Sunday, 8 April 2012

Saturday - Elslack Grange and the Tempest Arms

This weekend Joe and I treated ourselves to a little weekend away in the country, staying at the Elslack Grange B&B, near Skipton.  Sally Thorpe welcomed us to a stunning house in the hamlet of Elslack, which has been in her family for generations and has just undergone a beautiful restoration.  The room was top notch with an enormous bed, lovely fittings and a fab bathroom complete with jacuzzi bath - just what we needed to relax and unwind.  She was a great host who, as well as making us a lovely breakfast before our departure, gave us lots of tips on where we could go for a walk in the area and made us feel thoroughly welcome and at home.  We would definitely recommend this as a place to stay if you are looking for some peace and to get away from everything.

Even better is that just down the road (literally - a 5-10 minute walk) is the Tempest Arms, which we were told by many people is the best place to eat in the Skipton area.  The Tempest Arms is a proper pub with comfy arm chairs, roaring fires and great, wholesome food served in huge portions.

Now, prepare to get the violins out here, but I've been a little ill over the last few days so probably wasn't the best company.  Joe is a great fiance though and humoured me, even when I was getting particularly tired at about 8 o'clock.  I am most definitely not rock and roll right now.

We went to the Tempest first for drinks and the papers (peppermint tea for me - see, seriously cool), which was fab.  It was buzzy but relaxed and a great place to sit back and enjoy the scenery.  We then returned later for dinner.  Ill or not, I think this is the kind of place you need to go having not eaten all day - the food was lovely but enormous!  For starters I had the rollmop herring and anchovy salad, which was a little nostalgic for me - my grandfather used to give my brother and I rollmop herrings and caviar when we were children - unusual tastes!  Even more nostalgic, Joe had the black pudding and spam fritters with a fried egg, which were surprisingly good. 

We probably should have stopped there, but we had ordered main courses of a fish pie for me and a seafood plank for Joe, which came with salmon, mackerel pate, cockles, crab, fried shrimps and a seafood salad.  The fish pie was really tasty - rich and creamy with a crispy potato lid, but Joe was a little less certain about his seafood plank - it was a little ill-conceived - although the component parts were nice, they didn't come together as a main dish really.  They did excellent chips though, and a wonderful sticky red cabbage side.

We will revisit both Elslack Grange and the Tempest Arms as I don't think I gave the latter a fair go - perhaps next time after a rather long stomp up a hill to whip up an appetite.

Rollmop herring and anchovy salad
Spam and black pudding fitters
The fish pie, which was bigger than my head (just to put it in scale)
The fish plank
Joe's impressive Elslack Grange breakfast
The guest book entry
Elslack Grange
The view from the Grange

Thursday - Deer Park in Leeds

On Thursday evening Joe and I went to the new menu launch at the Deer Park.  We've been to the Deer Park on quite a few occasions whilst living in Roundhay and have always had a good time - great food and tasty drinks galore.  See our last post here for a full review.

They are launching their new menu, which is a bit more streamlined than previously but keeps some of their best dishes whilst adding to them.  I am a particular fan of the duck and mooli salad and the seafood linguini, and they do excellent spit roast chicken.

As ever, Dan and the rest of the staff were brilliant hosts - we got to try some new things including pork meatballs, mini fishcakes, flatbreads with dips, sticky ribs (in a ginger, soy and chilli sauce - on the new menu) lamb koftas (also on the new menu), grilled tuna and some naughty but very nice chips!  It was a great evening, and the Deer Park was buzzing as ever.  Thanks also to our drinking buddies for the evening - Rebecca and Steve from @reallygoodfood.     
Ahh...the bank holiday weekend.  Well deserved.
Joe, pleased with his Estrella
breads, meatballs and fishcakes
Grilled tuna
Me and Rebecca
Joe and Steve
A naughty chip treat - thanks Dan!
Flatbreads and dips
Ribs and koftas

Friday - A Day Trip to York

After our excessive merriment at The Deer Park, I woke with a banging head-ache, and Jo woke up with a banging head-ache plus a return of the dreaded virus. But after a shower and an hour or so to get my head back together it was on to the next bank holiday plan - a few hours drinking in York with our buddies but had to leave Jo sleeping on the sofa.

So after a quick run around Cornucopia, I met the Wolf at Leeds Station to hook up with the others at the York Tap which is at York train station.

After The York Tap, we headed to The Maltings (great), Ye Olde Starre Inne (terrible but ended up here as Trembling Mad was one in one out!), Pvimi (great) then The Last Drop (good) before I headed back at 7ish to see how Jo was doing - Oh, I forgot to mention that I demolished a battered fish in York before picking up a pizza on the way home....fat b@stard!!!

The Maltings
The Wolf
Mike and Terri
Work Mike and Soraya
A self portrait
Good history but crap pub
The Last Drop
My starter before pizza