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DalesLife WINTER 2009

Seasonal Sparkle HEAVEN SCENT

Create a frosty winter garland

Beautiful scented plants for winter

Freeze Frame The magic of winter in the dales

Let me entertain you EASY RECIPES TO IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS


COUNTY KITCHENS (Leyburn) Ltd PLEASE ASK FOR OUR COMPLIMENTARY BROCHURE, TELEPHONE: 01969 624274 Showroom: Belle Vue Offices, Market Place, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5AW Visit our website: www.yorkshire-kitchens.co.uk Open: Monday to Friday 9am-5.30pm and Saturday 10am-1pm


The

Editor’s Letter Dales Life Winter 2009 A very warm welcome to the winter issue of Dales Life. With Christmas just around the corner, we make no apologies about focusing on food and drink. If you want to add a touch of style to your Christmas dinner (and why wouldn’t you?) then turn to p.80 for some terrific recipes by Annie Bell. And because there’s more to festive food than turkey and Brussels sprouts we also have some inspiring ideas for hearty winter dishes from Ross Dobson. They’re bursting with flavour but simple to make, and you can find them on p.66. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a cheese board, and if you haven’t yet tried Richmond cheesemaker Simon Lacey’s wares, now is a © Garden Picture Library good time. You can read about Simon on p.103. Our Christmas Emporium on p.91 features several other local suppliers of top quality foods. Editor: Sue Gillman And to find out what to wash everything down with, head for p.24, where Deputy Editor: Brian Pike Copy Editor: Helen Millions Christine Austin has sought out some celebratory wines that won’t break Production: Claudia Blake the bank.

Advertising: Sue Gillman Art Director: Stef Suchomski Photo Editor: Kirsty Kennedy Fashion Editor: Chloe Smith

Proprietor: Sue Gillman T: 01609 749117 M: 07970 739119 E: sue@daleslife.demon.co.uk Dales Life Ingledew 2a Crabtree Hall Business Centre, Little Holtby, Northallerton, DL7 9LN

Contributors: Chris Baines Christine Austin Brian Pike Ian Henry Claudia Blake John Cushnie Chloe Smith Laurie Campbell

Christmas decorations? Why not make your own? We have a simple but stunning mantel arrangement on p.8. As for presents, check out this issue’s extended Bookmark feature on p.109 — there are some great gift ideas here, for adults and children alike. Dales Life will be back in February, with more issues per year and an even wider circulation. In the meantime, our office is on the move again, to lovely new premises at Crabtree Hall Business Centre in Little Holtby near Northallerton. Please note our new address and telephone number on p.118. Finally, I would like to wish all our readers, and all the advertisers who have so faithfully supported us during 2009, a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Sue Gillman

Subscribe to Dales Life now 01609

749117 3


Beautiful handmade kitchens designed and made to order in Yorkshire

Bespoke doors • Cast iron radiators Victorian & Georgian fireplaces • Period door furniture Stoves • Lighting • Oak Flooring Visit our extensive showroom in Richmond View our on-line brochure at www.periodhousestore.co.uk Tel: 01748 821500 Unit 3-7, Simpson Building, Borough Road, Gallowfields Trading Estate, Richmond, North Yorkshire


Contents

Winter 2009

8

96

66 24

On the cover 8 Seasonal Sparkle

66 Let Me Entertain You

Create a frosty winter wonderland arrangement that will last through the whole Christmas break.

Tasty recipes from top food writer Ross Dobson that are easy to make, but will definitely impress your guests.

24 On The Grapevine

96 Freeze Frames

Christine Austin singles out some great-value festive drinking.

Landscape photographer John Potter captures the stark beauty of winter.

Continued>

5


Contents

51

40

Features 16 The Discerning Diner 80 Gorgeous Christmas

Claudia Blake visits The George at Wath

30 On The Rocks

Italy's charming Cinque Terre hasn't been ruined by tourism yet says Ian Henry.

40 Heaven Scent

Some of our most beautiful scented plants flower in winter. John Cushnie shares some of his favourites.

51 Branch Out

There are still plenty of ancient trees waiting to be discovered. Chris Baines reports.

56 Competition

Your chance to win one of the world’s most luxurious beds.

58 Diamond Life

Diamond jewellery is still as popular as ever. Ian Henry meets gem expert Sarah Hardy. 6

Add style to your festive fare with these elegant recipes by awardwinning cookery writer Annie Bell.

88 Love Lingerie A look at the new season's exquisite lingerie collections.

91 Christmas Emporium Great gift ideas from some of our region’s independant retailers.

103 A Taste Of Yorkshire Brian Pike meets Richmond cheesemaker Simon Lacey.

109 Bookmark

30

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

128 To Dine For Great places to stay and eat in the Yorkshire Dales.

To advertise in Dales Life contact Sue on 01609 749117 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.


No one does

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Seasonal

Sparkle


Why make do with mass-manufactured Christmas decorations when you can create something much more stylish for a fraction of the price? Here’s a simple but stunning idea from Tessa Evelegh’s new collection of festive projects, Homemade Christmas.

mantel arrangement Create a frosty winter wonderland around silvered glass candlesticks using classic greenery, white-sprayed twigs, and silvery contorted willow. The silvery decorations tied on with the narrowest of gingham ribbon add interest whilst teaming with the silver candlesticks. It’s an arrangement that will last well through the whole Christmas break and, with its natural forest feel, looks great in the hallway, lending the sense of bringing some of the outside in.

Materials • 5 blocks of florist’s foam • 4 florist’s foam trays or plastic boxes • Florist’s tape • 2 branches of lichen twigs • Pruning shears • Large bundle of natural twigs • Large bundle of white-sprayed twigs • Branches of pine

Soak the florist’s foam blocks for 1 a minimum of one hour to ensure they are completely wet through. Next, set them up on the mantel in plastic trays. In the middle of the mantel, place two blocks side by side with one centered on top, then put a block on either side of the stack.Tape them in position using the florist’s tape.

• Trailing ivy • 6 stems of silver sequin-covered contorted willow • 3 silver candlesticks • 3 white candles • Silver heart decorations • Narrow gingham ribbon cut to 6in (15cm) lengths

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Inexpensive metal hearts, tied on with a narrow ribbon in tiny purple check, bring a delightful decorative touch to this elegant arrangement.

2

Cut the lichen branches into pieces about 12in (30cm) long using the pruning shears and push the ends into the foam blocks near the lower edges. In the same way, fix the natural twigs between the lichen twigs.

3

Next, cut the white-sprayed twigs to about 12in (30cm) in length and add a new layer above the natural and lichen twigs.

4

Now cut the pine branches into pieces about 8in (20cm) long and fix them between the twigs, covering up the florist’s foam.

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11


5

Next, add the long lengths of trailing ivy, fixing them between the pieces of pine and the twigs to give body to the arrangement.

6

Add in the silver, sequin-covered contorted willow to give the arrangement a frosted feel.

7

Place the silver candlesticks on top of the foam blocks. Cut some smaller pieces of pine to a length of about 6in (15cm) and use it to cover up the top of the blocks.

8

Finally, tie on pretty silver hearts using short lengths of narrow gingham ribbon.

Home-made Christmas by Tessa Evelegh is published in hardback by CICO Books at ÂŁ14.99, and is available from all good bookshops. Dales Life readers can purchase a copy at the special price of ÂŁ12.99 including free P&P by calling 01256 302699 and quoting reference GLR3DN. 12


© Amdega Ltd. 2009 All rights reserved

Your Amdega Orangeries | Conservatories | Pool Houses | Summerhouses | Blinds

Imagine dining in a private spot. Could this be your Amdega . . . For a brochure call 0800 975 1972 or visit www.amdega-summerhouses.co.uk

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Bib Gourmand The Michelin guide

2 Rosettes The AA Restaurant guide

5 points The Good Food Guide

Country Restaurant of the year 2005 R.Cockcroft,Yorkshire Post

Neighbourhood Restaurant of the year 2006 Yorkshire Life

Best for Sunday Lunch The Independent 2006

IT'S BACK FOR 2010! ÂŁ19.50 for 3 courses off our full (regularly changing) restaurant menu Offer valid Wednesday - Friday from 13th January to 21st May 2010 Vennell's Restaurant 7 Silver Street, Masham, North Yorkshire, HG4 4DX

Stone House Hotel

Enjoy a beautiful drive through Wensleydale to the Stone House Hotel. For reservations please call 01969 667571 Bookings for Christmas functions now being taken Sedbusk, Hawes, North Yorkshire DL8 3PT www.stonehousehotel.co.uk 14

Tel.01765 689000 www.vennellsrestaurant.co.uk info@vennellsrestaurant.co.uk

SWINTON PARK COOKERY SCHOOL

New 2010 Residential, Day, Demonstration and Evening Courses. Christmas Vouchers now available T : 01765 680900 MASHAM, RIPON, hg4 4jh WWW.SWINTONPARK.COM


Christmas at The Countryman’s A warm welcome in traditional surroundings

Introducing our new Christmas menu available from 28th October to mid January. (£5 deposit per person required to secure booking)

We serve a wide range of food using fresh, seasonal Yorkshire produce. Our newly re-furbished bedrooms are available at a discounted rate for guests booking the Christmas menu. A perfect break over the festive season! We look forward to welcoming you

THE COUNTRYMAN’S INN HUNTON, NEAR BEDALE, NORTH YORKSHIRE, DL8 1PY

T. 01677 450554

WWW.COUNTRYMANSINN.CO.UK 15


The Discerning

Diner

Claudia Blake visits The George at Wath 16


THE GEORGE AT WATH, JUST NORTH OF RIPON, reopened under new management earlier this year. And even before we stepped through the door, we could see that the new owners have put a good deal of thought and effort into refurbishing it. In fact, the elegant simplicity of the brand new sign on The George’s frontage tells you just what to expect from the interior: something stylish, bright and modern, but with a nod to the past. The spacious bar still has the warmth and character of a traditional Yorkshire village hostelry, but muted colours and tasteful furnishings give it a light, contemporary twist. I gather that The George now boasts a big new function room, and that there are five new bedrooms on the way. Our focus for the evening, though, was firmly on the food. You can eat in the bar, but we decided on the cosy little restaurant area. Our table for two was modestly proportioned but decently equipped, and the smart new chairs with their loose covers were reassuringly comfy. The menu was printed in brown on beige, perhaps not the easiest text to read in low light. It was concise — a handful of choices in each category — but that’s no bad thing. I would rather a restaurant cooked a few dishes well than a large number indifferently. The wine list was wideranging, informative and nicely put together, with an eclectic selection of bottles starting at an affordable £13. We picked a bold, spicy New Zealand Pinot Noir at around the £30 mark, and it proved to be an excellent foil for the generous, hearty flavours of our food.

It was robust enough, for example, to stand up to Piers’ starter, a wedge of chicken liver and spinach gateau. This delivered the dark, smouldering, savoury tones that you would hope for from chicken livers, but somehow still managed to be light and moreish. It came with an attractive, nicely dressed salad of baby leaves — dinky little beets and cresses — and a tangy tomato coulis. The coulis was tasty and well-made, but arguably surplus to requirements. Its flavour didn’t exactly clash with those of the gateau, but nor did it especially enhance them. A fine starter nonetheless. It looked terrific and slipped down nicely.

chef has a sharp eye and a discerning palate

Equally charmingly presented, my set of three tiny butternut squash and spiced carrot tartlets packed some splendid autumn-through-to-winter flavours inside their light, crispy pastry cases. They came with a dash of beurre blanc and a light, uplifting salad of pea shoots. No doubt about it, chef has a sharp eye and a discerning palate. There were more big, comforting flavours in my main, a slow-roast shank of lamb. Dark and glistening, it had been basted to an almost honeyed richness. Just what the doctor ordered. The crinkly, crisp Savoy cabbage made a great vehicle for the deeply brooding port jus, and together they provided an ideal counterpoint to the richness of the lamb. Factor into the equation a luscious dollop of fine, creamy mash and the result was a thoroughly rewarding bowlful.

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Piers had chosen pan-fried medallions of veal, and the two thick slices came with a fricassée of wild mushrooms in an intoxicatingly creamy shallot and brandy sauce, along with a substantial slab of potato and spinach galette. All incontrovertibly lipsmacking, and bursting with flavour, but just one small quibble: the potato could probably have done with another five minutes in the oven. Despite having already been very well-fed, we launched a feeble assault on the dessert menu. My apple pancake with Calvados sabayon had plenty of bright, sharp apple tempered with the right amount of spicy sweetness. I feel churlish saying it, but it was actually a bit too much for me after our hearty starters and mains. A thinner crepe and half the amount of apple and I could probably have finished it all. Piers’ Bakewell tart was an unusual take on the classic, with lots of raspberry jam and a thin crunchy topping as opposed to a thin smear of jam beneath an almondy cake. It was served with a very pleasant custard, but it was arguably a touch on the cool side. Had it been piping hot we would probably have greeted it with unalloyed ecstasy. It was back to form, though, with coffees and some gorgeous homemade truffles. Reader, I would happily have paid extra for a bagful to take home. The arrival of the bill revealed that we had paid a shade over £47 for two sets of three courses, with wine, coffee and minerals adding another £40. Good value? Yes, undoubtedly. There were a couple of minor shortcomings — perhaps not surprising during a busy service — but I do very much like what these folk are doing. Modern,

18

thoughtful cooking, carefully presented, and several notches above the usual pub dining experience. I should add that we received a warm welcome, and prompt, cheerful and efficient service throughout. I sense a concern for detail and a commitment to excellence that make me think The George could well become an important landmark on the Yorkshire dining map. Overall, I have only one major regret: not living closer at hand. If Wath were just a mile or two nearer, you would probably find me in The George rather more often than would be good for Piers’ wallet. For further information about The George at Wath call 01765 641324 or visit www.thegeorgeatwath.co.uk. Life






A new Christmas dining experience

The dales newest and most contemporary dining experience

We will be serving our impressive Christmas lunch and Christmas dinner menus daily from the 1st to 24th December in the welcoming intimacy of the Snug 11.30 to 14.30 and 18.00 to 22.00 Wednesday to Saturday We are also opening on the 25th with our sumptuous Christmas Day menu

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

www.perkup.co.uk

DalesLife The leading free magazine for North Yorkshire

Hendersons is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some of the finest food in North Yorkshire. Our stunning new bar and restaurant is set in the rolling countryside of the Yorkshire dales. Celebrate the festive season in style, we have a variety of party menu's to suit all tastes.

To book space in the Spring issue contact Sue Gillman Telephone: 01609 749117 Mobile: 07970 739119 email: sue@daleslife.demon.co.uk www.daleslife.com

We are open Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, so if you are looking for a special treat this year, it has to be Hendersons. For bookings and enquiries please telephone (01969) 663268 Hendersons Bar and Restaurant, Westholme Estate, Aysgarth, North Yorkshire DL8 3SP

19


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 www.sandpiperinn.co.uk

A traditional ambience, excellent food and an extensive wine list, make The Queen's Head a perfect place to relax and unwind. A selection of Festive menus are available and places are still available for our Christmas 'Dinner & Disco' Nights. Early bird dinner menu from 6.00 to 7.30pm (excludes Saturday) 2 courses ÂŁ12.00, 3 courses ÂŁ16.00

For the very best in fresh local food, breathtaking views and great service. The Queens Head Finghall, North Yorkshire 01677 450259 enquiries@queensfinghall.co.uk www.queensfinghall.co.uk 20


THe WHITe BeAr HoTeL MASHAM, NorTH YorkSHIre CHRISTMAS AT THE WHITE BEAR The White Bear Hotel is a five star inn situated in the pretty, market town of Masham in the foothills of the Yorkshire Dales. We have everything to make your visit to us perfect. You may wish to stay overnight or for a few days, dine with us, hold your meeting in purpose-built surroundings, celebrate an important day in your life, or just have a drink with some of the locals in the bar. Christmas menus now available

01765 689 319

thewhitebearhotel.co.uk

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Our sumptuous menu consisting of fresh, Yorkshire seasonal produce provides a mouth-watering choice of pub classics and FMWXVSWX]PIJSSHGSQTPIQIRXIHF]E[MHIGLSMGISJ½RI[MRIW many available by the glass and local cask ales. ˆ'LVMWXQEW1IRY´W2S[%ZEMPEFPIˆ ˆ+SYVQIX;MRI(MRRIVXL2SZIQFIVˆ ˆ%GGSQQSHEXMSR2S[3TIRˆ Call for details or to make a reservation. 4VMZEXI(MRMRK

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8,)+)36+)%8;%8, MAIN STREET, WATH, RIPON, NORTH YORKSHIRE HG4 5EN T: 01765 641324 W: THEGEORGEATWATH.CO.UK E: RICHARD@THEGEORGEATWATH.CO.UK 21


Celebrate Christmas in style!

Bolton Castle Tea Room Now managed by Liz Fairburn of Food For Thought

Delicious sandwiches, light lunches and afternoon tea.

The warmest welcome awaits you at Romanby Brasserie this Christmas.

Party Nights £27.95 per person

Brasserie

from £15.85 per person

Christmas Day £45.00 per person

Christmas Lunches £13.95 per person Visit www.romanby.com or call 01609 778855 (Ext 3) to request a brochure.

Christmas Fayre 5th December 10.00 am to 5.00 pm Festive food, hampers and Yorkshire produce Open Saturday and Sunday only 11am to 3.00pm

Bolton Castle, Near Leyburn, North Yorkshire,

T. 01969 623981

Food for Thought

LIZ FAIRBURN

Yafforth Road, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL7 0PE Telephone: 01609 778855 (Ext. 3) www.romanby.com

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T: 01677 460262 M: 07840 721052 E: lizfairburn@hotmail.co.uk www.meals2remember.co.uk WEDDINGS • DINNER PARTIES FAMILY CELEBRATION MEALS


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

Thornton Watlass Ripon HG4 4AH, Between Bedale & Masham Tel: 01677 422461 www.buckwatlass.co.uk

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

23


On the

Grapevine

Christine Austin singles out some great-value festive drinking 24


WITH THE SEASON OF ENTERTAINING CLOSE AT HAND, now is the time to stock up with a few choice bottles to ensure you always have something good to offer guests. And with plenty of wines offering bags of flavour for money, there’s no need to spend a fortune. In the recent International Wine Challenge, Northallerton’s Lewis & Cooper (01609 772880) was awarded Best Wine Merchant in North East England, so it is well worth spending an hour or two browsing their shelves. Head for the crisp, bright fruit of Santa Alvara Sauvignon Blanc 2007; it comes from the iconic Casa Lapostolle winery in Colchagua Valley in Chile and has lots of tropical fruit and serious weight for a mere £5.99. For the same price, a wine entitled The Spanish Quarter, offers the restrained elegance of the Albariño grape, blended with a little Chardonnay to round out the flavours. This is a wine to enjoy on its own, but it also works well teamed up with cold chicken or even turkey. Amongst the reds at Lewis & Cooper, the 2006 John X Merriman Blend from the chic Rustenberg winery in Stellenbosch, South Africa, offers ripe blackcurrant fruit with a long, sweet cedary finish. The wine is made from the same grape varieties as good quality claret, yet it achieves more ripeness and suppleness in the warmth of South Africa’s sunshine. Partner it with any robust meal, or even with the full Christmas dinner.

cake or a plate of nuts. For sumptuous nutty, ginger and crème brûlée flavours try Barbeito Boal 10 Year Old at £24.95. And don’t worry if you haven’t finished it when your guests go home; Madeira keeps for ages, even after opening. Also good with the rich, sweet flavours of Christmas is d’Arenberg Vintage Fortified Shiraz 2005 which comes in half bottles from Corks & Cases in Masham (01765 688810) at just £10.99. If you want to try before you buy, there is usually a bottle open behind the counter throughout winter, so just ask for a sip.

This elegant, toasty fizz shows you can get great flavours

The classic flavours of Mâcon Villages 2008 from Bouchard Père et Fils, also in stock at Corks & Cases, make a great accompaniment to starters over the festive season. Cold salmon, shellfish and chicken will all harmonise well with this savoury, citrus-backed wine, and if your guests prefer to stick with white then it will carry through to the main course with ease. Personally, though, I would switch to Chateau Fleur de Lisse 2005 from St Emilion. It has the warmth and elegance of that excellent vintage, along with clear, redcurrant and cassis fruit flavour and a touch of liquorice complexity. Good value at £10.99, and capable of ageing another year or so.

Lewis & Cooper also has a delicious selection of Madeira wines from the excellent producer Barbeito. Madeira is perfect for winter drinking, especially mid-afternoon alongside a sliver of fruit

25


Also in Masham, but operating out of a farmhouse rather than a shop, Bon Coeur (01765 688200) has one of the best collections of good claret in the region. They prefer to sell by the unmixed case but will also mix cases, and even deliver within the region for a nominal cost. Chateau De Sours is one of their particular specialities, which means that they get the full range at very keen prices. Try Chateau de Sours 2006 red (£7.99) for pure, stylish claret that will drink well this year and even better next. Campbells of Leyburn has recently launched a new website, www.campbellsofleyburn.co.uk, so you can select your wines from the comfort of your armchair. For seasonal drinking, Ripa delle Mandorle 2007 from the impressive Castello Vicchiomaggio in Tuscany, is a good choice with grilled meats and pasta. Made from Sangiovese blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a super wine, priced at a very moderate £9.43. Campbells (01969 622169) is also the place to find the glorious flavours of Chateau Ksara Reserve du Couvent 2006 (£8.23) from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. This historic property employs a winemaker who used to work at one of Bordeaux’s top chateaux and the quality shows in the rich, rounded plummy fruit of this Syrah and Cabernet blend. As for whites, try the crisp elegance of New Zealand Chardonnay from St Clair (£9.12), which is sited on the free-draining, stony soils of Marlborough, South Island. For one of the best selections of Australian wines in the country head to Nidderdale Fine Wines in Pateley Bridge (01423 711703), where they concentrate on the quality producers who don’t trade with the big multiples. Grant Burge, one of South Australia’s great independent producers, makes a terrific sparkling wine that will see you through from present-opening on Christmas Day to welcoming the neighbours on Boxing Day. On

26

special offer over the festive season at two bottles for £25, this elegant, toasty fizz shows that you can get great flavours without spending big money on champagne. While you are in the shop, pick up a bottle of Earthworks Shiraz 2006 (£7.99), which is an absolute bargain. It is so much more complex than a standard Aussie Shiraz, with layers of spice and liquorice amongst the deep plummy fruit. Don't forget to call in to Great Northern Wine in Ripon (01765 606767), which has a fine range of wines including Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2006 (£9.99). This wine has won a string of awards for its deep, intense cassis flavours. Many shops have already sold out, but Great Northern Wine still has a small stash, so get there quickly. And for those evenings in the run-up to Christmas when writing cards and wrapping presents are the main focus of activity, grab a bottle of Bergerie Le Bastide 2008 , superb value at £5.99. Made from good Southern French grapes, it has delicious cherry and cranberry fruit with a refreshing, lively style. Life


Campbells of Leyburn is now open for buying your wines and spirits on line Now you don’t have to leave home to choose your selection from our vast range of international wines, spirits and ales available from the Yorkshire Dales’ leading independent supermarket – just visit www.campbellsofleyburn.co.uk If you also want to give your taste buds a treat why not come along and choose from the mouth-watering selection of local food products at our pre-Xmas event.

Festive Tasting Extravaganza 2009 on Wednesday, 2nd December and Thursday, 3rd December 4pm- 8.30pm

Campbells Naturally Wines of the World With some of the finest products from the world’s leading wine-growing regions, Campbells of Leyburn offers one of the most exciting selections of wines in the North East of England. And now you can choose your Xmas cheer on-line by visiting www.campbellsofleyburn.co.uk

Local and Organic Foods After 140 years supplying the rural communities of the Yorkshire Dales, Campbells of Leyburn has learned a thing or two about selecting exceptional food products. To take a tour through the feast of fine foods we have assembled for Xmas 2009 you can start getting into the mood for Xmas at our two-day, Festive Tasting Extravaganza!

4 Commercial Square, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5BP Tel: 01969 622169 www.campbellsofleyburn.co.uk

Campbells providing exceptional products -naturally


Facials

Celebrate at The Treatment House this Christmas

Massage

The Treatment House is set in the beautiful grounds of Newby Hall and is the ideal retreat from the stresses of everyday life

Semi-permanent lash extensions which last up to 2 months St Tropez tan Semi-permanant make-up

Indulge in our coffee and cupcake days. Your hair is styled by celebrity trained stylists from Debonnesse, while you enjoy fresh coffee and scrumptious cupcakes, an aromatic foot soak a heavenly hand and foot massage with file and polish. Perfect for that weekly catch up with friends or an exciting Christmas gift. £60.00 per person.

Teeth whitening

Pre party pamper package

Botox

Full set of Blink and Go Lash Extensions, File and Polish on Hands and Feet, Hair Styled and Express makeover all for £125

Clinically proven inch loss wraps Accent - a medically proven fat and cellulite treatment and facial skin tightening treatment Christmas gift vouchers from as little as £10.00 free treats with every purchase

Chocolate heaven A total indulgence. Sip hot chocolate whilst enjoying a Choco therapy luxury manicure or pedicure. Just £30.00 or as an all over body treatment for £50 The award winning Treatment House now has an elite status for the Noveau contour lash extensions. We now travel to Home, Hotel or Work.

15 The Stables, Newby Hall, Ripon HG4 5AE

01423 324900 www.thetreatmenthouse.co.uk www.weddingdayhair.co.uk FREE PARKING

The Treatment House at

Newby Hall Stables

Beauty, Medical, Clinical and Spa

DalesLife The leading free magazine for North Yorkshire

Face, Body and Beauty Day Spa, Treatments and Spa Breaks. Christmas Vouchers available

To book space in the Spring issue contact Sue Gillman Telephone: 01609 749117 Mobile: 07970 739119 email: sue@daleslife.demon.co.uk www.daleslife.com

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The perfect Christmas Presents at

AVITA Spa pamper days Relax, unwind and immerse yourself in a well-deserved bit of self-indulgence... Whether you’re taking time out for yourself, sharing quality time with your loved one, or having a fun day with the girls, we have a wonderful range of pamper packages available for you to choose from.

Gift Vouchers Available

RELAX REFRESH REJUVENATE A Vita 22 High Street, Yarm TS15 9AE Tel. 01642 782221 www.avitayarm.co.uk

Elemis has created the perfect Gift Collection this season, with the very best of Elemis Spa and skincare.Fantastic Christmas presents for him and her with huge savings.

Boxes start from £25.

Kayleigh Norman Holistic massage therapist

Flexible appointments Including evenings and weekends 50% off your first appointment 01677 450723 Chapel Lane Farmhouse, Finghall 29


On the Rocks 30


Italy’s charming Cinque Terre hasn’t been ruined by tourism — yet. Go take a look before it’s too late, says Ian Henry.

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IF YOU THOUGHT YORKSHIRE WAS WELL-ENDOWED with dry stone walls, Italy’s Cinque Terre will make you think again. The five gaily-coloured villages that make up the region are stretched over just 11 miles of the wild Ligurian coastline, but there’s as much stonework in and around them — a total of over 4,000 miles — as there is in the Great Wall of China. The walls of the Cinque Terre were built during the Middle Ages to turn the steep, crumbling cliffs into terraces suitable for growing vines. It was a breathtaking (and backbreaking) achievement, and one of the reasons the Cinque Terre was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. Whilst the terraces are impressive, and the coastal scenery dramatic, it is the five villages of the Cinque Terre that really make photographers and painters drool. Precariously balanced in rocky clefts they are eccentric and implausible jumbles of tall, pastel-washed stone houses, separated by baffling labyrinths of steep, narrow lanes and flights of uneven steps.

Monterosso, whilst pleasant enough, is the least interesting village of the five. Unlike the other four it is relatively accessible to motorised traffic; consequently it is larger and busier, and has more modern buildings. By way of compensation, it has a good beach and plenty of facilities. To reach the other four villages I recommend travelling by train or on foot. If you prefer, you can take to the high seas on the batello turistico that ferries up and down the coast on calmer days during high season. Since the boat is invariably crowded and the train spends much of its time burrowing through lengthy tunnels in the cliffs, walking is the most rewarding option if you want to soak up the stunning scenery of the Ligurian coast. All five villages are linked by a hiking trail, the Sentiero Azurro, or Blue Path. It varies in difficulty from an easy stroll (Riomaggiore to Manarola) to some fairly steep clambering (Vernazza to Monterosso), but the views of the turquoise sea and the jagged cliffs are first-rate. During the Cinque Terre’s stormy winters the path regularly gets washed away, but the National Park authorities assiduously rebuild it, an activity they fund by charging walkers for a daily permit. Whilst English visitors to the Cinque Terre are remarkably few and far between, the same cannot be said of other nationalities. The region has featured heavily on American television, and during the summer you won’t be able to get far on the Blue Path — or in the main streets of the villages — without being deafened by the nasal braying of our Transatlantic cousins.

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Fortunately American tourists are easy to outwit. Visiting out of season is an obvious strategy. Early spring would be ideal, so now is a good time to begin planning. What’s more, most tourists stick doggedly to the Blue Path. But there are plenty of other options — trails which, unlike the Blue Path, are free to use. They are virtually deserted, but have views that are just as good, or in many cases, even better. Head up into the hills above Vernazza, or out towards the nature reserve south of Riomaggiore, and you’ll find glorious seclusion. Much the same principles apply in the villages. Head up away from the main drag into the tiny alleys, and as soon as you’re out of sight of the trinket shops, it will be just you and the occasional neighbourhood cat. Without the jostling crowds you can enjoy the centuries-old

architecture, the tiny shrines with their fresh flowers, and the odd unexpected glimpse of a medieval castle or an elegant bell tower. Keep a look out for the dozens of little flying buttresses that prevent neighbouring houses from collapsing into each other. Grapes are still grown on the elaborate terraces of the Cinque Terre. In the old days they were lowered in baskets down the cliffs into waiting boats, but today they are collected on cranky little monorails called ‘cog trains’. They end up being turned into a minerally white wine that goes perfectly with the local food, and an expensive raisiny dessert wine called Sciaccetra that has been a sought-after luxury for centuries.

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How to get there With huge quantities of fresh local seafood on offer, lengthy alfresco lunches and suppers are the order of the day. Pesto was invented in Liguria, so expect to find a lot of it in your food — mixed in with trofie, the local pasta, for example. And if you want a tasty treat to take home then visit the anchovysalting centre in Monterosso; their salsa di acciughe, a kind of anchovy pesto, is delicious. Not so long ago the Cinque Terre was an isolated, inward-looking and scarcely-visited backwater. Now the modern world has discovered it, and there’s no looking back. And it’s such a little gem that it can only get busier and busier. If you’re going to take a trip there, make it soon. Life

It’s easy to get to the Cinque Terre by rail from Pisa or Genoa. Italian train travel is remarkably cheap, so you could also fly in to Florence, Bologna or even Milan and still be there in three or four hours. Don’t even think of going by car, as most of the villages are closed to traffic.

Where to stay It’s great fun to stay in one of the many private rooms in the tall, narrow, old buildings in the village centres. They don’t usually take reservations more than a day or two in advance, but if you visit out of season you shouldn’t have any problem. Each village has a tourist office at the train station and they can help you find a place to stay. If you’re keen to book your first couple of days before you leave, then try the exceptionally helpful, English-speaking Il BoMa B&B in Riomaggiore (www.ilboma.com), or the Hotel Ca d’Andrean (www.cadandrean.it) which has cool, spacious rooms in Manarola. Vernazza is a lovely place to stay — your best choice here is a private room. Avoid overnighting in Corniglia because it’s short on decent dining options.

Eating out Enoteca Dau Cila in Riomaggiore has a great harbourside location and offers succulent calamari and other seafood fresh from the boat. La Scogliera on Manarola’s main street is very strong on local specialities, and wins my vote for the best acciughe al tegame (baked anchovies with potatoes) in the Cinque Terre. In Vernazza, Trattoria da Sandro is lively and welcoming and does excellent minestrone alla Genovese (vegetable soup with pesto) and octopus salad. Further up the hill in Vernazza, Pirates del 5-Terre is run by two garrulous Englishspeaking Sicilian brothers who major on pastries and cream-laden desserts.


Sanderson & Co Interior decorating suppliers A wide range of wallpapers, traditional and modern, including: Crowson Shand Kidd Linda Barker Graham & Brown Over 100 wallpaper books in stock with next day delivery Paints by Crown and Dulux Farrow & Ball also available Paint colours mixed while you wait High Street, Leyburn Tel: 01969 623143

The Paint Effect Kitchens Re-born 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: painteffect@hotmail.co.uk Web: www.thepainteffect.com 36


BEAR COT TAGE INTERIORS Period & Contemporary Country Design Bespoke design service ranging from a single cushion cover to a complete home design package

Curtains & blinds, Soft Furnishings, Furniture, Lamps, Mirrors. Suppliers of Mulberry, GP&J Baker, Linwood, William Morris, Villa Nova and Vanessa Arbuthnott Fabrics. New showroom upstairs at Milkchurn Cottage, Hawes For a free consultation contact 01969 650946 or 01969 667847 julie@bearcottageinteriors.co.uk

www.bearcottageinteriors.co.uk

Marie Coburn I N T E R I O R

C O N S U LTA N T

Stylish interiors for every budget. Affordable friendly advice on all aspects of restyling your home. Free initial consultation

Mill Barn, 1 Mill Close Lane, Patrick Brompton, Bedale, DL8 1AJ M:07762 339148 T: 01677 450177

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The Dales hard landscape specialists. High quality workmanship by an experienced and friendly team From patios and driveways to rockeries, stone walling and ornamental ponds. Mini digger and excavation work Experts in the creation of high quality durable and aesthetic projects For free friendly advice call Frank Johnston B.Sc.

Tel: 01969 640457 Mobile: 07803 735000 E-mail: frank@stonescapes.com www.stonescapes.com

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Beautiful and unusual horticulturally themed items for the garden, home or that exclusive gift. From Handmade Danish Wellies to Horse Chestnut Sculptures, from Freshly Caught Fairy Folk to Copper Labels and Terracotta Cane Tops, from Teapots to Topiary Scissors, Bell Cloches to Bronze Snails, and Leather Boot Bags to Lanterns the list goes on and on. We source exclusive items, and collect them together for you to choose that special purchase - and it goes without saying that they can be beautifully gift wrapped too. You can see our goods at the Teapottery on Leyburn Business Park (DL8 5QA) or visit our website at:

www.vflora.com or request a mail order brochure from

Vflora, PO Box 59, Leyburn,DL8 5WN Tel: 0844 561 0733 39


Heaven Scent Some of our most beautifully scented plants flower in winter. John Cushnie, gardening writer and panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, shares some of his favourites. Daphne mezereum 40


SOME OF MY MOST ENJOYABLE GARDENING MEMORIES are of strolling through the garden in winter. Not when it is lashing with rain and howling a gale, of course. Think instead of those mornings when there is a low and bright, albeit weak, sun. Not a breath of wind, and so still and quiet that you feel you are alone in the world. It is at times such as these that, if you are lucky, you will be assailed by fantastic fragrances the like of which you would rarely encounter in summer. With fewer insects available for pollination, winter flowers use all their charm — and the plant world’s equivalent of Chanel No. 22 — to attract attention. Unlike many of our overrated summer-flowering plants, my winter favourites don’t rely on you burying your nose in the bloom or sniffing with the power of a vacuum cleaner. Their perfume will seek you out, and often you will be attracted by their scent from a distance of 5 metres or more.

© Harlow Carr

Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’

My all-time favourite shrub for winter fragrance is Sarcococca confusa, which is often referred to as ‘Christmas box’. It forms a compact, evergreen plant bearing tiny white flowers in the dead of winter. And it is like a miniature perfume factory, churning out masses of sweet scent. When you trace the beautiful smell back to its origin it is hard to believe that such small flowers could be responsible for all that perfume. Sarcococca grows happily in shady spots, but can also flourish in sunnier locations providing you keep it well watered.

Mahonia is another cracking choice for winter fragrance. There are many different Mahonias, some of which flower as early as October whilst others are still in bloom in March. All are hardy evergreen shrubs with spiny, glossy, dark green pinnate leaves. The sweetly scented racemes of yellow flowers are followed by blue-black berries. Mahonia x media 'Charity' is known as the ‘Lily of the Valley bush’ because that’s just what it smells like. It will grow to around 4 metres tall, and thrives in well-drained soil in partial shade.

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Lonicera fragrantissima is a shrubby, semi-evergreen honeysuckle which, despite its size, can easily go unnoticed in the garden for ten months of the year. Then suddenly in midwinter it produces pairs of small, creamy-white flowers with an incredible perfume. It is fully hardy, but in colder areas it will definitely do better and flower more profusely when grown up against a sunny wall. Daffodils too can provide a great olfactory treat in winter. The wild Jonquil daffodil (Narcissus jonquilla) has modestly-sized but sweetly p e r f u m e d g o l d e n - y e l l o w flowers that appear in spring. Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’, Narcissus ‘Avalanche’ and Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ flower earlier and dish out scent from clusters of flowers on each stem. You can plant them as late as November in full sun or partial shade. Just remember to leave the foliage to die back naturally once they have flowered to keep them healthy for next year. Another great favourite of mine is the Chinese witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis. Its leaves turn a butteryyellow in autumn; then in midwinter, on the bare branches, spidery goldenyellow flowers appear. They dispense an amazing fragrance which, on a calm day, will travel for a good 8 10 metres. A close relative, Lonicera Fragrantissima Hamamelis x intermedia, has several fine varieties. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ has extralarge, bright yellow, fragrant flowers, and ‘Jelena’ produces its coppery-orange flowers in early winter. The witch hazels dislike limy soil, but in the right conditions will grow into large, tree-like shrubs up to 5 metres in height. They are completely hardy, even to the extent of being able to flower through a coating of snow.

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multiheaded yellow narcissus jonquil cultivar 43


With the common name of ‘Wintersweet’, it’s no great surprise that Chimonanthus praecox is perfumed. Its pendant, highly fragrant, sulphur-yellow flowers are produced on the bare stems during winter. Each flower is stained purple on the inside. The variety I grow is Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’, and it has larger, deep yellow flowers marked with a purple stripe. It likes well-drained soil in full sun. All the Daphnes are fragrant and memorable, but the one I am especially fond of is Daphne mezereum, which is a deciduous shrub that grows to around a metre and a half tall. Its stiff, upright, bare winter branches are covered with gorgeous deeppurple flowers that greet you with a deliciously sweet perfume. It likes moist, welldrained soil in partial shade. Although its berries are toxic to humans, they make great eating for the birds, particularly thrushes. With most of these w i n t e r- f l o w e r i n g scented plants you only need to bring a small flowering twig or mixed posy into a room to have guests wondering what is responsible for the wonderful perfume — a real delight when so much of the natural world outside is lying dormant. Life

Hamamelis mollis

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NEW SHOWROOM OPENING IN JANUARY

Whether you are redesigning an individual room or embarking on a whole renovation project, with 30 years experience designing kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, we can provide a complete service. From the initial consultation through to design and installation our commitment is second to none. On display in our new showroom will be a hand selected range of kitchens unique to the Dales area, from classically elegant to cool and contemporary, these stunning kitchens have been designed with the present and future in mind. For more information or to arrange a consultation please call us on

01677 424669 or 01845 565180 Holme Design Ltd. Unit 1 The Craft Yard, The Station, Bedale DL8 1AW 45


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

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: info@warrengill.co.uk www.warrengill.co.uk

Bedale Christmas Shopping Extravaganza and Light Switch-on Saturday 5th December 2009 11am to 6pm Bedale Hall

Come and meet Father Christmas 6th, 13th and 20th December from 10am until dusk Open Sundays until Christmas Monday - Saturday 12 noon until 6pm Sundays and bank holidays 10am - 6pm Holiday accommodation now available..

www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk Admission is by pre-booked tickets only To reserve your ticket please telephone 01969 640638 We look forward to seeing you 46

Come along to this fabulous event featuring over 30 food, drink, gift and craft stalls. Local independent traders include Lewis & Cooper of Northallerton, Black Sheep Brewery of Masham , Firby Design of Bedale and Swinton Park Cook Shop of Masham. Celebrity chef, Rosemary Shrager will also be present to sign copies of her cookery books. A wonderful Winter Wonderland Santa's Grotto for children, complete with a gift and photograph opportunity (ÂŁ1 per child) will take place between 11 am and 2 pm in the Hall. Christmas light switch on at 6 pm in Bedale Market Place with carol singing and a free glass of mulled wine and mince pies.


D

ICKENSIAN

FESTIVAL2009

Thursday 3rd – Sunday 6th December 2009 10:00am – 5:00pm Every Day Free Entry & Free Parking Now firmly established as one of North Yorkshire’s foremost Christmas festivals, our Shopping Village Dickensian event just keeps getting bigger and better every year. With over 75 stalls selling a huge range of high quality contemporary and traditional merchandise, as well as special Christmas displays from our permanent outlets, why not come along and soak up the enchanting atmosphere?

A Festival For All The Family This Christmas Brass Bands ● Handbell Ringers ● Barrel Organs ● Santa’s Grotto Festive Carol Singers ● Superb Local Choirs ● Stilt Walkers & Fire Eaters

www.lightwatervalley.co.uk Lightwater Valley, North Stainley, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3HT. Tel: 0871 720 0011* *Calls are charged at 10 pence per minute from a BT landline, calls from other networks and mobiles will be considerably more.

All coach groups must be pre-booked


Thirsk Racecourse

2010 Fixtures

Country Racing at its Best

The perfect Christmas Present from £5 and upwards! Gift Vouchers available from £5

Friday 16th April Saturday 17th April Saturday 1st May Saturday 8th May (evening) Saturday 15th May Monday 24th May (evening)

Annual Single Membership £140, Associate Membership £225 Guest Membership £250, Junior Membership £65

Tuesday 15th June Tuesday 29thJune (evening) Friday 23rd July Friday 30th July Saturday 31st July Monday 9th August (evening) Friday 27th August Saturday 4th September

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

Bedale Hall

The splendid Georgian ballroom provides a superb venue for all social events and exhibitions. It is ideal for concerts, dinner dances, wedding receptions and other celebrations and those who have enjoyed its historic atmosphere will be left with a memory which will last for a lifetime. The elegant Lounge and Bedale Room are perfect for other smaller social gatherings and an ideal venue for business seminars and meetings. If you are planning a wedding why not come to the

Bedale Hall, North End, Bedale DL8 1AA Tel: 01677 423797 e-mail bedalehall@responseinternet.co.uk For more details contact the Administrator in office hours Tues,Wed & Fri 10am to 12 noon with private parking and easy access to all facilities 48

Wedding Fayre at Bedale Hall on Sunday, January 17th 2010. The Hall is licensed for Civil Wedding Ceremonies - a wedding and reception at Bedale Hall can be tailored to meet your requirements and budget


www.fountainsabbey.org.uk

  

Traditional Christmas Evenings, Saturday 12 & 19 December. 5 course meal and live entertainment in the floodlit Abbey ruins Christmas Theatre, Thursday 3 December - The Twelve Days of Christmas, Thursday 10 December - A Regency Christmas Christmas Lunches, Mondays-Thursdays 7-23 December Winter Tours, Sats & Suns in Nov & Dec Regd charity No. 205846



A Winter Wonderland Christmas events & activities for everyone to enjoy

info: 01765 608888 textphone: 18001 01765 608888

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Open daily 10am-4pm. Closed Fridays in Nov, Dec, Jan & 24/25 December.

Wedding ceremonies and receptions

Private parties, dinners and lunches

Educational days for schools

Gardens, vineyard and maze

Free admission to Tea Room, Deli and Gift Shop

From 1st November - Open Saturday and Sunday only 11am to 3.00pm Nr Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 4ET T: 01969 623981 E: info@boltoncastle.co.uk W: www.boltoncastle.co.uk 49


There are still plenty of ancient trees waiting to be discovered in the British countryside. Chris Baines explains how you can help put them on the map.

Š The National Trust

Branch Out

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THE USA MAY BE HOME TO THE PLANET’S BIGGEST TREES — California’s awesome giant redwoods — but here in Britain we can lay claim to some of the world’s very oldest specimens. In fact we have one or two ancient yews that are estimated to be an astonishing 4,000 years old. These are trees that would already have been alive when the ancient Egyptians were building the pyramids. Trees as old as this are exceptional, but all around the country there are many yew trees in churchyards that date back to well before the time of Christ. Since the yew has long been believed to have mystical, magical properties, it seems likely that the Christian churches were built where yews already marked a site of ancient ritual.

© Laurie Campbell

We also still have ancient oaks that were mentioned individually in the Domesday Book. These specimens must already have been notable landmarks more than a thousand years ago, and the fact that some of them still survive today is quite breathtaking. There are other species such as beech, ash and poplar with trees dating back several hundred years, and in the wilder parts of the upland countryside there are gnarled and twisted hawthorns, hollies and rowans that have grown like oversized bonsai, toughing it out for century after century. Britain’s legacy of veteran trees is unique in Europe, and the reason is simple. Most of the biggest and oldest specimens have survived in ancient woodlands, or in historic parkland that was set aside for deer. In the rest of Europe such landscapes were subdivided with each new generation and big trees were gradually lost. By contrast, thanks to our inheritance laws, estates have been passed from father to son undamaged down the centuries. Windsor Great Park in Berkshire is a famous example, with several hundred ancient oak and beech trees dating back more than 600 years. Castle Howard is another splendid site for old trees, and some of its oldest oaks now stand guard over the visitor car park. There are many other places in and around the Dales where a handful of veteran trees survive as living reminders of a glorious past, including Buckden Park, Benningborough Hall, Fountains Abbey, Duncombe Park and Bolton Abbey. Upper Wharfedale is particularly rich in ancient trees distributed across its wider farming landscape, and there are plenty of Dales, churchyards and village greens that boast a noteworthy tree or two.

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© Laurie Campbell

Hollowness is a hallmark of almost all the really ancient trees. There is an oak in Lincolnshire with space inside the trunk “sufficient to host a dozen people to dinner” and I once saw 16 teenagers crowd into the cavity of another giant oak in Herefordshire. Hollowness used to be thought of as a sign of disease and approaching death, but now the experts have a very different view. The famous hurricane of 1987 caused very little damage to the veteran trees in several areas where the wind laid waste to large swathes of younger standing woodland, and it seems it was their hollowness that saved them. As cylinders with relatively little excess weight in their limbs they are proving to be brilliant examples of successful natural engineering. These long-standing trees are exceptionally important for wildlife. They provide sheltered accommodation for such special creatures as tawny owls and bats, and their hollowness itself is caused by all kinds of organisms of decay. Some of our rarest fungi and wood-boring beetles are able to live nowhere else. In the case of a few real rarities the specialist ant or beetle grub may exist in just one or two individual hollow trees.

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Given the very special nature of these living links with the past, it would be reasonable to suppose that each of them has been carefully mapped and given heritage protection. After all, many mature trees grow alongside listed buildings that have far shorter histories. In actual fact, though, our ancient trees are almost all at risk. Few have legal protection, and many have yet to be recorded. Of course there are famous individuals such as Sherwood Forest’s Major Oak and Liverpool’s Allerton Oak, but many more remain to be registered and protected. © Laurie Campbell

Now the Woodland Trust and the Ancient Tree Forum are asking all of us to join in their Ancient Tree Hunt; family rambles around Christmas and the New Year would be an ideal time to begin your search. Historic deer parks, woodland nature reserves and the grounds of old churches and stately homes are good places to start, but once you learn to recognise the telltale signs of gnarled bark, hollow branches and, in many cases, enormous trunk circumference, you may well discover ancient individuals in fields, hedgerows, garden boundaries or your local park. Register them on the website at www.ancienttreehunt.org.uk and you can put your local veterans on the national map!

© The National Trust

Immortality may be impossible, but our ancient trees are as close as we are likely to get. They have helped to shape our history and will help to shape our future if we protect them now, so why not invest some time joining in the hunt for ancient trees? There are still many old stagers out there waiting to be found and, if you are lucky, you may get the chance to hug a piece of living history! Find out more at www.ancienttreehunt.org.uk Life

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BATHROOMSDIRECT

LUXURIOUS, RELAXING BATHROOMS

DIRECT FROM THE DALES

Style | Service | Innovation | Quality | Value • • • •

Over 40 displays from all major manufacturers Trading since 1988 Independent local family firm Please call Heidi or Amanda for details of special offers and promotions

Bathrooms Direct, The Industrial Estate, Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire DL7 9UL T 01677 425788 | F 01677 425581 | E sales@bathrooms-direct.net


Dales Life Competition Your chance to win one of the world’s most luxurious beds

Dales Life is offering one lucky reader the chance to be one of the first people in the UK to own a sumptuous Stearns & Foster bed. Each mattress has up to four layers of luxurious upholstery including wool, cashmere and silk. If you want to see for yourself just what extraordinary beds these are then visit Barkers Furnishing store on Yafforth Road, Northallerton. To enter the competition, just tick the correct answer to the question on the coupon opposite, (you can find the answer on the Barkers web site), complete your name and address and send it to: Stearns & Foster Press Office, 8 The Cloisters, 8 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4BG. The closing date for entries is 20 January 2010. 56


Stearns and Foster is America's oldest and most prestigious bed brand. These iconic beds are reputed to be in all the best bedrooms from the White House to the Hamptons, from Texas to Hollywood; now they are available in the UK - the first country outside America to experience their unparalled comfort and luxury.

For more information about this luxurious new bed range call in to Barkers Furnishing next time you are in Northallerton or visit www.barkersfurnishing.co.uk/StearnsFoster.asp

Dales Life Competition Name................................................................. Address....................................................................... ........................................................................................... ......................................................Postcode.............................. Tel. No:.......................................................................................... e-mail: ................................................................................................ What are the names of the beds in the new Stearns & Foster range? A B C

New York/Manhattan/Brooklyn Greenport/Long Island/Rhode Island Los Angeles/Hollywood/California

Tick the box next to the answer you think is correct 57


Diamond Life DIAMONDS HAVE BEEN TREASURED FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, but until the 19th century their proverbial hardness made cutting and polishing them a lengthy, laborious process. It was the introduction of new techniques during the Industrial Revolution — along with new sources of supply — that led to an explosion in the popularity of diamonds. And that popularity shows no sign of waning.

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© Tennants

Diamond jewellery is still as popular as ever. Ian Henry meets Tennants’ gem expert Sarah Hardy.

To learn more about these fascinating gemstones, I met jewellery expert Sarah Hardy from Tennants auctioneers in Leyburn, who kindly showed me a selection of items from forthcoming Tennants’ catalogue sales. We began by looking at a piece from the time when modern ‘diamond fever’ was really taking hold: a French diamond ring in an elaborate 18- carat gold setting, dating from between 1893 and 1910.


The diamond has an estimated carat weight of 2.50. A carat is 0.2 of a gram, and the carat weight of gems that have already been set is only ever an estimate, calculated with the aid of careful measurements and elaborate formulae. The stone has a noticeable tint to it. The colour of a diamond is graded on a scale from D to Z, with D being the least coloured and most desirable. This one rates K/L, making it fairly middle-of-the-range in modern terms. Stones found in older jewellery are more likely to be tinted than modern examples, simply because fewer diamonds were available in bygone days, and jewellers had to be content with what they could get. The ring is exuberantly detailed, with its central setting supported by two figures: one male and one female. They are naked, but their modesty is protected by two strategically placed hearts. Hearts, along with leaves, feature heavily on the sides and as engravings on the back of the ring. Set around the diamond are four tiny gems, and Sarah has discovered that these spell out the word ‘love’ in lapis lazuli, opal, vermeil (an old name for hessonite garnet) and emerald — altogether an unashamedly romantic piece! It’s not the kind of thing that most fashionconscious ladies would choose to wear today — it is rather heavy and clunky for one thing — but it has lashings of eccentric charm and character. Its auction estimate, Sarah tells me, is £6,000 to £7,000. Comparing the love ring with more recent pieces, it is easy to see how jewellers’ techniques have evolved. The next piece Sarah shows me is a Cartier diamond jabot pin from the 1920s or 1930s, in its original pink box. Its diamonds seem far brighter and sparklier than those of the love ring, and in part this is because of how the gems are set. The love ring setting is completely closed in at the back, whereas the Cartier pin’s diamonds are set in a thin, open filigree of platinum that lets the light enter from many different directions. Platinum is ideal for crafting this sort of delicate setting because it is so strong. But it needs to be worked at a high temperature, and it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that it was widely used. Cartier, always great innovators, were one of the first firms to incorporate it into their work. The jabot pin has a total carat weight of around 3.50, and is expected to fetch £6,000 to £8,000. Another reason the diamonds in the Cartier piece look so much better than the one in the love ring is that they are cut in a more modern style. The diamonds forming the border of the jabot pin are brilliant cut, as opposed to the old mine cut of the love ring diamond. An old mine cut stone is cushion shaped; it has a high crown (the upper part of the stone) and

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a small table (the flat, top part of the stone). Today’s brilliant cut diamonds are round, and have low crowns and larger tables, plus one or two other refinements besides — all of which makes them brighter and sparklier than earlier styles of cut. The next piece that Sarah shows me is a modern ring, and it illustrates how cutting techniques have continued to evolve over the last halfcentury. Set in platinum, the central stone is princess cut, essentially a square interpretation of the brilliant cut. It is flanked by two triangular trillion cut diamonds. The princess cut was developed in the 1960s, and the trillion cut in the late 1970s, and new styles of cut are still being developed. The weight of the ring’s diamonds is in excess of 6 carats, and it carries an auction estimate of £16,000 to £18,000. Next we look at a diamond solitaire in a modern six-claw setting. Its carat weight of 1.95 is barely one third that of the previous ring. Its value, though, is pretty much the same, namely £16,000 to £18,000. The reason for this is that the colour of this diamond is certified as D by the British Gemmological Institute — the best colour grading you can get. A single colour grade can make thousands of pounds worth of difference, and setting this ring alongside the previous one (a K/L) there’s no doubting that it really does pack an extra punch. Apart from carat weight, cut and colour, the fourth factor that determines a diamond’s value is clarity. Clarity is a measure of a diamond’s freedom from internal flaws, technically known as inclusions, which can interfere with the passage of light through the stone. This particular diamond has a clarity of VVS1. The VVS stands for ‘very, very slight’, and VVS1 is the next best grade to flawless — another factor in the ring’s high value. Fortunately it is possible to enjoy diamonds, albeit smaller and perhaps lower grade ones, for a fraction of the price. One good way to make the most of their fabulous sparkle is to set them in a pair of flexible, dangly earrings. Sarah and I concluded by looking at a pair of white gold, diamond and peridot earrings. The peridots are a splendid translucent limegreen, and sit very nicely with the bright cut and baguette cut (rectangular) diamonds. And the cost? A comparatively modest £500 to £600. Oh, and in case you were wondering how to tell diamonds from paste, or indeed from the many other stones that are similar in appearance, then there’s a very simple answer: take your jewellery to an expert! Virtually every test you can do at home is fallible in one way or another, so the only way to be certain is to get professional advice. Full details of forthcoming sales at Tennants can be found at www.tennants.co.uk. Tennants can also be contacted on 01969 623780.

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Life


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Let Me Entertain You

When it’s cold outside, nothing beats a hearty meal with friends. These tasty recipes from top food writer Ross Dobson are easy to make, but will definitely impress your guests. 66


pork and chicken liver terrine with pistachios A terrine is perfect for sharing. It can also be made well in advance. Simply provide everyone with a knife and lay out some good bread and dishes of pickles.

Ingredients Serves 10 - 12 1 kg pork mince 200 g dry-cured pork lardons 300 g chicken livers, roughly chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed finely grated zest of 1 orange 2 teaspoons fennel seeds 50 g pistachios 1 egg, beaten a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped 12 bacon rashers cornichons (baby gerkins) and any sweet pickle, to serve 1 baguette, to serve

a loaf tin or terrine dish, 20 x 10 x 7 cm, lightly oiled a large, shallow baking dish or roasting tin

Put the pork mince, lardons, chicken livers, garlic, orange zest, fennel seeds, parsley and pistachios in a mixing bowl. Use your hands to combine thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, mixing occasionally. Preheat the oven to 180ยบC (350ยบF Gas 4) Add the egg to the pork mixture and use your hands to thoroughly combine. Use the bacon rashers to line the loaf tin, ensuring that the ends of the rashers overhang the sides of the tin. Spoon the pork mixture into the tin, pressing it down into the tin.The filling may be higher than the top of the tin at this stage, but it will settle during cooking. Cover the top of the loaf tin firmly with 2 layers of foil. Put the tin in the large, shallow baking dish. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the loaf tin. Cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Remove the terrine from the baking dish and let it cool completely, leaving the foil intact. When cool, remove the foil and carefully turn the terrine out onto a serving plate or board. Cover and refrigerate until ready to enjoy. Serve with the pickles and sliced baguette.

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soft goat's cheese and fennel tart I know the idea of making your own pastry can be a little daunting – that said, this pastry recipe is so unintimidating that you should give it a go. It has just two ingredients, and check out the method: NO ROLLING! Make the pastry in the food processor, form it into a ball, then press directly into the tart tin. The whole tart can be made well in advance and served at room temperature with a peppery rocket salad.

Ingredients Serves 6 - 8 4 fennel bulbs, with feathery tops intact 2 tablespoons olive oil 200 g soft goat's cheese, roughly crumbled 65 g walnut halves 3 eggs 185 ml single cream 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives sea salt and freshly ground black pepper dressed wild rocket leaves, to serve

pastry: 170 g plain flour 80 g butter, cut into cubes and chilled a loose-bottomed tart tin, about 24cm diameter, lightly greased baking weights (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ÂşC (350ÂşF) Gas 4 To make the pastry, put the flour in a food processor. With the motor running, add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 2-3 tablespoons chilled water and process until the dough just starts to come together. Tip the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and use your hands to form it into a ball, gathering all the smaller pieces together. Do not knead it too much. Put the dough in the centre of the prepared tart tin and use your thumbs to press it down into the tin, working outwards from the centre and making sure the pastry comes up over the side of the tin. Prick the base all over with a fork. Cover the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and fill with baking weights, dried beans or rice. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until the pastry looks dry and golden. Remove the feathery tops from the fennel. Chop them finely to give about 3 tablespoons and set aside. Cut the fennel bulbs into thin wedges. Put them in a roasting tin, add the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Cook in the still-hot oven for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes, until golden and tender. Allow to cool to room temperature. Arrange the fennel in the tart case and scatter the cheese and walnuts randomly over and in between the pieces of fennel. Put the eggs, cream and chives in a jug or bowl. Whisk with a fork to combine, season well and pour over the fennel. Bake in the still-hot oven for about 45 minutes, until puffed and golden on top. Serve the tart warm or at room temperature with a dressed rocket salad on the side. 69


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shoulder of lamb with oven-roasted veg A shoulder of lamb is generally a cheaper cut all year round, but slow-cooked in this way it's truly delicious and guaranteed to satisfy the hungriest of guests.

Ingredients Serves 4 1.3-1.5 kg shoulder of lamb, on the bone 500 ml dry white wine 250 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 tablespoons olive oil 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary 2 teaspoons dried oregano 4 garlic cloves, lightly smashed 1 large courgette, roughly chopped 1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges 1 small yellow pepper, deseeded and thickly sliced 3 waxy potatoes, thickly sliced 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper a large flameproof roasting tin kitchen string

Put the lamb, skin side up, in a non-reactive dish. Add the wine, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the rosemary, oregano and garlic. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking and season the skin of the lamb well with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 220ยบC (425ยบF) Gas 7. Remove the lamb from the marinade, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Roll it firmly and secure with kitchen string. Put the courgette, onion, yellow pepper and potatoes in a bowl with the reserved marinade and use your hands to toss the vegetables until well-coated. Set a roasting tin over high heat and add the remaining olive oil. Heat until very hot. Add the lamb and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning often, until golden all over. Add the vegetables to the tin and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning the vegetables often. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 40 minutes, turning the vegetables after 20 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, cover with foil and keep warm until ready to serve. Reduce the oven temperature to 180ยบ C (350ยบ F) Gas 4. Cook the lamb for a further hour, until the skin is dark and crisp. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with foil. Let rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before carving. Add the dill and parsley to the warm vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, plate thick slices of the lamb, and serve the vegetables on the side 71


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slow-cooked spiced pork belly with apple and fennel I prefer to use pork belly, but you could also roast a shoulder or leg joint of pork for this recipe. You can't go wrong with this low-temperature, slow-cooking method, which produces crispy skin and melt-in-the-mouth meat. Ingredients Serves 4 1 tablespoon fennel seeds 2 tablespoons caraway seeds 4 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 kg pork belly 4 apples, such as Cox's Orange Pippin 2 fennel bulbs with feathery tops intact, cut into thick wedges sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the fennel and caraway seeds, garlic and 1 tablespoon of salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cut half cm deep incisions, spaced 1-2 cms apart, across the skin of the pork. Rub the spice mixture into the incisions, and let sit for 1 hour at cool room temperature. Preheat the oven to 140ยบC (275ยบF) Gas 1. Put the pork in a large roasting tin and cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours in total. You'll need to remove the tin from the oven 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time to add the apples and fennel. Put the remaining oil in a large bowl and season with a little salt and pepper. Add the apples and the fennel bulbs with feathery tops to the bowl and use your hands to toss until evenly coated in oil. 30 minutes before the end of cooking time, remove the pork from the oven and arrange the apples and fennel in the tin. Increase the heat to 220ยบ C (425ยบ F) Gas 7 and return the tin to the oven. Remove the pork from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Carve into slices and serve with the roasted apples and fennel on the side.

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chocolate marquise If you are a fan of real chocolate mousse you will love this. It is rich with butter and cream but, unlike mousse, does not involve egg whites, so is heavier with a velvety texture. The great thing about it is that there is no baking, as it sets into a loaf tin and can be left to chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Ingredients Serves 6 - 8 3 egg yolks 115 g caster sugar 200 g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) roughly broken into pieces 75 g unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 125 ml single cream 125 ml crème fraîche 2 small sweet oranges 1 small punnet blackberries, to serve

Put the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and use a hand-held electric whisk to beat for 5 minutes, until pale and thick. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not come into contact with the water. Add the chocolate and stir as it melts. Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time and beat until well combined. Remove the bowl from the heat and gently fold in the cocoa powder. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. Put the cream and crème fraîche in a separate bowl and gently beat until soft, smooth peaks form. Fold about 65 ml of the cream mixture into the chocolate mixture, then add the remaining cream mixture. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin, cover and refrigerate overnight. Peel the oranges, removing all the white pith, and slice them thinly. Pick over the blackberries and wash if necessary. Remove the marquise from the refrigerator and carefully turn out onto a chilled serving platter. Cut into thick slices and serve with the orange slices and blackberries arranged on the side.

Dales Life Book Offer These recipes are taken from Ross Dobson’s book Casual Entertaining, published by Ryland Peters & Small, with photography by Kate Whitaker. It is available to Dales Life readers for the special price of £17.99, including postage & packaging, (RRP£19.99) by telephoning Macmillan Direct on 01256 302 699 and quoting the reference GLR 2HF. 75


OF LEYBURN

Milners Department Store is an established family business offering a personal service.

DalesLife The leading free magazine for North Yorkshire

To book space in the Spring issue contact Sue Gillman Telephone: 01609 749117 Mobile: 07970 739119 email: sue@daleslife.demon.co.uk www.daleslife.com

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Gorgeous Christmas

Christmas is no time for second best. Add style and sumptuousness to your festive fare with these elegant recipes from award-winning cookery writer Annie Bell. Stuffing 115g unsalted butter 5 leeks (600g trimmed weight), sliced sea salt, black pepper 40g dried porcini, soaked in 300ml boiling water for 30 minutes 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus a squeeze of juice 80g unsweetened brioche 2 medium egg yolks 300ml rich chicken stock

Turkey and Gravy 1.5kg turkey breast, boned and rolled 5 rashers of rindless unsmoked streaky bacon sea salt, black pepper 6 tablespoons port 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce

Serves 6

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stuffed roast turkey breast with cranberry gravy Turkey breasts come off the bone and on, when they are known as a crown roast. I like to buy mine boned and rolled and to stuff it myself, as here, where the leeks provide a buttery succulence, and the porcini work their perfumed magic, and you get crispy bacon on the outside to boot. To make the stuffing* melt 50g of the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the leeks, season them and cook gently for 12–15 minutes until soft and lightly coloured, stirring occasionally. Transfer them to a bowl. Drain and finely chop the porcini, reserving the liquor. Stir the mushrooms into the leeks together with the parsley, lemon zest and juice. Leaving the crusts on the brioche, reduce it to fine crumbs in a food processor and stir these into the stuffing. Add the egg yolks and blend using a wooden spoon. The stuffing can be prepared to this point several hours in advance, in which case cover and set it aside in a cool place. Preheat the oven to 190°C fan/210°C/gas mark 6. Snip the string binding the turkey breast and slip the ties off. Lay the bacon rashers in a row on the chopping board about 2–3cm apart, and lay the turkey breast skin down on top. Open out the pocket of the breast and stuff with about a third of the stuffing. Bring the bacon slices up around the sides and tie it up again, wrapping a piece of string around each rasher of bacon to secure it. Season it on both sides with salt and pepper and place skin side up in a roasting dish that holds it snugly. Dot with 50g of the butter, pour over the reserved mushroom soaking liquor and roast for 16 minutes per pound (including the weight of the stuffing). Baste the joint a couple of times during the course of roasting, adding a drop more water or chicken stock to the roasting pan towards the end if the juices get too syrupy.

Shape the remaining stuffing into balls the size of a plum and arrange in a shallow ovenproof dish, spaced about 1cm apart. Pour half the chicken stock into the base of the baking dish to a depth of a few millimetres, dot the stuffing balls with the remaining 15g of butter and roast for 30–35 minutes, until lightly golden (i.e. putting them into the oven about 10 minutes before the turkey is ready to allow for it resting). Once the turkey is cooked, transfer the joint and any stuffing on the bottom of the pan to a warm carving dish, loosely cover with foil and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Skim any excess fat from the roasting pan, add the port and simmer to reduce by half, scraping up all the sticky bits. Stir in the cranberry sauce and once the jelly has melted blend in the rest of the stock. Simmer for a few minutes, until it tastes nice and rich. Taste and add a little more seasoning if necessary. Carve the turkey, adding any juices given out to the gravy. *If you prefer you could make all the stuffing into balls, in which case dot with 25g of butter and pour over 200ml stock.

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Brussels sprouts are a small oasis of green in an otherwise X-rated dinner. My family, shame on them, agree to eat one each, which makes for a lot of leftovers, but I’m not prepared to give up. Personally I think sprouts are a different vegetable when they’re fried, the outside turning delicately crisp and sweet. Don’t worry about including the bacon nibs if you’re already doing bacon-wrapped chipolatas – simply fry the chestnuts with the sprouts. The vac-pacs or tins of cooked and peeled chestnuts come into their own here.

brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts 700g of button Brussels sprouts, base trimmed and outer leaves discarded 8 rashers of rindless unsmoked streaky bacon, diced 100g cooked and peeled chestnuts, sliced 40g unsalted butter sea salt, black pepper

Serves 6-8

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the sprouts and cook for about 8 minutes, until just tender; larger sprouts will take longer accordingly. Drain in a colander. Heat a large dry frying pan over a medium heat, add the bacon and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Add the chestnuts to the pan and sauté in the bacon fat for several minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly golden. Transfer to a bowl and add the bacon. Ten minutes before eating, melt the butter in a large frying pan, over a medium high-heat; add the sprouts, season and sauté for 7-8 minutes until lightly golden. Add the bacon and chestnuts just before the end of the heat through.

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This recipe was given to me by Jo Higgo, a friend who lives down the road from us in France, and I have never cooked parsnips any other way at Christmas since first tasting hers. The Parmesan cooks to a delicious toasty crisp that covers the parsnips.

parmesan-glazed parsnips 600g parsnips, halved lengthwise and cut into 2 shorter lengths 50g unsalted butter, melted 30g freshly grated Parmesan black pepper

Serves 4-6

Heat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6 and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the parsnips and cook for 8 minutes, then drain them in a colander and leave for a few minutes to steam dry. Place them in a roasting dish, drizzle over the butter, shake a little from side to side to coat them, then sprinkle over the Parmesan and season with pepper. Roast for 40–45 minutes, until the cheese is golden and crisp, basting and loosening them with a spatula halfway through. Serve straight away.

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An unctuously creamy white chocolate cheesecake that panders to our aspirations for a white Christmas. Pile the choccie shavings high to ‘max’ the snowscape, and it’s a good place to bring on a few sugar mice. Even though my family seem to eat this at all times of the day including breakfast, this is very much a pud, and would be delicious served with a little fruit compote, a cranberry one for dramatics.

white christmas cheesecake Crust 50g unsalted butter 150g plain digestives

Filling 4 gelatine sheets, e.g. Supercook, cut into wide strips (or 1 x 11g sachet of powdered gelatine) 400g crème fraîche 100g white caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 75g white chocolate, e.g. Green & Black’s, broken into pieces 400g ricotta white chocolate shavings to decorate

Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Place the digestives inside a plastic bag and crush them to fine crumbs using a rolling pin. Tip them into the saucepan with the melted butter and stir to coat them, then transfer to a 20cm cake tin, 9cm deep with a removable base. Using your fingers or the bottom of a tumbler, press them into the base, making sure you seal the edges, and place in the fridge while you move on to the next stage. Put the gelatine in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Pour 3 tablespoons of boiling water over the soaked gelatine and stir to dissolve. Place the crème fraîche in a small saucepan with the sugar and gently heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture liquefies and the sugar has dissolved. Give the mixture a quick whisk to get rid of any lumps. It should be warm, roughly the same temperature as the gelatine solution. Stir the gelatine into the crème fraîche mixture, along with the vanilla extract, then transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan with a little simmering water in it. Place the ricotta in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until smooth, add the melted chocolate and whiz again, then add the cream and sugar mixture and whiz once more. Pour this mixture on top of the cheesecake base. Cover with clingfilm and chill overnight. Decorate with chocolate shavings before serving.

Serves 6–8 Makes 1 x 20cm cake

These recipes are taken from Gorgeous Christmas by Annie Bell, with photographs by Chris Alack. Gorgeous Christmas is published in paperback by Kyle Cathie at £14.99 and is available from all good booksellers.

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Love Lingerie

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Beautiful lingerie makes the perfect Christmas gift. And if you aren't sure what to purchase, why not give a gift voucher? Lingerie featured on the left-hand page is available from Victorias Lingerie, 11 High Street, Leyburn T 01969 622102 Lingerie featured on the right-hand page is available from Bridie Hartnett, 35 Market Place, Bedale T 01677 427727 89


DalesLife The leading free magazine for North Yorkshire

Our Specialists will be out and about this month. Your item could be in London, New York or even Hong Kong next month. At Bonhams we place items where they’ll attract the best prices and with Salerooms across the UK, Europe and around the world we have quite a few to choose from. Our Specialists, will be out and about around the County this month offering free verbal auction valuations, in the privacy of your own home, on Jewellery, Silver, Ceramics, Pictures, Works of Art, Clocks and Furniture. For further information or to make an appointment please contact Alison Hayes on 0113 234 5755 or email: alison.hayes@bonhams.com Illustrated: Lucy Kemp Welch (British, 1869-1958) ‘Ponies on the Moor’. Sold in our recent Fine Chester Picture Sale for £1,920 www.bonhams.com

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We are looking for distribution agents. Positions available throughout Yorkshire. Excellent rates paid. Telephone: 01609 749117 Mobile: 07970 739119 email: sue@daleslife.demon.co.uk www.daleslife.com


Christmas

Emporium Looking for seasonal gifts or tasty festive treats? With so many specialist independent retailers in our region, it makes sense to shop local. Here’s a roundup of some of the best.

Thornhill Dexter Beef at Thornhill Farm, Easingwold, has received awards and plaudits aplenty, with top chefs like Rick Stein and Antony Worrall Thompson praising the quality of their traditionally reared beef. Beef from Dexter cattle has a rich, succulent flavour, and meat from a grass-fed herd is higher in Omega 3 and lower in saturated fats, making it a healthier choice too. As well as steaks and joints — available to collect or buy mail order — Thornhill Farm offers delicious potted beef, bresaola, pies and ready meals. Christmas is a busy time for them, so it’s advisable to order in advance. The farm is holding an Open Day from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 21st November, an ideal opportunity for new customers to sample some of their fine products. Thornhill Dexter Beef, www.dexter4foodies.co.uk 01347 823827

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Lewis & Cooper’s frontage on Northallerton High Street seems modest enough, but behind it you’ll find a labyrinthine store carrying an astonishing 35,000 lines. At this time of year their multiple-awardwinning plum puddings and luscious fruit cakes — handmade to a time-honoured family recipe — are especially keenly sought after. Lewis & Cooper are also renowned for their luxury hampers; you can either choose from their impressive range or have your own selection of goodies made up to order. While you’re there, don’t forget to plunder the shop’s massive delicatessen counter, where you’ll find a huge range of Yorkshire, British and continental cheeses, cured and cooked meats, pies and other delicacies. Stock up on fine coffees too — they’re roasted in-store. Lewis & Cooper, www.lewisandcooper.co.uk, 01609 772880

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James Brindley of Harrogate have an enviable reputation for their fine fabrics and tasteful interior accessories. Needless to say they have a great selection of stylish gifts and Christmas decorations that you can browse instore or on their new website. You’ll find exquisite True Grace scented candles and colourful cushions by Jan Constantine and Nicky Thompson, along with cake tins, biscuit barrels and mugs by Emma Bridgewater, and Italian leather wallets and cufflinks from Simon Carter. Other present ideas include luscious Compagnie de Provence soaps, bath foams and hand creams, and cheery Poppy Treffry tea towels and tea cosies. And if you’re looking for new dining furniture in time for Christmas Day then you’re in luck: James Brindley’s latest French-style collection is available right now. James Brindley, www.jamesbrindleydirect.com 01423 560757

The ‘Sheepy Shop’ at Masham’s Black Sheep Brewery stocks a range of gifts ideal for anyone with a hankering for the company’s award-winning ales. The ales in question, which include Black Sheep Ale, 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. You can also choose from a huge range of products emblazoned with Black Sheep imagery and logos, including T-shirts, baseball caps, glasses, mugs and tankards. Pop into the brewery, or shop online. Black Sheep Brewery, www.blacksheepbrewery.co.uk 01765 680101/680100

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Thorpe Farm Centre, nine miles west of Scotch Corner on the A66, has a farm shop, delicatessen, coffee shop and restaurant, and is stocked with pretty much everything you need to cover your Christmas catering needs, along with Christmas trees and decorations too. You’ll also find a wide range of hampers, cleverly themed to appeal to different palates. There’s the Afternoon Tea Hamper, 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. The restaurant at Thorpe Farm can be booked for the exclusive use of parties of up to 38 in the evenings, providing an ideal opportunity to combine dining out and Christmas shopping. Thorpe Farm Centre, www.peelhousehampers.co.uk, 01833 627242

Leyburn’s Vflora is a mail-order business that specialises in garden paraphernalia and gardeninspired gifts — everything from alfresco sculptures to designer wellies, pots, planters and tools. For the outdoor type who has everything, what about an astonishingly realistic ceramic horse-chestnut shell, complete with two removable ‘conkers’? Or, on a more practical note, maybe a gift box from the Kitchen Garden range, whose products include a natural antibacterial soap, moisturising hand cream and relaxing bath foam? Or then again perhaps a set of festive fine bone china mugs — they’re available in pairs or sets of four. In the Vflora brochure you’ll also find handmade Christmas tree decorations, Christmas wreath and candle sets, and masses more besides. Vflora, www.vflora.com 0844 5610733

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Smoke and Mirrors

‘Hamster Apocalypse’ Brian Pike mixed media

Yorkshire’s two quirkiest artists in Yorkshire’s newest art space Painter Brian Pike and sculptor Michael Kusz bring their own unique brand of magic and twisted humour to the Smokehouse Gallery The Smokehouse Gallery Mackenzies Yorkshire Smokehouse Blubberhouses, Nidderdale LS21 2PQ t. 01943 880369 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm Saturday 10.30am to 4.30pm

Fine art, exquisite food www.BrianPike.com www.graculus.co.uk www.yorkshiresmokehouse.co.uk

• The Little Chocolate Shop in Leyburn is busy making scrumptious hand made chocolates • Come and visit us at our working factory where you can watch how the chocolates are made • Our shop has a super range of delicious chocolates and hand made confectionery

Visit us at our Factory 10% discount available to all Shop Local customers for our entire range during November and December

The Little Chocolate Shop Ltd, Leyburn Business Park, Harmby Road, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 5QA 01969 625288 www.thelittlechocolateshop.co.uk 95


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Freeze Frames Landscape photographer John Potter captures the stark beauty of winter For York-based professional photographer John Potter it is the quality of the light that makes a great picture. And to be in the right place at the right time demands a commitment that borders on obsession. “Knowing the area like the back of your hand is vital,” he says. “Every day I watch the weather like a hawk, and I often leave home in the small hours so I can set up my equipment in a choice spot before that magical moment when the sun rises. I work seven days a week, twelve hours a day, but I couldn’t be happier — photography is my passion.” John has several books of luscious landscape photographs to his credit, most of them celebrating the wild beauty of Yorkshire. With its spectacular contrasts, winter is one of his favourite seasons, but it has its drawbacks. “Bitterly cold weather makes for wonderful photographs,” he says, “but it also makes for difficult travelling. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to get through to my favourite locations.”

Heavy snowfall and a startlingly blue winter sky combine to stunning effect in this study of All Saints Church at Muston, near Filey. 97


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Two of the five hundred or so inhabitants of Studley Royal Deer Park at Fountains Abbey. Deer have grazed here since medieval times.

First light on a frosty morning at Burnsall in Wharfedale. “It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop,� says John.

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A spreading elm tree, heavy with hoar frost, between the villages of East and West Knapton in Ryedale. “I had to work quickly to get this picture,” says John. “Seconds after I took it a mist came down, and the scene vanished.”

You can see more of John Potter’s pictures, buy his greetings cards and books, and find out about his photography workshops at www.jpotter-landscape-photographer.com 100

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Always worth the journey... Our flagship Northallerton store offers countless reasons to visit – here are just a few:

Be it off the shelf hampers or our unrivalled create-your-own service, you can choose on-line, in-store or with the help of our expert hamper team at the end of the phone on 01609 777700. Call freephone 0808 108 0309 for a brochure.

92 High Street | Northallerton | DL7 8PT | 01609 772880 also at 109 High Street | Yarm | TS15 9BB | 01642 784158 sales@lewisandcooper.co.uk www.lewisandcooper.co.uk

Omore than 35,000 carefully chosen lines, from everyday groceries to hard-to-find ingredients and specialist foods for all diets O our extensive fresh deli counter is one of the best-stocked in the region. Try before you buy: there are always scrummy foods to sample Othe highly respected wine, beer and spirits department consistently comes out on top in national awards Oupstairs, the new look kitchen, dining and gift floor is packed with things you’ll struggle to find elsewhere Oour tearoom provides a fine haven in which to linger and watch the world go by – it also serves local food at its best Owe’re open seven days a week: sample some relaxed Sunday shopping soon!

Thornhill Farm Award winning

Dexter Beef

Recommended by

Rick Stein & Antony Worrall Thompson Also featuring on “The F Word” Series 5 Thornhill Farm, Thirsk Road, Easingwold T: 01347 823827 E: thornhillfarm@btinternet.com www.dexter4foodies.co.uk 102


A Taste of Yorkshire Brian Pike meets Richmond cheesemaker Simon Lacey FOR SOMEONE WHO LAUNCHED HIS BUSINESS just as the recession began to bite, Simon Lacey is doing extraordinarily well. His traditionally made cheeses can already be found on delicatessen counters and in fine restaurants up and down the country, and when I met him he had just got back from filming with Janet Street-Porter for a slot on the latest series of Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word. Simon has been in the food industry all his adult life, but it was the redevelopment of Richmond Station that gave him the chance to do what he had always dreamed of: to work for himself. Together with his partner Amanda, he rented out one of the new units for artisan food producers and set about developing his own range of handmade cheeses. Behind Britain’s finest foodstuffs you always find someone with a genuine passion for what they are doing, and there’s absolutely no doubting Simon’s enthusiasm. There’s nothing he likes better than chatting to visitors about his cheeses. And there’s a good deal to talk about, because he has already built up a formidable set of products.

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Central to Simon’s range is his cow’s cheese, which comes either waxed or with a natural rind. “It’s based on a Caerphilly recipe,” he says, “Caerphilly being a fairly soft and salty cheese that miners used to take down the pits with them to keep themselves nourished. In some respects it’s similar to Wensleydale, Lancashire and Cheshire. So it’s the kind of thing people expect from a Northern cheese, but just that little bit different.” Laceys is a young cheese, ripened for four to six weeks — creamy, but with enough of a sharp tang to keep you coming back for more. With a chunk of crusty bread and a spoonful of apple chutney it slips down very nicely. But it was some of Simon’s variations on the theme that really set my tastebuds dancing. For a start there’s his Cracked Black Pepper Cheese. This wasn’t at all what I had been expecting, namely a lot of little black crunchy bits. Instead the pepper is finely milled and fully integrated with the cheese curd at the beginning of the cheesemaking process. The result is a cheese whose creamy sharpness is exactly balanced by the subtle, musky heat of the aromatic pepper. It comes in smart white waxed 220g truckles, and I can’t imagine one of them lasting very long in my household. Then there’s the Ale Cheese, made with Stump Cross Ale brewed by Simon’s neighbours at The Station, The Richmond Brewing Company. The warmed beer is mixed in with the cheese curds — Simon tells me that this stage of the process smells marvellous — and the cheese is matured for up to two months. Rich, with a certain sticky sweetness, it is another delightful take on the basic theme. But the one that really kept me coming back for more was Simon’s Blue Cheese. Now this I could scoff by the barrow-load. It’s made, Simon explained, by mixing a

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Rocquefort culture in with the cheese curds. After maturing for a month, the cheese is pierced to expose the inside to the air, and the culture gets to work for a further month or so. And a great job it does too — this is one of the most moreish blue cheeses I’ve tasted for ages. Like the pepper cheese, it is beautifully integrated, with none of that aggressive bite that discourages some people from the stronger blues. A definite must for the Christmas cheeseboard. There are plenty more exciting offerings in Simon’s range, including Apricot Cheese, Roasted Onion Cheese and Chilli Cheese. He’s also very excited about a new combination that he is currently testing out, and is hoping to launch before Christmas. “I can’t tell you what it is at the moment,” he says darkly, “but it’s something that’s never, ever been done before and it has got a very special Yorkshire twist.” Hopefully the secret will soon be revealed on the smart, informative Laceys website, (www.laceyscheese.co.uk), where you can also find some very useful tips on topics such as serving and storing cheese. No more wrapping it in clingfilm for me — strictly waxed or greaseproof paper from now on. Laceys Cheese may have bucked the trend and thrived during difficult economic times, but success has come at a price. “I’ve been working every single day of the week for a year and a half now,” says Simon, “and I really do miss spending time with my kids.” But there are compensations. “I really enjoy meeting customers in the shop and at farmers’ markets and shows all around the region,” he says. “And most of all I love getting here first thing in the morning, before anyone else has arrived — it’s so quiet, with just the squirrels and the birds outside — and settling down to making another batch of great cheese!” Laceys Cheese is at The Station, Richmond, DL10 4LD. For more information visit www.laceyscheese.co.uk or call 01748 828264. You can find Laceys Cheese at many local farmers’ markets, including Richmond, Northallerton, Wetherby, Malton, Pickering and Barnard Castle. Life

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Come and visit our newly re-fitted shop and see our beautiful new range of stylish living accessories for your home and christmas Childrens furniture and accessories Hand finished wooden letters, personalised gifts and storage boxes Traditional nightwear for mums, boys, girls and babies Greengate and Susie Watson for handmade pottery and soft furnishings Traditional wooden toys and the much sought after Charlie bears Bespoke furniture and freestanding Kitchens made by Daleswood Joinery for Millie Moo 15 High Street, Leyburn DL8 5AQ t: 01969 624953 m: 07795 633459

www.millie-moo.co.uk 106


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Unit 1A, Standard Court, Standard Way Industrial Estate, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 2XA Tel: 01609 775383 W: www.deansburykitchens.co.uk E: info@deansburykitchens.co.uk 107


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Where will your conversation take you?


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

Life Stories David Attenborough One of the radio highlights of 2009 was Sir David Attenborough’s series of ten-minute talks on Radio 4. In each broadcast he chatted amiably and amusingly about a subject of his own choosing, frequently touching on the personal experiences that first fired his enthusiasm for the natural world. All twenty programmes are now available in the form of this hardback book or, alternatively, as a set of audio CDs. The drawback of opting for the book is that you miss out on the mellow, cosy-as-teaand-toast tones of Sir David’s voice. On the plus side you get a fine set of illustrations, chosen by the great man himself, ranging from medieval engravings of dragons to photos of Attenborough’s team meeting New Guinea tribesmen who had never before encountered Europeans. With other topics that include why human beings sing, the pros and cons of keeping salamanders as pets, the faking of fossils, and the world’s largest flower, this makes a thumping good read and an ideal gift for any nature lover. Collins, hardback, £20

In Search of the Multiverse John Gribbin It’s easy to look up at the Milky Way on a winter’s night and wonder if there are other planets out there, circling other suns. What’s harder to get your head round is the notion that there might be other universes existing alongside our own. Not just undiscovered bits of our own universe, but wholly different realities, some of them a bit like ours, others wildly different. A few years ago this idea would have been dismissed as crackpot speculation. Nowadays, amazingly, the claim that our universe is just one of many universes — part of a ‘Multiverse’ — is fast becoming scientific orthodoxy. This is mind-bending stuff, even for physicists, but John Gribbin does a splendid job of explaining it. According to one interpretation of quantum physics, everything that could possibly happen actually does happen somewhere in the Multiverse. So even if all Santa brings you for Christmas is socks and hankies, look on the bright side: in some parallel world there’s a parallel you joyfully unwrapping some absolutely top-notch prezzies. Allen Lane, hardback, £20 109


Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour of Europe Kevin McCloud

Bookmark

Winter is an ideal time for armchair travelling, and in this plentifully illustrated TV tie-in Kevin McCloud harks back to an era when every young gentleman of substance was sent to finish off their education by dutifully hoofing round Europe taking in the highlights of Classical antiquity and Renaissance architecture. Or, if they managed to give their mentors the slip, getting blind drunk and contracting syphilis. As a design historian, McCloud concentrates rather more on the architecture than the debauchery, explaining how for more than two centuries ideas pinched from the Continent dictated the look of most of Britain’s stately homes and civic buildings. He traces the story from the 1600s to the advent of mass tourism, and a very entertaining one it is too. If you think flying to Europe on a budget airline is stressful, just thank your lucky stars you don’t have to cross the Alps in a sedan chair with only a hunk of Parmesan cheese to keep your spirits up. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, hardback, £25

The New Oxford Book of Food Plants J G Vaughan & C A Geissler

Whether you’re a cook or a gardener — and especially if you are both — this newly revised and expanded edition of the classic work is a very satisfying reference book to have on your shelf. From the familiar (such as apples, potatoes and wheat) to the obscure (such as oca, ulluco and ysaño, all of which are all edible South American tubers), the history, use and nutritional value of each plant is clearly explained in the authoritative text. Above all, though, it’s just a very pleasant book to browse. Flicking through its lovingly detailed fullpage plates, painted from life, it’s astonishing to see the sheer variety of plants — from massive coconut palms to tiny fungi — that furnish us with foodstuffs. Hypochondriacs should refrain from reading the concluding chapter on nutrition, from which it easy to get the impression that almost everything we eat (including beans, potatoes, cereals, spinach, nutmeg, pineapples and bananas) contains some kind of natural toxin, albeit in small doses.

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Oxford University Press, hardback, £20


The Rabbit Problem Emily Gravett At first sight this appears to be a picture book, and one without much of a story at that. It takes the form of a calendar charting a year in a field. In January, Lonely Rabbit advertises for a partner, and in February she is joined by Chalk Rabbit. The results are predictable: by the end of the year there are a lot of rabbits. But the fun is in the detail, and older, more thoughtful children will find a lot to enjoy. Not only are there the main illustrations, which become increasingly detailed as the rabbit population starts to soar, but there are also various mini-books along the way. In May, when carrots are scarce, there’s a Ration Book, for example. In July, when the rabbits are bored, there’s a local newspaper. And in October, when the carrot crop matures and carrots are plentiful, there’s The Carrot Cookery Book. It’s certainly a bit of an oddity, and not easy to classify, but rabbit lovers of all ages should find it delightful. Macmillan, hardback, £12.99

500 Red Wines Christine Austin Ah, cosy winter evenings. An open fire and a glass of red wine. And if you can’t find an open fire then pour yourself an extra-large glass of red wine to compensate. The question is, which wine? Well, what better guide to the heady topic of red wine could there be than Christine Austin, Dales Life’s very own drinks columnist? Organised by country, and within that by region, her compact little book gives concise tasting notes for each wine, along with its vintage years and an indication of its price band. Especially useful are the suggestions as to what kind of food you might want to pair it with. There is also a helpful introduction designed to give you the low-down on grape types and wine terminology, and to put you straight on selecting, storing and serving the stuff. All very handy. If whites are more your style there’s a companion volume, 500 White Wines, by Natasha Hughes and Patricia Langton. Cheers! Apple, hardback, £9.99

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How to Take Over Teh Wurld: A Lolcat Guide to Winning Season of goodwill be hanged, I have to speak my mind. We’re in a recession here. Surely nobody would be moronic enough to pay a tenner for a book of amateur photographs of cats with misspelled captions? Well actually, yes, apparently they would. Last year’s book of Lolcats proved to be a bestseller, and cat lovers can confidently expect to find this latest volume jammed in their stocking come Christmas morning. Sure, most of the jokes are variations on the same old themes, but cat owners, just like their pets, prefer to stick to a routine. Some of the pictures, I have to admit, are hilarious. But somehow not quite so hilarious as they are on the Internet — which is, of course, where the whole Lolcat craze originated. Probably it’s because when you sneak a peek at them on the Net you’re doing so when you should by rights be working. Wasting your own time is never quite so enjoyable as wasting someone else’s.

Bookmark

Hodder & Stoughton, hardback, £9.99

Everyday Harumi: Simple Japanese Food for Family and Friends Harumi Kurihara

Even before the last crumbs of Christmas have been vacuumed away, the bookshops will be piled high with diet books. These, presumably, are largely ineffective, otherwise why would we have to keep buying new ones? So this year, instead of jumping on the New Year diet bandwagon, why not resolve to introduce a few elements of Japanese cooking into your weekly menu? With the exception of sumo wrestlers, most Japanese are remarkably slim and healthy, and they have one of the longest life-expectancies in the world, so they must be doing something right. With exotic cookbooks there’s always the worry that you won’t be able to source the right ingredients. Fortunately nowadays a trip to any large supermarket or health food store should enable you to stock up with everything you need to get started on these light and tempting recipes, which include Simmered Pork in Crêpes, Halibut and Aubergine Miso Gratin, and Tofu with Crispy Toppings. It’s a nicely illustrated book, and everything looks commendably straightforward, providing you can decipher the very tiny letters in which some perverse designer has typeset the ingredients lists.

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Conran Octopus, hardback, £20


RHS Gardening Through the Year Ian Spence I don’t know about you, but my horticultural year usually consists of lurching from crisis to crisis. Whether it be planting, pruning or protecting, the job only gets done several weeks after it should have been. If your New Year’s resolutions include being a bit more organised in the garden then this compendious book looks like an ideal tool to help you keep yourself on track. Clear and practical, just as you would expect from a book endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society, it takes you through the gardening year month by month, setting out precisely what you need to be doing and when. It’s not merely a set of checklists, though — more of an all-in-one reference book that’s perfect for new and less confident gardeners, and full of handy reminders for more established ones. And with hundreds of colourful photos packed into its 300-plus pages it looks appealling and provides plenty of inspiration for new projects. A worthy addition to your own shelf of gardening books, and a splendid gift for gardening friends and relatives. Dorling Kindersley, hardback, £16.99

Jolly Wicked, Actually: The 100 Words that Make Us English Tony Thorne Tony Thorne is an expert on slang, and in Jolly Wicked, Actually he takes a lighthearted look at the use and origins of one hundred words that he believes define our national identity. It’s a sad reflection on Englishness, perhaps, that such a high proportion of them have negative connotations, amongst them Austerity, Binge, Bore, Bovver, Cad, Frump, Fusspot, Grotty, Grumble, Jobsworth, Naff, Oik, Pseud, Slag, Stodgy, Twee, Twit and Yob. Oh dear. On the positive side we do at least have Cuppa, Doily and Toast — along with several words which these days seem to mean barely anything at all, such as Actually, Decent, Jolly and Nice. Whilst some of Thorne’s hundred words have been around for generations, others — like Innit, Nang and Yoof — are newcomers. Like them, this book probably won’t stand the test of time, but it is amusingly written and makes for pleasantly undemanding entertainment in the meantime. Little Brown, hardback, £12.99

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The Comic Strip History of Space Sally Kindberg & Tracey Turner Given that it’s abominably dark at this time of year, why not make a virtue of necessity and get the kids interested in stargazing? Of course there’s only so long that you can stand in the frost and squint optimistically at the heavens, but once you’ve got the little terrors hooked then this cheerful cartoon history of astronomy might just keep them busy for an extra hour or two. A set of comic strips it may be, but it is also surprisingly informative. If you don’t know which astronomer wore a false nose made of gold, why stars twinkle, which comet has the largest tail, or who was the first ever space tourist then maybe you too need to have a quick leaf through. The authors tackle difficult subjects (such as Einstein’s theory of relativity) and fun ones (such as UFOs) with equal enthusiasm. If you and the younger members of your household like it then you might also consider The Comic Book History of the World by the same authors.

Bookmark

Bloomsbury, hardback, £6.99

The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England Ian Mortimer

I like to have a real page-turner to keep me going over the holiday season, and this little paperback certainly makes a gripping read. It’s a cliché to talk about ‘bringing history to life’, but for once here’s a book that really does it — by putting you, the reader, in the position of a visitor to the fourteenth century and explaining exactly what you will see, hear and smell, where you will stay, what you will eat, and how you will travel. From the perspective of a twenty-first century tourist, Medieval England is a colourful and exuberant place, but also a very alien, difficult and dangerous one — a place where you can be fined for wearing the wrong kind of clothes, where forks haven’t yet been invented, where soap is far too caustic to use on your skin, and where even eminent physicians are liable to propose curing your ailments with ingredients like hedgehog grease or the guts of a flayed cat. This is a meticulously researched book — author Ian Mortimer is an award-winning historian who specialises in the Middle Ages — but it engages your imagination and draws you into its strange and rather disturbing world like the very best fiction.

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Vintage, paperback, £8.99


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DalesLife

lifestyle magazine, now has a new address and telephone number.

Ingledew 2a Crabtree Hall Business Centre, Little Holtby, Northallerton DL7 9LN

And now that we’re online your advert will be working harder than ever. Visit www.daleslife.com

T: 01609 749117 M: 07970 739119 E: sue@daleslife.demon.co.uk


Professional expertise in Rural Property

Underbanks, Reeth Road, Richmond General Purpose Farm Buildings with 21. 5 Acres. Set in useful farm buildings with equestrian potential with 21.5 acres of grass land and frontage onto the River Swale. Joint Agents: Leyburn Livestock Auction Mart Guide Price : ÂŁ100,000 - ÂŁ150,000 At Robin Jessop Ltd we specialise in selling individual rural property. From barn conversions to farms to country houses with land. if you would like more information on the land at underbanks or any other property we have for sale please do not hesitate to contact us.

Bedale 01677 425950

www.robinjessop.co.uk

JohnCushnie

REFURBISH YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS

John Cushnie

Small repairs to total refurbishment - all aspects undertaken Flooring, ceilings, plastering, building, joinery, electrics, plumbing, decoration & more Tel : 01969 663898 Mob: 07837 504942 info@vistagb.com

s s s s s s s

Family leisure Entertainment business and or friends Added property value Seasonal colour and interest Home grown vegetables, fruit and flowers Less ongoing maintenance Peace of mind knowing that you will be work in and enjoy your garden in advancing years.

For all enquiries please email: cushniej@yahoo.co.uk or visit my web site: www.cushnielandscapes.co.uk or Tel: 02844 828436

www.cushnielandscapes.co.uk

is a personal landscape design and contracting company with many years of practical experience and all of my team have specialist skills in at least one particular aspect of landscaping.

www.vistagb.com 119


KETTLEWELL FUELS LIMITED ... Your Local, friendly, family run fuel supplier

We’d like to get to know you better

We understand the importance of a personal service

You can rely on us

The Kettlewell family value our customers. Call Janet, Trevor or Angie who understand your needs.

We don’t operate a call centre so your delivery will be given the individual attention you would expect from a family business.

We will do everything we can to deliver on time and without fuss.

Station Depot ‡Melmerby‡ Ripon‡HG4 5EX

Telephone: 01765 640682 www.kettlewellfuels.co.uk

Suppliers of Agricultural, Domestic Heating and Industrial Fuel Oils.

T


A.J.Hicks Domestic Plumbing Services

All Aspects of trAditionAl & contemporAry wrought ironwork gAtes & VictoriAn rAilings. 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.

free estimAte, AdVice And Brochure

01677 450450/450374 the forge, finghall, nr. leyburn

LYNDON SHAW

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: andrew.hicks93@virgin.net

No job too small!!!

The Wensleydale House Doctor Home Improvement Specialist • Painting and decorating

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 The Forge, Finghall, nr Leyburn

• Kitchens and bathrooms fitted • Joinery • Flooring • Tiling • Plumbing • Plastering No job too small

Tel: 01677 450810 Hunton, Bedale, North Yorkshire 121


Van and driver available We have been selling computers in Northallerton & the surrounding area for approximately 25 years. ● We can supply new or ex-demo systems at very competitive prices, starting at £450 (length of guarantee variable) ● Choose a base unit or monitor only, or combined, to suit your needs ● 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 at very reasonable rates ● Printers, scanners, sat-navs, ink cartridges, routers, stationary etc.

Unsure of what you need? We give plain, helpful advice on what would suit YOU Just ring Eric on 01609 774129 and see how easy computing can be.Or check out our web site on

www.thecomputershopltd.co.uk

9b Garthway Arcade, Northallerton, N. Yorks

Suppliers and Installers Sash Windows Replacement Windows Internal and External Doors French Doors Double and Single Glazing Hardwood and Softwood

Garden rubbish removal Furniture collection & delivery Light haulage 15 seater minibus hire 6 seater Transit crew van hire Airport minibus transfers

Call for a free quote

Man with a van Steve 01325 718914 evenings 07809 046829 days

Extensions & Alterations New Builds Barn Conversions Commercial Builds Property Renovations Large or Small

Unit B, Manor Farm, Bellerby, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5QH

Office: 01969 624441 Mob: 07793 106771 Email: lcconstruction@btconnect.com 122


•INHERITANCE TAX• SELF ASSESSMENT•WAGES•

WALter DAWSON & SON INCORPORATING

Robert Blackburn & Co CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

New name… same service …whatever your business, whatever your size, we promise you a friendly, personal and professional service. York House, Market Place, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 5AT Tel: 01969 623636 Fax: 01969 624512 Also at: Dewsbury, Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds

•FARM ACCOUNTS•

•PAYROLL• BUDGET•BOOK KEEPING• VAT •

Tel: 01677 426616 Email: admin@theplanshop.net The Assembly Rooms, 29 Market Place, Bedale DL8 1ED

•BUSINESS ACCOUNTS•

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DalesLife One year for ÂŁ12

Ensure you get your copy, or give someone the perfect gift.

DalesLife

Please contact Sue Gillman on 01609 749117

T: 01609 749117 M: 07970 739119 E: sue@daleslife.demon.co.uk W: www.daleslife.com

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Ingledew 2a Crabtree Hall Business Centre, Little Holtby, Northallerton DL7 9LN


Imagine living in luxurious, spacious accommodation, surrounded by 19-acres of beautiful, mature grounds and having a range of leisure facilities and amenities all on site. For the over-55s, this can be more than a dream at Middleton Hall Retirement Village, the first in the region, located between Yarm and Darlington.

Middleton Hall prides itself on being an innovative leader in services for older people. It has an unsurpassed reputation for high quality services, care and accommodation. This is achieved through our extensive team of highly trained and exceptionally dedicated staff. Services included Assisted Living Suites, Residential Care and Complete Care.

Middleton Woods has one, two and three bedroom apartments set around a sunny courtyard overlooking a lake and wildlife area. It is designed for independent living with its own entrance and private car parking. Middleton Spa is a unique addition to the retirement village built to provide healthy living opportunities for all. The Spa includes a swimming pool, spa pool, gym and therapy rooms. In addition Middleton Hall offers a restaurant, bar, shop, coffee shop, sports green and library. Middleton Hall Retirement Village, Middleton St George, Darlington, Co Durham, DL2 1HA www.middleton-hall.com

For further information and a brochure please call: 01325 332207 enquiries@middleton-hall.com


MASHAM • RIPON • NORTH YORKSHIRE

Roofing and building contractors

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

01388 517045

Mini digger work undertaken City & Guilds Tradesmen

G. Wright 07738 351220 B. Rodney 07734 139339 01765 689445 4 College Mews, College Lane, Masham HG4 4HE

Floor Tiles Steam-Cleaned & Sealed KITCHENS CONSERVATORIES HALLS

•SANDSTONE• •TERRACOTTA• •TRAVERTINE• •SLATE•MARBLE• •LIMESTONE•

John Lord 01748 811452 07961 460020 john@steamcleanseal.co.uk

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to

Dine for Great places to eat and stay in the Yorkshire Dales

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VENNELL’S rESTAurANT

ThE COuNTrYMAN’S INN

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, www.vennellsrestaurant.co.uk. Vennell’s Restaurant, 7 Silver Street, Masham. tel: 01765 689000

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 www.countrymansinn.co.uk

ThE BuCk INN

SIMONSTONE hALL

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. 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 www.buckwatlass.co.uk

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. Simonstone Hall, Simonstone, Hawes DL8 3LY tel: 01969 667255 www.simonstonehall.co.uk

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 well-stocked 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 www.blacksheepbrewery.com

ThE QuEEN'S hEAD Reopened this April following a thorough refurbishment, The Queen's Head is a charming and charactersome country inn dating from the 1700s, set in picturesque surroundings in the attractive village of Finghall near Leyburn. It offers comfortable modern accommodation and a traditional, cosy bar. New manager and head chef Ian Vipond has devised a fresh, new menu for the restaurant, based around tasty local and seasonal produce. Traditional bar snacks are also available. With original oak beams and a dining room that looks out over the woods said to have inspired The Wind in the Willows, it's a place that combines a real sense of history with great food and a genuinely warm welcome. The Queen's Head, Finghall (between Leyburn and Bedale), tel. 01677 450259 www.queensfinghall.co.uk.

SWINTON PArk hOTEL An elegant 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. 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 www.swintonpark.com

ThE GEOrGE AT WATh Located at the centre of the charming village of Wath, just over three miles from the city of Ripon you will find The George at Wath, a traditional Country Inn serving a mouth-watering menu using locally sourced, fresh, seasonal produce. We also offer an excellent choice of fine wines, many by the glass and a selection of local Cask Ales. Luxury En-suite accommodation, private dining, Beer Garden and Function room available. The George at Wath, Main Street, Wath. HG4 5EN tel. 01765 641324 www.thegeorgeatwath.co.uk richard@thegeorgeatwath.co.uk

ThE SANDPIPEr INN Enjoy Jonathan Harrison’s unique cuisine in the traditional surroundings of the Sandpiper Inn, Leyburn. Modern British food prepared using only the finest ingredients. Fine wines, real ales and friendly service. Accommodation is available. The Sandpiper Inn, Market Place, Leyburn. tel: 01969 622206 www.sandpiperinn.co.uk

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rOMANBY BrASSErIE

ThE WhITE BEAr

At Romanby Golf & Country Club’s new brasserie you can dine on traditional food with a stylish twist in a comfortable and relaxed setting. The extensive menu emphasises fresh, seasonal, local produce. Head Chef Adrian Craig’s past positions have won him five consecutive AA rosettes, and his mission is now to bring quality brasserie-style dining to the residents of Northallerton. Romanby Country Club is open daily for snacks, drinks and brasserie lunches from 9am to 7.30pm. The Brasserie menu is available on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm to 8.30pm, and Sunday lunches are served from 12 noon to 2pm. Romanby Brasserie, Romanby Golf & Country Club, Northallerton, tel. 01609 778855, www.romanby.com

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

hENDErSONS BAr & rESTAurANT Set in the idyllic riverside surroundings of Westholme Estate in Bishopdale near Aysgarth, which is currently being turned into a luxury holiday resort as part of an ongoing £8m redevelopment programme, Hendersons is a bright, stylish, relaxed new bar and bistro-style restaurant with a highly contemporary feel. Talented young chef Gavin Swift, formerly of the Wyvill Arms, has hand-picked top quality local suppliers to provide the ingredients for his fresh, inventive take on modern British cuisine. Hendersons Bar & Restaurant, Westholme Estate, Aysgarth, tel 01969 663268 130

STONE hOuSE hOTEL Enjoying stunning views across Upper Wensleydale, and ideally placed as a base for hill-walkers, Stone House Hotel is an elegant country residence dating from 1908. It is set in an acre of fine gardens just a short drive from the bustling market town of Hawes. With its cosy bar, library-cum-billiard room and panelled Oak Room, Stone House makes a great place to relax. There’s a comfortable restaurant where you can enjoy delicious locally sourced traditional food from breakfast through to dinner, and choose from an extensive list of fine wines. There are three spacious and romantic four-poster suites, and five ground floor conservatory bedrooms that open directly onto the lawns and are especially popular with dog owners or guests who aren’t keen on stairs. Stone House Hotel, near Hawes, Wensleydale, tel. 01969 667571, www.stonehousehotel.co.uk Life


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Dales Life Winter 2009  

Yorkshire's favourite free magazine