This Friday was treat day. Richard and I’s anniversary is the week before Christmas so we tend to go away somewhere a bit nice in lieu of Christmas presents. This year we opted for the Star Inn at Harome. I was taken there in the summer as a 30th birthday treat, and whilst it was a beautiful experience we agreed that it felt like more a winter kind of venue, so we rushed back at the first sight of snow!
The Star Inn has been a pub (or similar) for about 600 years. It’s a gnarled old timber-framed building with loads of exposed beams and character. It was set up in its current format by Andrew and Jacqui Pern. Andrew is a bit of a game guru and has published a number of books, including Loose Birds and Game, which has a foreword by none other than Michel Roux. The Inn is consistently at the top of restaurant and gastro pub awards lists and is generally seen as a place to be in North Yorkshire. Continue reading
At Dinner at the Manor, we’re all about the guests, which is why we want to give the wonderful readers of this blog the opportunity to vote for which cookbook we will theme our May 2012 event on…
The date is still to be confirmed, and we will announce the exact weekend this will take place once the results are in! Martini Man and I have been trawling through our cookbooks and have shortlisted 4 books which we think will help shape a brilliant evening.
So, without further ado, the books are… Continue reading
My dining adventures continue. You can rely on the Christmas period to bring lots of greedy opportunities into life and I’m never one to turn one down! This weekend saw me within a one mile radius of Thomasina Miers’ chain Wahaca, and seeing as they have foolishly failed to bring this Mexican eatery to the North, tsk, I had to grace them with my presence and fill myself with their nosh. Plus we’re featuring Thomasina’s Mexican Food Made Simple at our January supperclub so I thought I’d go and get some presentation tips. Continue reading
This weekend saw the Dinner at the Manor staff descend upon beautiful York for their Christmas party. The chef was to be Sara Danesin of Masterchef fame and proprietor of Sara at St John’s, York’s now famous supperclub. We had to book months ago for this and even then places were hard to come to by, so we were very excited. Sara was the passionate Italian chef on Masterchef who made it to final three but was pipped to the post by quirky and innovative chef Tim Anderson. She is probably most remembered for the consistent quality of her food, and whilst most of her peers crumbled around her she always kept her cool. I was very excited to try a meal prepared for her as she had been my favourite on the show. I also secretly hoped she’d rustle up the chocolate ravioli for us!
We served some delicious wines at our December supperclub, which was inspired by Delia Smith. We thought we’d do a bit of a blog post on them in case you want to treat yourself this Christmas. We were keen to use a local wine and were intrigued by Leeds’ own Leventhorpe vineyard, located just outside Woodlesford in south Leeds.
Most people look at me aghast when I say we served Leeds wine. Most think that either it’s impossible to produce wine so far North, or that it’s going to taste disgusting! In fact wine has been produced in Leeds for thousands of years. There’s evidence that there have been vines grown in the area of Leventhorpe vineyard since the Roman times. Also, if you look at old maps of Leeds, from the 17/1800s there are many vineyards located all across the region. The emergence of mining meant that these were often forsaken to obtain coal. Now it seems we have been brainwashed by marketing to think that we can’t make wine in the UK and that it has to come from France, Italy, Spain or the new world.
Christmas came early to the Manor as we opened our doors up this weekend for a festive feast inspired by good old Delia. Delia Smith’s Christmas recipe book dates back to the very early 90’s so there were lots of retro treats on our menu!
What’s more, this was the first occasion that we hosted supperclubs on two consecutive nights. Our guests were a mixture of friends, colleagues, family and also newcomers to us and supperclubs!
We were quite apprehensive about there being a lot of guests we knew personally, we’ve had feedback from other supperclub hosts who have said these are the hardest ones to cater for…what were we letting ourselves in for!?