Eating in North Yorkshire

Eating in North Yorkshire – 2008 Nicholas Lander enjoys North Yorkshire hospitality. The early evening scene I witnessed in the bar of The White Swan Inn in Pickering, north Yorkshire would have warmed the hearts of its owners, Victor and Marion Buchanan, had they not been on holiday in the much warmer climes of Turkey at the time. A young waitress approached the table where a middle-aged couple were sitting to tell them that the dining room had just had a cancellation and that she would, after all, be able…






Sharrow Bay

Sharrow Bay – 2002 Fifteen years have elapsed since I last drove along Ullswater to Sharrow Bay Hotel in the Lake District but little seemed to have changed. More children were rollerblading, more adults windsurfing and farmers had obviously given over more fields to campsites and caravans rather than livestock. But the light on the water was as beguiling as ever, the distant fells equally alluring. Inside the hotel itself nothing seems to have altered at all. The mirrors, pictures and ornaments are as highly polished as ever; the walls…






The George And Dragon, Cumbria

The George And Dragon, Cumbria – 2012 Shortly after I married my Cumbrian wife 30 years ago, I learnt of two particular challenges that continue to face chefs in this particularly verdant county that stretches from the southern Lake District to the Scottish border. The first is that size matters. Cumbrians, I learnt, do not like to see the plate underneath whatever dish they have ordered: the food has to be substantial. And however well they have eaten, there is invariably a hefty appetite for dessert, the part of any…






Last Supper at El Bulli

Last Supper at El Bulli – 2011 Our excitement at being invited by chef-patron Ferran Adrià to enjoy a final dinner at El Bulli before it closes for ever as a restaurant later this year mounted even further when we saw the taxi driver who was going to drive us along the tortuous coastal road from nearby Roses to the restaurant. Neither of his arms was in plaster. On the last occasion we had made this journey, our taxi driver had one arm in plaster and she had insisted on…






Pollen Street Social

Pollen Street Social – 2011 At 3.15 pm an elegant, silver-haired woman was walking past the bar of Jason Atherton’s recently opened Pollen Street Social in Mayfair with her husband firmly in tow. She spotted Atherton talking to his manager, came over, kissed him, congratulated him on the lunch they had just enjoyed and added, ‘It’s good to have you back, Jason.’ The return of customers like these is one of the principal reasons Atherton, his Filipina wife, Irha, and Mavis Oei, a family friend, have invested £3 million, alongside…