When we get the weather, the UK really is a beautiful country to live in and travel around. It still amazes me how there’s so many people who haven’t seen much of their own country. I admit we can’t always be reliant on good weather, but don’t let that stop you getting out there and exploring some great places!
This summer I am spending in the UK. My next big overseas trip I’m planning is a food and music tour of the USA next summer, when I’ll be turning 40!
May and June were busy months, as were the following months, so busy that I’m only just getting round to writing about it, with numerous family birthdays and catching up with friends. Here’s a bit of what I got up too.
The Lake District:
My youngest brother John turned 30, the last of my five siblings to do so. A group of us headed to the south Lake District for a long weekend to celebrate. We stayed at Bigland Hall cottages, just outside Backbarrow, 3 miles south of Lakeside at Lake Windermere https://www.biglandhallcottages.co.uk
It was a fun weekend, lots of good food, games and a day trip over to Windermere. A hike, an old steam train from Haverthwaite station, and a boat ride was all it took to get over to Windermere. It was such a beautiful day, we could have been somewhere in the Mediterranean. We spent the afternoon in the town where we took advantage of the numerous beer gardens and the warm weather.
Hebden Bridge with the Girls:
Hebden Bridge, a West Yorkshire Market town, was the destination for a girls weekend to celebrate my sister Liz’s birthday. Two of my oldest school friends Nicky and Mary, as well as eldest sister Clare and sister-in-law Olivia came along. Our star guest, niece Elsie, was a last minute addition……which none of us minded at all!
We stayed right in the centre of the village in a beautiful cottage. It was such a relaxing weekend, and was great catching up with everyone. We cooked both nights and enjoyed a few drinks. On the Saturday we went for a walk and picnic around nearby Hardcastle Craggs. This was followed by a well deserved drink outside The Stubbing Wharf Pub located next to the Hebden River.
Camping in Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire:
Family camping in North Yorkshire has become an annual event now to celebrate nephew Archie’s birthday, and we were back camping at Bolton Abbey for his 4th birthday in June.
Catgill campsite was our home for the weekend, set in the stunning roaming Yorkshire countryside http://catgillcampsite.co.uk. Catgill is considered one of the best campsites in the UK, and from only £10 per night it’s a bargain.
Me & Thomas managed to get our tent up and back down again without arguing, another major step in our relationship! You can’t beat a few days in the country, lots of fresh air, running around, cooking outside, toasting marshmallows and drinking wine around the campfire!
Catgill is great for kids, which we had a lot of that weekend, five including baby Eddie. With nearby Hesketh Farm Park, the river, stepping stones and welly walk at Bolton Abbey, and Billy Bobs Parlour, an American diner and play area, there’s enough to keep them all entertained https://billybobsparlour.com/bookings/
Food Stuff Going On:
Preparation has been underway for my next, sold out, Supper Club on Saturday 1st September. We’re back up at the Union Coffee House in Leeds, for a ‘Cheese Takeover.’ evening. Thomas is back as my right hand man, his love of cheese makes him the perfect candidate for this one!
It’s a brand new menu in which we’ve adapted some recipes cooked before and some completely new ones. Each course will have a type of cheese in it. We are avoiding obvious dishes like Mac n’Cheese and Cheesecake (as much as I love them!), so a few not so obvious dishes will be served.
I’m really looking forward to hosting back up at the Union, where owners Chris & Vik always give me a warm welcome.
Ive recently written another interview style review for Leeds Living, Leeds biggest independent not for profit online publication. I spoke to Jo Myers, co-owner of a Leeds favourite The Greedy Pig and The Swine That Dines, about the recent changes at the eatery. Read all about what she had to say at http://leedsliving.co.uk/food-drink/in-conversation-with-jo-myers/
The Rest of the Summer:
More UK travels throughout July and August to follow in my next blog; including a visit back over to Northern Ireland, a weekend in Glasgow, and a ten day road trip of the South West including South Wales and Bristol.
x The Messy Cook x