This week, we have been on a little jolly, eine Fahrt ins Blaue, a magical mystery tour, or very simply a little road trip. Having lived 30 years outside of the UK, our knowledge of it is sadly lacking. Although Himself comes from the North of England close to Liverpool and we both went to college in Manchester, neither of us know it. And so it was that we visited his lovely baby brother and even lovelier wife in Harrogate. We had actually lived in Harrogate for 6 months, albeit a lifetime ago. We couldn’t even remember where had lived, let alone any landmarks. The only thing that I did remember was the market, which sadly is no more.
The last time we were in Harrogate was pre-Covid, we had lunch in the deliberate Old fashioned Betty’s and breakfast in a Farmers Market called Fodder! What a great name! Himself and brother just had to have the Great Yorkshire Breakfast and it didn’t disappoint and myself the crushed avocado on sourdough with watercress, wilted spinach, poached egg ( perfectly cooked) and bacon! Something that the Baby Ivy Cafes in London need to learn !
After Harrogate we meandered through the Yorkshire dales, into Lancashire and to Clitheroe and to COWMANS sausage shop! And quel choix. We bought basic chipolatas, to make Pigs in Blankets for grandkids , then Himself chose Cajun, Moroccan Lamb, herb Italian and Venison. These will be precooked and the more exotic ones frozen for Himself to have whenever.
Moving on from Clitheroe we landed at Northcote, a Michelin star restaurant and hotel. For whatever reason our assigned dinner time was 6.30. As with many good restaurants, seatings are staggered, to enable to kitchen staff and wait staff to function well. The set menu was interesting and although we chose not to take the wine flight we were very happy with our choice. This was partly dictated by nostalgia as on the wine list was a white from the PFALZ, a region in German, where we lived for 3 years. Himself then decided that a red from Georgia , the birthplace of wine, might be interesting, and it was.
Dinner was nice, very nice but the best part was the Veal Sweetbread, which I could have easily eaten much more of it and Himself would really have liked seconds of dessert. The Asparagus was nice , the duck was nice but the turbot underwhelming. Nice being the operative word here.
Service at Breakfast perhaps was not up to Par, ( am I being critical here?) no condiments on the table but dirty dishes left on empty tables. Though my breakfast was nice ( again Avocado etc, but I have to say, it was better in Fodder, as it was served hot and condiments arrived instantly). So will we hurry back, probably not but it was a nice little trip, nonetheless.
Moving on, I wanted to explore Englands largest covered market. To my mind it will be an old fashioned market, selling everything from thimbles to hard hats, to tripe stalls to fish stalls. Disappointment ensued! The Jubilee Weekend, a four day public holiday and the market was closed. To say I was gutted is putting it mildly. Especially as Bury is a stones throw from Morecombe Bay, which is renowned for its seafood, shrimp and clams to the most wonderful fresh fish. I was/ am on the hunt for a fish, which goes by various names, Huss, Rock Salmon or Dog Fish, a wonderful pink white fish, but it is just not pretty., and it be.ones to the Shark family! Growing up on the Kent coast, we caught this fish, when it was about 2 feet long, easy to skin with a single bone down the middle. Great taste and easy to cook and absolutely great as Fish and Chips !
Sadly not to be this time around. Another trip to Billingsate Market, the UK main fish market.