bonfire (no fireworks) 5-7pm. Food available. Saturday & Sunday 29 & 30 November The Lakeside Christmas Fayre. 10am-4pm. Food tastings, gift and craft stalls. Droy Metalworkers Open Day, 2 Borough Road, Gallowfields Trading Estate, Richmond. Saturday & Sunday 22 & 23 November Come along and view examples of our work. There will be an opportunity to buy the products on show, including Christmas items, and enquire about bespoke pieces. Christmas refreshments will be available including mince pies and beverages. Bedale Christmas Festival Saturday 6 December This year’s Christmas Festival will feature a dry Ice Rink from 10am in Bedale Hall car park, £3 per pair of boots with under 5’s free. For the young ones, come and greet Father Christmas off the train at Bedale station at 5.30pm. The official switch-on of the Christmas lights will take place at 6pm, join us around the tree for carols and mince pies. Shops will stay open longer than normal for browsers and shopaholics! Supported by Bedale Chamber of Trade and Town Council.


Exhibitions The Saltbox Gallery & Workshop, 2 Castlegate, Helmsley Tel: 01439 770881 Exhibitions running throughout the year including many national and regional artists who are exhibiting as part of the gallery’s selected artist. The garden is always open for a browse, showing original garden sculptures and wildlife. Ceramics by Marcus O Mahony, Ruthanne Tudball, Virginia Graham and Janet Stahlein Edmondson, also hand forge metalwork by British Artist Blacksmiths and jewellery from Robert Feather, Louise Dwyer, Suzie Horan and Anne Massey and new designers showcased regularly. Painting, sculpture and prints are on sale by Rupert Till, Jennifer Tetlow and printmakers Kane Cunningham, Helen Roddie and Jane Kennelly. We welcome commissions and are happy to offer a design service. Gift vouchers available. Opening times Monday 1.30pm-3.30pm,Tues & Wed 10am3.45pm, Fri & Sat 10am-4.30pm, Sun 1pm-4pm. Art Exhibition at High Parks Gallery, Newton le Willows, nr Bedale Saturday 28 November Preview of an exhibition of works by painter Barbara Braithwaite and textile artist Caroline Dunn at High Parks Gallery, Newton le Willows, Friday 28 November, 7pm to 9pm. Exhibition continues the following weeks – please phone 01677 450430 for opening times.

Racing Fixtures 2009 Thirsk Racecourse Ltd, Station Road, Thirsk Tel: 01845 522276 Friday April 17 Saturday April 18 Saturday May 2 Saturday May 9 (eve) Saturday May 16 Monday June 1 (eve) Tuesday June 16 (Ladies Day) Tuesday June 30 (eve) Friday July 24 Friday July 31 Saturday August 1 Monday August 10 (eve) Friday August 28 (Family Day) Saturday September 5

beautiful@hampsteads Full beauty menu now available including the SkinCeuticals速 range of advanced skincare products and treatments

Kitchings Furniture One of North Yorkshire's Finest Furniture Shops

We stock a fabulous range of upholstery including electric lift and rise recliner chairs, bedroom and dining room furniture and we offer a wide selection of beds, sofa beds and mattresses. For more information please visit our showroom or telephone 01677 423127 or 422581

5 Bridge Street, Bedale

A wide range of carpets, curtains, window dressings and soft furnishings for the home. Free interior design advice and home selection service.

New showroom now open in Darlington 310 North Road, Darlington Tel: 01325 487847 Made to Measure

Dressing Tables

Sliding Wardrobes

Custom Made Interiors

Bedside Tables

Designer Mirrors

Wishing all our customers a very merry Christmas Milners Department Store an established family business offering a personal service to their customers

Murphy Wall Beds - Space Saving Solutions. All sizes from Single to Kingsize

Taylor Made Wardrobes Hunters Building, Bowesfield Lane, Stockton on Tees Tel: 01642 679086

Opening times 9.00am to 5.15pm Monday to Friday. 9.00am to 4.00pm Saturday, Half day Wednesday.

6 Market Place, Leyburn DL8 5BJ T: 01969 622208 E: W: 119

...whatever your business, whatever the size, Robert Blackburn & Co. promises you a friendly, personal and professional service.

The Wensleydale House Doctor Home Improvement Specialist • Painting and decorating • Kitchens and bathrooms fitted • Joinery • Flooring • Tiling • Plumbing • Plastering No job too small A Merry Christmas to all my clients

Tel: 01677 450810 Hunton, Bedale, North Yorkshire 120




York House, Market Place, Leyburn, N. Yorks DL8 5AT Tel: 01969 623636 Fax: 01969 624512

Bo ok K ee pin g

Inheritance tax

Pa yro ll

Tel: 01677 426616 Email: The Assembly Rooms, 29 Market Place, Bedale DL8 1ED

Self Assessment


Budg et


DalesLife The leading free magazine for North Yorkshire

You’re reading this and so is everyone else in the Dales Our targeted distribution gives Dales Life blanket coverage of the Dales that no other publication can match. If you’re a business, you’ll find it pays to advertise with us The next issue of Dales Life is already in production. If you would like to advertise, call us now.

01677 425217/425251 For further information please contact Sue Gillman Telephone 01677 425217 / 425251 Email


Ambit Computers We have been in the business of selling computers for over 20 years, in the Northallerton area and, more recently, in the dales.

Need your pc upgrading, repairing or even building? No job is too small All files backed up call Liam on Tel: 01677 460135 Mobile: 07951 329662 Email:

√ Our ex demo systems come with a year's guarantee and are very competitively priced, starting at £450, however we are also able to supply new systems √ Used systems, with 3 month's guarantee, from £150 √ Used laptops are our speciality - from £250 √ Free delivery and installation within a reasonable distance √ Repairs and servicing - free estimates given √ Printers, scanners, ink cartridges, stationery, etc Unsure of what you need? We give plain, helpful advice on what would suit YOU Just ring Eric or Glenn on 01609 774129 and see how straightforward computing can be.

9b Garthway Arcade, Northallerton, N. Yorks


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:

No job too small!!!

MARTIN TRADEWELL Qualified & Insured Bird Guards & Cowls Fitted Your Experienced Dales Sweep Covering Wensleydale, Coverdale & Swaledale No Mess, No Fuss & Prompt Service

01388 517045

BAKER DEVELOPMENTS restoration and new builds Extensions • Alteration • Renovations Conversions • Guttering • Plastering Roofing • Insulation Sewage Treatment Tanks Chimney Work • Stone Paving General Repairs

Professional Quality Service

The timeless classical beauty of solid hardwood floors C Direct from our sawmill

Call John Baker

01969 650860 07813 708254

C Every floor produced individually to

a consistent profile and assured quality C Extensive range – from rustic oak to

exotic walnut C Matching skirtings & mouldings

Duffield Timber, Melmerby, Ripon HG4 5JB Tel: 01765 640564 Flooring Sales



Weather vanes, Security grilles, Handrails, Balustrades, Curtain poles, Door furniture, Dog grates. All types of fabrication work undertaken. Specialists in remote control and automated gate systems which can be fitted to existing wooden or metal entrance gates.

LC Construction Services L








Extensions & Alterations


Barn Conversions

01677 450450/450374

The Forge, Finghall, Nr. Leyburn

New Builds

Commercial Builds Property Renovations Purpose Made Joinery

Traditional wooden gates, top quality fencing, wooden decking and garden furniture. All hand-made by craftsmen using the very finest timber. Repairs to existing gates and fencing also available. Specialists in automated gate systems. Distance and delivery no object. Call for a free estimate or on site quotation.

Tel: 01677 450450/450374

t Office 01969 624441 Mob 07793 106771 Email

The Forge, Finghall, nr Leyburn


From this to this

Why worry about the inconvenience and expense of replacing your old kitchen? We can totally transform it by

hand - painting your existing units in a range of paint effects and colours.

Whether you have dark oak, old pine or

even standard melamine units, you could have a beautiful new kitchen for the

fraction of the cost of a replacement.

Telephone: 01765 677269 Mobile: 07932 917825

E-mail: Web:

Floor Tiles Steam-Cleaned & Sealed KITCHENS CONSERVATORIES HALLS


John Lord 01748 811452 07961 460020


DalesLife The leading free magazine for North Yorkshire

You’re reading this

Paul Rutter BSc(Hons) MC Optom

Optometrist and contact lens practitioner

and so is everyone else in the Dales Our targeted distribution gives Dales Life blanket coverage of the Dales that no other publication can match. If you’re a business, you’ll find it pays to advertise with us The next issue of Dales Life is already in production. If you would like to advertise, call us now.

01677 425217/425251 For further information please contact Sue Gillman Telephone 01677 425217 / 425251 Email


One Hour Makes All The Difference!

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 CARING AGENCY Premiere Care will enable you to live at home with the help of an experienced carer.

Do you enjoy meeting & talking with older people? Richmondshire Community Befriending Service aims to bring companionship & support to lonely & isolated older people living alone in our community. We are looking for volunteers with an hour a week to commit to visiting older people in their own homes. To join our service or simply find out more about this exciting new project, please contact Linda Curran or Shirley Southcott at St John’s Centre T: 01748 832271 E: Reg. Charity no. 700486

We provide a flexible service to suit your individual needs. For detailed information please contact Ursula Bussey. 1 East Witton, Leyburn, N. Yorkshire Telephone: 01969 625431 Mobile: 07802 712366 127


Dine for


Great places to eat and stay in the Yorkshire Dales 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 mainly Yorkshire ingredients. 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. The Blue Lion, East Witton. tel: 01969 624273 Vennell’s Restaurant Jon Vennell’s innovative approach to cooking offers you some great food using locally sourced produce served in relaxed and elegant surroundings. ‘My roasted partridge was absolutely gorgeous – judiciously cooked and attractively sliced.’ – Claudia Blake, Dales Life. Vennell’s holds many events throughout the year and these can be viewed on their website, Vennell’s Restaurant, 7 Silver Street, Masham. tel: 01765 689000 The Buck Inn Overlooking the cricket pitch on the village green, The Buck Inn is an ideal country retreat. It offers wholesome pub food as well as exciting modern cuisine — all freshly prepared to the Buck’s own recipes. Diners can eat in the bar or dine in the restaurant by candlelight. There is also a function room that seats up to 75 people. The bar offers a comprehensive wine list and has a selection of well-kept ales, including the locally brewed ‘Black Sheep’. You can also choose from 40 different malt whiskies. Accommodation available. The Buck Inn, Thornton Watlass, between Bedale and Masham tel: 01677 422461 The Black Sheep Brewery The Black Sheep Brewery Visitor Centre — situated in Masham, the gateway to Wensleydale — 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 is a ‘ewe-nique’ venue for corporate entertaining, product launches, parties, weddings and so on. Many events take place throughout the year. Check their website for details. The Black Sheep Brewery, Wellgarth, Masham tel: 01765 680101

Perk Up Overlooking Ripon's historic Market Square, Perk Up offers the finest, freshest and most innovative culinary experience whether it is breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch or dinner. An exciting wine menu is on offer including a few wines unique to Ripon. The bar offers a contemporary range of wines, cocktails and other drinks in a sophisticated atmosphere. 'Conscientiously-prepared, elegant, tasty food in bright, congenial surroundings... a hearty welcome and friendly, efficient, unpretentious service." - Claudia Blake, Dales Life. Open: Tues-Sat 10am-9pm, Sunday 11-3pm Perk Up, 43 Market Place South, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 1BZ tel: 01765 698888 The Frenchgate Hotel Enjoy some of Yorkshire’s finest food, wines and refreshments served in beautiful surroundings. Feast on a superb dinner, a stylish lunch or simply call in for a delicious coffee. Newly awarded AA rosette for food. Eight en suite guest rooms, individually furnished, comfortable and well-equipped. The warmest of Yorkshire welcomes. The Frenchgate Hotel, 59-61 Frenchgate, Richmond. tel: 01748 822087 The Black Swan Enjoy first class accommodation, excellent food and a warm welcome. Now incorporating The Cygnet Restaurant under the new ownership of Ian and Sally Crampton. A new talented chef has been appointed who is passionate about food, producing an appealing menu at realistic prices. There is also a well stocked wine cellar. The Black Swan, Middleham tel: 01969 622221 The Countryman’s Inn A traditional country pub, with three well-equipped, 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 cask-conditioned ales, three of which are brewed within 10 miles of the pub.An AA 3 star inn and AA diners award. The Countryman’s Inn, Hunton, near Bedale tel. 01677 450554


Yorebridge House Set in the unspoilt village of Bainbridge, Wensleydale, Yorebridge House offers sumptuous rooms and relaxation. The new bar and restaurant offers the discerning diner a modern British menu created by Head Chef James Fiske and his team. Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, Wensleydale. tel: 01969 652060 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. The Sandpiper Inn, Market Place, Leyburn. tel: 01969 622206 The White Bear The White Bear is set in its own courtyard in the beautiful market town of Masham. Enjoy fine food in the newly refurbished restaurant. Delicious home-cooked food. Great beer, great food, great atmosphere, great wines and above all a great welcome. Accommodation available in fourteen individually designed rooms, all with en suite facilities. The White Bear, Wellgarth, Masham. tel: 01765 689319


Swinton Park Hotel An exclusive 30 bedroom luxury castle hotel. With 4 red stars (Inspectors Choice) and 3 Rosettes awarded by the AA for excellent facilities, this is one of the most highly rated hotels in Yorkshire and Cumbria. Award winning cuisine is served in the sumptuously furnished dining room, using seasonal produce sourced from the hotel’s 4 acre walled garden and surrounding estate. Swinton Park Hotel, Masham, Ripon. tel: 01765 680900 Simonstone Hall Simonstone Hall's restaurant enjoys a well earned reputation for its outstanding cuisine, complemented by an extensive list of fine and interesting wines. There is also a brasserie style menu in the Orangery/Bar. A perfect setting for a romantic dinner, special occasion or a wedding reception. Open to nonresidents for Christmas Day lunch. Simonstone Hall, Simonstone, Hawes DL8 3LY tel: 01969 667255


The difference is in the making


PLEASE ASK FOR OUR COMPLIMENTARY BROCHURE, TELEPHONE: 01969 624274 Showroom: Belle Vue Offices, Market Place, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5AW Visit our website: Open: Monday to Friday 9am-5.30pm and Saturday 10am-1pm

Christmas 2008

DalesLife CHRISTMAS 2008

CELEBRATE Yorkshire’s favourite free magazine


Deck the Halls


INDULGENT RECIPES from Michel Roux DalesLife


by Sarah Raven

Dales Life Christmas 2008  

Yorkshire's favourite free magazine

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